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Rest Day, Cooking Day

Posted Aug 22 2010 12:00am

Protein Brownies

Sundays are my new rest days from the gym, and  I love it.  Waking up early, reading the paper, drinking coffee, and puttering around the house all morning is a great way to spend some time, especially on a gray Sunday morning like today.  I wanted to try some recipes today, though, so I got started in the kitchen pretty early this morning.

I have been using my food processor constantly lately (thanks, Claudia!), and the two recipes I tried out today also required it.  First on my list was Protein Brownies.  Let’s say that again: BROWNIES.  I am an avid reader of Oxygen magazine (despite how preachy it can be about “living the Oxygen lifestyle”), and the issue that came in the mail this week featured a recipe for protein brownies that used canned black beans, unsweetened applesauce, protein powder, cocoa powder, silken tofu, maple syrup and a few other ingredients.  I was immediately interested, but I had to make some substitutions to account for the carbs in black beans and the sugar in the maple syrup.  My version instead was going to use black soy beans, which, per serving, contain 8 g of carbs but 7 g of fiber, making their net carb total just 1 g per serving.  I also thought black soy beans would be a useful substitution here because they don’t taste as “soy”-like as regular soy beans.

Protein Brownie Wet Ingredients

My version started with one can of well-rinsed and drained black soy beans, processed in the food processor with one package silken tofu, egg whites, one whole egg, some pumpkin, a dash of vanilla, and some stevia.  The black soy beans broke down pretty well, becoming little brown flecks in the processed wet ingredient side of the batter.

The dry ingredients included several scoops of chocolate protein powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, and ground flaxseed.  After mixing the dry ingredients separately, I added the processed wet ingredients and wound up with what legitimately looked like brownie batter.  I put this in a sprayed 11×7 baking dish and stuck it in the oven at 350-degrees.

Sliced Protein Brownies

35-38 minutes later, this is what I had!  The corners of the brownies even curled up away from the edges like traditional brownies, and they made the whole house smell like chocolate.  After cooling, I cut these into twelve portions.  These brownies cut very cleanly as well, probably due to the lack of traditional gooeyness.  David ate the first all-important test brownie and he liked it.  So much so that he asked if he could have another.  And I suspect he’ll be eating them this afternoon as well.  As for me, I will be having my first test brownie with my lunch later this afternoon.

Walnut-Almond Burger Pre-Oven

Once the brownies were cooked and cooling, I made all my roasted veggies for lunch for the week.  This literally takes me ten minutes, so I was ready to try another recipe pretty quickly.  I found an interesting recipe for Walnut-Almond Burgers on Small Bites , a blog I read pretty consistently.  I decided the recipe seemed great for David, and he’s always looking for new veggie burgers to eat.  Once again I grabbed the food processor and threw in all the required ingredients:  walnuts, almonds, ground flaxseed, garlic, onion, red pepper, spices & water.  The original recipe called for dried thyme and basil, but I ended up using about 1 teaspoon dried fine herbs and a bunch of crushed red pepper.

Baked Walnut-Almond Burger

The raw patties were easy to put together, and the dough formed solid burgers without falling apart.  The baking directions called for a 350-degree oven, cooking the patties for 7 minutes per side, but when I checked them after 7 minutes, they were still very mushy.  I raised the oven temp to 400 and let the patties cook for 10 minutes.  They were definitely browned by then; I flipped them and cooked them for another seven minutes on the second side at the higher temp.  The cooked patties are pretty good looking and seem crunchy on the outside.

Walnut-Almond Burger on Ezekial Bread with Sprouts

David is going to eat one for lunch today, reheated in either the oven or the toaster oven, but I think he’s going to like them.  And the leftovers should keep in the fridge and reheat fairly well this week.  So it looks like this has been a successful rest day two new recipes, two good results.  Not bad for a rainy day!

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