Friday, September 20, 2013

8 Months to Sexy: Recipe CARBS Edition

As promised, I am providing a few more delectable recipes for you to try on your pursuit to being more fit and fab.  I often am just dying for some kind of sweet treat, so I have an amazing way for you to feel good about eating a few brownies.  Often, I crave pizza or pasta too... well, I have a fix for you regarding that craving.  Whether it's for weight loss or just being/feeling healthier in your diet, these are some recipes that are SURE to help curb your carb craving! (Check out those alliteration skills!  I am SUCH an English teacher...)

Black Bean Brownies 
(Seriously, might be weird on the first bite... and then perfection!)

First, preheat over to 350 degrees (F).  Next, blend the following ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth:

 - 1 can low sodium black beans (thoroughly rinsed & drained)
 - 1/3 c. Melted coconut oil
 - 1/4 c. Unsweetened cocoa powder
 - 1/8 t. Salt
 - 2 t. Vanilla
 - 1/2 c. Honey or agave

 Next, in a separate bowl, lightly whisk 3 eggs. Fold eggs into chocolate mixture and fold 1/2 to 1 c. finely chopped dark chocolate (I used dark chocolate chips and just sprinkle a handful or two on top) into mixture.  You can also add nuts if your heart desires to do so.  Pour into 8x8 pan and back for about 25-30 minutes.  Let them cool for about 10-15 minutes and then cut and serve... I think they're better cooled though.  I know - an anomaly for brownies, I know, but it's true.  Haha!  You can even enjoy two of these and you still won't feel guilty... or, I didn't feel guilty. :)

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
(A sanctuary... For real.  Don't judge - I love carbs.)

This one looks not as good as my first second one... The second one was perfection.  

1 head (Small Head) Cauliflower
¼ cups Parmesan Cheese
¼ cups Mozzarella Cheese
¼ teaspoons Kosher Salt
½ teaspoons Dried Basil
½ teaspoons Dried Oregano
½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Almond Meal (optional) - I didn't use it last time, but I think I would this time...
1 whole Egg

Preheat oven to 450 degrees (F). Wash and thoroughly dry a small head of cauliflower.  Cut off the florets—you don’t need much stem, but you can use stem if you'd like to. Pulse in your food processor for about 30 seconds, until you get powdery snow like cauliflower. You should end up with 2 to 3 cups of this ridiculously fine cauliflower. Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Cook for 6-7 minutes. Dump cooked cauliflower onto a clean tea towel and allow to cool for a bit before attempting the next step. I didn't do this the last time and I kept burning my hands - haha!

Once cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap it up in the dish towel and wring it like mad!  Get your anger issues out on this for a moment... :) You want to squeeze out as much water as possible. This will ensure you get a chewy pizza like crust instead of a crumbly mess. Dumped squeezed cauliflower into a bowl and add parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, salt, dried basil (crush up the leaves even more between your fingers before adding), dried oregano (crush up the leaves even more between your fingers before adding - I always add extra cause I love it), garlic powder (not garlic salt), and a dash of red pepper if you want.

Now add the egg and mix away. I forgot this step last time and the pizza had NO hold - it's the sealant, so make sure to use that egg!  Hands tend to work best to mix this up. Once mixed together, use your hands to form dough into a crust on an oiled parchment paper on top of a pan. Pat it down thoroughly, because you want it nice and tightly formed together. Don’t make it too thick or thin either. Bake for 8-11 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown and then remove from oven.

Add desired amount of sauce, cheese, and toppings you want - I like lots of onions, ham, tons of bell peppers, more spices (bring on the oregano and basil!), and cheese. Make it how you want it!  Now, slide parchment with topped pizza back in the hot oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and slightly golden. Test your patience and allow it to cool for a minute or two. Probably closer to two. Then using a pizza cutter and a spatula, serve up your delicious grain-free cauliflower crust pizza! If you want two pizzas (they're a bit bigger than personal size), double the recipe.  I am obsessed with this because I can have pizza and not be breaking the carb bank!  I thought this was insane when I first read about it a few years back, but it's actually pretty good and I feel good about eating it more often than actual pizza.  Thanks to The Tasty Kitchen Blog for this recipe!

I also found this paleo, dairy and gluten-free recipe, but I have yet to try it out:

Interesting note on carbs - I feel like I am starting to not process them in my body as well now that I eat them less.... bizarre, right?  Your body adapts and changes as you make changes... who'da thunk it? :)

Song of the Day:  A really great new jam by one of my fave bands, Parachute.  Here is "Hurricane."  I LOVE this song!!! I love this band and every song they have ever made... For real. My favorite line of this song..."Funny how it all comes back when you're trying to forget it..."  LOVE!  Enjoy!

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