Chocolate Espresso Oatmeal Cookies





I’m going to skip a long into this time and just tell you straight up that these cookies are pretty phenomenal. Like, eat the raw dough out of the bowl kind of good. The kind of good where the satisfaction that occurs from tasting these far outweighs any kind of guilt that could potentially be associated with them. Which is saying a lot because I managed to get through the whole summer without putting on a bathing suit…but will need one in about a month, so naturally I’m devouring things like beer, pizza, and cookies.  And throw in the fact that I spent my Sunday brunch in a pub, drinking mimosas and eating Cronuts while simultaneously trying to watch the Packers and the Colts play.  (I couldn’t stop eating Cronuts.  Like. Crack.)  Makes total sense. These cookies are worth the purchase of a flowy, bohemian cover-up.

I found this recipe at Vegetarian Times, and I didn’t change a single thing (well, except these are vegetarian-not vegan). And I really didn’t need to. I had all of the ingredients on hand. Now, the only downside to these cookies is that they do need to chill for several hours (or overnight, preferably) in order to hold their shape. But, I promise you they are worth it. They are kind of like no-bake cookies on steroids (if you love no bakes, you will love these.) If you want a vegan version, just substitute in margarine for the butter and use vegan chocolate chips. Served with some strong coffee and a marathon viewing session of House of Cards, these were worth every bite.




Chocolate Espresso Oatmeal Cookies


Servings: about 36-48 cookies



¾ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup cooled espresso or strong coffee

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 and  ½ cups oats (I used old-fashioned, and this worked well.)

½ cup chocolate chunks




1. In a medium bowl,  whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.

2. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the espresso and vanilla, mixing until combined.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture slowly.

5. Add the oats and chocolate chips, mixing until thoroughly combined.

6. Divide the dough in half.

7. Transfer each dough half to individual large sheets of plastic wrap.

8. Using the plastic wrap, shape each dough piece into a 2-inch-diameter log.

9. Wrap each dough log tightly in the plastic wrap, and chill at least 2 hours, or overnight.

10. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet (or two, if you need an extra one) with parchment paper.

11. Slice each dough log into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

12. Transfer the slices to the prepared baking sheet.

13. Bake the cookies for 8 to 11 minutes.  Let cool.


Source:  Vegetarian Times.

September 17, 2013 - 7:09 am

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - I can definitely see how these would be so good! What a delight!

September 17, 2013 - 10:16 am

Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen - chocolate, espresso AND oats….I’m sold! These look amazing! I just finished watching House of Cards a few weeks ago….so good! I can’t wait for season 2! Now I just starting to make my way through Orange is the New Black.

September 17, 2013 - 11:55 am

Rose Marie - Wow, this sounds to me like the perfect breakfast cookie!! I know what I will be making this weekend – thanks!!

September 17, 2013 - 11:59 am

srlacy - A breakfast cookie is a brilliant idea!

September 17, 2013 - 12:00 pm

srlacy - Hi Kelli! I know-those shows are so addicting. I guess Kevin Spacey is nominated for an Emmy for House of Cards-I hope he wins. He’s such an amazing actor!

September 17, 2013 - 10:52 pm

Joanne - I’ve avoided a bathing suit this summer so far as well…and it’s been awesome not having to stress over it (though it really is SUCH a stupid thing to stress over, I know). Bring on the cookies!

September 18, 2013 - 12:07 pm

kelly @ - Yum!! I need to try this recipe…cookies with oats are my fave. 🙂

September 19, 2013 - 2:36 pm

Jasmine - How long will these keep, or can the dough be frozen before baking for a while? They sound AMAZING!

September 19, 2013 - 2:50 pm

srlacy - Hi Jasmine-

You can definitely freeze the dough before baking if that’s more convenient for you. Mine were still chewy and soft after a few days, but they didn’t last long enough for me! 🙂

September 23, 2013 - 5:53 pm

Amelia - These look incredible. I love oatmeal cookies but always make the same two recipes – this is such a unique one to throw in the mix! Can’t wait to try it!

October 3, 2013 - 6:49 am

Nan - These cookies are delicious!!! I let it sit overnight as suggested and just made my first batch 20 minutes ago…Wowza!! Will definitely be making this again.

December 28, 2013 - 3:21 am

Coffee flavored cookies | Recipes I tried - […] liked these a lot but I didn’t like them too much. Maybe it was because we added raw coffee powder […]

January 25, 2014 - 5:35 am

Inês - Can we use instant oatmeal ?

January 25, 2014 - 10:45 am

srlacy - Hi Ines-

Instant oats shouldn’t be substituted here. Here’s a great link from Baking Bites explaining the differences between different kinds of oats as well as why this isn’t the best idea: I think this is a great reference!

February 15, 2014 - 11:54 am

Chocolate espresso oatmeal cookies | Danube66 - […] Recipe from […]

Philly Cheesesteaks




I’m pretty sure that you can take any classic meat sandwich and veganize/vegetarianize it.  (TLT, anyone?  Reubens Meatball sandwich? Gyros? I’ve got you covered)  To all the disbelievers out there, I promise you these all taste good.  For real.

Take a Philly cheesesteak.  I don’t know why I got this intense craving the other day for one…it’s weird. I don’t usually crave meaty-ish sandwiches.  Onion rings?  Yes.  Chocolate anything? Yes.  But this?  This was a weird one.  Maybe it was because I had been eating mostly healthy the whole week and my brain/body needed a little junk food boost.  Regardless, I decided to pick up some ingredients on the way home from work and experiment.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted a seitan base or a mushroom base, to be honest with you.  And you could go either way.  In the end, I cooked up the seitan in some vegan Worcestershire sauce, and it was quite delicious.  I went ahead and cooked the mushrooms along with the bell peppers and onions, well, because the more vegetables, the better, in my opinion.  So just omit them if you prefer. Now, if you want a vegan version, you could substitute in your favorite vegan cheeze….but I went with old-fashioned provolone in my version.  Topped on some nice bakery bread, popped in the oven so that the cheese got all melty and smooth, this sandwich was messy, filling, and pretty much one of the best sandwiches I have ever had.  I ate the leftovers for three days straight.






Philly Cheesesteaks

Servings: 4



2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 small red bell pepper, sliced **or just use one large bell pepper

1 small green bell pepper, sliced

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bella)

One 8-ounce package seitan, chopped

1 teaspoon oregano

1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce

Provolone cheese (or your favorite vegan substitute)

Hoagie rolls (or your favorite bread)



1.  In a heavy sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

2. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened, about 10 minutes or so.

3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

4. Add the bell peppers and mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5-10 minutes; set aside.

5. Add the seitan to the sauté pan (add a little bit more olive oil if you need to).

6. Add the oregano and the Worcestershire sauce, stirring to thoroughly coat the seitan pieces.  Cook until the seitan is heated through, about 5 minutes or so.

7. To assemble the sandwiches:  Place your desired amounts of vegetables, seitan, and cheese on your hoagie rolls.  Wrap the sandwiches in foil and bake until the cheese is melted, about 10-15 minutes.  Enjoy.


Source:  A Curvy Carrot original.

September 12, 2013 - 2:26 pm

Maria Tadic - I love vegetarian sandwiches! I’ve made tempeh reubens before and they’re awesome! But I’ve never thought about a vegetarian philly cheesesteak! I will definitely be giving this a try!

September 12, 2013 - 6:06 pm

Joanne - Whenever I make a vegetarian version of a meaty food for my boyfriend he is always so surprised at how satisfying it is! For so many things you really can’t tell the difference. Love how hearty these are!

September 17, 2013 - 10:26 am

shobelyn - This looks very delicious. I want to eat it right now.

October 1, 2013 - 10:59 am

good love: World Vegetarian Day - […] The Curvy Carrot is another vegetarian blog I adore. I recently tried her Vegetarian Philly Cheesesteaks, something I normally wouldn’t consider since I’m not a huge fan of meat analogues, but […]

February 12, 2014 - 9:00 pm

15 Protein-Filled Vegetarian Recipes With Seitan - […] Recipe & Photo credit to  […]

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies



One of my last posts seemed to really resonate with some of you.  Which makes me incredibly happy and grateful and gives me all sorts of warm fuzzies.  One of the reasons why I started this blog in the first place was to make it a safe, happy place…not just for food, photos, writing, etc, but mostly to make some sorts of connections in the great world outside my geographic locale.

I’m a little amazed at how many personal emails (and phone calls from guy and girl friends alike) I’ve gotten from some of you regarding your thoughts on not settling.  And, ladies (since most of you are ladies who read this), I want to tell you something:

You deserve the absolute best.  Yes, you.

In the grand scheme of this universe, as menial as this may sound, your conscious existence probably doesn’t even qualify as a blip on a radar.  But that’s why it’s up to you to live your life to the absolute fullest.  The choices are yours to make.  There is absolutely no reason why you can’t have (or shouldn’t have) what you want.  There’s an infinite capacity of love in this world…so you finding and reveling in what you love doesn’t take anything away from me finding what I love/want to revel in.  In fact, if you find what you love/revel in, it only helps me find what I love/revel in.  Ever heard of Einstein’s theory of relativity? I believe it.

Growing up in the Midwest (and not to knock the Midwest), I was modeled to go to college, find a husband, and be married by age 25. Because that’s what the mold is.  That’s what your peers do.  That’s just how it is.  Get the degree, get the ring, get the house/fence/dog/job, have two children by age 30.  This works for so many people, and I see the joy/wonderment of so many of my friends who have experienced the miracle of pregnancy/raising a child; this all makes me happy.  I see my nephews growing and learning, and it makes me happy, too.

But my path, as I have found, is actually a different one.  For a long time, I thought it was a bad thing.  I felt like I was trying to fit a square where only a circle went.  And for a long time, when my friends back home would look at me cock-eyed and ask, “Is there a Mr. Shanon yet?”, it would really hurt.  A bit shaming, in a way.  Honestly, what I wanted to say was, “No, but there’s a Dr/Ms/food blogging/vegetarian/space-loving/documentary-watching/non-fiction-reading/spiritual/music addict/animal loving Shanon.  And that’s pretty much all I need.”

Listen, you don’t need a man or woman to define/complete you.  I’ve been through a lot in my life (we all have), but one of the most important things I have learned is that there is only one person that you can 100% rely on in your life.  And that person is you.   All things are temporary; things change, even you.  But through it all, the only person you can totally trust is yourself.  So eat the damn cake, drink the champagne “just because”, and go travel if you get an opportunity.  If you feel like dancing in your kitchen with your pajamas on, do it.  Talk to yourself.  Buy the lipstick and wear it proudly.  Spread your joy.  And don’t worry about not having someone there with you if you don’t (that’s shifting your awareness to the negative-don’t go there-you don’t need to.)  Be happy because you are having the experience.  And only you can have that.


Again, this is one of those situations where I feel I have kind of bared my soul a little (sheepish grin), and now I have to talk about a smoothie.  It’s a little awkward.

But you get it.

Who doesn’t love the whole chocolate/peanut butter combination?  And add in a banana?  Ok.  Mix it all in a blender, push the “on” button, and you have a protein-packed smoothie in less than 5 minutes.  I played around here with the proportions of the ingredients, so add/remove them as you see fit.  Use a whey-free protein powder if you are looking for a vegan option.







Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies

Servings: Two 8-ounce servings



1 banana

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon vanilla-flavored protein powder

1/4 cup chunky peanut butter (if you prefer smooth, go for it.  I like chunky.)

1 and 1/2 cups vanilla-flavored milk alternative (use almond, soy, etc-or milk)

Handful ice cubes



1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender, and puree until smooth.  Enjoy.**How do you like that?  One step instructions (*win*).


Source:  A Curvy Carrot original.


September 9, 2013 - 6:21 am

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - I need more smoothies in my life. Love this!

September 9, 2013 - 6:33 pm

Joanne - I wish I could tell my 20-year-old self this! I was so preoccupied with the thought of getting everything in my life “done” by 25…how ridiculous! There is no right time for anything…just a lot of good moments, if you make them your life.

And i hope a lot of my moments are filled with this smoothie. Because, yes.

September 14, 2013 - 6:10 pm

Sarah - I love this post. Not because of the smoothie (though that looks AMAZINGLY delicious!), but because of your contentedness with where you are in life, and your willingness to share with those of us who can relate. Thank you.

September 18, 2013 - 10:05 am

Jenny - Wow! Nice little breakfast on the run- I got nearly half my required protein, which is always a concern. I used vanilla almond milk and had to forgo ice cubes as they were freezer burnt, but it was still thick and dreamy and filling. And I love how easy it was!

September 24, 2013 - 7:58 am

Best Fall Recipes Ideas — Eat Well 101 - […] Quinoa Breakfast Casserole, by Healthful Pursuit 3. Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies, by The Curvy Carrot 4. Bacon and egg flatbread, by Cherry on my […]

October 26, 2013 - 12:31 am

Chris - Tried the recipe loved it. Second time I added just a couple drops of vanilla. Made it even better.

January 4, 2014 - 4:06 pm

Cori - I like this recipe! It is definitely not for the sweet tooth, for it is rather bland… but it is filling and delicious. Instead of vanilla protein powder, I used 1/4 tsp. of imitation vanilla. I also used 2% milk. Still tasted pretty amazing to me!

January 4, 2014 - 4:09 pm

Cori - Oh! I also added a few spoonfuls of sugar in addition to the vanilla.

February 9, 2014 - 10:14 am

April - I loved your chocolate peanut butter smoothie recipe!! It looks so good and I am very eager to try it! However, I loved how you put “yourself” into it. Like you, there are certain things I’ve done and haven’t done in my life. Things I want but don’t feel like I can rightfully have. And than I always wonder “why not?” I have every right to get what I want too out of life. Your story is very inspiring to me. You’ll find that sometimes living outside of the norm turns out to be better, thank you!!

February 10, 2014 - 12:34 am

David - Just had this smoothie at a restaurant. So good. Great breakfast smoothie. This is a good recipe without the protein powder.

Love the comment about “freezer burnt ice”. ??? I guess that’s possible, right?

February 24, 2014 - 5:02 pm

Snacks Which Are Trending Lately | Anna Bouey - […] I saw it on: This Blog […]

March 14, 2014 - 4:53 pm

Ms Einstein - I was in the mood for something yummy so I googled “banana chocolate peanut butter smoothie” and came across this page. I made the smoothie and then sat down in front of my computer with it. As enjoyed my delicious smoothie, great recipe btw 😉 , I read through your post. Your honesty and insight was lovely and warming to read. It was the perfect complement to how happy my taste buds were. Thank you for sharing, and I look forward to trying more of your recipes, and reading more of your posts.

March 21, 2014 - 9:04 am

Nisha - This is very delicious, thank you!!

April 2, 2014 - 11:31 pm

VJK Travels - I’m researching recipes to amp up my green smoothies and to try with a new weight-loss shake. And here I come across another Mid-Westener baring her soul in a way I can relate to. Gurl, I thought you had read a page from my journal! “Be happy because you are having the experience.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself. Oh, and thank you for the recipe!

April 16, 2014 - 4:25 pm

Chocolate Banana PB Smoothie | Reini Days - […] recipe slightly adapted from A Curvy Carrot […]

May 28, 2014 - 4:46 pm

Jessica - I googled “Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie” and your recipe was the first to pop up. While I haven’t tried out your recipe yet (I will for sure!), I did want to thank you for “baring your soul”. I don’t believe anything happens by chance, so while I was just looking for a smoothie recipe-the Universe had another message and experience to share. Thank you!

September 3, 2014 - 2:57 am

Kitchenbug / School’s Back & It’s Lunchtime! - […] – ditch the gassy cool drinks and pack a fruit juice or bottle of water. If this doesn’t please them, mix up this quick and easy to make banana and peanut butter smoothie.  […]