Dear Mom,

Some people inherit diamonds, others inherit soup pots…I guess the latter is more useful –  a tool for nourishing and nurturing as opposed to a decoration for blinging out. Regardless, I know Bubbe is proud of your soups. I can still hear her pestering me to have a bite, tsk tsking and asking if my 15-year fling with vegetarianism was still steamy.

Still not eating chicken? She’d shake her head and release a sigh each time we ate together as if my shameful answer was a surprise to her.

My dietary choices were worse than disappointing to Bubbe…they were saddening. She was convinced that I’d be a sickly, weak child and it would be her fault. How could I deny meat when I had the resources to enjoy it? Is your mother starving you again? She’d ask. How will you have energy?

And that’s why I had to prove my worth whenever she fed me. I always took three or four cookies when I visited her house (even if I did slide them into my pockets instead of my belly) and ate my weight in potatoes, kasha and her classic mac ‘n cheese variations each time she served them.

I didn’t turn out sickly (just a little yellow, poo poo poo!) or weak (ask my spinning instructor), and I hope Bubbe sees that I’m still taking good care of myself despite what she was sure was the serious lack of protein and iron. If only I could have gotten Bubbe to embrace quinoa and to understand that it’s a complete protein, rich in iron, minerals and all of the amino acids I need. And if she could see how much of it I’m eating these days! I know she’d be proud. She probably would have even stirred quinoa into the chocolate chip cookies she force-fed me each day of my childhood.

So, mom, here’s my trick…

I want some Bubbe smiles over my shoulder, too, but I wouldn’t dare make chicken soup if you paid me. Yes, I’m taking it there…but what if I stirred some quinoa and oats into a cookie? Bubbe would have to smile down on how I’m caring for my protein needs.

I know. It’s not right to exploit Bubbe’s guilt trip in a justification of my post-holidays cookie bender.  Your annual Christmas cheesecake should have sent me over the edge, and I feel so done with sticky popcorn and huge boxes of crappy chocolate. But these quinoa cookies are essential to my health… how else will I have energy?

I’m hoping that these cookies will knock out my sweet tooth overindulgences of the season and bring me back to health consciousness. In truth, quinoa cookies are really not that unhealthy. Yes, these cookies are still cookies, but I feel like I could eat them for breakfast without too much guilt. I could even sprinkle them on yogurt like everything else.

Here’s to health and Bubbe smiles!

Love ya,
Shaina