Breakfast of Champions: Rice Cakes, Mashed Avocado and Cayenne

I never eat breakfast at home anymore, except on Tuesdays and Thursday when I get up at 4:50am for a boot camp class. Those days are egg sandwich days and I love them.

The rest of the time, I get up too late and spend what could be quality breakfast time doing other things like picking out an outfit or trying to find my keys. (My pre-bedtime prep for the coming morning is not a rock-solid operation).

So I keep a pretty hefty supply of food stuffs at my desk to mitigate the temptation to get a bagel and cream cheese from the bakery RIGHT DOWNSTAIRS. On non-egg days when I am underprepared, my stash of rice cakes (organic and non-GMO), almond butter, bananas and avocados are the perfect saving grace to get me through until lunch.

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There isn’t really a recipe required here. I take 2 rice cakes, cut open a ripe avocado (it needs to be soft enough that it can easily be mashed and spread) and scoop out 1/2 of the avocado, bagging the other half as air-tight as possible for the next day.

I cut the remaining portion in half again, and put one avocado part (piece?) on each rice cake. Then I just sort of spread it around, trying not to demolish the rice cake in the process.

Then – the magic ingredient! Sprinkle cayenne pepper on top (lightly if you’re not into the spicy thing).

Happy Breakfasting!

Pro Tip: Every other day (or when I run out of my avocado supply) I use almond butter and sliced banana with a touch of honey on the rice cakes instead. It’s all very yummy and easy to do!

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Healthy Black Bean Power Brownies

I have an obsession, along with 103,000 other people (and that’s just on Facebook!) with Chocolate Covered Katie and her healthy dessert blog. This obsession is borne from a life-long addiction to desserts and internal struggle between cravings and being healthy. Sure, I exercise multiple times a week. I run long distances and get up early to squeeze in a workout before heading to the office.

But when I delve into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s at night following a heaping plate of dinner food, I hear that nagging voice in my head letting me know I’m probably undoing all the good I had done earlier.

The solution to this battle between desserts and being healthy is to combine the two. Healthy desserts. And that is exactly what Chocolate Covered Katie does on her blog. My latest indulgence is brought to you today in the form of chocolately, ooey-gooey brownies made with – wait for it – black beans.

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They’re only slightly tweaked from this recipe on Chocolate Covered Katie – she’s basically a genius so I can’t really improve upon what she’s done here. I omitted some sugar and added flax seeds and a couple options for the flour mix. No biggie.

Enjoy!

Preheat oven to 350 F

What You Need:

  • One 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup quick oats OR whole wheat flour OR gluten-free flour OR cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp whole flax seeds (chia seeds or hemp seeds or any other seeds you like work here too)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

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What You Do:

Put everything into a food processor EXCEPT the chocolate chips and flax seeds. Blend well, stir in the chips and seeds, and then pour the batter out into an 8X8 brownie pan.

Bake for about 18-20 minutes. Let cool well for about 10-15 minutes before serving.

 

 

 

Pro Tip: Substitute the oil for applesauce maybe? I didn’t try it this way but it’s worked for brownies and cookies I’ve made in the past. If you do this, let me know how it goes!

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Black Bean, Chickpea and Zucchini Veggie Burgers with Curried-Honey Glazed Tri-Color Carrots

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There’s nothing better than a summer meal. Like really nothing at all. There’s just something about that wonderful smell wafting from the grill from flame-kissed summer veggies that makes every slow sunset better than the last.

I’m not going to lie, it’s super hard right now for me to do anything after work besides come home, throw on my apron, turn up my Spotify playlist, crack a bottle of wine and get to cooking. It doesn’t always work out that way, but tonight it did (sans the wine – trying to be responsible!)

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My longtime desire to create a veggie burger recipe that actually works on the grill without falling horribly apart has finally been realized, along with my longtime desire to cook tri-color carrots.

I know, small victories.

Anyways, on to the perfect summertime recipe.

IMG_4046What You Need:

For the burgers:

  • 2 cups panko
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the carrots:

  • 1 bunch tri-colored carrots (I found mine at Trader Joes, but I KNOW they’ll have them at the farmer’s market eventually)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 3 tbsp honey

What You Do:

Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Set aside 1 cup of the cooked quinoa for this recipe and use the rest for whatever!

Mix the honey and the curry powder and brush over the carrots. Lay the carrots out on a large piece of lightly oiled tin foil. Wrap tightly and place on the top shelf of the grill. They’ll need about 45 minutes to an hour to cook fully, and they will be ready to eat when they’re very soft.

IMG_4050Drain and rinse the black beans and chickpeas.

In a food processor, load in the two cans of beans and the rest of the ingredients.

Pulse gently until the mixture is coarsely ground. If it seems too loose and won’t make burgers that feel fairly solid, add additional panko until the mixture is thicker and forms burgers without trouble and without globbing all over your hands (I have no better way to describe this).

Lay burgers out of a piece of lightly oiled foil and place on the grill. Let the burgers cook about 5 minutes on each side and flip them four times.

Toast your burger rolls of choice or just eat the burgers bun free! I topped them with ketchup and mescalin mix.

Pro Tip: Make these gluten-free by substituting the panko for a gluten-free bread of your choice (just chop it in the food processor ahead of time).

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