Chocolate almond cookies

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Are you as much of a chocolate lover as I am? I’m talking about the real chocolate, the dark stuff. Don’t get me wrong, milk chocolate has its place too – just not in my mouth. Why? Too much sugar intake for me = canker sores (not to be confused with cold sores – very different). In the last year, I’ve learned that my daughter also gets canker sores from too much sugar. How do I define too much sugar? This is surely individual but, to give you an idea, most recently my little one had one (or two) frosted homemade green tea cookie(s) and a McConnell’s ice cream cone within the same week resulting in a canker sore. If you’ve ever had a canker sore then you know the misery I speak of.

Needless to say, this canker sore trigger has led me to modify many a’ recipe, particularly in desserts. In my trial and error process, I’ve found that 1/4c of sweetener (typically maple syrup for us) is really all that’s needed in a dessert, particularly when you’re also using fruit somewhere in the recipe. I’m still shocked every time I stumble across a recipe that calls for just as much sugar as flour, and there are many out there.

Now, on to the scrumptious cookies because I can feel your anticipation. A couple of years ago, I began making my own almond milk. All of you nut-milkers out there know that something’s gotta be done with the leftover pulp. Hence, chocolate almond cookies.

Turn on the oven to 350

1/2c salted butter

1/4c maple syrup (or any sweetener, really)

1 egg

1/2tsp vanilla

2/3c rice flour

3/4c almond pulp (from about one cup of soaked almonds)

2tbs ground chia seeds

3tbs cocoa powder

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2c dark chocolate chips

Cream the butter and the sweetener. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Next, throw in the rice flour and almond pulp for a thickening batter. Mix in ground chia seeds, cocoa powder and baking powder, Finally, toss in your chocolate chips.

Using a tablespoon, scoop and arrange cookie dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Use the back of your spoon to flatten the cookie just a bit. Bake for about 15mins until the edges of the cookie begin to harden and the inside is still soft. Fully cool on the counter top. And, try not to eat them all in one seating. I find that freezing them as soon as they cool helps deter me.

Bon appetit!


Vegan? Paleo? Gluten Free? Have you shopped THRIVE MARKET?

Thrive_FB_BannerHello Ambitionista Readers!

If you haven’t heard about Thrive Market yet then let me introduce you. I was turned onto it a couple of weeks ago myself when they partnered with our children’s school! That is the reason I am sharing this deal right now with you!

Thrive Market is the first socially conscious online store offering the world’s best-selling natural and organic products at wholesale prices. They carry over 2,500 of the highest quality food, supplements, home, personal care, and beauty products from over 400 of the best brands on the market, all delivered straight to your door at 25-50% off retail prices. Their mission is to make health living easy, affordable, and accessible for every American family.

This is why I wanted to share this deal with all of you! Essentially, they are offering a 2 year membership to benefit the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara for $60 (half off) and all proceeds benefit our gem of a school. Again, I have the membership and I love it! Wholesale prices on all sorts of things and shipped right to your door! Who could ask for anything more?! Right?!

See below for all of the details!

Thrive Market is partnering with the Waldorf School of Santa Barbara to reward those who support our school! They are generously gifting a free 2-year membership to the first 100 supporters to donate $60 or more to WSSB. The regular 2-year membership price is $120, but you can receive one as a gift if you donate as little as half of that amount to our school! Send this link to all your family and friends.

It is easy to sign up:

1. Go to the Thrive Supports WSSB Donation page and donate $60 or more.

2. You will be sent an email directing you to claim your Free membership.

3. Shop Thrive Market for organic and natural products at 25-50% off and get them delivered to your doorstep for free on orders over $49!

Remember, this is only available to first 100 supporters!
Happy Shopping! Emma

Vegan Caesar Salad Reinvented

photo-7Maybe it’s because the weather has been unseasonably warm this year in Santa Barbara. Maybe it’s because I love salads. Maybe it’s because my husband’s favorite salad is a Caesar salad. I am in LOVE with this Caesar Salad Reinvention!

I use to make a Caesar salad and dressing that just included olive oil and lemon juice without the anchovies or egg yolk and then sprinkled the salad with parmesan cheese.  However, recently I have been on a nutritional yeast kick! It has such a yummy cheesy flavor and you can’t beat it’s nutritional punch! It is chock full of stress reducing B vitamins. Can’t we all use a little less stress in our lives?!? In our family we sprinkle the yummy goodness over broccoli, eggs, quinoa, kale chips and even popcorn. In fact, Food 52’s recent post, “Nutritional Yeast: Better Than Cheese” by Posie Harwood highlights some of the ways we use nutritional yeast in our family.

So back to the salad. Here is what I have come up with! Enjoy! Emma


1/4 cup tahini

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

water to thin


2 to 3 heads of romaine lettuce

1 large avocado, diced

1/4 cup capers, drained (optional)

generous sprinkle of hemp seeds

generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast (optional)

1/4 cup bread croutons (cut up bread of choice and saute it in olive oil and sea salt on the stove top until golden brown)


1/4 cup to 1/2 cup chickpea croutons (saute cooked or canned chickpeas in olive oil and sea salt on the stove top until golden brown)

For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender or jar with a lid and either blend or shake well until blended.

For the salad, combine lettuce, avocado and capers if using. Next toss with the dressing and sprinkle with hemp seeds, nutritional yeast and croutons of choice.