Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ooey Gooey Black Bean Brownies

Ya'll remember that Fitness Challenge Fund Raiser we hosted 2 years ago for Christmas?! Haha.... well, I guess only our longest standing members would remember this!!  I was going through pictures and remembering how fun that day was... What a blast! I also came across pictures of some of the food we had there!! Heelllloooo... I totally forgot about some of the yummy goodness I baked up!
As most events such as these, you would find cookies, cakes, popcorn, sodas, cotton candy, etc. and we obviously are not going to promote any of that garbage. Instead, I cooked up some healthy substitutes to those sweats we all like to get out hands on once in awhile ;)  My favorite yet unique recipe that seemed to steal the show was my Black Bean Brownies. I figured I should share these again since the holidays are approaching and everyone loves themselves a little dessert with their turkey dinners. Here goes...


4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups soft-cooked black beans, drained well (canned is fine)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (granulated) natural coffee substitute (or instant coffee, for gluten-sensitive)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 large eggs
1½ cups light agave nectar

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 11- by 18-inch (rimmed) baking pan (note: or jellyroll pan) with parchment paper and lightly oil with canola oil spray.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high. Stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate completely. 
3. Place the beans, 1/2 cup of the walnuts, the vanilla extract, and a couple of spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth. The batter should be thick and the beans smooth. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, remaining melted chocolate mixture, coffee substitute, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
5. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer beat the eggs until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the agave nectar and beat well. Set aside.
6. Add the bean/chocolate mixture to the coffee/chocolate mixture. Stir until blended well.
7. Add the egg mixture, reserving about 1/2 cup. Mix well. 
8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup egg mixture until light and fluffy. Drizzle over the brownie batter. Use a wooden toothpick to pull the egg mixture through the batter, creating a marbled effect. 
9. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the brownies are set. Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares. (They will be soft until refrigerated.)

Makes 45 (2-inch) brownies. If you want to serve these to many people, make sure to place them in cupcake papers (that worked best for me), toothpicks will not work! They are too ooey gooey :) 

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Favorite Spaghetti Squash Casserole

If you watched my Food Log video we posted on Facebook, then you might be curious about how I make that spaghetti squash casserole I talked about. I am a bit of a spaghetti squash addict! I like the texture of it, and that the flavor isn't overpowering. It also doesn't leave me feeling overstuffed as regular pasta used to.  It certainly lends itself well to using it like you would any pasta in a casserole or just with a good tomato sauce on top. However, this recipe is my favorite of all the things I've tried with it yet, so I hope you enjoy it, too!

Serves: 4 - 5

3 pounds spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 tablespoon EVOO
2 tablespoons basil pesto1 medium red onion, diced1 cup chopped asparagus
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup sliced zucchini
1/2 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
1/2 cup shredded colby & monterey jack cheese
Feta Cheese (optional)
Cholula hot sauce (optional)


1.  Preheat oven to 400°F. 

2. Cook the squash. You can bake it on a baking sheet in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes to an hour. Or, if you don't have an extra hour to do this, you can cook the squash in the microwave (this is what I did), cut-side down in about half an inch of water for about 8 - 10 minutes.

3. Shred the squash with a fork once cooled slightly

4. While the squash is cooling, Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir the onions, zucchini, asparagus, garlic, tomatoes, and pepper until onions are translucent and zucchini is tender. 

5.  Stir onion mixture, pesto, and cheese into the squash until well mixed. 

6. Bake in the preheated oven (uncovered) for 15 - 20 minutes, or until warmed through and top is lightly browned.

Serve hot!  Save your leftovers for lunches the next day. It's still good warmed in the microwave the next day!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Iced Protein Mocha

   I am sure about 99% of people can say they have had Starbucks. Most of which, probably still stop at Starbucks regularly.... if not everyday! That's A LOT of unnecessary calories, fat, and useless crap they are putting into their bodies, not to mention dollar bills down the Starbucks drain! URGH!!  
   Did you know in a Starbucks Grande Iced Mocha (without whipped cream) there are 310 calories, 6 g fat, 56g carbs, and 11g protein. AND... you are paying them about $5 every time you order one.  Let's just say you stop on your way to work in the morning at least 3 times a week. Thats $15 a week or $60 a month!!!  That's ridiculous.... with nothing to show for it besides a couple extra pounds that may or may not have arrived ;)
Let's fix this situation shall we?!  Here we have a homemade iced mocha that is 'FIT' worthy and contributes to your daily nutritional needs. A Venti size holds 125 calories, 3.5g of fat, 5g carbs, and 18g of protein. On top of that... It costs less than $1.50 to make!!!

Iced Protein Mocha

9-10oz fresh brewed coffee of your choice (let it chill)
1/3 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk

1 scoop MRM Dutch Chocolate Whey

1 stevia packet


1.) Mix all together in a shaker cup and pour over ice

Calories: 125g
Fat: 3.5g
Carbs: 5g
Protein: 18g