Beanie Baby Brownies

No… I’m not talking about these guys baked in brownies!

 

But all us, 90s kids, remember Beanies Babies! Oh my goodness, they were, like totally rad.

Anywho, I’m talking about these guys, hidden in a delicious brownie treat.

I know, I know. Black beans in brownies? Hmm, no thank you! But wait! These brownies actually taste rich, chocolatey, and amazing (!). Seriously, you cannot even tell there’s beans in them.

Beans are a good source of protein and fiber, so you can feel good about eating this dessert as a healthy treat.

Be adventurous and try these Beanie Baby Brownies! Yum!

beanie baby brownies

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, rinsed

1/2 cup sugar (I used brown sugar)

3 tsp water

1/2 cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 8 x 8 baking pan. Place all ingredients in a blender, Magic Bullet, or food processor and blend until completely mixed. You don’t actually want to find whole beans or bean chunks in your brownies. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until slightly firm in the center. Remove from oven and cut into squares, any size you’d like. Technically, this should make at least 8 brownies, but you can cut smaller pieces.

Now, share with all your friends and family! Bask in the goodness!

 

 

Spiced Chocolate Protein Spread

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It’s the first day of the year and what better way to start it then finding delicious ways to incorporate chocolate into your day? Oh, wait… you have New Year’s Resolutions to eat healthier, exercise more and lose weight, right? Those are the BIG goals of lots of folks and it’s no surprise, considering the state of health in America. While it’s admirable to make healthy choices, if we’re too restrictive with ourselves and eat bland foods, we are only setting ourselves up for failure. What we should try to do is make healthy stuff taste good, which is exactly what this recipe is about.

There’s a little secret ingredient in this spread: chickpeas! I know! I know! Crazy, right? But trust me on this one. Make it, take a whiff and taste it and you’ll find chocolaty goodness that is just as good as any commercially made chocolate spread. And bonus: it’s guilt-free, protein-packed and can find it’s way into any New Year’s Resolution diets.

You won’t regret it!

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Ingredients:

1 15 ounce can chickpeas

1 tablespoon peanut butter

2 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon instant coffee powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

4-6 tablespoons water

Directions:

Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processer, starting with only 4 tablespoons of water and adding more as necessary, scraping the sides of the blender/ processor. Blend until well incorporated and the desired consistency has been reached.

Easy-peasy. Now you can spread this on apple slices, rice cakes, multigrain toasts… the sky is the limit!

Plum Berry ‘Nana Smoothie

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Are you finding it hard to get fruit into your daily diet? If so, struggle no longer! Fruit is one of the most refreshing treats to enjoy on a hot summer day and sometimes you just want to blend that fruit up into a smoothie and sip it on the the deck with a good book. Here is a recipe for a simple fruit smoothie that tasty and healthy, mmm!

Ingredients:

2 ripe plums

2-3 strawberries, hulled

1/2 banana

sugar to taste

3/4 cup milk of choice

1/2 cup ice

Directions:

Put all the ingredients in a blender, blend it up until the smoothie is a nice and smooth consistency. Serve and enjoy!

Veggie Sandwich – with a twist!

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Veggie sandwich? Ick, right? Soggy white bread, bland tomato, lifeless lettuce and an unhealthy slathering of mayonnaise: sound appetizing? No no no no, that’s not how it’s done. Let’s get creative here. During the summer, heavy meals sometimes are just too much on hot days. This sandwich is light, refreshing, healthy, easy to make and tasty too.

Ingredients:

1/2 cucumber

4 thin slices of tomato

1 slice deli turkey meat

1/2 wedge of Laughing Cow cheese, any flavor

mustard (optional)

Directions:

Halve the cucumber, lengthwise, scooping out the pulpy middle. Spread the cheese, dividing it for each half. add the tomato and the turkey. Squiggle a line of mustard, if you’d like. To keep the whole sandwich assembled, skewer it with a few toothpicks.

Several with a summery side dish, I enjoyed with sandwich with a tomato and roasted mushroom salad al fresco. Bon appetite!

W

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My drink of choice? Water, water, water. It’s so refreshing and good for your health. I make a point to drink plenty of it throughout the day, especially during these hot day of summer. I am fortunate to live in the Northwest and be able to drink water straight from the tap because the water is so clean and doesn’t taste funky, so not the case in Southern California (sorry, Californians!). But you know what, sometimes water is just so… so…. watery and you need something more flavorful. I’ve got just the thing to satisfy: fruit infused water. And the best part, you get to eat the tasty fruit afterwards! There are so many different variations of this drink that you could make and I’m sure each would be tasty in their own way.

Ingredients:

a ripe, juicy plum

an orange

a squirt of lemon juice

water

Directions:

Cut up the fruit, however you’d like, and place in a mason jar or something that has a lid. Add filtered water or tap water if you are able. Cover your jar and allow the water and fruit to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Then, drink up! Cin-cin!

C

carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots carrots

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Carrots are the vegetable arch enemy number 1! At least in my book they are. I don’t like them, but you know what? I’m trying to change that by being creative with the things. How do I get inspired? Pinterest, of course! So I was on there searching for carrot recipes, particularly carrots in drinks. I know that carrots are added in juices for their sweetness and I was intrigued when I came across a Jamaican juice recipe. Naturally, I decided that I would try it out and then post the recipe on here.

The drink was incredibly simple to make, and surprisingly tasty. Sweet and not too carroty. If only I had found this recipe early, maybe drinking more carrots as a child would have prevented me from getting glasses… oh well. Be adventurous with your carrot consumption and try it out! I dare you 🙂

Ingredients for one serving (or two small servings):

1 cup chopped carrots

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

dash of cinnamon

Directions:

Add the carrots and liquids into a blender and blend well, about a minute. Strain the mixture, discarding all the carrot pulp. Wash out the blender cup and then pour the carrot juice mixture back in. Add in the remaining ingredients and blend until well mixed. Pour into a glass (or two if sharing) with ice. Enjoy!

Sweet Banana Cake

IMG_5622Last weekend was my little pups birthday, she’s now 8 years old! Man, how time flies. She’s been with me through my high school years, my college years, through the terrible sad times and wonderfully happy times. I wanted to make a special treat for her that would be easy on her tummy and something that us humans could enjoy as well. I was happy to find a recipe for a banana cake with a minimum amount of ingredients on The Detoxinista blog, this is a recipe adapted from that recipe. It was quick to make, easy and let’s just say the birthday girl enjoyed each bite of her piece thoroughly! Hmm hmm good!

Ingredients:

4 bananas, very ripe, mashed

3 eggs, beaten

6 tablespoons peanut butter

dash of cinnamon

dash of salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 cup sugar, optional

Directions:

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together until well blended. Grease a microwave safe glass baking pan, or you can divide into microwave safe mugs. Zap in the microwave for about 6 minutes for one loaf, about 1.5 minutes if doing individual servings, making sure to keep an eye on it while it cooks. Each microwave is different and the cooking time may vary. Remove from microwave and allow to cook for a minute or two. Now, it’s ready to eat! May you and your doggy friends enjoy this one!

Have your cake and veggies too!

It’s no secret, I’m a self proclaimed carrot hater. There’s just something about them that I don’t like, the only carrots I semi-like are baby carrots but once they hit adulthood… which might be one of the reasons I wear glasses, but oh well. In a effort to perhaps come to tolerate carrots, I started searching recipes using carrots that seemed interesting. I’d already discovered that shredding carrots and “hiding” them in my food was acceptable but I wanted something more interesting to make. When I found a recipe for a carrot cake milkshake I was very intrigued and also a bit worried, carrots in a milkshake? Yes, carrots in a milkshake and guess what? It was pretty darn tasty! Couldn’t really even taste the carrot much! Try it and be pleasantly surprised, it’s sweet and you’ll only feel like you’re having a really indulgent treat. It really is like having your cake and veggies too!

Ingredients:

3/4 cup milk

1 ripe frozen banana

sugar, to taste

1 medium steamed carrot, cooled

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend it until smooth, you can add ice if you want to make this colder or thicker, or you can add more milk to thin it out. Pour in a cool glass ( I used a mason jar) and add some whipped topping, pop a straw in there and you’ve got yourself a yummy drink. And you can say “Look ma! I’m drinking my carrots!” Won’t she be proud!

Southwestern Veggie Fritatta

Veggie Fritatta

Southwestern Veggie Fritatta

I’m not so sure what qualifies this fritatta as “Soutwestern” necessarily, except that it’s darn great and tasty as I’m sure many southwestern meals are. Whip this up real quick-like when you want a healthy and delicious breakfast to start the day.

Ingredients:

4 eggs

1 small onion, chopped

1 small green bell pepper, chopped

2 tomatoes, diced

1 tsp butter

1/2 tsp garlic powder (note: not garlic salt)

1/2 tsp dried parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350. Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet, add the chopped onion and the bell pepper. Cook until the onion are translucent, about 5 minutes over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, adding in garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper and any other spices you’d like. Add the egg mixture to the skillet and stir gently, mixing all the ingredients well. Allow the eggs to set a little bit and lift the edges when they are slightly cooked to let some of the runny egg to go underneath the cooked layer. Put the skillet in the preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes, or until set. Remove from the oven and cut into wedges.

This recipe would be a perfect opportunity to be creative and own it, make this fritatta your own. Add this, add that, take out some of the ingredients I have, put some meat into this if you’d like. Have fun!

Black Bean Chili

There’s nothing like a delicious bowl of chili and cornbread. The best kind of chili is homemade chili of course, not the canned stuff. Here’s a great recipe that really hits the spot when you are craving good ol’ chili.

Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground turkey (vegetarians and vegans can substitute another ingredients or simply omit)
1 red bell pepper
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried chili flakes
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1/4 cup cilantro
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 can of whole tomatoes, chopped and drained
2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a large stockpot, place onion, bell pepper, garlic and some stock (chicken or veggie). Cook until veggies are soft. Add the turkey and spices, cook for about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

I served this is a bowl, over the top of some boiled turnips with some cornbread on the side. You can top with cheese and cilantro or parsley. Yum-o!