Monthly Archives: June 2013

Healthier Chocolate Cake with Avocado Mousse Filling and Cream Cheese Icing

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Cakes are something I have always made from a box, even when I started eating all whole foods. We ate them so little, I figured it couldn’t hurt much. Until I looked up some of the ingredients on the box. But the only cakes I could find online had like 2 sticks of butter, 3 cups of sugar, and white flour. I took one of those recipes as a base and turned it all around. I made it healthier for sure, but it still has some butter and sugar in it, so its not like its all bananas and almond flour.

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I actually made it for the first time for a crowd of people. It always makes me nervous serving a new recipe to a crowd. But luckily this turned out great and I’ve made it again with the same success. Since chocolate cake is Dave’s favorite and I have 2 little girls with upcoming birthdays, I see this cake being a lot in my near future.

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You can’t taste the avocado in the mousse, but if that puts you off, just substitute a double batch of the cream cheese icing. or if super chocolately rich mousse is your thing, then double to mousse recipe and frost the cake with it as well (I did this for father’s day).

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Chocolate Cake

20 slices

1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/3 cups sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk or kefir

1/4 cup melted butter or oil

1/4 cup applesauce or greek yogurt

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp almond extract

1 cup hot water or freshly brewed coffee

Mouse filling:

1 ripe avocado

3/4-1 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 Tbs milk

Cream cheese icing:

2 Tbs butter

6 Tbs cream cheese

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix buttermilk, butter, applesauce, eggs, vanilla, and almond. Mix wet, dry, and add hot liquid just until combined. Do not overstir.

Pour batter into two 8 inch round pans. Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes, until tester comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes then flip onto a cooling rack. Don’t add icing until all the way cooled.

For mousse filling, place avocado, milk, cocoa and sugar in food processor and blend until avocado is pureed and smooth.

For icing, Beat cream cheese and butter until combined well. Add powdered sugar and vanilla.

When cakes are cooled, spread avocado mousse in between the layers, then ice the entire cake in cream cheese frosting.

*The first time I made it with kefir, applesauce, and butter. The second time I made it with buttermilk, greek yogurt, and oil. They turned out the same, so when I say “or”, it really doesn’t matter!

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 237

Fat: 7.3 g

Sodium: 270 mg (11%)

Carbohydrates: 43 g

Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g

Sugars: 31 g

Protein: 3.4 g

Chocolate Lava Cake

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Chocolate cake is dangerous around here. Dave and I have been known to demolish one in record time. For this reason, I like to make smaller portions. Chocolate lava cake is a favorite for the gooey center which takes the place of icing. Its also much easier than baking a cake and icing.

Chocolate Lava cake

1/4 cup chocolate chips

2 Tbs honey

1/4 cup yogurt

1/3 cup egg whites (or 1 egg, 1 egg white)

1/8 tsp vanilla

3 Tbs white whole wheat flour

4 tsp cocoa powder

pinch salt

Melt chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl. Stir in honey, yogurt, egg white, and vanilla.

sift together flour, cocoa, and salt. Mix into wet ingredients.

Split between 4 greased ramekins. You can add a couple more chocolate chips to each one and press them down into the center to ensure its all melty and chocolately inside.

Bake at 425F for 15 mintues

calories: 132

fat: 3.7

sodium: 53 mg (2%)

carbohydrates: 21 g

dietary fiber: 1.5 g

sugars: 15 g

protein: 5 g

Our Chickens are Laying Eggs

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I see a lot more omelets in my future. 2 of 6 of our backyard chickens are now laying eggs! That means we are getting a little over a dozen eggs a week now. Its so exciting going into the backyard every morning and getting fresh eggs. And man are they fresh. They taste so much better than the store bought eggs, even the organic ones. The yolks are so orange and creamy and just SO good!

This weeks meal plan…

Dinners:

Sprouted whole grain pasta, turkey meatballs, zucchini, and homemade marinara

Slow roasted pork butt, corn on the cob, roasted sweet potatoes

fish taco rice bowls

Baked chicken nuggets, sweet potato fries, roasted broccoli

chicken pot pie

pizza on zucchini pizza crust

wedding one night

Breakfasts:

Crockpot steel cut oats x 3

eggs and pancakes x 2

black bean, corn, and kale omelets

Lunches:

leftovers, crockpot split pea and ham soup, chicken salad, marinated cucumber salad, salads, fruit and yogurt.

Irish Soda Bread

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Corned Beef and Cabbage is my favorite holiday meal of the year. Better than thanksgiving or Christmas in my opinion. I love cabbage, I love corned beef dipped in mustard, and I love fresh baked bread. I always accompany my corned beef and cabbage with a fresh loaf of Irish Soda bread. Its slightly sweet and has plump raisins. Its pretty much like a big scone and its so good! And a plus is that it doesn’t use yeast, so its very quick and fool proof to make.

Who can argue with a loaf of whole grain freshly baked bread that takes 45 minutes from start to finish? Not me.

Irish Soda Bread

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 Tbs + 1/2 tsp sugar, divided

1.5 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 Tbs butter

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup raisins

Place raisins in hot water. Let sit to soften up while you make the rest.

Sift flour, 2 Tbs sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Cut in butter.

Stir in buttermilk and raisins (drained of water!).

Form dough roughly into a ball using floured hands.

Place dough on silpat baking sheet or greased baking sheet and form into a circular loaf shape.

Sprinkle remaining 1 tsp sugar on top.

Bake at 375 F for 40 minutes

Soaked recipe: soak flour and warm cultured buttermilk in a covered glass bowl overnight. When ready to bake, mix together sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and softened butter together. Mix into soaked flour and add raisins. Form into ball and cook as directed.

Nutritional Information

10 servings

Calories: 164

Total Fat: 3.8 g

Sodium: 249 mg (10%)

Carbohydrates: 29 g

Dietary fiber: 1 g

Sugars: 8.6 g

Protein: 3.6 g

Dishwasher Detergent “Recipe”

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We have been using homemade laundry detergent for a while now and love it. I was worried my husband wouldn’t like the fact that our clothes didn’t come out smelling like flowers but they still smell good. They just smell clean, which is nice. We have also been using homemade dishwasher detergent, and again we love it. I have found that it cleans our dishes just as well as any other detergent we’ve ever used. Actually, I like it better than the store bought powdered detergent since its never clumped up on my dishes or gotten stuck in my dispenser like the store bought kind can.

However, I do, and always have, rinse my dishes off pretty well before sticking them in the dishwasher. I never put dishes in my dishwasher with food stuck on them. I hate going to unload it and have to rewash half the stuff. This goes for store bought or homemade detergent.

I read controversial things about using borax on dishes. Even though most of it gets rinsed off, I am better safe than sorry, and don’t use it like many other homemade recipes.

Dishwasher Detergent:

2 cups washing soda

1/2 cup lemi-shine (in detergent aisle)

1/2 cup kosher salt or other coarse salt for scrubbing action

use 1 tbs per load

Meal Plan 6/16

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Meal Plan 6/16

Dinners:

Ribs on the grill, roasted green beans, garlic dill roasted potatoes (Father’s Day)

Lamb Saag over brown basmati

Sweet and Sour Chicken over brown rice with steamed broccoli

Homemade Pizzas on the grill with grilled chicken and mushrooms with a salad

Chicken Nuggets, sweet potato fries, vegetable

Hamburgers on whole wheat buns with sweet potato fries and roasted kohlrabi

Leftovers

Lunches: leftovers, salads, cottage cheese and watermelon, peanut butter and banana on homemade bread, fruit, black bean and barley salad

Breakfasts:

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with scrambled eggs

Yogurt, chia, banana, barley, and almond bowls (x2)

steel cut oats with banana, peanut butter, and ground flax (x3)

greek yogurt pancakes with turkey sausage and veggie omelets

Dessert:

The kids and I are making a homemade chocolate cake with avocado mouse filling and chocolate coconut whipped cream icing for Father’s Day

Homemade chocolate date ice cream is made weekly!

(all recipes are on my recipe link at the top)

Shrimp, Green Bean, and Barley Risotto

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We use a lot of brown rice, oats, quinoa, and whole wheat flour as our whole grains. But I really like to vary our grains as much as possible. This is my go to barley recipe. It’s a one pot meal, which makes for easier clean up and is made with all whole foods.

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This bowl reminds me how much I love being  a “volume eater”. Its amazing how much good food you can eat, for the perfect amount of calories to fuel your body, and such big nutrition when its all healthy whole foods.

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And even though risottos have the reputation for being time consuming, this took a little over 30 minutes start to finish. Quicker cooking is another plus of soaking your grains overnight. To soak your grains, place 1 cup whole grain in 1 cup warm water and add 1 Tbs something acidic (such as apple cider vinegar or lemon juice) in a glass bowl and let it soak overnight. Drain and rinse the grain before using. Soaking grains essentially makes it more digestible and allows your body to absorb more nutrients. I think most people have heard of soaking beans but grains should be soaked as well.

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Barley, Green bean, and Shrimp Risotto

serves 4

1 tsp olive oil

1/2 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 cup barley (soaked overnight)*

1.5 cups homemade or reduced sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup white wine

8 oz mushrooms, cut up into pieces

3 cups cut green beans (or 1 bunch cut asparagus or 1 cup peas)

12 oz shrimp, peeled, tail off

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

Heat chicken broth in a saucepan. Keep on low during entire cooking process.

Heat olive oil in a pan and cook onion for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute.

Add barley, white wine, and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently.

Add 1/2 cup more broth, mushrooms, and green beans. Cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed.

Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time. Add shrimp in with last 1/2 cup broth.

Once all broth is absorbed, add parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

*If you choose not to soak your barley beforehand, follow recipe the same way but you may need 1/2-1 cup more broth to fully cook barley.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 385

Fat: 6.2

Carbohydrates: 46 g

Dietary Fiber: 12 g

Sugars: 3.6 g

Protein: 33 g