a new food hero: mark bittman of the "new york times" (and his nutty oatmeal cookies)

It started with Adelle Davis, Cooking Light, Food Network and Ellie Krieger. And then i found Michael Pollan (read one of my posts about him here) and he rocked my world in all sorts of new food-related ways. But there has been another – one that has been there all along, now that i think about it – who should have made my list of food heroes years ago. Food writer Mark Bittman of the New York Times. 

I'm a regular reader of the NYT online. I get the e-newsletter and it frequently draws me in to their website where I get sucked in to one article after another. Often I end up in the food section (after science and health news) where I enjoy reading about NYC restaurants or new recipes and ways to eat. I remember seeing Bittman on more than one occasion and enjoyed his healthy and tasty approach to eating. But it wasn't until Amazon suggested his "Food Matters" book based on my past purchases that I knew he was anything more than a columnist.

When I saw that he had a book – dozens, actually – dedicated to eating responsibly, healthfully and consciously, I knew I would like him. So I did what anyone would do: I stalked him. I found his website, his blog and his Facebook page and subscribed to him in as many ways possible. I loved him more and more. So I ordered two of his books (and got free shipping by doing so) – one, "Food Matters" is half cookbook-half eater's digest, and the second is a thick book stuffed with recipes. I devoured "Food Matters," and dog-eared more than 50 pages between its slim covers. (Admittedly I'm still thumbing through the larger cookbook, mostly distracted by its tinier cousin.)

Though I've only made one of the recipes so far (more to come, I promise), it was stellar. And even better, it's a guilt-free dessert. Nutty oatmeal cookies to be exact. Though they're still cookies, and pack a calorie punch, these babies aren't empty. They're filled with whole grains, nuts, fruit and fiber – and no butter. So next time you feel an urge for a sweet, make these. I had all of the ingredients in my pantry anyways. It's a perfect ending to any day.

Nutty Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1/2 c peanut oil (or vegetable or canola oil, or 8 tbs. unsalted butter, softened)
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (or 1/4 c applesauce)
  • 1 1/2 c flour (I did half whole-wheat pastry and half all-purpose flour)
  • 2 c old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 c dried fruit (I did half cranberries and half coconut flakes)
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts (or pecans) 
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips (dark would be good)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger (optional, I did)
  • 1/4 tsp each: nutmeg and allspice (optional, I did)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c milk (or almond, rice or soy milk)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  1. Heat oven to 375.  Use an electric mixer to cream oil and sugars together; add eggs and beat until well blended.
  2. Combine the flour, oats, fruit, nuts, chocolate, spices, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
  3. Add vanilla to batter and turn the mixer on. Alternating with the milk, add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture by hand, a little at a time, stirring to blend.
  4. Place small mounds of dough about three inches aprt on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake until lightly browned, 10-12 minutes.  Leave on the pan ~two minutes, then use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a rack to finish cooling.  Store in a tightly covered container at room temperature for no more than a day or two.
Yield: ~3 dozen cookies (batter and baked cookies can be frozen for a rainy day ... )

No comments:

Post a Comment