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Black Bean Protein Brownies

This is a John-Approved desert that you can feel good about as you get 8g of protein per serving and far less sugar than any other brownie with only 8g. And these aren’t tiny servings; I calculated nutrition based on 9 brownies per 8×8 pan.

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used a single serving packet of Jay Robb)
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder for baking
  • 1/4 cup Truvia baking blend
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • optional cacao nibs and cinnamon to sprinkle on top

In a food processor or blender, mix all ingredients until smooth. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan and bake 18-20 minutes at 350.

I ❀ that the recipe uses stevia in combination with 2 natural sweeteners that actually have some nutritional value. These brownies are of the cakey variety and super delicious.

You are welcome. πŸ™‚

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Nutrition calculated with My Fitness Pal.

Healthy Chicken Curry Masala


  • Organic, air chilled, chicken with noses
  • Garlic clove, minced
  • Shallot, minced
  • 1-2 spoons of whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 tsp corn starch
  • Chicken curry masala seasoning
  • Light beer
  • Olive oil
  • 1 packet stevia

In salted and masala seasoned water, boil one chicken breast. Cube for quicker cooking. Shred and set aside.

In a skillet, saute garlic and shallot in olive oil until golden. Add 1/2 bottle of light beer (Shiner Light Blonde) to deglaze. Add flour, corn starch, salt, pepper, and masala sauce to taste. Stir. Mix in shredded chicken and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened. Add 1/2 packet of stevia at the end. (Stevia gives it the hint of sweetness found in many curries without the coconut milk.)

Serve over quinoa.

Fried Egg English Muffin – Recipe

No picture… It was too delicious, and it was gone before I thought to grab my camera.

  • 100% Whole Wheat English Muffin
  • Fat Free Refried Black Beans (with Roasted Red Jalapeno Peppers)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 pastured egg, fried until the yolk is solid
  • a smidge of Weight Watchers Shredded Italian Blend Cheese
  • Salsa

On a toasted English muffin, spread warmed refried beans. Tops with the fried egg, sprinkles of cheese, and plenty of salsa (my new favorite is Native Texan Restaurant Style Medium).

So darn delicious!


  • Breakfast Quinoa: Round 2! FIGHT!


    • 1/2 cup quinoa
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • couple of drops of vanilla
    • dash of nutmeg
    • 3 TBSP vanilla almond milk
    • twirl of honey
    • quartered strawberries
    • blueberries

    Over medium heat, bring the quinoa, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla to a simmer. Stir periodically. Once rings start to pop, remove from heat and stir in almond milk, strawberries, blueberries, and honey to taste.

    This version of breakfast quinoa was HEAD OVER HEELS BETTER than attempt #1. Delicious and crazy healthy!

    Baked Eggs & Asparagus




    • 10-15 asparagus spears
    • spinach
    • cherry tomatoes
    • clove of garlic
    • salt
    • pepper
    • garlic powder
    • 1 large egg (preferably pastured)
    • Optional parmesan

    Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter a ramekin. Julienne cut spinach to your liking. Quarter 3 cherry tomatoes. Dice 1/2 clove garlic. Put spinach, tomatoes, garlic, salt to taste, and pepper in the ramekin. Break one large egg over contents of ramekin. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until whites set.

    Meanwhile, in a skillet drizzle olive oil over asparagus. Add salt, pepper, and garlic. Stir until all asparagus are lightly coated. Cover and cook over medium heat until asparagus turn bright green. Stir, then recover and cook an additional 3-5 minutes until the asparagus is cooked to your textural liking.

    Serve with egg on top. Yolk should be thick but runny. A sprinkle of grated parmesan on top adds to the deliciousness.

    Breakfast Quinoa: Take 1

    HEB has stopped carrying all of my favorite super healthy oatmeals… Which tells you exactly what the people of this area are NOT buying. 😦 So I’ve decided to experiment with breakfast quinoa! Quinoa has far more protein than oatmeal (with protein consumption being a problem for me), higher fiber content, and is a source of complete protein – meaning quinoa has every amino acid your body needs to work.


    • 1/4 cup dry quinoa
    • 1/4 water + 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
    • couple of drops of vanilla
    • 1/8 tsp cocoa powder
    • sprinkle of cacoa nibs
    • small swirl of agave syrup
    • dash of cinnamon

    Well, guess what happens when you try to cook almond milk on the stove… It gets super duper foamy and expands beyond the limits of traditional physics. Seriously, almond milk could be used to demonstrate how a very small amount of concentrated matter can expand almost infinitely to create the universe as we know it. It was crazy.

    I let the quinoa cook down for a few minutes while trying to keep the foam at bay, and then I added enough water to just cover the quinoa and a few drops of vanilla. After about 10ish minutes, or until the quinoa rings started popping, I turned the heat off and added a drizzle of almond milk back to the pot. The quinoa continues to absorb liquids, so I let it soak in the vanilla goodness. Meanwhile, I added in the cocoa powder, cacoa nibs, cinnamon, and the agave. A little stir and it was time for breakfast.

    It was pretty dang good! πŸ™‚ Actually, it was really enjoyable. It definitely has the texture of quinoa, which might be a turn off to some, but the flavor was nice. I can see this being a good base for a number of varieties of quinoa “oatmeal”.

    Edit for next time: try soy milk or coconut milk… must find something that doesn’t foam as much. Or perhaps, cook in water and add almond milk only at the end.

    Strawberry Balsamic Pie



    • about 1 cup quartered strawberries
    • 1 tbsp thick balsamic vinegar
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • cinnamon
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 tbsp flour
    • Pillsbury pie crust

    Preheat oven to 425. In a bowl, mix strawberries, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile unroll pie crust. Using a 1 cup measuring cup as your guide, cut out 4 circles slightly larger than the measuring cup. Press the crust into 4 muffin tins. Remove fruit from the refrigerator and stir in flour. Spoon fruit mixture into the crusts filling to the top. Cut the remaining crust into strips for decorative top crust. Bake 10-15 minutes. Serve with Cool Whip. Makes 4 servings.

    OMG yum!

    This was totally a thrown together experiment to get rid of some strawberries that were turning and use an extra pie crust. DELICIOUS!


    220 calories per serving based on MyFitnessPal.

    Briny Disaster… X-P

    Well, that was a disaster.


    I was very excited for a round two of my delicious Sesame Shrimp and Garlicy Quinoa! I stood at the fish counter this afternoon considering a small piece of sockeye salmon but instead was tempted by the gastromemory of my quinoa concoction from a few weeks ago.

    I have a strong feeling that I double salted the quinoa…

    But the green beans were quite tasty!

    I EAT

    To all the critics out there:

    I EAT.

    Not only do I eat, but I eat extremely healthy 95% of the time. The interesting thing about eating healthy is that it doesn’t generally add to your food stores AKA fat.

    About 2 years ago, I started eating mostly vegetarian after watching a string of horrific food documentaries. Yes, Shanna (my semantic-crazed sister),Β mostly vegetarian. I eat fish regularly, and very occasionally I eat other meats. My diet is primarily vegetarian. And while I’ve cut out milk, I still do eat cheese and yogurt.

    A lot of calorie excess goes away when you cut out meats. Some of that comes from the type of preparation and the sauces; some of that comes from the kinds of food you are cutting out. Despite that, I keep track of what I’m eating throughout the day. In the past I’ve used Lose It!, but I recently switched to MyFitnessPal as it has a better database for restaurant and supermarket foods. I don’t use these apps necessarily for the calorie counting but more for the accountability that comes from having to log a candy bar.

    Along with the workout program, the P90X line of products comes with a nutrition guide that helps you know what to eat and how much. You answer a series of questions about your size, your daily lifestyle/energy expenditure, etc, and then it gives you a calorie level to aim for. As a woman of 130lbs or less, with a moderate activity level outside of working out, and wanting to maintain my current weight, I am allotted 1800 calories a day. Knowing that the average daily calorie consumption is estimated at 2000 calories/day and knowing that I am a fairly small girl with a slight frame to begin with, 1800 calories/day is a fair frame within to work.

    The nutrition guide further tells you how many servings of protein, carbs, and fats you should have per meal or per snack.Β Throughout the course of the day, 50% of my calories should be healthy carbs (veggies, fruits, healthy grains), 25% proteins (for me through eggs, egg-white based protein powder, nuts, yogurt, etc), and 25% healthy fats (nuts, avocados, coconut and olive oils). Although I don’t follow the exact spreading out of each of theses servings like the guide suggests, my daily intake hits this almost exactly based on the diet analysis of MyFitnessPal… another reason I log everything I’m eating.

    Here’s an example of my daily log:

    Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 7.43.43 PM

    This is from today. I haven’t logged dinner yet as John is making fish tacos right now, but this gives you an idea. Based on the percentages from above, each day I am aiming for 225g of healthy carbs, 40g healthy fats, and 135g of protein. I probably won’t make it to my protein goal today, though I’m usually pretty good about meeting that on a normal school day. I’m already 3g of fat over, and my sugar intake was crazy high because of the maple syrup from breakfast. Plus, there was that bloody mary… πŸ™‚

    A normal day looks more like this:

    Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 1.51.43 PM

    The numbers at the bottom are off as I had accidentally given MyFitnessPal the ability to determine my numbers, and it changed all my settings. This was pre-sushi dinner with John, so my protein numbers would have gone up dramatically, as would the calorie count. πŸ™‚ My vegetable intake wasn’t as high as it usually is due to sushi time.

    I’m not a numbers nazi, but I also think there is nothing wrong with knowing exactly what is going in. I definitely haven’t always held myself accountable to what I choose to eat, and there are still moments when we, say, visit In and Out Burger at 11:30pm. I have eaten an entire bag of cheese puffs in one sitting by myself. I can for certain do the same thing with a huge bag of Funions, and in a moment of extreme stress eating, I have allowed myself to consume a case of Butterfingers over the course of about a month… yes, a case… but we were getting ready to take the band to Seattle, and Jenna was pregnant… Let’s call it sympathy eating. πŸ™‚ But now that I know what it feels like to eat healthy and in the right configurations, I feel gross and sluggish when I eat poorly.

    When I graduated college I was 20lbs heavier.Β I lost a lot of that when I started cooking at home. My current weight has remained steady for about a year and a half which,Β yes Mom, is heavier than I was in high school. Interestingly, in the last year, my weight has remained the same yet I have gotten smaller and dropped a pant size… Science and nutrition tells us that I have converted fat to muscle. πŸ™‚ Woohoo!

    So, yes Mom, I eat. πŸ™‚ You can cross that particular item off your list and worry about me for so many other reasons. πŸ™‚

    Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa, Tomatoes, & Black Beans



    • 2 bell peppers
    • 1/8 cup quinoa
    • 4-6 grape tomatoes, quartered
    • 1/4 can drained black beans
    • 1 shallot, minced
    • 2 spoonfuls Native Texan Restaurant Style salsa
    • 1/8 cup Weight Watchers low fat mozzarella cheese
    • salt
    • pepper
    • garlic powder

    Prepare the grill.

    Cut the tops off 2 deep red bell peppers and clean out the innards. Grill over direct heat until skin softens and chars a bit.

    Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, just cover quinoa with water. Add shallot and SPG. Cover, stirring periodically until rings pop. Mix in tomatoes then cover until tomatoes start to juice. Add black beans and salsa. Stir. Cook until beans are warm. Remove from heat and mix in cheese. Set aside.

    Once peppers are blackened, spoon in quinoa mixture. Return to grill over indirect heat for 10-15 more minutes, or until pepper has completely softened.

    Serve with tasty beer like Michelob Ultra Lime Cactus. πŸ™‚