No Flour Black Bean Brownies

These are healthy brownies that DO NOT taste healthy, and I can say that with assurance, as they’ve been tested on three different groups of people used to “normal” desserts.

No-Flour Black Bean Brownies (gluten-free)

  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining) 
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder- dutch or regular (10g) (add a little extra if desired) 
  • 1/2 cup quick oats (40g) (See nutrition facts link below for all substitution notes.) 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave (Honey will work, but not for strict vegans.) (75g) 
  • 2 stevia packs or 2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup) 
  • 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil (40g) (See “nutrition facts” link for all substitution notes.) 
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (115-140g) (Not optional. Omit at your own risk.) 
  • optional: more chips, for presentation
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.) Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.

Nutrition Facts Per Brownie: Calories: 115, Fat: 5.5g, Carbs: 15g, Fiber: 3g, Protein: 2.5g, WW Points (new system): 3 points

Feta-Cranberry Lentil Salad Recipe

An unusual combination of ingredients gives this salad its flavor. Sweet-tart cranberries are mixed with a tang of feta cheese to make it surprisingly tasty.

1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
2 cups water
2 Spice Islands® Bay Leaves
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

- In a small saucepan, combine the lentils, water and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are tender.
- Drain and discard bay leaves. Rinse lentils in cold water.
- In a large bowl, combine the lentils, cranberries, walnuts, feta cheese and parsley.
- In a small bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper.
- Pour over lentil mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

Yield: 4 servings. Nutritional Facts 1 serving (3/4 cup) equals 435 calories, 22 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 8 mg cholesterol, 1,026 mg sodium, 44 g carbohydrate, 17 g fiber, 20 g protein.

Green Lentil & Cucumber Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

I've just discovered lentils as a fat loss food and in my search for ways to prepare them, I found this interesting cold lentil salad with cucumbers and a lemon vinaigrette.

Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cooked green lentils, chilled
1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, finely diced
1/4 cup piquillo peppers, cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons coarsely crumbled feta cheese


  • Whisk the lemon zest and juice, shallot, garlic, cumin, and paprika in a medium bowl to blend well. 
  • While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil until fully mixed, season to taste with salt and pepper and reserve. 
  • Place the lentils, cucumber, peppers, cilantro, and parsley in a separate medium bowl. Toss with enough of the vinaigrette to coat and season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  • Spoon the salad into serving bowls, top with the feta cheese and serve.

Lentil Chili with Green Onions

I can honestly say I've never had lentils before but when I starting a new healthy eating plan, beans were a big part of the fat loss program. I love chili, so making chili with lentils instead of my usual beans and ground beef seemed like the easiest way to try lentils. I was right...this chili is delicious!


2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (add more to make it hotter)
4 cups (or more) water
1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup tomato puree
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp chopped green onions


  • Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano leaves, and cayenne pepper; stir for 30 seconds. 
  • Add the 4 cups of water, lentils, and tomato puree. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, skimming off any foam from the surface. 
  • Reduce heat to medium and simmer until lentils are tender, adding more water by 1/4 cupfulls as needed if dry, about 30 minutes. 
  • Stir in 1/3 cup green onions. Season chili to taste with salt and pepper. 
  • Divide the chili among 4 bowls. 
  • Sprinkle with remaining green onions and serve.

Egg Nog Cake

Egg Nog Cake is surprisingly simple to make and it won't last long once you set it out. Add an extra egg and a little less water to a box of Betty Crocker cake mix. After baked, three different milks are poured over the cake.

First, pour a little egg nog directly over the cake followed by some evaporated milk, then a heaping drizzle of sweetened condensed milk. Put the cakes in the refrigerators for a few minutes, then assembly the cakes and frost them with generous layers of whipped cream.

Skinny Mac and Cheese

3 cups frozen cauliflower florets
4 1/2 oz (about 1 1/4 cups) uncooked high-fiber elbow macaroni
2 tbsp light sour cream
2 slices 2% American cheese
4 wedges of The Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss Cheese
Optional seasonings: salt and black pepper

Place cauliflower in a large microwave-safe bowl; cover and microwave for 3 minutes. Uncover and stir. Re-cover and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, until hot. Drain excess liquid. Roughly chop cauliflower, return to the bowl, and cover to keep warm.

In a medium-large pot, prepare pasta per package instructions, about 7 minutes. Drain pasta and stir into cauliflower. Cover to keep warm.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, mix sour cream, cheese slices, and cheese wedges, breaking slices and wedges into pieces. Microwave for 20 seconds. Stir well. Microwave for another 20 seconds, or until cheeses have melted. Stir well.

Add cheese mixture to the large bowl and thoroughly stir. Enjoy!

Makes 4 servings
Nutrition Facts: 198 calories 4.5g fat 390mg sodium 30g carbs 4.5g fiber 5.5g sugars 10g protein
Source: Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien

Chocolate Avocado Banana Pudding

I admit, I was skeptical about avocados in pudding, but you gotta try this. Best of all, there is no sugar! Add the protein powder and you've got the perfect healthy chocolate dessert. Who knew?

2 avocados, ripe
2 medium bananas, ripe
6-8T unsweetened cocoa powder
1t vanilla extract
1t cinnamon
1.5 scoops Raw protein powder [opt]

In a food processor, combine the avocado and banana and process until smooth. Scrape down the sides of bowl as necessary. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and protein powder [if using]. Process again until smooth.

Refrigerate until ready to serve and add any topping you like. Store in a sealed container and eat within 2-3 days.

Tips:  If you want a thinner consistency, add your favorite milk, starting with 1T at a time. Do not use frozen bananas. The riper the banana, the sweeter and stronger the flavor will be. If you don’t like banana, feel free to sub in a squash puree [drained of excess liquid]. Add honey or maple syrup if desired. An immersion blender should also work for this.

[serves 2-4]

Healthy Sweet Potato Skins

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If you love potato skins, you'll love this healthy version made with sweet potatoes. 

2 medium or large sweet potatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
1 bag fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup light sour cream
2 ounces light cream cheese
1 cup chickpeas
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Bacon bits (optional)

  1. Bake the sweet potatoes at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, or until fork tender. 
  2. Cut the sweet potatoes in half and let them cool for 5-10 minutes. 
  3. While potatoes are cooling, saute shallots with the butter over medium heat until translucent. 
  4. Add the fresh spinach to shallots and heat for 2-3 minutes until spinach has cooked down. Set aside. 
  5. Scrape the sweet potato out of the peel, leaving a thin layer (or whatever you prefer) inside with the peel so that they can stand up on their own. Mash the removed sweet potatoes with cream cheese and sour cream. Stir in chickpeas, spinach, and salt and pepper. 
  6. Coat sweet potato skins only with a drizzle of oil and bake for about 5 minutes to get a crispier outside shell. 
  7. Remove skins from the oven and fill each skin with the sweet potato mixture and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. 
  8. Bake again for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and filling is heated through. Top with bacon bits or other favorite skin toppings.

Tropical Fruit Dip

A great tropical fruit dip loaded with protein from the cottage cheese and yogurt. A great combination you'll love for your family or for a party.

2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
1/4 cup lemon yogurt or flavor of your choice
3 to 4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons flaked coconut, toasted
Assorted fresh fruit

Place the cottage cheese and yogurt in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Stir in honey and orange peel. Pour into a serving dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Sprinkle with coconut. Serve with fruit. Yield: about 1-1/2 cups.

Source: Taste of Home June/July 1998

Skinny Monkey Chocolate Cookies

This skinny version of the “chunky monkey” cookie is both healthy and tasty! There's no sugar, (the bananas sweeten them up) and at just 47 calories per cookie, you really can’t go wrong!

3 bananas
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
     Optional:  Shredded Coconut

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mash bananas in a large bowl, then stir in remaining ingredients. Let batter stand for approximately 20 minutes, then drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Freezing Directions: Cool completely, then place cookies in a freezer bag. Seal, label, and freeze.
Nutritional Information: 47 calories; 7.5 g carbs; 1.6 g fat; 1.5 g protein; 1.3 g fiber; 1 WW PointsPlus

Source: Jimmie @

Guiltless Chocolate Mousse

If chocolate doesn't fit your New Year's resolutions, try this guiltless chocolate mousse! We  know, avocados, right? But seriously, you won't believe how good this is! Tell us how you liked it.

2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup honey (preferably raw)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Dash of cinnamon

Place avocados, honey, and cocoa in a blender and puree until fully incorporated. Mix in the cinnamon. Refrigerate for about an hour. Serve chilled.

Source: Oprah

Winter Panzanella Salad Recipe

Winter Panzanella Salad is beautiful for lunch or dinner for your family or to serve at a party.

For the croutons: 
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
6 cups day-old bread, crust removed,
cubed 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad: 
1 small red onion, sliced thinly lengthwise
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Gray salt
4 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash (1/2-inch dice)
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, then quartered
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves

Cocktails: Hemmingway Daiquiri

The Hemmingway Daiquiri got its name, allegedly, because this was Ernest Hemingway's drink of choice at a famous Havana bar, La Floridita. A classic daiquiri is lime juice, sugar, and white rum. The Hemmingway adds grapefruit juice and maraschino liquor instead of sugar. This great little cocktail will give you a little pick up

6 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
3 ounces white rum
1 ounce maraschino liquor

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake until combined, strain into your favorite cocktail glass. Garnish with either grapefruit or lime slice.

Source: BookCooker
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