Monday, July 29, 2013

Not Your Average Treat // Black Bean Protein Brownies

Let me start off by saying that this recipe you are about to read is EXTREMELY easy! (That's always a plus in my mind.) Secondly, these little treats pack a PUNCH! And thirdly, they are DELICIOUS!

Ok, enough with the capslock. On to the important stuff...

These brownies are unlike no others because I ate one as a post workout snack! It has enough protein to keep me satisfied and some carbs to refuel. 

Like I said before; this recipe is a piece of cake brownie. (Yes, the pun was intended.)
It consists of 8 ingredients, all of which need to be pulsed in a food processor and slapped in a pan. So naturally, this post will not be a very long one.

What You'll Need:
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 2 tbls./scoops of your favorite chocolate protein powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocao powder
  • 1/2 egg beaters
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 tbls. agave nectar (honey or stevia would work well here as well, just play around with the amount you prefer!) 
To Prepare:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and drain and rinse the black beans. Add to a food processor along with the oats, protein powder, cocao powder, egg beaters, coconut oil, vanilla and agave nectar. Pulse until smooth and completely combined. Remove the mixture and place in a baking dish of your choice. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool, cut and enjoy!

  Are you up for trying a dessert with beans in it? 
  If you try these please let me know! 


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

An Oxymoron // Healhty Fat Rascals

If you have ever been to England, or know anything about the country's culinary culture then you have probably heard of Betty's Tea Room in York. If not, then let me tell you that it is such an experience that eager customers will wait outside in a line out the door. Maybe they come seeking this little fella here. A Fat Rascal.

In esscence, a fat rascal is a scone type good filled with dried fruit and the secret is that its made with little to no liquid, just some sort of cream to bind it together.  So I thought, I can make that healthier, maybe with some added nutritional value while still keeping the taste. And oh yes, it worked.

For My Recipe You'll Need: 
  •  6 tbls. coconut oil
  • 1 cup rolled oats pulsed to a flour like consistency 
  • 5 tbls. dried fruit (I used blueberries and apples)
  • 3 tbls. candied citrus peel
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2-3 tbls. cane sugar (depending on your preference)
  • 1/2 non fat plain greek yogurt 
  • 1 egg for eggwash
  • for an extra protein punch add 2 egg whites to the mix as well
To Prepare: 
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and grease or line a baking sheet. Mix the oil into the oat flour, baking powder and sugar until it just comes together in a crumbling way. Next, add the dried fruit along with the candied peel. Lastly, add the yogurt and mix well to combine all ingredients. Section off the dough into rounds about 3 inches wide and 1 inch thick. Press the dough down slightly and place on the baking sheet. Cover with the egg wash and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and slightly risen.

Compared to the original recipe which contained 371 calories, 18g of fat and 48g of carbs, my little guys ended up coming in at 216 calories each with 13g of fat and 20g of carbs! Just to name a few comparisons.

I really enjoyed making this otherwise unhealthy treat into something that can be eaten guilt free!

Have you ever tried a fat rascal? 
Whats your favorite breakfast pastry? 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Classic // Homemade Cherry Pie With Vegan Crust

This pie just happened. It wasn't planned. It wasn't thought out. It really seemed as if it had just appeared like a miracle baby.
This is how it happened:

Our cherry tree was dripping with small, red fruit just waiting to be picked. So, naturally, I was inspired.

I started to pick as many little fruits as I could. It was actually quite therapeutic ;)

I ended up with a pretty good amount! And there were still some little guys left on the tree.
Then came the fun part....pitting the cherries.
Once I got the hang of it it wasn't too bad. I just looked up "how to pit cherries" on google and really nice article on came up! Very helpful.

This crust was heavenly. Oh wow was it amazing because of its secret ingredient :) And the best part is that its totally vegan! It was a bit hard to get into the dish but with a little love and kneeding it was fine. I really liked how it looked so homey with my finger marks.

The filling was so very easy to make and it turned out so well.

The finished product had a few over-carmalized pieces but it really added nice depth of flavor.

What You'll Need For the Crust: 
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut 
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil 
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbls. sugar
  • 1/3 cup water (may need more depending on your dough)
To prepare:  
Add oats and coconut to the food processor and pulse until blended into a flour-like consistency. Next add the sugar and salt and pulse again. Then add the coconut oil and pulse until the ingredients start to come together. Lastly, add the water until the dough really starts to form and take shape. Adding more if needed. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge.

What You'll Need For the Filling: 
  • 4 cups of fresh pitted cherries (tart is best)
  • 2/3 cup sugar 
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbls. lemon juice 
To prepare: 
Add the cherries and water into a saucepan over medium heat. Then add the sugar and lemon juice and stir to combine. Add the salt and cornstarch and stir. Bring mixture to a boil and allow it to thicken.

For the Pie: 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll the dough out as best you can and lay it into a 9 inch pie plate. You're going to want to kneed it out once in the pan to smooth it over. Next, add the cherry mixture to the crust. Place in the oven a let cook for 20 minutes with the edges covered over with foil. Then bake for another 15 minutes after removing the foil.

After baking the pie, the whole house smelled like fruity coconut. The crust tasted like a perfectly balanced cookie and no one in my family could tell that it was vegan.

 Are you a pie person or a cake person?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

For the Love of Pickles // Homemade Baby Garlic Dills

If you are like me, you could go for a nice and juicy, crunchy dill spear at pretty much anytime of the day. (Yes, I said anytime)

I absolutely love any and all type of pickles.  I discovered my immense love for the sweet and tangy morsels when I was a small child and I have since tried to master the art of making them myself.

I found these cute little guys at the store yesterday and in that moment I knew that I had to try my luck at another batch. Just look at them, how adorable! And perfect for pickling.

This was one of the simplest procedures. Just these ingredients and a canning jar and you're all set!

What You'll Need:*
  • 1 pound of cucumbers (in the form that you prefer; sliced, whole, ect)
  • 3 whole cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper or 1/2 whole black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp. whole mustard seed
  • 1/2 tsp. pickling spice (optional) 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1 tsp. dill weed (I used dried, but fresh would be even better!)
  • 1/3-2/3 cups sweetener (I used honey, but brown sugar works as well)
  • 6 tbls. white wine vinegar
  • 6 tbls. white distilled vinegar
The Process: 
Add the first 6 ingredients to a 2 quart jar.
Mix the honey/sugar and vinegars in a separate bowl to combine.
Add the liquid to the jar and shake well.
Place in the fridge for at least 24 hours, but they will become better in time!

*recipe inspiration from
These little guys would make the perfect side for a nice sandwich at lunch time! Enjoy! 


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Life Lately // Special Edition!

Hi everyone! I hope you all are enjoying your summer; the weather, endless nights and good food. The lack of posting is credited by the end of year (finals) and my trip to Italy. I wanted to share some photos from my 3 week long adventure!

To say the least, the food that I had in restaurants was absolutely amazing. 

Being able to find fresh fruit while walking in Rome was a highlight for me ;) 

For some of the trip we rented cottages or apartments that had a small kitchen and allowed for me to do some cooking. Our average dinner looked like this:

A couple of salads, (lettuce mix and then tomato, cucumber, feta) some sort of pasta (tortellini pictured here), some protein (chicken mixed with the pasta) and a cooked vegetable (green beans) was the normal spread. 

We explored Venice, the east coast, the Amalfi Coast, Rome and the Cinque Terre.