Sexy Vegan Fudge Brownies

OMG How can something so healthy be so……delectable?? I love chocolate and when I crave it I really crave it!  I don’t mess around with drugstore candy-  I go for the extra dark, rich, exotic chocolate bars that you find in bookstores or coffee shops. I love the pretty packaging, the interesting names, the intoxicating smell, the thin shape, and the melt~in~your~mouth goodness of just one square.  Nothing else will satisfy me when I need my dark chocolate. Until now….When I tried these black bean brownies I wanted to shout out “YES! It worked! I’m satisfied!”  I get very excited about healthy food.

Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe courtesy of whole foods:

black bean brownies

2 cups cooked black beans, 10 medjool dates, 2 tablespoons raw almond butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon chia seeds, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor. I was forced to splurge on a new one after  getting dates and beans stuck in my old one that gave up on me midway.

I bought this perfect size processor this weekend and the world’s best boyfriend bought me a matching waffle iron! Can’t wait to try that next Sunday!

food processor

I had to add a tiny bit of water with the dates and beans because they were really thick. The cocoa powder smoothed it all out.

cocoa powder

Spread mixture evenly in a lightly greased 8×8 baking pan and bake 1 1/2 hours at 200 degrees. I ALMOST messed up and kept my oven at 350. These need to cook low and slow.

brownie batter

Let cool slightly before icing with the following:

I melted 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 1/2 vegan chocolate chips (or whatever version you like) to spread over warm brownies

making chocolate frosting

The icing sort of melts into the brownie and gives it a sweet subtle coconut flavor!

black bean brownies

I am in love with these brownies!  Did you know chocolate releases the same hormones that we feel when we’re falling in love? Can that explain why we CRAVE it so much and have an almost worship-like adoration for the dark stuff?  I can’t wait to try these again and add nuts and also experiment more with my new food processor.

black bean brownies with icing

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Vegan Yoga Bowl

Julia Childs once said “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients” I love that!!! That is my exact philosophy in the kitchen. The ingredients are truly what make the meal special. The fresher, and more REAL the ingredients are, the better the dish will taste and nourish your body.

Tonight after yoga I was craving something super healthy. It’s funny how when we take care of our bodies, our tastes begin to change to crave more nutritious foods and less processed junk. I had been to the grocery earlier and stocked up on lots of good produce, legumes, nuts and greens. I was starving and wanted it ALL!!! Solution: meal in a bowl.

I roasted cauliflower in a 375 oven for 25 minutes after drizzling with olive oil

roasted cauliflower

I simmered red lentils in water for 20 minutes on low heat with garlic, cumin, curry, red pepper flakes and turmeric .

red lentils

Kale was sauteed in coconut oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon as usual

sauteed kale

I cooked quinoa while the lentils simmered and sprinkled it heavily with nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor and creamy texture.

After everything was cooked, I began layering ingredients  into a bowl, starting with small pieces of cauliflower:

1. Cauliflower

1. Roasted Cauliflower

2. Red Lentils

2. Curried Red Lentils

3. "Cheesy" Quinoa

3. “Cheesy” Quinoa

4. Kale and Almonds

4. Kale and Almonds

A lot like the buddha bowl  I made last month but without the tempeh.  Simple and nourishing.

The best part of it was holding it in my lap as I watched an old show on hulu while sitting on my futon. Definitely not typical, but a perfect friday night for me!

Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup

March has come in like a lion with windy, cold weather. The one thing good about it is making hot soup. I haven’t made nearly enough soup this year and I miss it. I usually make at least 6 or 7 kinds throughout the winter.  I threw this together with some leftover steamed broccoli and was able to use the rest of my nutritional yeast which I will be buying more of now that I’ve figured out some good uses.

Broccoli

I started by softening some garlic, onion and baby carrots in olive oil

baby carrots and onions

I added equal parts water and unsweetened almond milk

The steamed broccoli was added in after the other veggies had cooked. I used some lemon pepper and a small dash of nutmeg. Salt is optional, I added just a tiny bit.

broccoli soup

The nutritional yeast adds a “cheesy” flavor without the dairy. It’s not a substitute for real cheese, but definitely adds a tangy sharpness

nutritional yeast adds cheesy flavor

I blended some whole oats in the blender until they were fine and added in as a thickener. A good way to avoid flour.

oats as a soup thickener

I scooped out the broccoli and blended well before adding back into the pot. You can leave the pieces whole if you prefer a chunkier soup.

creamy broccoli soup

After it was cooked I added the juice of a half of lemon for some tartness

Vegan Broccoli soup

What is your favorite winter soup?