Wednesday, 26 February 2014

WIAW - Black bean brownies and other experiments


Today marks the third day this week, second week in a row that I am getting up at five thirty to workout (or blog depending on how busy the day will be). Usually, I stumble downstairs, turn on my precious coffee, and use the computer for a few minutes while waiting for coffee to brew and enjoying the mommy time.

Then, still half asleep, I start my workout, usually done with my ipod playing, and usually ending up with my tripping up on the headphones which are far too long. That is a sign that I need more coffee.

Inspite of the tripping or half asleep squats that I manage to get out, I am really pleased to say that I have now made exercise a part of my routine. Even though I have been getting up at a ridiculously early hour, I find that I function so much better on much less sleep and much more fitness in my life. It's amazing but somehow laundry gets folded in half the amount of time, and I get so much more done around the house.

Aside from the eating out and stuffing our faces anniversary weekend that we just had, my family has also been managing to eat healthier foods. The largest change that I have implemented has been no more junk food-y snacks. As much as my husband loves chips, I am simply not purchasing them anymore. I've noticed that after I do eat a fast food meal or junk food, my energy levels drop dramatically. Same goes for the husband.

So far, we've been sticking with my meal plan, too and I managed to get two experiments ticked off of my kitchen to do list: black bean brownies and some veggie breakfast bars.

As usual, I am linking up for this week's What I Ate Wednesday with Jenn at Peas and Crayons.

Peas and Crayons




And now here are the kiddo's and my eats for Tuesday -

Breakfast: 


Kiddo looooved these: 


Veggie-liscious breakfast bars


Breakfast bars

Now that we have a replacement for our oven, I can make huge batches of easy breakfasts like these bars above. Before he even woke up yesterday, these babies were cooking, waiting for us to eat together. I grated some cabbage, zucchini, carrot, and added frozen spinach and peas. And a chili pepper for a little bit of spice. I whisked up about seven eggs and put all of this in the oven for about fifteen to twenty minutes on about 200 degrees Celsius/400 Fahrenheit. We ate them with a lot of avocado. Actually, the kiddo ate them that way, and I wanted to eat mine that way. He had a whole avocado to himself and refused to share. Kiddo used the breakfast bars like slices of bread with avocado in between.


Lunch:


Lunch consisted of oven baked salmon and a brussel sprout salad.


Salmon with salad 


Brussel sprout salad with oven baked salmon
The salad consisted of brussel sprout shavings, spinach, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and a half of an avocado somewhere in there. I used lemon juice, salt and pepper to season it. Very simple, but it went fantastically with the fish.

I simply baked the salmon in the oven for twelve minutes with a tiny drizzle of soy sauce and some pepper. The kiddo had a lot of fish with steamed veggies. This was definitely a hit. I'm pretty sure my son could officially live off of eating plain ole avocados with salmon everyday for every meal.


Dinner: 


Dinner was left over 'unstuffed' cabbage with buckwheat instead of rice. It is so good! I love how easy this meal is to prepare in ridiculously huge batches, and that it is so healthy. It can be vegan, it can be paleo, it's versatile and it makes my typical serving size of: a lot! But it's ugly: 



Unstuffed cabbage



Toddler portion of unstuffed cabbage

Yep, it doesn't look great, but it's a one pot meal, it's loaded with flavours from herbs and spices, it's quick, and it's healthy so I love it. Bonus: it's a freezer meal (as long as I don't add the buckwheat beforehand). 


Dessert: 



Sugarless black bean brownies

This was my favourite part of the day food-wise. I finally, finally got around to making black bean brownies and they were wonderful. So chocolate-y, soft, moist, nom nom. I'm so happy that I found a gluten free, sugarless dessert that I can indulge in without feeling like I'm ruining my fitness/healthy eating routine. I still need to tweak this recipe a little bit as hubs found they were a little bitter even though I say he's crazy! The only strange thing I found was that this had more of a cake texture than that of brownies because it was just so light and fluffy. I certainly don't mind. Either way - the chocolate flavor is there and I am happy.  



Leaning tower of brownies

Here's the thing though with really healthy remakes of really unhealthy foods - they end up different. I initially liked the idea of black bean brownies and thought I could recreate the standard brownie like this. I found multiple pinterest recipes with loads of sugar, which I am sure would help recreate the texture and taste of normal brownies. However, I didn't want to add sugar to my version because I want a low calorie dessert. I added a banana instead and next time, I will add more and maybe some dates. 

They will still be different though, and I'm okay with that. In fact, I prefer it. I don't like the heavy feeling I get after eating a dessert that is loaded with sugar, butter, cream. I liked the lightness of these brownies, and I loved that I still felt good after eating one. Or two. And then a few more bites. These are definitely going to be making a regular appearance in our kitchen. 

Okay, one more photo just to prove how much I love these: 


Black bean brownies with coconut sprinkles

I also shamelessly ate one for breakfast today with my coffee.

Snacks: 

A lot of fruit. We bought persimmons at the market last week and they are so good. Out of season and definitely imported, but I really, really wanted some so I don't care as much as I usually would. 

We also snacked on apples, bananas, pears, and oranges. 

Drinks: 

Coffee (of course), water, and fresh mint tea.

That's all for this week's What I Ate Wednesday. 

Thank you for reading!
Yuliya