Recipes of the Week

Here's something I want to make into a regular feature-- quick recipe reviews. I make pretty much everything from scratch and am always on the lookout for healthier versions of my favourite foods. I'm not so good at coming up with my own recipes, but I'm pretty good at veganizing things and cutting calories... Well, I'm a bit out of practice on that one but you know, I'll get back into the habit with practice.

Anyway, this week's list is pretty short because I only spent half of it at home and I've been relying on quick, easy foods like wraps and salads while in New York, but it's a good start.

Chickpea Curry Pizza

First on the list: chickpea curry pizza [recipe here]. I ran around last weekend buying all the ingredients for this that I normally don't have on hand, like sunflower seeds and coconut oil. But, um, I failed to realize until I started making it that I'd run out of curry powder. OOPS! Mistake #1. Mistake #2, I should've put it into a recipe calculator and looked at the nutrition information before I made it... or ate some of it. [This is a process, remember. I'm not perfect!] The appeal was that it promised to be full of protein, which is a huge concern for me [after suffering from a protein deficiency multiple times, I tend to choose foods on protein content over anything else]. 

Nutrition information, for 8 servings per recipe: 322 calories, 25g of fat, 19.5g of carbs [6.5 fiber], and 9g of protein. Yes, it has a good amount of protein but also has a LOT of fat [healthier fats, but still].

It was tasty, but lacking a certain oomph that might've been solved by actually having the curry powder. Still, it appeared to be less like pizza and more like a casserole [the fact that the crust didn't hold together didn't help]. I loved the crust, despite its flaws, but I'd love to work on a lower calorie version. As it is, it's nice as a treat but definitely not something I'd make and eat on a regular basis.

Banana Avocado Ice Cream
My main weakness when it comes to food is ice cream. This is what I attribute a lot of my weight gain in Chicago to. Chicago is home to Chicago Soydairy, which makes delicious ice cream, and I did my best to, uh, support them. All for the sake of friendship and local business, it had nothing to do with the fact that doing so meant eating lots of delicious ice cream... Okay, I know you don't believe me. I don't believe myself. Either way, once I was in an area that had vegan ice cream by the truckload, I lost most of my control. So I'm constantly looking for ways to make healthier ice cream. [Unfortunately, a former friend stole my ice cream maker so I've been lacking for the last year.] So when I stumbled upon this recipe [thanks, pinterest!], I immediately knew I'd have to try it.

The recipe came out more green than I'd expected [and more green than the picture shows, hmm], even though I ended up using 3 bananas instead of the 2 it called for. It was also very sweet, to the point where I'd cut down the agave nectar even more [also because that stuff is expensive!]. Aside from the overwhelming sweetness, it was delicious and I'm definitely going to make it again, just with some tweaks.

Nutrition information, 8 servings, as I made it [YMMV depending on type of milk used]: 193 calories, 7.4g of fat, 33g of carbs [5g of fiber], 2g of protein.

Black Bean Brownies
I'd heard tales of using black beans in brownie recipes for a while now, so when I came upon this recipe, I just had to try it out. Not only was it low fat, but the inclusion of beans meant MORE PROTEIN! Yes, this is a recurring theme. I'm not a big brownie person in general [I'm allergic to chocolate, I can have a bit but a few brownies of the traditional variety make me sick], but I was curious to see if this would be a good alternative for parties and stuff. Anyway, I had some difficulties with the recipe because my blender is on its last life and did not want to chop up the beans, so I'm willing to admit some of the fault may be on my side of things. Still, although they came out decent enough, they were very chewy and not that impressive. I had one and froze the others for later, but I'm probably going to leave this recipe alone again until I get a new blender. We'll see if a new blender makes a difference.

Nutrition information: 85 calories, 1g of fat, 16g of carbs, 4g of protein. Not too bad for brownies, really.