Recipe for Disaster

Things have been really crazy around here. I haven’t cooked in a while. In fact, all I’ve got left in the fridge are a few bendy carrots and some very questionable grapes.

What’s worse, until last night, I hadn’t slept in about a week. All because I’ve been experimenting with this recipe:

Disaster

Ingredients:
1 hyper puppy
1 chewy puppy

Instructions:
Combine. Voila – disaster!



That’s right, we got puppies!!! Not one, but two. Plural. Double trouble. The gray and white one is our girl Luna, and the tan and white is our boy Piwi. These two have turned our lives upside down! And just so you know, the combination of the two is much more fun, love, and joy than disaster.


These adorable babies have captured our hearts and kept us on our toes; it’s like having a second full-time job! I’ve got a mountain of shoes piling up in my room, a sink full of dirty dishes, and four loads of clean laundry that have been waiting ten days to be folded. Every waking hour has been devoted to picking up after, training, loving, washing, supervising, feeding, comforting, and playing with these little cuties troublemakers.

I am completely and utterly in love. I feel like a mommy now. I promise not to become one of those people who talks about their dogs nonstop, but I can’t promise I won’t throw in a picture of them now and then, because really, look how precious!

I debated about whether or not I should even post today if not sharing a new recipe, but I figured why not share something personal once in a while, right? And I wanted you all to know why I seem to have fallen off the face of the planet! Once things settle down around here I’ll have some great new recipes ready for you, but until that time, enjoy the cuteness!

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

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Mason Jar Salads

First off, because I feel it needs addressing, I have obviously failed at my new year’s resolution to post on Skinnyfat every week.  I would like to defend myself by mentioning that February is the holiday season all over for me.  First it’s hubby’s birthday, then mine the week right after.  Of course, Valentine’s Day is hardly observed at all by the time we’ve gone through birthday mode, but add that to mix even a little bit and it still makes for a very busy time.

So in penance for my absence, I knew I had to post something absolutely brilliant so I’m posting about salad.

SALAD?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Yes, salad.  Want to pump your body up with raw veggie power?  Salad is one of the great ways to go.  Add a mason jar to the mix and we’re really onto something.

Now I know you may be confused at this point, so let me clear it up for you.  If you add a mason jar to the mix your salad will stay fresh for MORE THAN A WEEK!

All I have to do now is make 5 mason jar salads on Sunday and I have lunch for the entire work week!  My mason jars have claimed their very own corner of the fridge at work.

I can’t take credit for this genius – I heard it from a friend who heard it from Skinny Girl Trapped in a Fat Girl Body.

Of course, there are probably thousands of ways you can make this salad, but I will share with you what I did.

Mason Jar Salads

  • 5 mason jars
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1/2 head kale
  • 1/2 head collard greens
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Black beans
  • Parmesan cheese

Salad Dressing 1

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of the juice leftover from the canned olives
  • 1 clove of garlic smashed
  • Dash of dried red pepper flakes
  • A pinch of salt

Salad Dressing 2

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine
  • Juice from a quarter wedge of orange
  • A pinch of salt

First step is the measure out your dressing into your mason jars.  I don’t usually use a lot of dressing, so the portions I made were enough for all of my salads.  Do what’s best for you.

Because I’m not very good at following directions when it comes to recipes, I didn’t follow the advice about not letting the dressing touch the leaves.  I put the dressing and then the kale right on top of it.  They stayed fresh!

After the kale layer, I added the collard greens and lettuce, then topped it off with the black beans, olives, grape tomatoes, and parmesan cheese.

Keep the salads upright in the fridge and when you are ready to dive in, shake it all up and pour it into your bowl.  I like to add avocado after that.  More fiber = good.  More avocado = delicious.

Some thoughts and tips:  If you used olive oil, sometimes the refrigeration causes it to solidify a bit.  All you should do if this happens is let it set out a bit and it will liquify again.  Also be forewarned that sometimes the smell is pretty strong when you open the mason jar up for the first time.  Don’t worry, it’s still good to eat.  I’ve checked.

Save time and eat healthy thanks to these babies!

Until next time.

Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

Double Chocolate Truffle Muffins

This muffin idea struck me in the brain this morning while I was eating a vegan chocolate truffle for breakfast. I was pondering two equally puzzling questions, first “how could this possibly get any more delicious?”, and second, “how can I convince people it’s acceptable to eat truffles for breakfast?” Turns out muffins was the answer to both.

You see, if you want something to be more delicious, you simply add more chocolate. The amount of deliciousness is equivalent to the amount of chocolate: more chocolate, more delicious. The only thing better than chocolate is chocolate within chocolate. Double chocolate.

I’ve already made Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies. I’m fearful this whole ‘chocolate within chocolate’ idea could get out of control and I’ll wind up with some outrageous dessert called the Quadruple Chocolate Chip Chunk Brownie Cake Pie Mousse Muffin Cupcake Ice Cream Bar. With chocolate sauce. Wow, seriously, that actually sounds crazy good. It’d be like Inception, chocolate style. Once you get to a fourth level of chocolate it’s just complete chaos.

The great thing about these muffins is that they don’t contain butter, white flour, white sugar, or eggs, but you knew that, right? They’re completely vegan and not something you have to feel guilty about eating. While I do consider them dessert, I’d describe them as more bread-like than cake-like, and they’re not overly sweet. The only thing I’ll change when I make these again is that I’ll make them smaller; they were simply massive!

Double Chocolate Truffle Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

1/2 cup warm water
3 T ground flax meal
2/3 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup sucanat (if you don’t have any, substitute with another dry sweetener)
1 t pure stevia powder (I use Stevita)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 T + 1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
12 2-inch Vegan Chocolate Truffles (recipe found here)

Instructions:

First, make your truffles but don’t cover them in any toppings. Leave them plain and put them in the freezer to set. Combine the ground flax meal with the warm water, whisk thoroughly, and put in the fridge. Combine the milk and vinegar and let them mingle for a while until they’re good and curdled. Appetizing!

While those set, combine the dry ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add the hot coffee to the milk and vinegar and whisk furiously for about 30 seconds. Then add the melted coconut oil, vanilla, applesauce, and flax egg mixture and stir vigorously again. Now add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and beat with all your might for as long as your arm will allow, at least 1 – 2 minutes. This allows the batter to aerate and the muffins to rise well.

Spray your muffin pans with oil and scoop some batter into the bottom of each section. Set a truffle in the center and cover with batter.

Truffles covered in chocolate batter…yeah, it’s up to you whether or not you want to keep going at this point. I mean, I could honestly call it a day and be in heaven just eating this stuff with a spoon. Batter lovers, unite! Bakers, keep reading.

Put your muffins in the oven and let them bake for about 35 minutes. Oh my, look how puffy! And all without eggs. It’s a miracle!

I liked that cute one with the mohawk. However, I promptly gave him a haircut…with my teeth.

Let them cool for about 10 minutes, then top with whipped or coconut cream while the muffins are still warm so everything gets all melty and drippy and delicious. Sprinkle with some more cocoa powder for ultimate truffliness (I realize I’ve been creating words left and right; clearly, it’s one of my many gifts). Good grief, just look at them. You know you wanna slurp that up. I certainly did and was just the right amount of sticky and happy when the photo shoot was over. Then I sliced one of those bad boys open and poured hot coffee on it. It was a great idea. Apparently today is a great day for ideas.

Oh, gooey truffle center, you make my heart all a-flutter. I’m now certain that truffles were made to go inside muffins, we just never knew it until now. You’re welcome.

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Vegan Chocolate Truffles

I’m a girl who worships chocolate, enjoys fancy dinners, and is head-over-heels in love. Funny thing is, I couldn’t care less about Valentine’s Day.

No, really!

When I want chocolate, I eat it. When I want a fancy dinner, I make it. And when I want to celebrate love, well…I do. Every day of my life is a celebration of love in one way or another.

However, this Valentine’s Day is different. Special. Because this year I have a new love: you! That’s right, I wanted to make you guys something really special this year to show you how much I appreciate you as readers. Something chocolate. And creamy.

Fine, I’m totally lying. It sounded nice and everything, but who am I kidding? This is my Valentine’s Day gift to me! Sure, you guys get a recipe, but it’s really only a couple of pictures and words on a page; I’m the one with truffles in my freezer! Twelve of them, to be exact (originally 14), and I’m going to eat every single one all by myself. The hubs will never know they’re in there. In his experience, the freezer only holds boring things like vegetable stock and edamame beans. He’s got no need for those things, meaning he won’t open the freezer, meaning these smooth, silky, chocolately, melt-in-your-mouth truffles are all mine!

I love Valentine’s Day.

Vegan Chocolate Truffles
Makes 12 – 14 2-inch truffles

4 squares (4 ounces) unsweetened baker’s chocolate
The thick top half of a can of full-fat coconut milk
3 T agave (or more if desired)
1/2 t vanilla
1 T coconut oil
Few grinds of sea salt, to tase
Shredded coconut/chopped nuts/cocoa powder

Important Note: Only use full-fat canned coconut milk that has been sitting, unmoved, untouched, and unshaken for several days. I recommend a week or so. I had great results with this recipe, but two friends both ended up with super melty chocolate that never hardened. The difference was that they had just bought theirs, while mine had been sitting in the cabinet for 2 weeks! This time allows the thick cream to separate from thin milk. When adding the cream to the recipe, scoop it out of the can, do NOT pour (you don’t want to mix in any of the thin milk).

Other note: You can use 4 ounces of semi-sweet or 60% chocolate chips, though the chocolate flavor will not be as intense as the unsweetened baking squares and there will also be added sugar, so keep that in mind. As written, the chocolate taste is quite strong, so if you’re not a fan of strong chocolate you may even want to use milk chocolate.

1. Melt the chocolate squares in a pan on the stovetop on very low heat. When the chocolate is completely melted, scoop out the top half of the can of coconut milk into the pan and stir gently until completely mixed.

2. Add the agave, vanilla, coconut oil, and salt and stir thoroughly. Continue to stir over low heat until completely smooth. Scrape the chocolate into a bowl and put in the freezer for 3o minutes.

3. Remove the chocolate from the freezer – it will be hard enough to form into a ball and soft enough to, well, form into a ball! If you leave it out for too long it may start to stick to your hands, in which case you can put it back in the freezer for a few minutes. Form the chocolate into balls, approximately 2 inches in diameter.

 4. Fill a bowl with shredded coconut, nuts, or cocoa powder. Roll the balls of chocolate in the coconut or other toppings until completely covered.

You’re done! Store the truffles in the freezer – I promise they will stay soft and creamy! And despite all of the coconut ingredients, the chocolate itselft has no coconut flavor whatsoever, so you can cover your truffles with whatever toppings you like. I chose shredded coconut because a. I’m an addict, and b. that’s pretty much all I had in the house.

Enjoy an intense chocolate experience! You may even feel generous enough to share these with a loved one. I definitely encourage the truffle-sharing; these are made with whole, healthy ingredients but they SHO AIN’T low calorie. Indulge in one or two but don’t get carried away. I am all about love on Valentines Day, but not love handles.

Have a great holiday, folks! Don’t forget to share the love!

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

3-Ingredient Tofu Burgers & Whole Wheat Burger Buns

What are your plans for the Super Bowl?  Any?  My guess is that Becky will be cooking up a storm to prepare for watching her Patriots play.  While my team didn’t make it this year, the Super Bowl is still an excellent excuse for good food.

Who am I kidding?  Anything is a good excuse for good food!

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

adapted from this recipe

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons gluten flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax-seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar or honey
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil

Mix the sugar, 1/2 cup warm water, and the yeast in a mixing bowl and set aside for about 10 minutes until the mixture starts to froth.

Mix all dry ingredients together with the yeast mixture. Gradually add in the remaining 1 cup of water and add the oil. Knead for about 3 minutes.

Cover an oiled bowl with a warm, damp kitchen towel and set aside for 2 hours until the dough has risen.

Punch down the dough and form into about 6 burger buns.

Place the buns on an oiled kitchen sheet, at least a couple of inches apart, and let the buns rise for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the buns in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes.

Now it’s time to make the tofu burgers!

3-Ingredient Tofu Burgers

  • 1 package extra firm tofu (14 oz.)
  • 1 cup gluten flour
  • Bragg Liquid Aminos (you can use soy sauce or teriyaki sauce, but remember that those both contain a lot of sodium, so use sparingly)

Okay, so these three ingredients aren’t necessarily the easiest products to come by, except for maybe the tofu, but they are definitely worth having on your shelf.  You should definitely be able to find these items at your local health food store and, if you really like these ingredients, you can buy them in bulk from Amazon.

Preheat your oven to 375.

Using a fork, smash the tofu into crumbles.

Cover the tofu in liquid aminos until saturated.  You may want to taste test  the mixture to make sure it’s the right amount of salty.

Add in your cup of gluten flour and mix together.

Form the mixture into burgers and place on an oiled baking sheet.

Bake for about 5-10 minutes, then flip the burgers and bake for another 5-10 minutes.  Make sure the ingredients have bound together before flipping the burgers.

The burgers will be a pretty golden color when they are done.

Serve on your whole wheat buns with the condiments of your choice.

Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday!  Go Chiefs!

Oh, wait…

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

Juicing 101

Raw power.

I’ve blogged casually about juicing, but I think it’s time for me to get serious. If you don’t have a juicer, well, you should. I’ve seen some decent ones on amazon for as low as $65, but if you’re able to make a bigger investment, it’s totally worth it!

While I’m making suggestions, I may as well add that you ought to take some time to watch the following documentaries: Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Food Matters, and the Gerson Miracle. They will change your life; at least, they changed mine. No, I’ve never been seriously overweight or sick before, but watching those films has drastically altered the way I eat and think about food, which will ultimately affect my lifelong health and longevity, not to mention the health habits of my future children. These documentaries also gave me a greater respect for the power of fruits and vegetables. Nature is truly incredible.

Ideally, everyone should start off the day with fresh green juice. It is a super-concentrated, unique source of vitamins and nutrients that your body needs on a daily basis. Most of us are deficient in some way, whether we realize it or not, and drinking a cup of green juice is the perfect and natural way to give your body the vitamins it’s lacking. You’ll find that when your body is equipped with the vitamins and nutrients it requires to function correctly, it is next to impossible to become sick. Fresh juice has magnificent healing properties and a faithful juice fast can cure numerous ailments.

I’m a big fan of eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, but it’s not everybody’s thing. For those of you who have trouble consuming the 8 – 9 recommended servings per day, juicing is a quick way to get those servings without all the chewing. It would take a good hour for me to eat all the stuff I put in my morning juice; it’s much more convenient to drink it within a matter of seconds.

The beautiful thing about juicing is that you can put practically anything through there and it will taste great…as long as you add a piece of fruit! I still can’t stomach pure green juice that doesn’t at least have a bit of apple, beet, or carrot to sweeten it. Some quick rules of thumb:

1. Always juice greens. It just doesn’t make sense to go to the trouble of juicing and not throw some greens in there. Unless you put like 4 heads of collard greens in one juice, you won’t really notice much difference in the flavor, but you’re adding tons of nutritional content. Don’t be scared, just do it.

2. Always juice celery, even if it’s just half a stalk. It helps to deliver the nutrients to your tissue.

3. Because of its high water content and mild flavor, add cucumber when juicing vegetables with strong flavors (such as the collard greens I was talking about).

4. Drink your juice right away. It starts to lose nutrients immediately, so gulp that baby down as soon as possible!

If you’re hesitant to juice random combinations of produce, here are a few “recipes”, if you will, that I use often. Remember to always wash everything very thoroughly and chop to the correct size for your juicer’s chute. A helpful hint: greens are sometimes difficult to juice, so always juice them by handfuls along with something large and dense, like a quarter of an apple, beet, carrot, and celery. If you fill the entire chute with kale, you’re likely to have issues. Oh, and don’t forget to stir!

Morning Glory
Makes 2 large servings
You can substitute any dark greens for kale. I personally like the flavor of kale and it has the greatest nutrient density.

6 cups kale, spines removed (optional; they can be bitter)
4 celery stalks
4 medium carrots
Half of one large cucumber
Half of one large beet
2 Granny Smith apples (nice and tart, but you can use any apples)
Lemon or lime, to taste

Green Explosion (ingredients shown above, photo of the juice seen at the top of this post)
Makes 2 large servings

6 cups kale
3 cups spinach
4 stalks celery
2 apples
Half of one large cucumber
Fresh basil, to taste
Fresh mint, to taste
Handful of wheatgrass

Note: One ounce of wheatgrass has the equivalent of 2.5 cups of green vegetables in nutritional value. The Green Explosion is quite a mighty elixir!

Pineapple Citrus Blast
Makes 2 servings

Half of one pineapple, peeled
1 large grapefruit, peeled
2 medium oranges, peeled
1 large apple
3 cups turnip greens (or greens of choice)
Fresh mint, to taste
Lemon or lime, to taste

There you have it, a few of the juices I enjoy regularly. I hope you enjoy them, too! I am currently nearing the end of day three of a five-day juice fast. I am doing this to clean out the junk my body has built up over the holidays and past month, which has come to my attention by way of bad skin and a couple of pounds. When my body is thoroughly cleansed, I look forward to maintaining my squeaky-clean innards with lots of great new recipes that I can’t wait to share with all of you!

Happy Juicing!

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

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