Mexican Chocolate Cake

…..I baked with real sugar…..

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*gasp*

I know! Shocking isn’t it?

Personally, I am not a huge sugar fan. My go-to sweeteners are honey, maple syrup, or stevia.  However, I fully acknowlege that I live in a world that loves sugar. So, when cooking for others, I will occaisionally use real sugar. That is what I did for this recipe, and it is darn good, too! 🙂

As a thank you for my friend who took me on a date to see Jersey Boys, I made this delicious chocolate cake. He is an unabashed choco-holic, who also happens to be lactose-intolerant. Ouch, right?

There was no time to stage a proper photo shoot of the cake. We were in a hurry to get to the theater. But, trust me, this is light, moist, and not even the least bit “gluten-free tasting”. The 2 secret ingredients are Coffee Extract and decadant Taza Chocolate.

 I think I may have created my new favorite cake recipe!

Mexican Chocolate Cake

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Ingredients:

  • 2 large Organic Eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread, softened
  • 1 tsp Bourbon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Coffee Extract
  • 1 1/4 cups Unsweetened Original Almond Milk (1 1/2 cups if baking at a high altitude)
  • 1/2 cup Sorghum Flour
  • 1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1/2 cup Tapioca Starch
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Xanthum Gum
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2.7 ounces Taza Cinnamon Chocolate Mexicano, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (375 degrees F if baking at a high altitude)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, coffee extract, Earth Balance, and almond milk until smooth.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flours, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthum, gum, and salt.
  4. Slowly whisk dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined.
  5. Fold in the chopped Taza Chocolate.
  6. Pour batter into an 8×8 square baking pan lightly greased with Earth Balance.
  7. Bake in preheated oven 25-30 minutes, until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely before cutting.
  9. Top with a light dusting of powdered sugar to serve.

This post is linked to Allergy Free Wednesday and Gluten Free Wednesday.

Sauteed Chard with Scrambled Eggs

I CAN’T WAIT TO SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In all honesty, I am pretty proud of myself for making it through the day on 3 hours of sleep.

I know you are probably all wondering what happened to rob me of my blissful slumber. ….Well…. I’m going to tell you anyway! 😉

This past weekend was pretty much amazing! My little brother and his friend drove down from South Dakona on Saturday to go to the Tim McGraw/Kenny Chesney concert and invited me to tag along. While not a huge country music fan, I am a HUGE fan of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, who just so happened to be their opening act. Do yourself a favor and get their album. It totally channels those fab rocker chicks. Totally raw and amazing! I LOVE IT!

Anyway…. The following morning we went out to breakfast and overall had a grand time.

I LOVE my baby brother!

Sunday, I went on a “date” with a friend to see Jersey Boys.

Again, a fab evening. The music, the acting, the cute old man dancing in his seat next to me…. I could go on and on. All that fun, however, caused me to stay awake until close to midnight when I had to wake up at 3AM the following morning to catch a flight for work.

I am now exhausted, cough-y, and completely unapologetic! It was totally worth the lack of sleep! 

Now for the food. I ate the following meal twice this weekend. Quick, simple, healthy, and delicious. I win.

Sauteed Chard with Scrambled Eggs

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread
  • 1/4 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1/4 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 Tomato, chopped
  • 2 large handfuls Swiss Chard
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1 large Egg, plus 2 Egg Whites, beaten until frothy

Directions:

  1. Melt Earth Balance in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and saute until translucent.
  3. Add bell pepper and cook 4 minutes more.
  4. Add tomato and chard and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook until chard is wilted.
  6. Remove vegetables from heat and place onto a plate.
  7. Use the same pan to cook your eggs.
  8. Season beaten eggs with salt and pepper and pour into the skillet.
  9. Cook over medium-low heat, constantly moving the eggs until cooked to desired doneness.

 

Protein Pancakes with Caramelized Pineapples

Yaaaay…. Monday……

Let’s be honest. I have a 6am flight this morning. I got 3 hours of sleep. Awesome….

This is going to be one serious case of the “Mondays” for which there is only one cure, a kick-butt breakfast! I am taking myself away from the work-doldrums with a breakfast fit for a tropical vacation. Slow-cooked pineapples make a decadent topping for delicious and healthy protein pancakes.

Fuel your body right and carpe the heck out of this diem!

Tropical Protein Pancakes

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Ground Chia Seeds
  • 1 scoop Vegan One Protein Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 large organic Egg
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Water

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients, stirring until smooth. Do not over mix.
  3. Using a 1/4 cup scoop, scoop 1/4 cup of batter and pour into the center of the skillet.
  4. Cook on one side until edges are set and bubbles appear on the top of the pancake.
  5. Flip pancake and cook about 1-2 minutes more.
  6. Repeat with remaining batter.
  7. Yields 3 pancakes.

Caramelized Pineapples

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread
  • 2 Tbsp Pineapple Chunks
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure Maple Syrup

Directions:

  1. Melt Earth Balance in a small skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to cook while making the pancakes.
  4. Pour caramelized pineapples over the finished pancakes before serving.

Protein Cake for One

It was a cereal for dinner kind of night, and all those carbs left me craving some protein for dessert.

Instead of my usual mug cake, I opted to try my hand at a vegan protein cake.

My first attempt was an utter failure and met its demise down the garbage disposal. Attempt number two fared much better. It wasn’t the prettiest dessert, but I was okay with that. Topped with a little pumpkin puree, it was just what the doctor ordered.

Protein Cake for One

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Sorghum Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Vega One Natural Protein Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 10 drops Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia
  • 5 Tbsp Unsweetened Original Almond Milk

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl or mug.
  2. Stir until smooth.
  3. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.

Bourbon Vanilla Fig Cake

I have a recipe to share with you today…

But first, confession time….

I am feeling a little blue. After two glorious weeks with my husband and puppy, I had to drive them to the airport to head back out on tour. Sigh…. I decided to adopt this quote by Marilyn Monroe as my mantra for the day:

I am so thankful for the wonderful two weeks GF Guy and I did have together. So many people don’t even get that. So, in an effort to keep my chin up, I devoted the rest of the day to doing low key things I enjoy. I vaccumed and scrubbed our new apartment, baked a cake, and watched too many episodes of Dawson’s Creek on Netflix.

First things first, who wants a mini-tour of our new apartment?

I didn’t rush around making the place look like a magazine before I took these pictures. Just embrace the crooked tea towels and water glass on the coffee table. 😉

Here is my kitchen where all the magic happens. Notice the sweet 18-bottle built in wine rack over the refrigerator!

Next we have scenes from my living room.

I have a meeting with an upholsterer on Friday to have the green chair and sofa recovered. They don’t exactly match my design aesthetic, but are excellent quality Ethan Allen pieces that were given to us by my parents. It just makes sense to recover them, versus replacing them.

This is my favorite wall

And lastly, the bedroom

A work in progress, but we love it!

And now on to the food! A few weeks ago, I received a package in the mail from my favorite Fairy Blog-Mother with some gorgeous Golden Figs.

I fully intended to use them to make Fig Newtons. Then, I tasted them. HOLY GOODNESS!!!!! I will never look at a dried fig the same way! These figs literally screamed flavor and elegance. My grand plans for fig newtons suddenly seemed unworthy of these golden pillows of glory.

A new plan emerged and a lesson was learned. ALWAYS taste your ingredients. You never know what they may inspire. In my case, they inspired a delicious, fluffy cake laced with Bourbon Vanilla and lightly sweetened with golden, organic honey. I hope this recipe inspires you!

Bourbon Vanilla Fig Cake

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Gluten-Free, Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats (or quinoa flakes)
  • 1/4 cup Sorghum Flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Xanthum Gum
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups Unsweetened, Original Almond Milk (1 1/2 cups if at a high altitude)
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp Bourbon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread, softened
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 6 Golden Figs, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (375 if at a high altitude)
  2. Prepare dairy-free buttermilk substitute by combining Almond Milk and Lemon Juice and letting sit for 10 minutes, until slightly curdled in appearance.
  3. Process rolled oats in a food processor until in achieves a course, flour-like consistency.
  4. Add sorghum flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and xanthum gum to the food processor and pulse until combined.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond “buttermilk”, vanilla, honey, Earth Balance, and cinnamon until well combined.
  6. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined.
  7. Gently fold in the chopped figs.
  8. Pour batter into a lightly greased 8×8 square baking dish.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Cool completely before cutting.

This post is linke to Allergy Free Wednesdays and Gluten Free Wednesdays!

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts

That last post was written last Friday. Yes, a week ago….

I knew it would be crazy busy with the move and then traveling for the week for work, so I stocked up on posts so you wouldn’t get bored! I am so thoughtful that way! 😉

Since then, we have moved into our new apartment and LOVE it! Today’s recipe is the first meal I cooked in our new kitchen. It is a delicious stuffed chicken recipe. The filling reminds me of my favorite casserole growing up. I can’t eat it anymore, unless I make my own condensed cream of chicken soup, which I have done. It is just rather labor intensive. I may try to use a variation of this filling as a substitute in the casserole. I will keep you posted! Until then, enjoy this recipe, and HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!!

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Organic, Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 tsp Sun-Dried Tomatoes packed in Oil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Baby Spinach, chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp Vegan Sour Cream
  • 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, spinach, vegan sour cream, nutritional yeast, and a pinch of salt & pepper.
  3. Cut a pocket in the center of each chicken breast.
  4. Stuff chicken pockets with sour cream mixture.
  5. Season stuffed chicken breasts on each side with salt and pepper.
  6. Heat an oven safe skillet on a stove top over medium-high heat.
  7. Sear chicken 3 minutes on each side.
  8. Place skillet in the preheated oven and cook 10-12 minutes until done.

Chicken Quinoa Casserole

GF Guy and I move tomorrow.

All of our possessions are in boxes waiting for tomorrows’ truck. All of our possessions, that is, except an oven safe pan and a roll of foil…

What kind of Gidget would I be if I packed away all of my kitchen essentials when there are still frozen vegetables needing to be eaten? Our very last meal in our very first Denver apartment was a delicious casserole. Warm and filling, it was just what we needed after a long day of packing, lease signing, and dodging raindrops.

This meal is a one dish wonder, so prepare yourself for few dishes and zero leftovers! I’m not sure how much cooking I will be doing over the next few days, especially since there is a ridiculous Gluten-Free friendly Cuban restaurant around the corner from our new place. 😉 BUT, I will do my best to bring you more delicious recipes soon! If you have any suggestions for recipes you would like to see converted to be gluten-free and dairy-free I would love the inspiration!

Chicken Quinoa Casserole

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

image source

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups warm Chicken Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp House Seasoning Blend of choice
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Boneless, Skinless Organic Chicken Breast, sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen Broccoli Florets
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen Peas
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup Daiya Vegan Cheddar Cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (375 if at a high altitude)
  2. Mix together quinoa and spices and place in the bottom of a deep and large, oven-safe skillet.
  3. Top quinoa with chicken and frozen vegetables.
  4. Pour warm chicken stock over top all ingredients.
  5. Cover pot tightly with a lid or foil.
  6. Place in preheated oven and cook for 1 hour, or until quinoa is cooked through.
  7. Remove casserole from the oven and remove the lid or foil.
  8. Turn the oven to Broil.
  9. Sprinkle Daiya Vegan Cheddar Cheese evenly over top the casserole and return to the oven uncovered.
  10.  Broil 3-4 minutes until vegan cheese is melted and bubbly.

Sweet Potato Chicken Curry

GF Guy and I have been having so much fun these past few days!

We finally went and saw my Disney princess movie, Brave!

Yay! Princess party!

Afterwards, it was back home for dinner. I made a delicious curry incorporating the remaining vegetables from our Farmer’s Market foray. At first, I was worried that I was committing “curry sacrilege” with my unconventional technique, but, in the end, my methods yielded delicious results!

This mild curry is definitely a repeatable recipe, homely looking, but repeatable!

Sweet Potato Chicken Curry

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1 small Sweet Potato, chopped
  • 1 Broccoli Crown, chopped
  • 1 Zucchini, chopped
  • 2 Carrots, chopped
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch Black Kale, chopped
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Red Curry Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Cane Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 1 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, chopped

Directions:

  1. In a small sauce pan, combine coconut milk and red curry paste. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add syrup, sugar, fish sauce, and water, and set sauce aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a deep saute pan, saute chopped sweet potatoes 2-4 minutes.
  3. Add broccoli, zucchini, and carrots, and cook until soft, about 7 minutes.
  4. Add tomato and kale and cook 2 minutes more.
  5. Pour sauce over the vegetables and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  6. Add chopped chicken and simmer 10 more minutes until cooked through.
  7. Serve over quinoa.

“Mighty Tasty” Whole Grain Honey Muffins

Holy YUM!!!! These muffins are delicious!

I woke up on my day off at 6:30am with a recipe jumping up and down in my brain. I groaned and rolled over, willing the recipe to go away and let me sleep. It didn’t work….

I rolled out of bed, ran into the wall (my equilibrium is always “off” in the morning), and blindly stumbled into the kitchen. Keeping my priorities at least slightly, I started a pot of coffee before setting to work mixing a bit of this, and a bit of that, together in a bowl. By the time the coffee was ready, I had a batch of muffins in the oven and the dishes scrubbed and dripping on the drying rack.

Let me tell you what…. It was all worth it! These subtly sweet muffins are addicting! I have already eaten two, and now you must excuse me, because I am going to go get a third!

“Mighty Tasty” Whole Grain Honey Muffins

(Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup Honey, plus additional for serving
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened Original Almond Milk (1 cup for high altitude)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. (425 for high altitude)
  2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients until smooth.
  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined.
  5. Scoop batter into a muffin tin lined with paper muffin liners. Each muffin cup should be about 3/4 of the way full.
  6. Bake in preheated oven 12-14 minutes, until the edges are golden and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool on a wire baking rack before serving with Earth Balance Spread and Honey.

Mirin Thyme Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are my jam!

I love them on salads, on pasta, plain, hot, or cold. I could eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. You get the idea….

I am always looking for new ideas for flavor combinations and stumbled upon this one quite by accident. I was reading a recipe for roasted mushrooms that called for white wine. I didn’t have any, but did find a bottle of mirin tucked in the back of my cupboard. Mirin is kind of a wine, I thought…. So, I went for it!

The resulting vegetables were utterly delicious! GF Guy and I devoured them, sadly leaving no leftovers. (sniff) I guess I will just have to make some more!

Mirin Thyme Roasted Vegetables

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Broccoli Crown, chopped
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 bunch Organic Rainbow Carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 lb mixed Chantrelle and Maitake Mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Mirin
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp dried Thyme

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss until evenly coated.
  3. Pour onto a foil lined baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Make sure all mushrooms are facing cap down.
  4. Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until desired done-ness.