<3 V-Day Chocolate Without the Guilt<3

 chocolate dip

Do not deny that you, yes you, have at some point in your lifetime swiped your finger into that glorious little plastic container of chocolate icing from the grocery store when you were icing your kid’s cupcakes or maybe you just bought the icing to eat straight from a jar when you had a bad breakup.

It’s ok. It happens.

Big bowl of delicious icing. Finger. Yum.

I am not judging you.

However, I am here to tell you that the list of ingredients in a highly processed can of icing is scary. And ridiculous. And…carcinogenic.

So, let’s make some homemade chocolate icing with more wholesome, real foods ingredients, shall we? Definitely still a treat, but one that won’t make you feel like crap afterwards!

Perk #1: NO butter. Much less sugar than “canned” icing.  Healthy fats and antioxidants.

Perk #2:If you make this for your honey on Valentine’s Day, you can literally dip anything imaginable into it. I’ll leave that up to your imagination, ok? You can thank me later.

Perk #3. If you have no Valentine you can eat it alone, in your pajamas, watching Breaking Bad and dip in graham crackers to your heart’s content.

In case you are wondering what kind of fantastically romantic night I have in store tomorrow, let me tell you,  I have an exciting night ahead indeed: cleaning, dog washing, and packing to get all ready for our European travels the next morning. I promise a recap when I return in 2 weeks, as we will not be going as tourists, but rather, locals in the small Bavarian town of Bad-Tolz! Tolzers, as they call it over there. Larsen and I will also be staying on a small Swiss farm high in the mountains of Switzerland near a town called Murren. Anyone been there?

 

See you in a few weeks!

Auf wieder sehen!

Chocolate Dip(Icing)

Serves 12
Prep time 5 minutes
This no-guilt chocolate dip is the perfect Valentine's Day Treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 very ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cups peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey

Note

You could replace most of the sugar here with stevia to taste if  you want to avoid processed sugar completely!

Directions

Step 1
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Serve with graham crackers for dipping! Done.

A Skinny Banana Bread

Well hello there! I’ve missed you.

Things have been nutzo lately, but finally I have a calm week to sort out  recipes and blog a bit. Big changes are happening over here. I can’t say  much more yet. I can tell you that we are considering adding 2 ducklings to our growing menagerie though. February/March is that time of year I become overly excited about Spring and begin to plan garden beds, order plants and seeds, start seeds, and dream of what else we can add to the homestead to make it more sustainable. Little baby chicks start hatching, the feed and seed store puts out fliers, herbs start sprouting, and my wheels start spinning. Just last night my husband and his buddy spent several hours preparing vegetable seeds for planting, placing them in paper towels dipped in a seaweed fertilizer, into a plastic bag and put into indirect sunlight in our guest bedroom. We are ready for Spring!

The more I research ducks, the more I believe they would be a perfect fit for our urban farm. Did you know khaki campbell ducks lay nearly as many eggs as chickens? I had no idea that ducks could be good layers, but apparently, this specific breed lays eggs throughout the year and can co-habitate with chickens. They are friendly, enjoy splashing in mud and water(umm we live on a marsh!), and are a domesticated, non-flying breed.

photo from backyardchickens.com

photo from backyardchickens.com

Long story short, I want some.

I also want a piece of this banana bread  right now.

banana bread skinny

Banana bread is really a breakfast cake, not a health food. It usually contains sugar, butter/oil and flour and very little of the healthy stuff, bananas. Why use butter and sugar when you can make a delicious bread without them? Even Paula Deen is catching on (finally) after her diabetes scare.

In this recipe whole wheat flour replaces white flour, orange juice replaces the sugar, and overly- ripe  bananas replace nearly all the fat.

I eat mine for breakfast spread with almond butter and a side of fruit or as a pre-run snack!

Happy eating!

I will update you on the duck situation soon. I hope to have 2 cute little balls of fluff soon, but may end up with 5 balls of fluff because that’s usually the minimum order number. Would anyone want a few ducklings?

Skinny Banana Bread

Serves 8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 10 minutes
Allergy Egg, Peanuts, Wheat
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable
Try this naturally -sweetened and ultra-moist skinny banana bread for a light breakfast or snack.

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas (very ripe)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 egg (large)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 can organic garbanzo beans
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

Step 1
Blend the chickpeas, bananas, peanut butter and egg in a food processor until smooth.
Step 2
Pour the banana mixture into a bowl. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients.
Step 3
Stir dry ingredients into the wet mixture and pour into a parhcment-paper lined loaf pan.
Step 4
Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. (may require a bit longer-test the center for doneness).

 

 

Flourless Chocolate Chip Blondies

We once had a small, dirty, skinny dog last year appear at our house, walk in the front door, and act like he owned the place. We tried to feed him both wet and dry dog food, and he absolutely refused. I must have offered him 10 different things before I discovered the only food he loved was peanut butter. I fed him peanut butter 3 times a day. ..Henceforth we called him “Peanut” and he stole our hearts with his snuggly cuteness, and we had decided to keep him..and one day, after living with us over a month, he disappeared.  I was worried sick about him and found him being walked by his overjoyed owner 3 days later.

907e1cbcc9bb11e1b2fe1231380205bf_7

His name was apparently  “Oreo”. He will always be my  li’l Peanut though. I enjoy seeing his  owner walking him every once in a while because he  still perks up and wags his tail when I say “Peanut”!

The reason I tell this story is that today is an incredibly important day among American Holidays. If it were up to me, we would all have the day off and eat these blondies together with some milk(or in my case Almond milk).

It’s NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER DAY !

We go through 1 jar per week, minimum. This week  the jar ran out on Tuesday. We bought it Sunday. Something is wrong with that, really but my excuse is I have been cooking and baking with nut butter lately.

choc chip blondies

These blondies have zero refined sugar,  flour, or butter and taste peanutty.

You might be surprised at the ingredient list, but I will let you discover what’s inside on your own …hehehe.

Flourless Chocolate Chip Blondies

Serves 24
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Allergy Egg, Peanuts
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Dessert, Snack
These healthy flourless chocolate chip blondies have a hidden secret ingredient, but you won't guess what it is!

Ingredients

  • 1 can organic garbanzo beans (drained)
  • 3/4 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or a bit more according to your tastebuds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Note

You can replace the peanut butter with almond butter here with good results.

Directions

Step 1
Combine the drained chickpeas, peanut butter, and all other ingredients EXCEPT chocolate chips in a food proccessor or blender.
Step 2
Stir the batter to make sure everything is incorporated, toss in the chocolate chips, and pour the batter into a greased 8 x8 or 9X9 inch pan.
Step 3
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

 

 

 

Peanut Chicken Stew

Have you jumped on the peanut train yet? Well, clearly I have because I am posting a second peanut recipe , and I still have another jar to use up. Peanut butter protein balls perhaps next?

My husband began calling this Peanut Chicken Stew “crack” stew because neither one of us could walk by the pot without hovering over it, swiping spoonfuls before and after dinner.

It is that good. I have been dreaming about this stew  since we finished it one week ago. This is really special. It makes you feel good, so good, that I made it again today to pair with homemade bread and friends!

peanut chicken stew

When you read the recipe, you are going to jump out of your  chair and proclaim I am crazy for putting together the strange mix of ingredients….I jumped out of my chair the first time I saw peanut butter, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, rotisserie chicken,coconut milk, turmeric, brown rice, fresh herbs and other healing spices mixed together.

The, I tried it because I was curious, and I am  now a peanut-stew-convert.

On another note, I’m sorry I haven’t posted in almost 2 weeks.Life over here has looked like this-

work. cook. eat. sand. repeat. paint. cook. eat .repeat.paint. repeat. clean.repeat. think about starting the garden. paint.

Our dining room is now painted, and we are working on the impossible task of the kitchen, which entails removing 50 year old wallpaper, sanding with my purple swimcap on to protect my  hair , balancing on a 15 foot tall ladder at a 60 degree angle, and finding dust bombs from the sanding on every surface. Today we painted trim. Ick.

I am looking forward to the part where I have a glass of wine and marvel at the newly painted  walls.

Until then, I’ll be eating this peanut stew while the weather is still cold, and  enjoying this cream sauce without the cream from Eating Well. I used it to make a killer healthy macaroni and cheese  last week and in homemade tomato soup.  Alas,  the healthy  mac n’ cheese was downed before I could photograph it. Food blogger photography problems….the subject disappears quickly.

 

To Your Health,

Lydia

Peanut Chicken Stew

Serves 8
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Allergy Peanuts
Meal type Main Dish, Soup
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
This peanut chicken stew , filled flavorful ingredients and superfoods, is the perfect cold-weather healthy meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 roasted bell pepper (chopped finely)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1.5 teaspoons grated coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dark chili powder
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 16 oz can plum tomatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1 rib rotiserie chicken, meat removed and chopped
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Note

You can puree this stew before adding in the coconut milk , peanut butter, and chicken and rice for a smooth and creamy soup.  Then warm it up, stir in the rest of the ingredients, and serve. I prefer the chunky stew though.

Sriracha is a delicious hot sauce, but you can substitute tobasco is you have no sriracha on hand.

 

Directions

Step 1
Saute the onion in the oil on medium-high heat until it is translucent. The add in the spices, garlic,and ginger and saute 2 more minutes.
Step 2
Add the chicken broth, grated carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, brown sugar, sriracha, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium and let it simmer with the top on for at least 45 minutes.
Step 3
Stir in the coconut milk and peanut butter and whisk until combined.
Step 4
Stir in the roasted chicken and cook another 2 -3 minutes on medium high until the chicken is hot. Garnish with fresh chives or cilantro.
Step 5
Serve atop the cooked brown rice in a bowl and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.