Chocolate Fudge Brownies… with Black Beans and Avocado!

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So you must be thinking that Ski Boots has gone off the deep end… Black bean brownies? Perhaps it’s the lack of snow we’ve been getting lately that’s made me want to experiment with some new recipes and ingredients. I had to try this one for a few reasons but mostly because I wanted to see if I could taste the black beans… Which you can’t… AT ALL.photo-225

In fact, everyone I served them to didn’t believe I actually made them with black beans. Nothing about these brownies are normal. Unlike your typical fudge brownies, where you feel sick after eating just one, these are dangerously perfect. They are rich AND light and you will most definitely not be able to stop at eating just one, Oh and did I mention they are gluten free? photo-228

Oh and did I also mention they are low fat? I wouldn’t feel guilty for a second eating these brownies for breakfast, they’ve got almost 5 grams of protein and only 150 calories per square (less if you use sugar substitute)… say what?! You won’t believe it until you try them for yourself but I promise you will enjoy them!

Black Bean & Avocado Fudge Brownies (Click for printer friendly version)
Ingredients:
  • 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 of a large ripe avocado
  • 1 teaspoon olive or canola oil
  • 1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute of choice
  • dark chocolate chips (to sprinkle on top)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8×8 inch baking pan.
  2. Put all the ingredients besides chocolate chips into food processor (or a blender). Process or puree until ingredients form a smooth batter (scrapping down the sides with a spatula in between to make sure all the cocoa powder is incorporated.)
  3. Pour into prepared pan, sprinkle with chocolate chips, nuts, or any other desired brownie topping and bake for 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and top of the brownies begin to crack.
  4. Cool pan completely on wire rack then cut into 16 squares.

And if the kitchen didn’t smell amazing enough with all those brownies baking… my valentines day flowers are just starting to blooming and its like heaven on earth in my living room!photo-227Enjoy!

Original recipe from Ambitious Kitchen

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Black Bean, Kale and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Quinoa… I’ve underestimated your amazingness. As part of my goals for 2013 which include, cooking healthier and more whole foods, hosting more dinner parties and teaching my dog how to do the dishes- quinoa is one of my new favorite ingredients for just about everything I’ve been cooking lately. I love how easy it is to make and keep on hand so you can throw together a quick salad for lunch or add it to chili (like the black bean, sweet potato & quinoa chili I posted earlier).

The longer you let this salad marinate in the dressing the better it is. I made this the night before and it made the perfect lunch topped with avocado!

What you will need:

  • 1 large bunch of kale, about 3 cups, finely chopped with ribs & stems removed
  • 1 small carton of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds removed
  • 1 avocado, sliced

For the vinaigrette:

  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (Optional)

What you do:

Cook quinoa according to package directions and allow it to cool, this can be done a day ahead and kept in the fridge if desired. Chop kale and combine in a bowl with cherry tomatoes, onion, black beans, quinoa and pomegranate seeds. In a separate bowl combine all vinaigrette ingredients and whisk together. Pour vinaigrette over kale salad and toss making sure to coat all ingredients with the dressing.

Cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour or over night if possible. Serve salad with sliced avocado on top and ENJOY!

Healthy Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili with Smoked Chipotle Cream

chiliHappy New Year Ski Boots in the Kitchen fans! What a wonderful holiday season of eating it was… and now my pants are feeling a little tight. Seems like people all over have been making New Years resolutions to eat healthier and exercise more (the gym parking lot has been pretty full lately) But why not eat yummy food that’s both healthy and tastes good? New Years resolutions don’t mean giving up everything you love. This healthy (and easy) chili is vegetarian (can be vegan if you skip the Chipotle cream) its loaded with flavor and is a perfect alternative to meaty (calorie packed) classic chili (which I also love!) This recipe is from Ambitious Kitchen – I hope you enjoy! I’m looking forward to sharing all my holiday recipes with you soon!

Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili with Smoked Chipotle Cream
Ingredients:
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced small
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Chipotle Tabasco sauce (I used Cholula because I didn’t have Chipotle Tabasco)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) low-sodium tomato sauce
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 can black beans (15.5 oz), drained
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock, plus more to thin if desired
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • For Chipotle Creme:
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Chipotle Tabasco sauce (Again I used Cholula)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in  a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and salt; saute for 5 minutes or until onions become translucent.
  2. Add the entire can of tomato sauce to the pot. Next add the black beans, vegetarian broth, all spices, and quinoa. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium, add diced sweet potatoes. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  3. Make the smoked chipotle yogurt combine tabasco sauce, honey, and dijon mustard in a medium bowl.
  4. Spoon chili into bowls and add yogurt sauce on top.