Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mini Chocolate Cakes (For Two)

Frosted with my Chocolate Avocado Frosting
Imagine you're faced with a problem:

You want cake.  As in you really want it.  You're trying to be healthy, though, and you've been doing a really good job.  You're proud of yourself and you're determined not to ruin all your hard work with some stupid craving.

Yet, that craving won't go away.  You think about making a whole cake, maybe a healthier recipe.  That sounds good, but you don't trust yourself with the leftovers.  What's going to stop you from eating three pieces all by yourself?  Now you're getting worried because you don't know what do.  All you want is some cake!

Here is the solution to your imaginary problem (which may not be so imaginary):

Mini Chocolate Cakes that serve only two.  They're super easy, super healthy, and they leave you with absolutely no tempting leftovers.  Perfect!

Let's take a closer look, shall we?

These cute little cakes are completely fat free, but don't have that gummy texture.  They're as light as a cloud thanks to the added cornstarch and buttermilk.  Also, you can easily make to the recipe gluten free by using gluten-free oats to make your oat flour.

Last but not least, the whole entire recipe is only 150 calories (and 5 grams protein).  That means that you totally don't have to share (I didn't).

Next time that cake craving hits, you are so going to be prepared.

Mini Chocolate Cakes for Two

  • 3 tbsp oat flour (make your own by grinding oats in a coffe grinder or blender until they're a flour)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch or arrowroot
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp applesauce
  • 3 tbsp buttermilk (to make vegan, use soymilk to make homemade buttermilk)
  • 2 tsp honey or agave
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix together dry ingredients in a small bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and mix until a batter forms.  Pour batter into 2 greased muffin tin cups.  Bake for 7-9 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Serves 1-2.

Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Chocolate Beet Layer Cake - for when you want a whole cake

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Monday, May 27, 2013

13 Summer Recipes for your 2013 Summer

Despite the somewhat dreary weather where I live, summer is most definitely around the corner.  Can you believe it's already the last week of May?  Time has been really flying lately!

With that being said, summer still can't come soon enough.  I miss sunshine, swimming, and, of course, the food.  I can't wait until summer produce hits the farmers markets, and I'll be enjoying my fair share of ice cream too.

How about some recipes to get you into the summer mood?

Watermelon Slushie
Summer = Watermelon.  Lots and lots of watermelon.  If you ever find yourself with more than you know what to do with, Watermelon Slushies are always a good idea.  Or maybe a refreshing Watermelon Salad.  Both are good choices.

Zucchini Boats
When dinner rolls around, Zucchini Boats are always a good idea.  For maxium enjoyment, eat them outside.  Or make a crazy pizza.  One with peaches and no tomato sauce.  Trust me, it's crazy good.

Peach, Ricotta, and Arugula Pizza with Balsamic
Which brings me to the topic of peaches.  I stockpile them in the summer.  Before ther season ends, you must grill them.  Then make salad.  Or you could go the opposite route and make dessert (that's healthy enough for breakfast). Peaches and cream anyone?  I've also got a pretty tasty recipe for Peach Frozen Yogurt.  Ya know, just so you know.

Peach Frozen Yogurt
Oh, and I almost forgot.  What's better than iced tea on a hot day?  Iced tea sorbet.  Of the Ginger Peach variety, to be exact.  And the last frozen recipe I'm sharing is a Protein Vanilla Milkshake.  It's super easy and you can eat it for breakfast!

Protein Vanilla Milkshake
Because pretty much no post is complete without chocolate, I feel it's my duty to include some no bake treats.  Chocolate Cookie Dough, No Bake Chocolate Bites, Chocolate Banana Cups, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bites.  Make them all.

Chocolate Banana Cups

So there you go.  Eat at least some of this food, and you're well on your way to the best summer of you life.  Have a great Memorial Day everyone.  Eat some good food for me!

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Chocolate Avocado Frosting

This the creamiest frosting I've ever tasted, healthy or otherwise.

When I was little, frosting was one of my favorite snacks (as disgusting as that sounds).  It started when I was a toddler and one of my favorite snacks was a bagel with vanilla frosting and sprinkles.  Soon that turned into chocolate frosting on graham crackers, and finally chocolate or vanilla frosting on a spoon.


That kind of snack no longer sounds good to me at all.  The frosting from the can (which was the kind I loved) is full of chemicals and other gross stuff that I don't want entering my body.  With that being said, I still like frosting... as long as it's the healthy kind.

This Chocolate Avocado Frosting is my new favorite.

It's super creamy, super rich, and full of chocolate flavor.  It's also not super sweet, which is my pet peeve when it comes to frosting.

And did I mention you can make it in less than 5 minutes?  Yep, that's a plus too.  It's better than the canned stuff, and a whole lot healthier too.

Chocolate Avocado Frosting
  • 1/2 cup mashed avocado (this was 1 small avocado for me)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup honey (use agave for a vegan version)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (a vegan version, such as So Delicious, will also work)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted
Add avocado to food processor and process until completely smooth with no clumps.  Add all remaining ingredients.  Process until a smooth and creamy texture is achieved.  Frosting should be thick enough that you can hold it on a knife upside down without it falling off and silky smooth.  Transfer into desired container and store in fridge until using time.  Use as you would normal frosting.  Recipe yields about 1 1/4 cups.

Don't you just want to dive head first into that bowl?

Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Avocado Tomato Salad

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Chocolate Cookie Cake

If I being completely honest, this cake could have gone really wrong.

I made it at night, which is sort of weird for me because usually all my baking takes place in the afternoon.. You know, when I should be doing other important stuff.  But anyway, everything was going well. The batter tasted good, the oven was preheated, all that jazz.  I was rushing to get it in the oven a little bit because the rest of my family was about to start a movie and I didn't want to miss out.

So I spread the batter into a pan, popped it in the oven, set the microwave timer and plopped down onto the living room couch.

You can probably tell where this is going, but I like telling stories so I'm going to continue.  During some part of the movie (no doubt one that was quite loud), the timer I had set beeped its annoying beep.  Only this time it was slightly less annoying because I managed not to hear it.

Some 50 minutes later my mom casually asked "Is that cake still in the oven?".  This spurred a full out freak out on my part in which I burst out of my chair and sprinted to the kitchen.  Pulling this Chocolate Cookie Cake out of the oven, I was convinced that it was ruined.  Luckily, I was wrong.

Later when I cut into this cake I realized that it wasn't even burnt.  Perhaps a bit overdone, but nothing I couldn't eat.  So that's what I did.  I served myself a big old piece, and after devouring it, concluded that if this thing could taste good after I forgot about it in the oven, then it would taste absolutely amazing when actually cooked the right amount.

Enjoy guys!  Just don't watch a movie while you bake it...

Chocolate Cookie Cake
  • 1 can white beans
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F.  Drain and rinse beans very well.  Add beans, and every other ingredient except chocolate chips to bowl of food processor.  Blend until oats have broken down and a thick batter has formed.  Add chocolate chips to food processor and process quickly to break down and combine.  Scoop batter into a greased 9in pan and spread into an even layer.  Bake for 40-45 minutes (and don't watch a movie!).  Serves 8-12.

Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Chocolate Chip Banana Cookie Pie

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Recipe ReDux - Blueberry Yogurt Breakfast (or Brunch) Cake

Who likes greek yogurt?

I like greek yogurt.  In fact, I would even go as far as saying that I love greek yogurt.  So, with that information in mind, can you imagine how excited I was when Chobani offered to send me some yogurt to bake with?

Very, very excited.

Little did I know, the nice people at Chobani weren't just planning to send me some yogurt, they sent me six whole tubs!

I was swimming in yogurt (and partly still am).  I decided I needed to get baking, and soon.  And what better way to make a dent in my yogurt supply than using it to make this months Recipe Redux recipe?

The theme this month was healthier brunch dishes, and I'll be honest and say I know practically nothing about brunch.  It's not really something we take part in often at my house, so I was pretty clueless about what exactly to make.  The yogurt spurred my creativity though, and soon I knew I wanted to make a light cake.

The result was a delicious Blueberry Yogurt Cake that's healthy enough for breakfast or brunch, but tasty enough for dessert too.  It uses only oat flour as well, so providing you use gluten free oats, the cake is also gluten free!

Now, to figure out how to use all the rest of my yogurt!

Blueberry Yogurt Breakfast Cake

  • 1 cup oat flour (you can make your own by grinding rolled oats to a fine flour in a coffee grinder or blender)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup date paste (there's a good tutorial on how to make it here)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
  • 1/4 vanilla greek yogurt (again I used Chobani)
Preheat oven to 350F.  Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix together.  In another bowl, mix together date paste, vanilla, yogurt, buttermilk, and oil.  Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until a smooth batter forms.  Gently fold in 1 cup frozen blueberries.  Line an 8in square pan with parchment paper, and pour batter in.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a tootpick inserted comes out clean.  

To make frosting, thaw 1/4 cup blueberries in a small bowl.  Add yogurt and mix until incorporated.  Spread or drizzle frosting on top of baked cake.  Cut into 16 slices and serve.  Store any leftovers in fridge.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas

Spring means flowers blooming, lots of sunshine, and a whole lot of asparagus.

Since it came into season, I've tried asparagus in nearly every way known to man.  We've done sandwiches, pizza, pasta, roasted, and finally an Israeli Couscous Salad.

It was all delicious, but my favorite would have to be the recipe I'm sharing today.  It's absolutely fantastic.

Let's talk about Israeli Couscous.

Have you ever tried it?  It's not like small and beady North African Couscous (the normal kind), but instead is a bit for substancial with more of pasta mouthfeel.  We love it at my house.

But, it is possible to make it better.  And cheese, preserved lemon, and lots of veggies are how ya do it.  You're gonna love this thing.  I just know it.

Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/3 cups Israeli couscous (6 to 7 ounces)
  • 1 3/4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
  • 14 ounces slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into about 1 inch pieces
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas (you can trim them if you like, but I didn't)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add couscous and sauté until most of couscous is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add broth, increase heat, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is soft, about 10 minutes. Add more broth if needed.  In another saucepan, heat another 1 tbsp of oil.  Add asparagus, snap peas, onion, and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper and saute until tender, but still a bit crisp.  It should take about 5 minutes.  Add vegetables to pan with cooked couscous (with heat still on).  Mix together.  Add cheese and cook until cheese is melted.  Serve and enjoy!

Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Minty Tabbouleh

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Salted Dark Chocolate Cookies

Salted Chocolate.  It's my favorite.

Well, if we're being honest plain old chocolate is my favorite.  I'll gladly eat that any day.  But, if you reallllly wanna win me over, salted chocolate is that way to go.

Salted chocolate fudge, cookies, brownies, cake...  I want it all!

So it's about time I made something with that beloved combination.  I experimented with it a bit with my Salted Chocolate Mousse Pie, but these cookies were the first baked good I set out to make Salted Chocolate.

And they turned out so, so, so, so good!

These thick and almost cake-like cookies are rich and full of deep chocolate flavor.  The sprinkle of salt on top is the perfect accent to the dark chocolate and makes the cookies 10x better in an instant.

I'm not embarrassed to say that I ate three.

Salted Dark Chocolate Cookies

  • 3/4 cup spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (use good quality!)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt (use a bit more if using unsalted nut butter) + more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter or other nut butter of choice
  • 1/4 cup milk + 1 tbsp
Mix together dry ingredients (only 1/8 tsp salt) in a large bowl.  Add nut butter to another bowl.  Microwave quickly until drippy.  Add remaining wet ingredients to bowl and mix.  Add wet to dry and mix until a thick and sticky dough forms.  Chill dough in fridge for thirty minutes.  After this time it should be more manageable.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Roll about 1 tsp of dough into a ball and flatten into a cookie shape.  Place on a lined baking sheet.  Repeat until all dough has been used.  Bake for 5-7 minutes, until puffy.  Sprinkle with salt just before serving.  If you're not serving immediately, store in an airtight container.  Makes about 15 cookies.

Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Double Chocolate Cookies

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chocolate Cookie Dough

What do you get when you combine chocolate and cookie dough?

Only the most delicious brownie and cookie hybrid you've ever tasted.  I give you, Chocolate Cookie Dough!

I've been playing around with this idea for a while now.  At first it was a brownie batter dip, but that version ended up in the trash.  Time for a change of plans!

I decided to simply take my Healthy Cookie Dough recipe and make it chocolate.  It worked like charm!

This Chocolate Cookie Dough has the thick texture of cookie dough, but the chocolate taste of a brownie.  The taste is very similar to an unbaked version of these cookies minus the caramel and oats.

It's super good and disappeared within 24 hours at my house.

Chocolate Cookie Dough
(based on this recipe)

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 dates
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients but chocolate chips in the bowl of a food processor.  Blend until a thick mixture has formed.  Make sure there are no chickpea clumps.  This could take a bit, so keep blending until you get there.  Add chocolate chips and process until broken into small pieces.  Transfer cookie dough to desired serving dish and store in fridge.  Recipe makes about 1 1/4 cups.  See below for ideas on how to use it.

You can use this Chocolate Cookie Dough any way you would use the normal cookie dough.  Top cupcakes with it, make it into whoopie pie filling, eat it by the spoonful.  For a cute and fun dessert, you can roll a bit up into little balls like in the above picture.


Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Chocolate Banana Cake

(P.S. Life's getting pretty busy, so posts may get a bit less frequent.  Sorry about that!  I still plan on posting as much as possible though.)

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Strawberry Banana "Bread" Cake

Do you see the strawberries on the cake?  They're fresh!

After waiting practically all winter for fresh berries they're finally, finally back.  And don't cost an absurd amount at that.

What better way to celebrate than cake?

In all honesty, this may not be the cake you're expecting.

Instead of a fluffy texture and a light crumb, this cake is dense and ultra moist.  Think of banana bread turned cake with a ton of strawberries thrown in.  Sounds pretty good, right?

Trust me, it totally is.

Ok, and more thing.  A cake that has the texture of banana bread = a cake that's 100% OK to eat for breakfast.  And that is certainly a cake that everyone is going to love.

Is it just me or do desserts taste 10x better before 8am?

Strawberry Banana "Bread" Cake

  • 1 cup spelt flour (all purpose is OK too)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsap salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (greek, coconut, etc)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 1/4 cup strawberries, chopped + 2-3 more for slicing on top of cake
Preheat oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.  In another bowl, mashe banana.  Add applesauce, yogurt, milk, honey, balsamic, and vanilla to bowl with banana.  Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until a smooth batter forms.  Mix in chopped strawberries.  Pour batter into a greased 8 or 9 in circle pan.  Thinly slice 2-3 strawberries and place on top of batter.  Bake in preheated oven for 30-34 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Slice into 8-12 slices and serve with more strawberries or whipped cream.

Have a great Mother's Day everyone!

Revisited Recipe of the Day:

Strawberry Cake - a more classic and fluffy version of this cake

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