Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fudgey Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

Black beans??? You might be thinking in a burrito yes, but they have no business in my brownie, but give these babies a try because black beans actually make a really fudgey yummy brownie! I first saw the idea for putting black beans in brownies on 101 cookbooks blog. If you haven't seen her blog, you really should go there, she has amazing photography, and recipes. Her brownie looked beautiful but it is full of butter, coffee, and complicate steps. I wanted a simpler method, no butter, and coffee, because hey if I am going to put black beans in my brownies, I am going to make them healthy-ish. For my rendition of the brownie, I added baking soda, maple syrup extract, cut out an egg, the butter, a half cup of agave, and the coffee. I also added cocoa powder to the batter instead of melted chocolate and then put on top chunks of dark chocolate, and chocolate chips, mmmmmm.
I had to include this picture, it is of my little one stealing pieces off the plate while I took pictures. He LOVED them.

And another pic of Isaiah shoving his face with brownie. Don't be afraid to try these, they are a decadent dessert. If you like more of a cakey brownie, add a half cup of flour in, and ENJOY, because it is a brownie you can feel good about eating!

Fudgey Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownies (whoo, what a name)

3 eggs
1/2 C cocoa powder
1/2 C walnuts
1 T vanilla
1/2 t baking soda
3 T coconut oil (i you don't have coconut oil, you can sub another oil) (but you should get some because it is a lot better for you than most oils and it is good for your skin!)
1 C agave
2 C black beans (rinsed, if canned)
1/2 C chocolate chips/dark chocolate chunks (I did half dark chocolate chips and half dark chocolate chunks)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t maple syrup extract (optional, but gives it a nice flavor)

Line a 11X13 baking pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 325. Then put all of the ingredients, except the chocolate chips, and a 1/4 C of the walnuts, in a high powered blender and blend. If your blender is not so high powered, try blending just the eggs, agave, and black beans, and then add the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate chips, and a 1/4 cup of walnuts. just give it a little longer to incorporate all of the ingredients. (You don't want chunks of black beans in your brownies!). Pour the mixture in the lined pan, then sprinkle the chocolate, and walnuts on top. Bake at 325 until the middle has set, about 30-45 minutes. Let cool COMPLETELY before cutting. Unlike most brownies these taste best refrigerated, so keep them in the fridge and serve cold.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Best Lentil Soup

2 T olive oil
1 md. onion (about a 1 1/2 C)
2 carrots, peeled, and chopped
2 celery stalk, chopped
8 C broth, veggie, or chicken
2 1/2 C lentils
1/4 C brown rice (optional it just adds more to the soup)
1 C peeled and chopped tomato (canned diced tomato will work too, I prefer Muir Glen brand)
1/2 lb fresh spinach
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t cumin
salt to taste ( I used a teaspoon, but it depends how salty your broth is)
balsamic for garnish (optional)

Saute the onion, carrots, and celery until they are soft. Add broth, lentils, brown rice, and tomato. Cook until soft, about 45 minutes on stove top, in a pressure cooker 10 minutes (they are worth their weight in gold). When the lentils and rice are soft, add in the spinach, coriander, cumin, and salt. Cook stirring the soup occasionally until the spinach is wilted. Serve hot, with a garnish of balsamic. This soup is really good the first day and equally good heated up the next.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

25 Flawless Recipes for 2010, ok I Lied 30

I have been inspired, watching an autobiography on Julia Child, it said that she took two years to come up with the perfect french bread recipe, and over 240 pounds of flour! Then I was reading in The Kitchen Detective, by Christopher Kimball, and he said that the problem with cooks now a days is that they have a huge repertoire of recipes, but barely know how to cook any of them. It used to be that home cooks had a small collection of family favorites that they could make with their eyes closed, no recipes, and they came out perfect every time. He makes a valid point that the more you make a recipe you become familiar with the tiny nuances that make or break the dish.
I definitely fit into the latter category, of an inordinate amount of recipes, and little experience making them. I like the creativeness of trying new dishes, but embarrassingly enough I will often times take dinner to people from a recipe that I have never cooked before. Flying by the seat of my pants, sometimes it turns out great, and sometimes it is a flop. So I decided for the new year I am going to take 25 recipes, and work on really getting them right. Many of these I have cooked before, but remember the emphasis is on getting it down to the detail, memorized, and flawless, developing the perfect recipe ( or at least in my opinion) here is my list, drum roll please....
p.s. I will keep you updated on the progress of the recipes
p.s.s. All of these recipes will be made healthy, meaning with whole grains, veggies, fruits, natural sweeteners, healthy oils

  1. Bread/rolls
  2. Curry
  3. Chili
  4. Dahl/Naan
  5. Koorma
  6. The perfect pancake/topping
  7. Breakfast Burrito
  8. Appetizer
  9. Pomagranite Salad/Poppyseed Dressing
  10. Perfect Green Salad/Dressing
  11. Green Smoothie
  12. Homemade pasta with the perfect red sauce
  13. Tacos/ grains and beans
  14. Enchiladas
  15. Flax Crackers/Hummus
  16. Fish done right
  17. Ulitmate veggie burger
  18. Sweet potato fries/ yucca fries
  19. Roasted veggies
  20. Multigrain hot cereal
  21. Favorite wrap/sandwich
  22. Stirfry
  23. Perfect meal for entertaining
  24. Perfect meal to take to someone
  25. Brownies
  26. Cookies
  27. Trifle
  28. Raw Dessert
  29. Quinoa Salad
  30. Quick Bread

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lemonade Cleanse

I AM ALMOST DONE!!! I am on day ten of an intense master cleanse, consisting of lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne. It doesn't stop there though you down 32 ounces of salt water, and a glass of laxative tea. Sounds like a lot of fun doesn't it. I actually learned a lot doing this cleansed.
One how powerful our mind and attitude are, I realized that I wanted to quit if I let my mind start thinking negatively about it, even though I wasn't hungry.
Second, how Scotty is very strong willed, he definitley had a better attitude than I did
Third, that I will make meals simpler in the future, I didn't realize how much time I spent in the kitchen
Fourth, how much we eat out of boredom or from emotions
Fifth, to slow down, chew, and stop when I am full

Goals for the New Year

Learn to make essene bread
Learn to sprout grains
Learn to make flax crackers

More raw food!!!

Start on a cookbook, whole foods, raw foods, simple quick, and oh so good

Focus on simplicity in recipes, easy to put together, and tasty!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Make Your Own All Natural Sugar Scrub!

This sweet sugar scrub recipe is from Mountain Rose Herbs. They are a website that has a ton of different organic herbs, essential oils, and my personal favorite their coconut oil. It is the best price you will find on pure unrefined coconut oil, and it has the BEST flavor. Try this sugar scrub recipe your skin will thank you!

Brown Sugar & Vanilla Body Scruball natural skin product

A Sweet smelling body scrub which will leave your skin feeling silky smooth.

1 cup organic brown sugar
1/2 cup organic granulated sugar
1/2 cup + 3 TBSP organic Sunflower oil
1/2 tsp organic Vanilla flavoring extract

Blend sugars together in a bowl, add oil and vanilla extract, and mix well. Package in jars, and enjoy!