Sticky and skinny brownie bars

Sticky skinny brownie bars

When in a hurry and in need of a chocolate, sugary fix but preferably a healthy one: These babies are the answer to your cravings. Raw brownies made with the healthiest ingredients, so they are totally beach – and bikini body proof.

Better to munch on these than to devour the real fat-ass, gross brownie-deal. But I don’t need to tell you guys that, right?

I prepped these the night before and they gave me a warm (mmkay: cold) welcome in the a.m., when I opened the fridge. Sweet coconut chocolate pieces of heaven! I don’t know how I managed to do so, but I kept them in an airtight container in my cool bag the whole dang day and only ate them as a dessert at my mom’s place later that day. That’s right, I love to share my healthy stuff! 😉

 I often bring dessert on my weekly Tuesday night dinners with mom. So safe to say she’s one of the first hand test persons for all my clean, sweet kitchen trials.  Well anyways: She liked them. So they’re mommie proof! 😉

It’s not because they are clean, nutritious and healthy that you get to eat the whole lot, though. Moderation is key, ladies. Unless it’s that time of the month, than go ahead and grab two pieces. I wont kiss and tell. But to the rest of you a petite warning is in order: they’re still quite big on the calorie department. So you don’t get to eat an endless amount. However, you WILL notice a difference if you would devour the same amount of calories from a plain unhealthy brownie (don’t!). Bloated belly much?

Ok, enough with the health bla-di-bla. Without any further ado the recipe to your chocolate happiness:

You’ll need

  • 250g of pitted medjool dates
  • 200g of walnuts (or pecans)
  • 50g raw cacao
  • 50g shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Himalaya pink salt
  • 2tbsp of water

Directions

Add the walnuts to a food processor and shred them until they turn to flour. Add the dates to the nut flour and mix/shred.

Now add the coconut, cacao, pink salt and maple syrup to the food processor and mix with the walnuts and dates.

Add some water to make them moist.  After a while you’ll receive a big sticky chunk of brownie dough.

Add a baking sheet in a brownie mold and add the dough to it. Press the batter in the shape.

Add some shredded coconut on top to finish and put in the fridge for about an hour, or overnight, like I did.

* Servings: Depends on how big you want your pieces, but I had about 12. According to my calculations that would be about 228 kcal per brownie. Perf with a cup of tea as a small dessert or could work as a 10 o’clock snack (it sure worked for me).

** If you prefer your brownies fresh out of the oven but clean, this recipe might work for you too.

Enjoy!

Xo, Kirsten

Skinny sticky brownies

Clean, green Risotto goodness

Clean Green Risotto

Risotto might be the best way to eat rice. The tastiest way to eat rice too.

But it’s also def the unhealthiest way to eat rice. That is if you plan on using wine, loads of parmesan and cream to prep the risotto.

Gwynneth Paltrow, ex miss Chris Martin a.k.a Colplay’s lead singer, decided you don’t really need those ingredients to make this Italian delight for dinner. This recipe is based upon Gwynneth Paltrow’s recipe.. But I doubled the portions. I mean, I need food to get me going through the day. If I only eat that, I’ll be one cranky hungry bitch. And my boyfriend might wonder when the main will be coming? But if you are a small eater, divide by two or perhaps eat with three.

I also altered some ingredients. And that’s why it’s allowed on cupcakesandbeans. Because I’ll only post something when I altered something and I’ll always link back and never plain copy paste. That being said, here is the yummie green and healthy risotto recipe. Oh, it’s veggie. But feel free to add some shrimp or calarmari. Or don’t. Up to you!

You’ll need (serves 2, about 450 kcal pp)

  • 200g risotto rice (or quinoa if you want. In that case: make sure you cook it first)
  • 1 leek
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Thyme
  • 750ml broth (I used an organic, corn starch free, veggie broth cube)
  • 150g of frozen spinach
  • 200g green peas
  • 1/2 a lemon and lemon zeste
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • salt and pepper
  • A handful of basil leaves

Directions

Remove the outer leaves from your leek. Cut the white and light green part into small rings. Make sure you rinse it well.

Chop the onion finely.

Prep your broth. I boiled 750ml of water and added the broth cube.

Put a pan on a heat with some coconut oil.

Add the onion and leek and leave to simmer for five minutes. Now add the garlic and thyme and stir well with the onion and leek mix for another two minutes.

Add the risotto rice and the juice from half a lemon. Stir for three minutes and make sure your rice doesn’t stick to you pan in the meanwhile.

Add a big dash of broth to the mixture and stir well. Repeat the process until the risotto is cooked and you’re out of water. This is a tad bit time consuming, but it’s so very worth it. It takes you up to 15minutes in the end. Rough guess.

Add the lemon zeste, spinach, peas and basil to the pan and mingle with the other ingredients. Your vegetables will warm through the risotto.

Add some salt and pepper, to taste.

 

Bon appetit health birds!

xo, Kirsten

Bodylicious Protein Pancakes

Protein Pancakes

If you are anything like me and follow millions of health blog and Instagram profiles you might have been introduced to some ‘protein powder’ pictures and posts. Either in a plain boring shake/smoothie form or maybe in mouth watering pancakes or cupcakes versions.

Usually it states that if you want a ‘toned body’, you’ll need a lot of protein… Stating that they seem to make your muscles grow like it’s nobody’s business. Assuming you did an exhausting workout first, that is. Proteins don’t make miracles happen, they can’t make anything grow if you don’t train ‘them’ first. (sadly, I know)

I usually get proteins from chicken, fish, lentils, quinoa, eggs and yoghurt. Like most of us plain mortals do. You know. A plate filled with some greens, proteins, carbs and healthy fats is the usual healthy thing to do. But, I was triggered with the protein powder quick fix option a while back.

We so happened to have a big (and I’m talking huge) pot of ‘One Whey Protein Powder’ gathering dust in our kitchen cabinets (a leftover fitness thing from my boyfriend). We had it, so there really wasn’t an excuse for me not to try it.

So one morning, after a 5K run, I made protein pancakes based on a recipe from Tone It Up. And boy were they tasty. Yeah. Healthy pancakes, we all know I’m game for these kind of things.

Meanwhile, I learned that ‘One Whey PP’ is a shitty product. Read: they use all kinds of nasty ass processed stuff to make the powder. Even aspartame. Yuk. Not really something that fits my ‘clean eating’ way of life.

Luckily for my healthy-ass there are brands out there that produce all natural and organic, stevia based powders. Ideal for your post workout smoothies, pancakes and cupcakes. Mine is a Vegan (no cow milk stuff in this one, grrrreat) version from SunWarrior that has a vanilla smell and taste to die for. Vanilla pancakes: yum!

If you don’t care to follow the protein craze you can easily substitute the protein powder with plain flour or nut flour in this recipe.

Another thing I want to have said: do not fear turning into a bulky, man-looking, female-fitness athlete after using a scoop of protein powder every once in a while:

You’ll need to do a whole lot of fitness, for several hours, like 24-7, on a daily base before you’ll even remotely look like one of them. Woman don’t tend to gain muscles that easily because these babies need testosterone. And guess what: us ladies don’t have all that much testosterone going on inside of our bod. And if you do see a lady with huge arms and legs, you bet your ass something fishy is going on there!

You’ll need (serves 1, about 350kcal)

  • One ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp almond milk (or any milk you like)
  • 1 tbsp of sparkling water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 15g protein powder
  • 5g flaxseeds (or 20g protein powder if you skip these)
  • cinnamon (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil (for baking)
  • Fruit and toppings (maple syrup, sugar, yoghurt, chocolate spread,…)

Directions

Mix the banana or mash with a fork until you get a batter.

Add some almond milk and egg whites. Add some sparkling water (trust me, this will make the batter so good and fluffy)

Now gently mix through the protein powder and flaxseeds until you get a thick batter. Add some cinnamon.

Heat a pan on a high heat. Add some coconut oil. Make sure your pan is really heated.

Add two to three tbsp of the batter to the pan (think American pancake sizes). Bake for a few minutes on each side. Usually when the batter starts to boil a bit it’s time to flip. Repeat until you’re out of batter.

Now add your favorite toppings. I usually add some heated frozen berries, a big tbsp of maple syrup (yum), and some yoghurt.

Pancake LOVE!

Bon appetit!

xo, Kirsten

Skinny sizzling chicken pesto pasta

Skinny Italian Pasta

I’m back!

I’ve been wandering around Italy – Tuscany and Umbria to be precise – these past two weeks. So I haven’t been blogging for a while. No worries, you’ll get a well documented must-eat blog about the places I visited in the near future. 😉

Needless to say I ate my way through the country. I mean… I. Ate. A. Lot. And I’m not even sorry because I loved everything I put in my mouth. God I love Italian food! (especially the dolci and the bucket loads of carbs).

I was a tad bit apprehensive to step on a scale upon arriving home. Luckily, it wasn’t all that bad after all. Ok. I’ll be blatantly honest here… I added 2 kg. BUT, 4 days later (like, we’re talking today) they’re already goners. How? By eating super clean these past 4 days and doing my own detox (and with lots of running and planking and push ups).

Anyhow, this was one of my ‘detox’ recipes. It’s a golden oldie that my mom used to prepare on fridays. With pasta though. I decided to make a skinny version with courghetti (zoodles) this time. But believe you me, you won’t miss the pasta. This is such a delish’ tastebut sizzling pasta! I can do detox for weeks and weeks with these kind of dishes… ESP when they still remind me a of Italian cuisine in one way or another.

You’ll need (serves 2, about 350 kcal pp)

  • 2 large zucchini’s
  • 2 tbsp pesto (I bought readymade pesto, but prepare your own if you prefer that)
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 20 sundried tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 250g to 300g chicken breast

Directions

Add a pan on a high heat with some coconut oil.

Cut the chicken into small pieces and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and bake until golden and brown.

When the chicken is almost done, turn down the heat a bit and add the pine nuts and sundried tomatoes for a minute or two (just to give it some heat.

Prep the courghetti -> recipe can be found here (easy peasy!).

Add the pesto to the courghetti and stir so all noodles are covered with pesto.

Now serve the courghetti with the chicken, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts and add some grated parmesan on top. You can finish it off with some basil leaves.

So so so good and so so so bikini body proof!

xo, Kirsten

Skinny Italian Pasta     DSC_0001

Eggplant Lasagna

Eggplant Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my favorite Italian dishes. Sadly, it’s quite the dish calorie wise. So I usually think wisely (do I?) before I fill up my plate with a big portion. Like, take lot’s of salad on the side and a responsible portion of lasagna. Ahem. I mean, I try.

Luckily for all of us Italian food lovers out there, there are enough clean and healthy options to keep us going.

This recipe is mouth watering. And I’m sure it will back on the menu in the near future because it was so yum. Me and the boyfriend were mmmm-ing our way through the entire meal last week.

Oh. And it counts as a carb swap. Since we’re substituting the lasagna pasta layers with eggplant layers. Awesome!

So without any further ado, an easy, healthy lasagna look-a-like option:

You’ll need (serves two)

  • 2 eggplants, sliced lengtwise
  • 1 low fat mozzarella, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • dried ham (prosciutto)

for the tomato sauce

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 4 tomatoes
  • A handfull of cherry tomatoes
  • 6 sundried tomatoes
  • 10 black olives, cut in halve
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh basil
  • herbs like oregano, paprika
  • Optional: grated parmesan

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Slice the eggplant in thin layers. Sprinkle them generously with seasalt and put them in a colandor with a heavy plate on top so the moisture can pull. That way they’ll turn out less chewy. Leave them for half an hour. After rinse them well and dap dry with a paper towel.

Meanwhile you can prep the tomato sauce. Braise the shallot until it looks glaze in some coconut oil. Add the tomatoes and let them fry for a few minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and sundried tomatoes with salt and pepper and some herbs to taste. Leave to simmer. After you can blend the sauce or leave it like that, for a chunky result (most of the tomatoes have allready melted). After add the black olives.

Put a baking sheet on the oven tray and add the eggplant slices with some olive oil sprinkled on top. Season with black pepper. Roast them in the preheated oven for about 10 to 15 minutes.

No start to layer. An eggplant slice, some hot tomato sauce, some mozzarella and dried ham and again tomato sauce.

Finish with parmesan and some basil leaves.

Bon appetito!

xo, Kirsten

Pineapple adoration

Baked Pineapple

I Always crave dessert after dinner. Always.

Usually I’ll grab a piece of dark chocolate (70% raw cacao) sprinkled with coffee or coconut (I get it at my local Bio shop) to join my cup of tea. And it’s sweetened with cane sugar, so no white processed sugar problems in my daily chocolate intake. I still want to stay kinda healthy during my sweet crave.

But every now and then – ESP during the weekend – my dessert is a tad bit more adventurous.

This time we had vegan (I’m avoiding cow’s milk for a while) vanilla-coconut ice cream with baked pineapple. I know. Vegan Ice Cream. It sounds silly, but I promise you it tastes just like plain ice cream.

Don’t worry, I still eat a plain ice cream every once in a while. On a cone. (Form the Gelato Factory, the best ice cream in Antwerp!) But when at home, I still try to cheat as healthy as possible. Without compromising in taste.

Anyhow, if you’re any close in being a pineapple lover as I am – it’s one of my favorite fruits, but such a pain in the ass to ‘peel’ – you’ll love this. It’s easy (minus the peeling part) and a tad bit more special than the everyday piece of chocolate ;).

You’ll need

  • 1 (or two) big scoop(s) of ice cream
  • 1 slice of pineapple
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup or honey
  • ½ lime
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

 Directions

Sprinkle some lime juice and agave syrup on top of your pineapple.

 Put a pan on a high heat and add the pineapple. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for a few minutes on each side.

 Put on a plate with a big scoop of ice cream on top. (And maybe some extra agave on top :)) Eat before it melts!

 Happy deserting!

Xo, Kirsten

Pineapple adoration

Homemade Mango chutney for dinner

Homemade Mango Chutney

I think Mango Chutney is the perfect dip.

 Whenever there’s a BBQ on the menu or just plain crackers with chutney as an appetizer: I’m game. I could eat it by the spoon.

Sadly, most people simply open a jar, put it in pretty bowl, and serve Mango Chutney filled with processed sugar crap. Kind off waist for the healthy mango.

 I researched my way through google only to find out that making your own Mango Chutney is pretty dang simple and pretty dang delish’. Lovely. Let’s do this. It turned out even more delish’ than I was hoping for. 😉

We paired the home made mango chutney with curry chicken skewers and green asparagus and some (cauliflower) rice. Best. Dinner. Ever. And very much (skinny) summer approved. Yumyum.

You’ll need (serves two, about 320kcal pp – with cauli rice)

For the Mango Chutney:

  • 1 mango, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp stevia
  • 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar (Sheds those kg’s like it’s nobody’s business!)
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • Salt
  • 1 sjalot
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 250g of chicken breast
  • 200g green asparagus
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Spicy curry powder
  • Salt
  • Paprika powder

Directions 

Finely chop the shallot and sautee for a while in some coconut oil.

Add the mango and let it boil along

Add the stevia, vinegar and ginger and season with salt.

Leave to simmer for about a half an hour. Let it cool. (or serve warm, if you prefere)

 Meanwhile add a grill pan to a high heat with some coconut oil. Put the asparagus in the grill pan after you removed the ends (the last cm or two/inch).

 Now cut up the chicken breast and add to a skewer. Season well with paprika and curry powder and some salt and pepper.

 Put in a pan on a high heat.

 Serve with rice or cauliflower rice.

Enjoy!

Xo, Kirsten

Mango Chutney