7.08.2013

Special Brownies...The Black Bean Kind

Diets are all the rage. Whether you're pretending you're a cave man or pretending you live in the Mediterranean, there is a fad diet for you to obsess over.

Recipes for these diets fill my Pinterest feed and I can't help but think that some of them actually sound decent. {And the photos aren't half bad either}

I have tried a few healthy dinner options and those work out just fine usually, because there are lots of things to supplement for fattie foods like heavy cream or a stick of butter. BUT - and that is a big but - I get really skeptical when it comes to "healthy" desserts, because how the hell do you make chocolate and sugar healthy and still taste good? <<VERY IMPORTANT

Well, since the summertime fat blues have officially kicked in, I figure it's time to try some, because sweets {chocolate specifically} are my weakness. I came across a great blog on Pinterest and hallelujah, it focuses on healthy food, desserts specifically!

Katie from Chocolate Covered Katie, is a girl after my own heart and now her recipes are gracing my kitchen counters! {Well one is...multiple to go}

This weekend I started my "healthy desserts" journey with her recipe for black bean brownies and I have to say that as I was adding the ingredients into my food processor, I was giggling to myself because I couldn't wait to serve these bad boys to everyone without telling them what they were.

Side note: I don't have kids yet, but I have a husband and sometimes I feel like he is a child... and I knew that if I handed him a brownie and told him it was made with beans he would immediately have turned up his nose and swore that he could taste them. In comes wife trickery...

So what was the verdict? 15 minutes after I cut them, there were none left!


Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder- dutch or regular (10g) (add a little extra if desired)
  • 1/2 cup quick oats (40g)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave (Honey will work, but not for strict vegans.) (75g)
  • 2 nunaturals stevia packs or 2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil (40g)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (115-140g) (Not optional. Omit at your own risk.)
  • optional: more chips, for presentation
Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.) Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.

I loved this recipe because I got to use products I have never used and now have on hand for another new recipe. Next time I think I will add nuts and double the batch because the 8X8 didn't last long at my house!

And the best part is, these bad boys are only about 115 calories each! Thanks Katie - I can't wait to try these, these and these!

What healthy recipes were you skeptical about, but loved once you tried them??
- Lindsey Nicole

7.03.2013

Five ways to make your spouse happy {man or woman}

Normally when I see article titles such as "The Key to Making Your Wife Happy" or "How to be a Good Boyfriend/Girlfriend," I immediately skip over them and move on to something more fascinating like "Stars - They're Just Like Us".

Recently, I came across these two blog posts through the ever handy for useless information, Facebook and I have to admit, I clicked on them thinking they were going to be a complete joke, but Mr. Bo Wright of 5 Minutes of Your Life You'll Never Get Back is one smart dude.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about what makes a wife happy, sending it to my husband with a READ NOW title and then reading what makes a husband happy.

Even with his witty humor and sarcastic tone, Bo hits the nail on the head with both posts and it's nice to hear these things from someone who has been married almost 20 years. {Let's face it, marriage/dating advice from a couple who has been together for 5.5 seconds is more than irritating.}

Enough blabbering...you get the gist, now go read the posts on Bo's page here and here.

Agree? Disagree? Is he missing anything?

- Lindsey Nicole

7.01.2013

Eating my way through 25...

Thanks for all the sweet birthday wishes - it was a great one! My co-workers definitely made me feel special with this little party and wonderful husband sent beautiful flowers to my office.

 
 
My favorite part about birthdays {other than spending time with the people I love} is that fact that, in my book, you get to eat whatever you want on that day!{Or during your birthday week}
 
And that is exactly what I did...and I don't regret it one little bit!
 
I started my day super duper early with a heart healthy breakfast of a sausage and cheese kolache{apparently meat kolaches are a southern thing} and a donut! Mmmm...carbs


The foodie adventure continued with an amazing lunch with my co-workers at a build your own burger joint, The Counter. New restaurant for me and I was very impressed. They make hamburgers exciting and the choices are endless. And even though they don't have truffle fries, which should be a staple in one's diet, they have parmesan rosemary fries that are definitely a contender!
 
{That's not me in the background...obviously. And that isn't my actual burger - that picture has escaped me at the moment...but you get the picture right?}

 
{Tip: don't go if your in a rush- it took me 20 minutes just to decide what to put on my burger!}
 
After work, I had a book club meeting *nerd alert* at Reef Restaurant in downtown Houston and if you haven't been, go. The owner and chef Bryan Caswell is not only a great guy, but makes the best damn seafood dishes in the state! {If seafood isn't your thing, try the sliders. To.die.for.}I skipped all that for this visit though and stuck to the most amazing adult milkshake a girl could ask for.


Oh and you can't have a milkshake without fries. Plus Reef's come with a sriracha remoulade sauce that should be consumed with a spoon!
 
After the book club, I jumped in the car and headed to my second home - College Station, TX. One of my best friends lives there and was in much need a of a girl's movie marathon weekend. I pulled it a 9:30pm to a slice of chocolate birthday cake - she knows me too well!

{The husband had a practice bar exam test all weekend, so this trip was perfect}
 
Lunch on Friday consisted of philly cheesesteak sandwiches, which were ooey gooey and yummy!

 
Side note: I will be in the home of the cheesesteak sandwich in October and you better believe I will be having more of those bad boys!
 
Dinner was hand tossed pizza piled high with all my favorite toppings and Caesar salad. {No pictures - too hungry} We chowed down in the dark and watched a scary movie that I highly recommend! The Call with Halle Berry takes suspense to the max and definitely gets your heart pounding.
 
Sunday brought a long drive home to see my parents and siblings, another best friend, my husband and more cake, which was the perfect end to the perfect birthday weekend!
 
Here's to 25 and all that I have planned for it!

- Lindsey Nicole