Recipe Face-Off!

Recipe Face-Off: Walnut Brownies

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Time for Eating Clean in the Dirty City’s second Recipe Face-Off! I first heard about black bean brownies when Rocco DiSpirito went on the show The Doctors to promote his book. I haven’t heard the best things about either him or his book, so I already knew it would unfair competition to use his recipe for this post.

But here’s someone I do trust: Joy the Baker. I decided to compare her Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies to my go-to classic brownie recipe from Big Girls Small Kitchen.

Big Girls Small Kitchen’s Brownies

Walnut BrowniesI love these. They are what brownies should be. Not too sweet, moist with a crackly top, and that teaspoon of espresso powder makes the flavor amazing.

Joy the Baker’s Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

Triple Chocolate Black Bean BrowniesI under-cooked these a little so they look a little more moist in the photo than they should (although, no complaints from me!). I was a little surprised at how good these brownies were, though I really shouldn’t doubt Joy. If you didn’t know there were beans in them, you probably wouldn’t even notice that these aren’t regular brownies. I did taste the black beans, but I thought they gave the brownies a nice kick that complemented the chocolate.

Final Verdict

As good as the black bean brownies are, I still have to pick Big Girls Small Kitchen’s brownies as the winner. They are the perfect, classic brownie for me. But Joy’s black bean brownies weren’t far behind, taste-wise. If the recipe were a little healthier (there really weren’t too many beans involved) and tasted just as good, I could call it the winner. But given the minimal extra protein and fiber compared to the regular brownies, taste still trumps.

Have you ever made black bean brownies? How did you like them?

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Recipe Face-Off!

Recipe Face-Off: Cookie Dough Dip

I’m starting a new blog series called Recipe Face-Off! The idea for this series came from the fact that I always shy away from “health-ified” recipes, especially when it comes to desserts. I don’t mind replacing dairy milk with almond milk once in a while if that’s all I have on hand, but almond flour? Vegan versions of comfort food? I’ve always thought that if you’re going to do it at all, just do the real thing.

But I realized I also believe in experimentation and the whole “don’t knock it till you try it” attitude. I’ve had my fair share of strange looks when I say I like certain unpopular foods (chicken feet for dim sum, anyone)? So it’s only fair to give these modified “healthy” recipes a try instead of immediately assuming the original is better.

Two very popular recipes on food blogs were How Sweet It Is’ Cookie Dough Dip and Chocolate-Covered Katie’s healthy version of Cookie Dough Dip. I was intrigued by both but scared to make them for a long time. For someone who is a self-proclaimed cookie addict, having a big bowl of cookie dough dip in the house is BAD NEWS. But I did it for you, Eating Clean readers. I did it for you.

How Sweet It Is’ Cookie Dough Dip

The main ingredient in this is cream cheese. So if you like cream cheese, you’ll like this. I loved the texture of this, but all-in-all it wasn’t as orgasmic as I thought it would be. And it is intensely heavy. If you weren’t paying attention and ate half the bowl, that’s almost 900 calories right there. Not even including what you’re dipping. Yikes!

Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Healthy Cookie Dough Dip

If you’re a super-healthy person who never eats real dessert, you’ll like this. Maybe. But for someone who is used to conventional desserts, I didn’t love it. It was edible, for sure, but not satisfying. The main ingredient here is chickpeas. I LOVE chickpeas. I love them pan-fried, oven-roasted, or whipped up into hummus. But I think their flavor is too strong to be passed off as cookie dough dip. It just kind of felt like, why are there chocolate chips in my hummus? But crazy respect to Katie for finding this a satisfying dessert. This is why she has perfect skin and a super svelte figure, while the rest of us don’t. Hah!

Final Verdict

I liked How Sweet It Is’ cream cheese version better because it tastes more like a dessert. But if you’re into “healthy” desserts, do give Katie’s a try. It is a good recipe, just not for me. But in all honesty, I thought neither tasted like cookie dough. This cookie addict is just going to have to wait for the next time she bakes a batch and licks the bowl!

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Dessert

S’more Inspiration

I had the fam over for dinner last weekend and thought I’d try this Hot Chocolate Popover recipe. I don’t know much about popovers; I’ve only had them once at the Popover Café in the Upper West Side with their delicious strawberry butter. Despite my limited popover experience, I would like to think mine came out pretty good. I was a little skeptical about how liquid-y my batter looked at first, but sure enough, they popped over! My only difficulty was toasting the marshmallows without burning the pastry a little. I liked the fact that they were light and airy–a nice change from the dense desserts I tend to eat.

So, I had a ton of marshmallows and chocolate chips leftover the next day. I didn’t feel like making popovers again, but wanted to treat myself to a small single serving sweet treat. Using what I had in my cupboard and inspired by the marshmallows and chocolate, I created some S’More Oatmeal.

First, I combined quick-cooking oats (’cause I’m lazy), water, and unsweetened cocoa powder in a little bowl, and cooked it in the microwave.

Then I took a heaped (heap as much as possible) tablespoon of dark chocolate chips…

…then I mixed the chips in the hot oatmeal with a small splash of milk.

Finally, I topped my chocolate oatmeal with a big fluffy marshmallow and stuck it under the broiler for a minute. There you go. An almost guilt-free dessert! Or a really bad breakfast, depending on how you look at it. It’s super simple to make. The hard part is only eating one bowl. I already want s’more S’more Oatmeal.

S’More Oatmeal
Makes 1 serving
Aboout 340 calories per serving

1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground flax seed (optional)
1 (heaped) tablespoon dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon milk
1 honey graham cracker (optional)
1 large marshmallow

Set your broiler on high and move an oven rack to within 5-6 inches of the broiler flame.

Combine oats, water, and cocoa powder (and ground flax seed if you want a small nutritional boost) in a ramekin or small oven-safe bowl. Microwave for one minute.

Add chocolate chips and milk to the oatmeal, and stir until chocolate has melted and is mixed in. It should look like one big, delicious chocolate mess. Top with crumbled or chopped graham cracker, if you wish.

Put the marshmallow on top of your oatmeal and put the bowl under the broiler for about a minute until toasted to your liking. Dig in immediately.

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