MilkIN Cookies! {Recipe} (AKA Lactation Cookies – with Vegan Option)

I made these lactation cookies to promote milk production for breastfeeding. I ate these in the days leading up to giving birth as well as after K was born. I am not sure if they actually helped with supply (I didn’t have any issues), but even if they didn’t they’re still tasty and worth making.

milkin lacation cookies vegan

I came up with the recipe based on a few that I looked at online. It seems like the key ingredients for milk production are probably:

  • Brewer’s yeast (must use this yeast specifically – don’t substitute with nutritional yeast or other)
  • Ground flaxseed (also helpful for treating PCOS)
  • Oats and wheat germ (fiber is supposed to be good for milk supply)
  • Organic Butter (healthy animal fat)

It’s very easy to veganize this recipe; instructions for both regular and vegan are below.

Ingredients (with vegan option)

  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup (whole wheat) flour
  • 3 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 3 tablespoons brewer’s yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (ceylon) cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup organic butter (room temperature) – vegan option: 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 (organic) egg – vegan option: additional 1T flaxseed and 1.5T water (add this to the above ingredients)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1.5 cups whole oats (ideally not quick oats)
  • cooking spray / greased pan
  • Optional: 1/2 cup raisins
  • Optional: 1/2 shredded coconut
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Optional: 1/2 cup nuts
  • Optional: Any other of your favorite cookie add-ins!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. In one bowl, mix together: flaxseed and water. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, mix together: butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. (If making the vegan version, omit the egg at this point and add coconut oil instead of butter.)
  4. In another bowl, mix together: flour, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. Add the oats and any add-ins to the dry ingredients.
  6. Add the flaxseed mix to the wet ingredients and mix.
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix. IF dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time and mix.
  8. Shape into cookies and bake on a greased cookie sheet for 12-14 minutes.

I have made both the vegan and regular versions multiple times and they both turn out well.

My add-ins were shredded coconut and raisins.

These can be shared with family members! Husbands and grandmas love them too. I had mine for breakfast, as a snack, and for dessert.

Let me know if you try them and if they work for you.

What are your tips to boost milk supply?

Paleo/Primal Crock Pot Chili {Recipe} & An Easy Pizza

The last weekend in October Bobby and I went down to NJ to visit my family. My dad sent us back with a late birthday present of CSA meat. Of course I forgot to snap a picture of the delicious chili that I made with it, but here is the simple recipe – based on this primal chili from The Grok Pot (my dad’s suggestion).

Paleo/Primal Crock Pot Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 pound grass fed organic ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup leftover pasta sauce
  • 1 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes (I try to make sure I get mine from Eden foods or other organic companies that don’t have BPA in the cans)
  • ~1 cup leftover veggies (from Chinese food the night before) (optional)
  • 1-2 tiny Thai peppers (optional; you can just add more chili flakes if you don’t have hot peppers)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, mashed and chopped (I use the pre-chopped garlic you get in a jar – sort of cheating but easy!)

Spices

  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • chili flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste (1/2 teaspoon salt to start)

Directions

  1. Throw everything in the crockpot and mix a little; heat all day on low OR at high for 4-5 hours.
  2. If you want, you can start to cook the beef and onions to brown them before you put everything into the crockpot. This brings out the flavor a bit more.

We had ours on top of white rice (rice cooker) and topped with shredded cheddar cheese. We also had a salad on the side.

This was a perfectly satisfying meal – and so far we have managed to make it into 3 meals. Once it was the main, the 2nd time was with leftover homemade pizza, and I just had some with a fried egg for breakfast.

Speaking of that pizza…

pizza

I cooked up some pork belly (more CSA meat) and then sauteed turnip greens and scallions in the leftover fat. Slapped some pasta sauce on a premade crust, then topped it with fresh mozzarella, the greens, raw peppers, and the pork – then baked it til done.

Delicious! The side salad is baby mustard greens, raw turnips, and radishes, simply dressed with olive oil and black mission fig balsamic vinegar + salt & pepper.

And as for pregnancy updates – I’m feeling great. I’ll get into details more soon! Just wanted to share these 2 delicious meals this morning.

What have you been eating lately? How is fall treating you?

Loved the extra hour we got this weekend. If only we always needed one less hour of sleep or had an extra hour in the day 😉

Super Simple French Toast {Recipe}

This morning I was really craving French toast.

french-toast

I had some delicious bread from Eataly, some farmers’ market eggs to use up, and some leftover organic milk from when I made yogurt last week. (Note to self: must make yogurt again!)

I actually made this same recipe a few days ago, and it was so good that it merited a repeat.

The Simplest Easiest French Toast

Ingredients

  • Stale bread (or not stale, but this is great for using up stale bread)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 3 eggs
  • Butter/ghee

Directions

Mix the milk and eggs together. Soak the bread in the mixture for at least 5 minutes on each side.

Heat the butter or ghee in a pan. With heat on low, cook the soaked bread (poor any extra mixture that didn’t soak in right on top of the slices).

Cook for 6-8 minutes per side. I like to keep a lid on the pan for the first half (3-4 minutes) of each side.

Enjoy with butter and syrup!

Note that you could add some cinnamon (either into the egg mixture or just sprinkled on as it’s cooking), but my husband hates cinnamon and I wanted him to eat this, so I left it out.

I can usually have a little more than a third of this recipe for breakfast – about 2.5 or 3 pieces. The next day when I only have 1 or 1.5 slices left (because Bobby also had a third or more), I will have it along with a yogurt.

What is your favorite breakfast?

I love French toast, waffles, pancakes. I won’t ever eat them in a restaurant because the restaurant can’t make them like my dad can. In a restaurant I will get an omelette or an egg platter – pretty hard to mess up eggs (though it has happened).

Simple Egg Salad Sandwiches {Recipe}

Every Sunday morning I go to the farmers’ market. There is one right on the corner of my block. Today I got delicious fresh bread from Bread Alone (Whole Wheat Catskill Bread) and eggs from my favorite organic stand.

In my fridge I have a jar of homemade dill pickles from Maria.

Of course I had to make egg salad.

We each ended up having 2x what you see here. (Bobby’s is the one with sriracha, mine is the regular.)

Simple Egg Salad Sandwiches

egg salad

Ingredients

  • 5 small-medium eggs (if you have bigger eggs, 4 will suffice)
  • 3-4 tablespoons mayo (don’t skimp – this is what makes it good)
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle
  • < 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (you don’t need much; the pickles have salt)
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar (optional – if you want more tang)

Directions

To hard-boil the eggs:  put eggs in a pan in water with ~1 inch of water above them. Turn the heat to high. Once boiling, let it boil for one minute. Remove from heat and let them sit in the hot water for ~15 minutes. Then dunk in ice-cold water for 3-5 minutes. (This makes it easier to take the shell off.) Crack the shell and remove it.

Chop the eggs in small pieces. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Serve on top of fresh bread.

Do you like egg salad? What do you put in your favorite version?

Summer Solstice Surf & Turf

Last night Bobby and I celebrated the end of this week + the summer solstice with a delicious home-cooked surf & turf dinner. And I even made it to yoga beforehand (Friday Night Flow @ Pure Yoga).

surf-n-turf

I posted this on Instagram (@magpie707) last night. It’s a small piece of filet migon (right), scallops & shrimp, and a side of kale + shiitake mushrooms. The recipes were all super simple. They aren’t even recipes, really.

Filet Mignon:

  • olive oil
  • steak (this one was small – 3.5 ounces. it’s about 2cm thick.)
  • butter (optional)

Heat a nonstick pan until it’s screaming hot. Drizzle your steak with olive oil on both sides, and also put a little in the pan. Cook the steak ~3-4 minutes on each side (3 on each side is medium; 4 on each side is done – I did about 3.5 on each side). Done! Serve with a pat of butter on top (optional).

Shrimp & Scallops:

  • big scallops (I did 5)
  • big, cleaned shrimp (6)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Heat a nonstick pan until it’s screaming hot. Season the shrimp and scallops with salt and pepper and put some olive oil in the pan. Cook the shrimp & scallops about 2.5 minutes on each side. Done!

Kale & Shiitake Mushrooms Asian Style:

  • olive oil and a little bit of sesame oil
  • salt
  • garlic powder
  • sesame seeds
  • 1 head of red kale
  • 1 box of shiitake mushrooms
  • balsamic vinegar (I used a cherry infused one)

Wash and dry the kale. Chop the mushrooms and kale. Heat a wok to high heat and add the olive oil (1-2 tablespoons) and sesame oil (2-3 teaspoons). Add the mushrooms and kale. Add garlic powder, salt and sesame seeds. Cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes, then turn it to medium and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until the kale is tender (stirring occasionally). Add a few splashes of balsamic vinegar. Stir it around and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add more salt, if it needs it.

All told, this meal cost about $31 from the grocery store. (Filet mignon = $7, scallops = $14, shrimp = $3.50, organic kale = $2.50, organic mushrooms = $4.) A little pricey for 2 people, but much cheaper than it would be at a restaurant! I’m not including the cost of the pantry items I already had (olive oil, salt, etc…).

Bobby had the steak (I had a bite) and we split the rest, but I got an extra scallop. He was a very happy husband 🙂

Do you like surf & turf? What’s the most expensive meal you cook at home?