Carrot Cake Cravings

I’ve had various cravings throughout my pregnancy, but carrot cake is probably the most random. It’s also been pretty difficult to come by. I had some a couple months ago from Aroma Cafe when I met up with a friend for lunch, but other than that, I’ve steered clear of getting pre-made cupcakes or cakes. They’re usually super high in calories and sugar, with little to no nutritional value to speak of.

I’ve been meaning to make my own variation for a while now, but I’m honestly too tired most of the time and would rather eat jellybeans or ice cream instead.

I finally took a little time Tuesday afternoon to develop these beauties, and I’m happy to report, they’re just what BS Baby wanted.

Minimal sugar, good amount of fiber, and the right spices and filling to almost taste like cake. But if my OB asks, I’m still calling it a muffin.

imageCarrot Cake Muffins (adapted from Kitchen Treaty)

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup quick cook steel cut oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups carrot, grated (about 4 medium carrots)
1 cup crushed pineapple
4 oz. cream cheese (I used the lite kind)
2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 (350 if you have a fancy convection oven like me). Place cupcake wrappers in a standard-size, 12-cup muffin pan (this made 17 muffins for me, so you’ll have to do multiple batches.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, applesauce, brown sugar, olive oil, egg whites, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk just until all ingredients are incorporated. Gently fold in the carrots and pineapple.
  5. Divide the mixture between the muffin cups. Cups should be filled to the top.
  6. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until muffin tops spring back when poked and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. While the muffins are baking, whip together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and additional vanilla.
  8. Allow to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before removing from the muffin tin. Once fully cooled, use a pastry bag to fill muffins from top with sweetened cream cheese.
  9. DEVOUR

Easy Slow Cooker Chili

foodiefriday

If you’d met me 3 years ago, you’d probably be FLOORED by the amount of meat I now consume.

Starting around the age of 12, I dabbled with vegetarianism, finally committing to it in college before going full blown vegan. At the time, it made sense. I needed a way to lose weight easily, keep my skin clear and keep grocery bills low.

Thanks to my (ex)fiance and our reliance on discounted frozen dinners for much of our college experience, my vegan conversion acted much like a long overdue cleanse. It was kind of a pain because it meant that neither of us were eating the same thing anymore, resulting in a LOT of extra cooking for me… something I didn’t really have time for thanks to rehearsals, and working, and homework.

Oh college.

Then I was introduced to the wonders of the crock pot and my life changed. I made soups for me, shredded meat for him, and all was right in the world!

You know, until the whole messy break-up thing where I stopped eating healthy and got real fat….

BUT I DIGRESS.

Since my return to meat, the boyfriend and I eat pretty much the same thing, which makes planning meals a LOT easier. But with my personal training taking off, in addition to Fleet Feet coaching, our dinner schedule has gotten a little wonky… and slightly repetitive. There’s only so many things you can cook up quickly before they all start to taste the same!

Enter: crock pot chili.

I’ve made a WIDE VARIETY of chilis in my life, including Skinny Bitch in the Kitch‘s version, which is honestly still my favorite.

The boy does not approve of beans in his chili, however, and would probably laugh in my face if I tried to serve him a bowl that showed any chunks of vegetable. So a big bowl of meat and tomato sauce, huh babe?

In an effort to make a more well-rounded, nutritious chili in a short amount of time, I concocted this gem. I used a lot of spices, but honestly, you could just throw in whatever you have in your cupboard. So if you know you’ll have a late night, but can spare extra 20 minutes in the morning, this is a great recipe to whip out. Enjoy!

EASY SLOW COOKER CHILI

chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground meat of choice (we used turkey; I prefer beef or buffalo I think)
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeds removed
  • 1 habanero pepper, seeds removed
  • 2 bell peppers (I used an orange and yellow), seeds removed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1/2 large sweet onion
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1/4 c. chili powder
  • roughly a palmful each of: salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, black pepper
  • enough stock to submerge your final mixture

Instructions:

  1. Dump your meat into the slow cooker turned on HIGH while you prep.
  2. Add all spices (including minced garlic) on top of the meat (pictured)
  3. Blend peppers and onion in a blender until the large chunks are gone.
  4. Break up your meat and pour on veggie puree and diced tomatoes. Mash together until roughly combined.
  5. Pour on enough stock to cover your meat mixture. Switch heat to LOW and let cook until you’re ready to eat.
  6. Garnish with cheese, sour cream, cilantro, etc. if desired.
  7. DEVOUR.

Breakfast Quinoa

I had a particularly lazy morning today…

After getting up at 7:30 to let the puppy out, feed her breakfast and pack the boy’s lunch, I reset my alarm for 9:30.

That was ambitious.

A couple Multiple snoozes later, I finally rolled out of bed around 10:30, rather groggy,and intensely hungry.

I’ve been pretty lazy for breakfast lately, opting for smoothies or Siggi’s plain yogurt with strawberries. Siggi’s is AWESOME by the way, if you’ve never tried it… 15g of protein for 80 calories; are you KIDDING?! Is that even ALLOWED?!

Sadly I’m out of Siggi’s, which left me with: cereal (not filling enough), a smoothie (meh) or eggs (double meh). I knew I should eat eggs… I need the protein. But for whatever reason, the idea of eating eggs has just been grossing me out lately. Perhaps I’ve eaten too many? Regardless, I knew I wouldn’t be able to choke them down.

Some strange voice inside me said “you want oatmeal” which is weird, because I NEVER eat oatmeal. I don’t even have any in the house. But then I remembered seeing a few posts floating around that essentially used quinoa as oatmeal, and so breakfast was created.

I was a little impatient waiting for the quinoa to cook… but I brewed some coffee in the meantime and chugged two glasses of water with my Nutrilite vitamins (courtesy of Fitbloggin’) and my Proba Yo bears (courtesy of Vitacost).

The end result was pretty good… the consistency reminded me of steel cut oats, but there was some weird, bitter taste that I couldn’t place… maybe I needed to rinse the quinoa?

Despite that weird taste, it was still good. I satisfied the oatmeal urge AND ate an egg, while still getting my butt out the door before noon so… a win overall. Recipe is below. If you try it, let me know how it is. If you’ve made something similar before, did you get a weird bitter taste too?

Breakfast Quinoa

Breakfast Quinoa

(serves 1)

  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • sweetener of choice (I used monk fruit)
  • 1/8 cup almond milk
  • 1 egg white
  • fruit (optional)
  1. Combine quinoa and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add spices, vanilla and sweetener. Reduce hear and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Whisk in egg white and almond milk, turning heat back up to medium high.
  4. Continue to cook for roughly 5 minutes or until the egg white seems cooked (the quinoa should become thick)
  5. Serve with fruit if desired!

Enjoy! Hopefully it perks up a lazy morning for you… the only thing getting me through today is knowing I have DATE NIGHT with the boy to look forward to tomorrow 🙂

Need more protein in your life like me? Head over the The Actor’s Diet and enter the Del Real Foods Party in a Box giveaway for fun stuff like carnitas, barbacoa, tamales and more!