Monthly Archives: July 2013

Recipe: Peanut Butter Brownie Batter

Name me one time when you haven’t licked the bowl after making a batch of brownies.  That’s right, we all do it.  But have you ever mixed up a bowl with no intention of baking anything at all?  And just eating it straight with a spoon?  That’s some next level sheet.  And I’m not too proud to say that yes, I am guilty.

Alas, I have managed to concoct a batter that you can eat with a spoon without blinding shame!  This recipe was inspired by the Chocolate Peanut Butter Chickpea Cookies I posted a while back, which are still a HUGE hit on the site, by the way.  Thank you for that!  Beans, as with the cookies, are the healthy secret.  You’ll need just five ingredients, a food processor, and – duh – a spoon.  And just incase you find yourself eating the entire batch, remind yourself that this recipe is wheat-free, sugar-free, vegan, and free of unhealthy fats.  But remember, if you eat the whole batch, that’s an entire can of black beans in your stomach at once… so… good luck with that.

Peanut Butter Brownie Batter

Serves 2

Calories: 270



  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. nut milk
  • 5 packets stevia


  1. Puree black beans in food processor until totally smooth.
  2. Add cacao/cocoa powder, peanut butter, nut milk, and stevia.  Blend until combined.  You may need to stop and scrape the sides with a spatula to get things moving.
  3. Transfer (or not) to a bowl and eat either with a spoon or with some yummy accoutrements like graham crackers or salted pretzels.


And once you get past the idea that you’re basically eating beans for dessert, the opportunities are endless.  Start with this basic brownie batter recipe, then go wild with whatever sounds good.  Add oats, nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, shredded coconut, etc… and let me know about your favorite combination!  You can comment in the section below or email me at thehungrytortoise at gmail dot com.


Music Monday: Yes. More Beyonce.

Monday Motivation: “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel”.
The only person you need to compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday.

I really do try to not post a Beyonce video every week, I swear… but I saw her live in Detroit over the weekend, and I just can’t help myself.  I’m still freaking out.  I cried.  Twice.  I danced and screamed and sang.  I have bruises.  My feet are sore.  And my precious boyfriend put up with all of it.  He may have even enjoyed himself.  What a little angel.


Here’s the view from our seats, and trust me… they were better than this pic lets on.  Especially considering she ZIPLINED to a smaller stage about 10 rows away from my face.  AHHHH.


She played all my favorites, and some I totally forgot I even liked like “Why Don’t You Love Me”.  The make-up, hair, and outfits in this video are fab-oooo.  She is a goddess, end of story.  Enjoy, and happy Monday!

Recipe: The Fantastic Un-Fried Falafel!

Mediterranean cuisine could be my favorite.  And if it’s done right, it’s one of the healthiest options out there, that is… if it’s done the right way.  Unfortunately, even the most authentic restaurants often fry their falafel.  That’s how they get it so crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.  The good news is that making falafel at home is way easier than you might think, and when you cut out the deep fryer, you also cut out a lot of the bad-for-you fat.  What you’re left with is a little ball of clean vegetarian protein that pairs perfectly with fresh veggies, quinoa, hummus, and olives.  I made myself a little Mediterranean plate.  Or you can slap a few balls into a pita for a falafel sandwich.  That’s what she said.

The Fantastic Un-Fried Falafel

Yield: 15 Falafel

Calories: About 60 Each



  • 2 1/4 c. canned chickpeas, rinsed (almost an entire can, but not quite)
  • 3 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Generous 1/4 c. coarsely chopped parsley
  • Generous 1/4 c. coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 c. flour, plus 1/4 cup flour for shaping patties*
  • Cooking oil spray (I used a can of coconut oil spray from Trader Joe’s)

* I used whole wheat flour.  I also tried a batch with almond flour just to see what would happen, and the batch with the almond flour was very crumbly, but still edible.  Unless you have an issue with gluten, I’d recommend sticking with wheat.


  1. Load up the food processor with the chickpeas, scallions, garlic, spices, herbs, egg, and lemon juice.  Pulse until a rough paste is formed.  Season to taste with salt.
  2. Add the baking powder and 1/3 c. flour.  Pulse in food processor until just combined.  Stick the mixture in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Spray a baking sheet generously with oil of choice.
  4. Get ready.  Things are about to get messy.  Retrieve the chickpea mixture from the fridge.  Spray your hands with a little oil, and start forming the dough into little balls.  Dust each one in flour and flatten slightly before placing on the greased baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees until the tops are browned, about 20 minutes.

I make these in big batches and keep them on hand in the fridge or the freezer.  They save well, and are a great grab-and-g0 meal!


Daily Dexter: Baby’s First Photo Shoot

Almost exactly one year ago, Dex had his first professional photo shoot at the most classy of venues –  a smelly, hot summer street fair.  But this boy is fresh as a daisy.  Just look at that face!  Barbizon still hasn’t quit calling.


Music Monday: NEW Timberlake!

So, Justin Timberlake continues to make me swoon…
JT - Press Photo 2 (Credit Tom Munro RCA R.JPG

His new single “Take Back the Night” is out, and available as part of The 20/20 Experience Part 2, due out on September 30th.  I. CAN’T. WAIT.


Recipe: Double Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding

Namaste, bitches!  How you doin’?  I’m feeling pretty awesome.  You know why?  Because two weeks ago, I embarked on something called The Essential Cleanse.ESSENTIAL CLEANSE Jessica of One Part Plant recommended it.  The entire 21 days of guidance is FREE.  There is less than a week to go, and I know I’ll be sad when it’s over.  Each morning, I get a little e-mail with new material.  I’ve learned so much, I haven’t felt deprived, and the developer of the cleanse, Jasmine Scalesciani, focuses on your overall wellness – not just diet – so meditation and deep breathing exercises are included.  I’m a complete spaz with undiagnosed ADD, so I can’t tell you how hard it is for me to just sit down and shut up.  But taking at least 5 minutes a day to be still and calm and thankful… I can’t tell you how much of a difference it’s made in my mood.  Seriously, guys… give it a try.  And if you’re interested in The Essential Cleanse, you can learn more about it on Jasmine’s website.  I’m pretty sure the FREE version of the cleanse is no longer available.  She’s charging $99 for the full-on experience, which is more intense.  But the material is yours to keep forever.  I’m considering the upgrade to use every few months for a reboot.  It’s that good!

Throughout the cleanse, Jasmine provides some of her go-to recipes using mostly raw superfoods.  I wanted to share one of my personal favorites from the program, with a few tweaks.  It’s a delicious, indulgent pudding made with chia seeds, and it’s so easy!  Call it breakfast or dessert.  Either way, you’ll get tons of fiber, healthy fats, and protein.  The calcium and magnesium contents in chia are high, plus the little seeds are super absorbent, which means they help pull and eliminate toxins from your digestive system.  And let’s be real.  Whose colon doesn’t need a little cleansing?  Sweep, sweep, sweep!

Before we make the pudding, we’ve gotta learn how to make fresh young coconut milk.  It will help hydrate you while providing immune support, among other things.  You’ll need a blender.  It’s worth the extra work.  See the tutorial here!

Now, on to the tasty pudding…

Double Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding

Makes 3 Servings

Calories: 237



  • Milk from one fresh young coconut, about 18 oz. or 2 1/4 c.   Divide equally into 3 jars, 8 oz. or larger. (If you can’t make fresh, skip the canned.  There’s no comparing the two.  Instead, go for any nut milk.  I love unsweetened vanilla almond.  If you’re in to cow’s milk, that’ll work, too.)

The following ingredients are per serving, meaning you’ll need all of these times 3… i.e. 2 tbsp. of chia seeds for each jar:

  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. cacao powder
  • 1 packet of stevia (or natural sweetener of choice, to taste)
  • 1 tbsp. cacao nibs


  1. Combine coconut milk, chia seeds, cacao powder and stevia equally into three jars, 8 oz. or larger.  Shake like hell until well combined.  Let sit in fridge overnight, at least 3-4 hours.  The chia seeds will absorb lots of liquid and become gelatinous making the mixture nice and thick, like a healthier Jello pudding!
  2. Sprinkle with cacao nibs for a chocolatey crunch, and enjoy with a spoon!

photo (19)

How To Open A Young Coconut

Coconuts are SO in right now and for good reason.  The water inside is sweet and delicious with enough electrolytes to hydrate an elephant.  Trust me.  The fresh stuff is so much tastier than Zico of Vita Coco or what have you.  The oil in coconuts has antibacterial and antiviral properties to support immune health, plus it’s full of healthy saturated fat, something most people (including yours truly) didn’t even know existed until a few years ago.  The fat could help increase metabolism, which may lead to weight loss, and other awesome things like shiny hair, strong nails, and soft, healthy skin.  Long story short, coconuts are the, and you should start learning how to eat them.

Of course, you can’t reap the benefits of a coconut until you learn how to open it.  It’s really easier than it looks.

1. Get a big ol’ knife.  Place the coconut on a hard, flat surface.

photo (18)2. Whack four straight lines making a square around the peak.  You may need to go around twice or thrice or four times.  You’ll eventually hear the hard shell crack.

photo (17)

3. Wedge the back corner of the knife into the perforation to pry off the pointed tip.

photo (16)

4. You can just drink the water straight with a straw or use it to make fresh, raw young coconut milk!  It’s easy.  Just throw to the water and the meat from inside the coconut into blender.  The meat should be easy to scrape with a spoon from the inside.  Blend until smooth.

And once you make the milk, save it!  Tomorrow, we’re using it in a super-healthy dessert/breakfast/snack recipe.  Make sure you check back, ya’ll.  Toodles for now!photo (14)photo (15)photo (12)photo (11)

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