Lemon-Coconut Chickpea Cookies [etc.]

Ahhh yes… the cookies…

More about these later.

Yesterday was a lot better than Monday. After work, I went for my regular deep-tissue massage. I have a standing appointment with my massage therapist (who is also named Lauren- she calls me “Lauren Jr.”) every other Tuesday. It might seem indulgent- but it’s really not. She is extremely reasonable in what she charges (and could easily charge a lot more) and works until she’s “done.” Yesterday, that meant 90 minutes of deep massage bliss. Well, I wouldn’t describe all of it as bliss… when she was digging into my calves and quads- that was definitely more like torture- but in a good way! Massage helps with muscle recovery and gives the same benefits of stretching, but on a much larger (and faster) scale. My quads were extremely sore when I walked into my appointment, and today I woke up with absolutely no soreness or pain!

**

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I can spend less time cooking in the evenings so that I can have more time to spend doing other things (or nothing at all!). I take a really long time to prepare dinner. Part of this is because I am also making my lunch and breakfast for the next day at the same time. Neither take that long to throw together, but when you’re trying to prepare three meals at once, it can get quite time consuming. Oatmeal takes 5 minutes to throw together and then it just cooks (and I reheat it in the morning). Not a big deal. Lunch is almost always a salad with some kind of protein and carb. I used up the rest of my tofu and made enough egg-less salad to last the rest of the week. Have I mentioned before how much I need a tofu press?

Making something in bulk that can last throughout the week definitely helps cut back on lunch prep time, and I certainly don’t mind eating the same lunch a few days in a row. I also need to learn to cook a larger dinner, with plenty for leftovers, and just take that for lunch.

Greg and I threw together a ridiculously simple and quick dinner last night. He had gone out to the store to buy some fish earlier in the day and came back with a big filet of cod. We chopped up some celery, red onion and tomato and tossed it into a casserole dish along with some capers, lemon, olive oil, salt + pepper, and the fish. It took about 15 minutes to bake and was delicious! The sauce that was created in the pan from the olive oil, lemon and the fat from the fish was incredible. It was served along with steamed broccoli and a Japanese sweet potato (which has purple skin and white flesh).

How’s that for color?! I enjoyed every last bite.

Onto the cookies…

I’ve been obsessed with Christin’s chickpea cookies ever since I discovered them last week. Yesterday I thought about developing my own recipe and using coconut was the first thing that came to my mind. I couldn’t wait to experiment when I got home (I’m pretty sure I was day-dreaming about these cookies while I was getting my massage). I made the dough before preparing dinner, so that the cookies could be placed in the oven to bake while we were eating. I started putting ingredients together, using both coconut flour (which I am also obsessed with) and coconut flakes. I spotted some lemon extract and thought that would make a great addition as well. I had originally thought of making coconut-chocolate cookies. Carob chips were the first thing I saw, so I added some into a bit of the batter. I wasn’t quite sure how the combination of carob and lemon would taste, so I didn’t want to put them in all of the cookies.

I rolled out the dough into little balls and the cookie sheet was popped into the oven while we ate dinner.

By the time we were done eating dinner, the cookies had finished baking. I patiently let them cool before trying one of each (which was not easy to do!).

Carob chips were a mistake…

However, the lemon-coconut cookies were awesome!

Lemon-Coconut Chickpea Cookies (vegan, gf)

1 c. chickpeas, drained a rinsed

2 T coconut flour

1 T brown sugar or agave nectar

1 packet vanilla stevia (or an additional T of other sweetener + vanilla extract)

3 T shredded coconut

1/4 tsp lemon extract

2+ T of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Pre-heat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients together in a food processor, save for 2 T of shredded coconut. Mix until the ingredients form into a dough-like consistency. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more almond milk. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the dough and roll into little balls and place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baker’s mat (you should end up with 15 balls). Roll each ball in the remaining shredded coconut. Place in the middle rack of the oven to bake for 20 minutes. Cookies should be golden brown on the bottom when cooked.  (Note- these cookies will not rise or flatten or change shape at all. If you prefer a flat cookie, use a spatula to press down on the dough halfway through cooking.)

The best part? Each cookie has about 30 calories and is packed with protein and fiber (and flavor!).

Now that I’m thinking about it, macadamia nuts would be a fantastic addition to this cookie… I just really can’t get enough of chickpea cookies, period, and want to make so many variations (just like Christin has been doing!). These are the perfect little sweet bite (that you won’t feel guilty about eating). I don’t know about you- but I have to have something sweet after dinner, even if it’s just a few bites.

One more thing… check out this guy:

My dogs definitely think that they own the house and just let Greg and I live there. I do like that he chose to cuddle up with the Ravens blanket instead of the Patriots (we still haven’t put those blankets away since our Soup Off a few weeks ago!)

Do you pack breakfast or lunch for work? What are your tips for preparing quick meals?

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19 Comments on “Lemon-Coconut Chickpea Cookies [etc.]”

  1. A standing appointment for a massage? Oh I am jealous. We had fish last night too, salmon with an apricot glaze. My only tips for saving time is using a crock pot and doing whatever prep you can ahead of time. Lots of my meals (stir frys, soups) call for tons of chopped veggies, so If I have time around breakfast I’ll break out the cuisinart and start chopping.

    • Lauren says:

      I have a standing appointment because otherwise I would never make one. It’s such a good thing to do for yourself!
      I love my crockpot, but desperately need to get a new one that has a timer!

  2. Ahhhh, how much do I love this?! Especially because I’ve been thinking of making a carob version AND a lemony version, so this is even better! AND I am a huge fan of you getting regular massage. As a massage therapist I am a huge proponent and think more people should make massage a priority in their lives. You are awesome, lady!! 🙂

    • Lauren says:

      You’ve started a revolution! I am thinking of other legumes to experiment with, but starting with the obvious black bean brownies.
      I have referred so many people to my massage therapist. I got my trainer a gift certificate to see her, and now he goes every other week and so do many of his clients. If you beat up your body that badly on a daily basis, you definitely need the healing power of massage! People always think I spoil myself or it’s a luxury- not at all! I mean, I love it of course, but my body NEEDS it. 🙂
      And YOU are awesome.

  3. Sara R. says:

    I just read in Women’s Health that massage is not an indulgence, it actually makes our exercise and muscle-building much more effective among a host of other benefits 🙂 Will got me a gift card to go see Lauren for Christmas and I still haven’t gotten a chance to use it! I am really looking forward to it though. And I share your dismay at how long it takes to make healthy food every day. I often stare at my kitchen and wish I were the type of person who didn’t mind ordering takeout every night but alas, I know what is in that kind of food so I can’t bring myself to do that. I’m a big fan of the crock pot, making double recipes and freezing half for later and just making really simple meals.

    • Lauren says:

      Oh my goodness, Sara- go see her!!
      And good for you for NOT taking the easy way out with cooking. You and I both know that the extra time is worth it 10-fold, even if it can be a pain in the butt sometimes!

  4. Mmmmmm I love cookies. Those look awesome.

    Dude, I NEED a massage–daily. hah. You are so lucky 🙂 I do use my foam roller almost daily though, and that totally helps!

    • Lauren says:

      I use my foam roller mainly as a dust collector. I need to use it MUCH MORE OFTEN. I am so horrible about it – because it hurts! And I know it “hurts so good” but I’m a wimp.

  5. Kristina says:

    Basil lets us live at his house, too… 😉

    I have a few of my own versions of Christin’s genius chickpea cookies, including a savory tomato basil ball. Mmm. I’ve made a lemon one too, I need to post that thing! 🙂

    I love massage therapists who “work until done”!! mine is that way too, and while it is in no way relaxing, it is exceptional body work and it’s at least 90 minutes. I am always euphoric jello afterwards…

    • Lauren says:

      Yeah… I paid $50 for 90 minutes. You can’t beat that!!
      I want to see BOTH of those recipes. And I had to giggle at the “basil” ball. I just think of “Basil.”

  6. Gil says:

    I also need a tofu press! I use a cutting board and wine bottles etc and I always feel like I’m constructing some weird shrine.

  7. Tiffany says:

    I can’t keep cookies in the house but I’ve been curious about the chick pea cookies and brownies of the blog world! Maybe one of these days I will bite the bullet and make them then give a majority of them away!

    I love to prep food on Sundays for the upcoming week. I buy a bunch of veggies, chop them up and portion them and will cook rice and pasta for the upcoming week along with a protein so I can just grab and go, it saves so much time!

    • Lauren says:

      When I do make cookies, I usually cut the recipe in 1/2 or 1/4 so that I’m not tempted to eat them all week. But, with these- you can eat 3 for less than 100 calories… and I don’t feel guilty at all about that!
      I definitely need to cook more grains at the beginning of the week and use them for lunches.. I don’t know why I never do that!

  8. I was just thinking about making cookies with chickpeas! I love chickpea blondies and figured I could make a cookie the same way. Thank for sharing!

  9. Liz says:

    My dog also thinks she is the boss of the house 🙂
    I usually pack my breakfast and lunch the night before. Every now and then I’ll make something for the whole week (like soup) but usually I am not that good.

  10. Jen says:

    Normally on grocery day, I cut and chop everything, but I’ve been so lazy this week. I have a mass of fruits and vegetables that need to be cut and bagged today!


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