My first hand account of the ongoing search for health and wellness through a conscious focus on nutrition, cooking, ingenuity, and physical exertion. As an active stay at home mother of two young children, I spend large portions of my day in my kitchen inventing new recipes and reinventing old favorites into fun, healthy and delicious meals my whole family loves... especially while on the run... literally.
Halloween season is here, and since I never got around to posting this deliciously spooky dessert last year, I figured I might as well get it out there before the holiday passes me by. I actually cannot believe I haven't made them again since last year. Too many new recipes to try and not enough people to eat everything, so I often don't make things twice. But after rereading the ingredients and jogging my memory with the photos, I think I'll have to make an exception. These cupcakes are made without any flour, so they are gluten free, and because the base is cashew butter (you could definitely use any other nut butter you prefer) and eggs, they are high in protein. They are still a dessert, with a good amount of pure maple syrup, and some sugar. The Nutella frosting and skeleton decoration make them a extra sweet treat, but this is Halloween after all, and I did save some of the plain cupcakes for a semi-healthy, pre-workout, morning meal. The coolest part about this recipe was that I decorated the cupcakes at home and then transported them almost two hours to a party, and only one of the skeletons' arms fell off. They were a huge hit and so cute to look at. And terrifyingly tasty to eat!
Every fall when I post my first pumpkin recipe, I write about how nothing says autumn like pumpkin spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and of course, pumpkin. But here it is the end of September and I have been too busy to even bake my first pumpkin recipe. I am not sure when or why I came up with this twist on my all time favorite Pumpkin Brownie recipe, but it's a definite keeper. From past recipes, you know how much I love chia seeds, especially in baked goods where I love the chewy texture, and nutritional boost they give to even the sweetest of treats. This recipe calls for a little less sugar than a lot of my pumpkin desserts, but they taste just as good. I actually love the slightly less sweet nature of this recipe as it makes a satisfying breakfast or a perfect afternoon snack. Of course you could definitely add a thin layer of cream cheese frosting and a few cinnamon sprinkles and make it even more delectable. (next time!) I originally used granulated maple sugar in this recipe, which adds a wonderful flavor, but costs a bit more, so a combination of organic brown and/or white sugar would work as well. And if you don't like chia seeds, you can substitute 2 or 3 eggs to help bind the bars together. I've actually added a couple of eggs in addition to the soaked chia once as well to make them a little more dense. And they are great with walnuts added in for an extra protein and flavor boost. My kids love these for snacks, and your house will smell like the taste of fall for hours after you bake them. Happy Pumpkin Spice Season everyone!
As the weather begins to turn cooler, nothing tastes better and fills you up without weighing you down that a piping hot bowl of soup. The other night I was watching the season premiere of Anthony Bourdain's show Parts Unknown where he visits Vietnam, and eats bowl after bowl of noodle soup. While this recipe is not Vietnamese, it is a spicy bowl of flavorful noodles and vegetables that definitely satisfied my craving. I had originally planned to make a version of my Spicy Chipotle Bean and Corn Chili for dinner last night, but I had brown rice noodles and green curry paste that I needed to use, so I came up with this instead. I incorporated the super spicy red chili peppers into it because they are the last things growing in my backyard garden, and despite them being extremely hot, I love the flavor that they add. My husband, who can usually handle more spice than me, actually had a little trouble finishing his large portion soup, but I loved it, and kept reminding him that hot peppers are good for your metabolism. So you can either eat more, or lose weight while eating plenty, whichever you desire. ;) And I know for certain, that after my left over bowl is gone later today, I'll be putting the ingredients back on my shopping list to make again very soon.