Thursday, May 22, 2014

{Recipe ReDux} Black Bean Brownies with Matcha Tea Frosting

I love a cup of tea. My day isn't complete unless I end it with a cup of green and an episode of Modern Family. I've been drinking tea for years, but cooking with it... never. So, when I found out this month's Recipe ReDux theme was "Cooking with Tea," I was intrigued.

As I began to brainstorm, I immediately thought GREEN TEA ICE CREAM. But, I wanted to be a little more creative so I turned to Pinterest for some ideas. A recipe for chocolate cupcakes with matcha green tea frosting sparked my imagination. Brownies sounded even better. But, black bean brownies sounded even healthier. A black bean brownie topped with matcha green tea frosting, now we're in business.

Black Bean Brownies with Matcha Green Tea Frosting

For Brownies-
1 (15 ounce can) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips

For Frosting-
1 cup greek yogurt
2 tbsp matcha green tea powder
1 tbsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place all brownie ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth.
Pour brownie batter into a nonstick or greased 8x8 baking pan.
Bake for approximately 40 minutes.

While the brownies cool, combine the frosting ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Mix well until frosting becomes a light green color. Using a knife, spread onto the brownies. Serve!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

{Recipe} Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies


3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp finely ground coffee
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 small banana, mashed
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine tapioca flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, coffee, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, stir together the coconut sugar, butter, coconut oil, beaten eggs, and mashed banana.
4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Mix until all wet ingredients are moist. Stir in the chocolate chips.
5. Spoon 1-2 inch balls of dough onto a greased or nonstick baking pan.
6. Bake for 15 minutes.

Serve with a cold glass of milk. Enjoy!

Makes 10-12 cookies

Thursday, May 8, 2014

{Recipe ReDux} Pepper, Spinach & Swiss Frittata

Disclosure: I received free samples of Breton Gluten Free Original with Flax and Breton Gluten Free Herb and Garlic from Dare Foods Incorporated mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Dare Foods Incorporated and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

To honor Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Recipe ReDux teamed up with Dare Foods to create delicious gluten-free recipes. Before participating in this contest, I wasn't very familiar with gluten-free foods. So, when I received samples of Breton's new line of gluten-free crackers, I was amazed at the quality of taste! The crackers come in 2 varieties- Original with Flax and Herb & Garlic, both equally delicious. The crackers are made with wholesome ingredients like, arrowroot flour and green lentil flour, and are certified gluten free by the Canadian Celiac Association's Gluten Free Certification Program.  

This recipe is entirely gluten-free and is an easy-to-make main course for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I used spinach and peppers in my frittata, but you can use any of your favorite vegetables! Heck, substitute the swiss for your favorite cheese. Frittata recipes are perfect for combining your favorite foods into one big dish. Dig in!

Pepper, Spinach & Swiss Frittata with Cracker Crust


15 Breton Gluten-Free Original with Flax Crackers
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 cup spinach, packed
1 cup bell peppers, sliced
4 eggs
1/2 cup skim milk, or plant based alternative
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Crush the crackers and mix with melted butter. Pat down onto the bottom of a pie pan.
3. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion to the pan and cook until translucent. Saute the spinach and peppers for 10 minutes.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the 4 eggs and combine with the milk. Add the cheese to the bowl and mix.
5. Combine the egg mixture and vegetables. Stir in salt and pepper. Pour over the cracker crust.
6. Place in the oven and let bake for approximately 40 minutes.

Serves 8


As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy!

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Bucket List

Last week, my family and I hit the Pacific Coast Highway and ventured towards Napa Valley, California. Before hitting the road, we fueled the car, and our bellies. Urth Caffe has been on my list of places to dine at for months and since the title of this blog is called, The Bucket List, this was the first thing to cross off my list. 

Urth Caffe is known for its organic coffees and teas. Each cup comes topped with a unique design inscribed into the steamed milk. I had the multigrain waffle which was made with oats, flax seed, wheat germ, and whole wheat flour, and was topped with fresh strawberries and bananas. It was delicious and I'm not ashamed to admit that I ate the whole thing. My mom ordered the bread pudding which was to die for. I definitely recommend trying it. 

After breakfast, we hit the road. First stop, Santa Barbara. We had only begun driving and were already going in the wrong direction! But, we did come across Peterson's Ranch which had a beautiful display of fresh produce. We took this opportunity to stock up on snacks for the car ride.

As soon as we entered Santa Barbara, we stopped at a local winery for some wine tasting of course. It was a beautiful day to sit outside and relax. Then, we walked around the farmers market which was extremely impressive! The selection of fruits and vegetables were gorgeous.

The next day, we got back on the PCH. The views were incredible! We stopped at Elephant Seal Beach, which pretty much speaks for itself. There were hundreds of seals laying on the sand. Further up the coast we stopped in Big Sur for a bite to eat. Nepenthe sat on top of a cliff providing us with the most breathtaking views of the oceans and mountains.Then, we continued up to Carmel and Monterrey.

That night we stayed in San Francisco. I had been there once before and fell in love with the city. This time around it was just as much as fun as I had remembered. We went to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market which is renowned throughout the country as one of the top farmers market to visit. The diversity and quality of the produce was truly unique.

As my dad stood on an unusually long line at Blue Bottle Coffee, my mom and I circled around an almond brittle vendor who was handing out samples. After a handful of samples, we decided it was only fair to purchase a few pieces. The vendor also told us that the line my dad was standing on was for the best coffee in the world. One coffee turned into 4 lattes to go.

After too many hours of driving, we reached our destination - Napa Valley. It was time to kick back, relax, and do nothing but eat and drink. We stayed at the gorgeous and homey, Embassy Suites. Couches and fire pits surrounded a lake which was home to a bevy of swans. It definitely had that winery-feel. 

During our stay in Napa, we made a reservation for dinner at the Culinary Institute of America. At the CIA Greystone, student chefs spend their last few weeks of the program cooking and serving guests at a restaurant right on campus. The school was a beautiful stone building overlooking a vineyard. The menu was limited to a few selections for appetizers, main course, and dessert. I ordered Mary's Farm Chicken which was the largest and freshest piece of chicken I have ever laid my eyes on. This was exactly what a piece of chicken was supposed to look like. 

Back to the bucket list. Every vacation, Nance (mom) insists on finding adventure. So, one morning we woke up bright and early and went on a hot air balloon ride. Check off the bucket list! In the first few moments of take off, I was nervous, but as soon as we got up into the sky, it was a beautiful sight. Our pilot was comical and engaging. The thing with hot air balloons is that there are no controls. It's easy to get up, but apparently not so easy to get down. The pilot has to be in tune with the wind and changes in direction. Towards the end of our ride, the wind wasn't on our side, but it was so much fun. Our pilot, Jay, had his crewing running back and forth beneath us trying to get a hold of the rope to pull us down. Unfortunately, the rope wasn't connected and we landed in a levy. Luckily, Jay knew what he was doing and we gave him a second try. We landed safely in a field. 

The next few days in Napa included a lot of bread, cheese, and wine. Some of my favorite vineyards were St. Supery, Castello di Amoroso, and Del Dotto. Napa is a wonderful place to visit and is filled with really wonderful and friendly people. I hope to visit again soon!

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