Healthy 2-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

Yes, you read that right. I have for you today a recipe that is totally delicious and feels like you’re indulging but it’s actually healthy! Don’t you love recipes like that? Okay, so the secret ingredient is something that may seems a little… gross.. BUT trust me on this one please! I explained this recipe to a few people in my life over text and they all basically said the same thing, “ew“. My suggestion to you is to just feed it to someone and THEN tell them what’s in it! Are you totally freaked out yet?

I cannot stress this enough, this mousse tastes like chocolate cake. My kids went totally nuts over it and have been begging me for more ever since I made it on Saturday. This recipe does take a bit of work but you will not be disappointed!! Oh, and the best part? TWO INGREDIENTS. Sorry I yelled at you.

Okay so on to the secret ingredient. Aquafaba. Please don’t hate me, k? Aquafaba is the liquid inside a can of beans, or in this case, a can of chickpeas. Wow, so glad I got that off my chest! I can’t remember where I saw to save the liquid but I remembered recently to save it when I made those lentil bowls. YOU GUYS, I’m so glad I did! I’m going to do this every time I open a can, for real! I can 100% guarantee your mousse won’t taste like chickpeas, my kids would NEVER have eaten it if it had! Oh and lets not forget the added protein in this recipe! It’s practically a health food. You’re welcome.

Healthy Chocolate Mousse
makes about 12 oz

Liquid from 1 can of chickpeas, about 1 cup, chilled
1 cup of chopped chocolate, I used a combination of dark, semi-sweet and milk chocolate

Method:
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir continually until it’s completely smooth. You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval. Allow to cool.

While the chocolate is cooling, add the chilled aquafaba to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whipping attachment or you can use a hand mixer, that’s what I did. Whip the liquid on medium-high speed until it get white and frothy and soft peaks form, this takes about 5 minutes.

Gently fold the chocolate into the frothed aquafaba with a spatula until completely combined. Some of the froth  may fall and that’s okay. Transfer the mixture into your serving containers, I used 5oz glass jars. Allow the mousse to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour, overnight is best. Top with whipped cream and serve cold!

TIPS:
1. I love this recipe for many reasons but the main one being how versatile it is! You already know how much I love creative liberties in the kitchen! You could add any flavored extract to the chocolate for an added brightness, I think I will try this with coconut extract next time!
2. If your chocolate seizes up, don’t worry!! This can especially happen if you choose to melt your chocolate in the microwave. You can give your chocolate it’s luster back by adding fat, in this case the best thing to go with is coconut oil. Add melted coconut oil 1 teaspoon at a time while stirring until the chocolate regains it’s silky texture.
3. The last tip I have for you is to really have fun with the toppings! If you use coconut extract add some shredded coconut! If you choose to go with almond extract add some chopped nuts! Sprinkles! Fruit! Ice cream! Seriously, go nuts. ha.

So smooth and silky! I cannot wait to make this again!

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Greek Lentil Bowl

These bowls, wow. I haven’t made lentils in a while because no one in my house like them, can you believe it? They’re virtually tasteless, all you have to do is know how to dress them up. If making them taste however you want isn’t enough to encourage you to make them then maybe all the health benefits will! Lentils are high in protein and fiber, low in fat, loaded with folate and B vitamin that help repair and grow cells. They really stick to your ribs so no need to worry about being hungry soon after dinner. They’re a health food most people can get behind because they’re easy and good for you. This recipe, like most of mine, is completely customizable based on your likes. I used brown lentils for my base and topped them with:

  • chicken
  • carrots
  • onion
  • olives
  • avocado
  • crispy chickpeas
  • roasted brussels sprouts

and finally drizzled it with homemade Greek dressing. Which, by the way, is the almost literal cherry on top. You can change up the toppings, the vegetables, the protein! I’m just laying out the inspiration and dressing for you, the rest is up to you. I threw this together so quickly with the help of some leftovers I had in the fridge, you can’t go wrong!

Greek Lentil Bowls
Serves 4

4 cups cooked brown lentils (about 2 cups dried)
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
1/2 cup roasted brussels
1/2 carrots (I made mine fancy shaved with the peeler!)
1/2 cup roasted chickpeas*
Kalamata olives, pitted
Red onion, sliced
Avocado, sliced
1/2 cup Greek dressing (recipe below)

The only tip you need when cooking lentils is to rinse them before covering them with cold water and adding some salt. They cook for about 20-25 minutes of simmering uncovered. Drain any leftover liquid and keep a close eye on them, if they seem to be drying out add some hot water to continue cooking until tender. You’ll notice that the lentils begin to split when cooked through.

Greek Dressing
I made this in a jar with a tight-fitting lid so I could shake it up. You can also whisk to emulsify.

1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 small garlic clove, grated
1 tsp fresh mint, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Add all the ingredients to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake like it’s your job. Store any remaining dressing in the fridge for up to two weeks. If you don’t have a jar simply add all the ingredients to a bowl except for the oil. Drizzle the oil in slowly while whisking vigorously to emulsify.

Chickpeas
1 can of chickpeas, drained (save the liquid for a recipe coming soon!)*
1tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp olive oil

Roast at 400F for 30 minutes!

Assembly
Basically just throw everything together and dig in!! This can be served warm, at room temperature or cold from the fridge, I’m telling you it’s fool-proof! Enjoy!
*I removed the skins from each individual chickpea. It is time consuming and you don’t have to do it. BUT you will have a more uniformed crispiness to your chickpeas if you do this. Sometimes moisture can get trapped in between the pea and skin and that keeps them from getting to the level of crispiness we’re going for here. 

Thirsty Thursday

I am so thirsty today!! I had a few off days where I wasn’t feeling well and food sounded miserable. I had an upset stomach for about 4 days and even water was hard to drink without gagging. No I’m not pregnant. I’m much better now and even made it to the gym today but it’s almost like my body is trying to soak up all the water I didn’t get earlier in the week. And the colder the better, of course.

Today I finally went to he gym after a few days off from working out, minus the 200 push-ups yesterday on my Instagram story ha. It felt great! On Tuesdays and Thursdays a group of girls and I take turns writing our own HIIT workouts and torture each other. Today was brutal!! I actually gave up quite a bit and I think from the dehydration I was seeing spots. My friend wrote todays and it was a good one!

Workout:
1 minute each , 2 rounds

Round 1
-balancing bicep curls
-Bosu crunches
-Skaters

Round 2
-kettle bell swings
-Bosu Russian twists
-mountain climbers

Round 3
-tricep extentions
-plank up-downs
-skaters

Round 4
-standing oblique crunch
-tire slams

Extras:
50 push-ups
Pull-up/monkey bars
Donkey kicks, 3 sets
Hamstring curls, 3 sets

So needless to day that I’m feeling it already! And starving, of course. It’s my turn to write something up for Tuesday, let me know if you have any ideas for me! I’m going to go chug some water now. BYE!

4PM

I have two recipes photographed and ready to post.. well, almost. You see, I have so many photos on my computer (over 60,000) that I couldn’t upload any more! So my darling husband got me an external hard drive to move some of my photos on to that and give my laptop some relief from how full it was. There I was, diligently transferring photos, it was taking me MONTHS and then all of a sudden the external hard drive was full. I told Pierre and he basically laughed because there was no way I could have filled it up, apparently there’re more space on it than my laptop has so even if I had transferred everything over it wouldn’t have gotten full, made no sense. He ran a duplication software and low and behold… I had duplicated over 10,000 photos ON THE HARD DRIVE. Basically I’ve been in computer hell and deleting duplicate photos for weeks. There are 3 copies of almost every single photo I’ve transferred on to that thing. SO all that to say that once I get myself together I’ll share these recipes with you! Until then I get to air out all my dirty laundry.

I don’t know when 4pm became such a terrible time of day for me. It had to be when the twins were babies and got progressively worse with Esme’s birth. Every day at 4pm I felt so sad and depressed, almost like the sadness could swallow me whole. I felt anxious and frustrated with my kids, and my heart would start to race if I thought about what had to be done the rest of the day. I felt more overwhelmed at 4pm every day than I would getting the kids up and dressed in the morning, which if you ask any mom of tiny ones she’s tell you that’s never a walk in the park. There was a sense of fear and paralysis that would overtake me and make me want to give up and hide under the covers. And of course when I couldn’t actually hide and do nothing because I had 3 ( and then 4) little people counting on me, I would kick it into Hysterical Mean Mom mode and the monster came out just so I could feel a little in control.

I think this is particularly hard for me to share because I recognize that this is an actual problem for me but I also know that at some point when these little episodes began I started giving power to the fear. I started dreading 4pm and the closer it got to that time of day the more I’d resist any good happening around me. I remember living in one house in particular where 4pm meant the sun was shining through a high window in such a way that it would light up the entire entrance way of the house. It was such a high window that putting blinds up or curtains were kind of pointless and so it was left without covering. The sun would shine so bright that if you looked in the direction of that window you’d be blinded for a minute and have to look away or shield your eyes right away. There were days I didn’t even need a clock to know what time it was because looking at that window I already knew. The knots my stomach would squeeze tighter and tighter as I watched the entryway get brighter and brighter.

When my kids used to take an afternoon nap I got them on a schedule to where they’d all wake up at 4pm. I remember their nap was from 1pm-4pm and during those beautiful 3 hours I got to myself I would nap or read a book or relax and watch TV to decompress from the busy morning. It was such a necessity for me, especially after I had Esme, 4 kids 3 years old and under was no joke. The twins alone at 15 months had me wanting to run for the hills. But just like clockwork, they’d all begin waking up at 4pm and the dread would start to set in. I knew that I’d have so much more to my day once they were all awake. Changing diapers, cleaning messes, making dinner, cleaning the dishes and table, giving baths, making sure I was giving everyone attention, nursing Esme, I could keep going but you get it. Like all the decompressing I had just done was for no real benefit because I was about to chuck all that relaxation out the window and start the day all over again. It almost felt like Groundhog Day because the routine was so similar every single day. I didn’t dare leave the house with all of them alone in the early months and so I’d be pretty much be stuck at home doing the same thing, day in and day out. It was a security blanket of sorts, too, because I knew there wouldn’t be any surprises if we just stayed home. If we went out I’d have to pack a diaper bag and plan for any and all horrific scenarios where we’d all end up on the floor of some public place crying, me included. With the nature of Pierre’s job he is gone quite a bit which meant pretty much all the day-to-day responsibilities fell on me. And even thought I was fortunate enough to never get full-blown postpartum depression I’m pretty sure I could have fallen easily at any moment. I had help from time to time after Esme was born from family nearby and I think at the time I was too consumed with my own problem to notice a helping hand when I truly needed it.

My schedule has changed a lot since the early days of having newborns but I have to be honest and say that 4pm still has a hold on me. It’s not as deeply captivating as it used to be and that may be because my kids are older and they aren’t so dependent on me anymore. But I still wonder what would have become of me in those early days if I had truly let the darkness of those days take over. I remember just trying to hold on to the one thing that had never let me down and that was my faith in Jesus Christ. I knew there was more to life than the mundane and fear and when I let the promise of ‘a hope and a future‘ (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) sink in it was my anchor when I was drowning.

Maybe you’re struggling with a similar situation. Maybe yours isn’t kid related or motherhood related but paralyzing fear comes in many forms and it’s real. Sometimes what’s going on in your head is so scary you can’t even say it out loud even if you wanted to tell someone or ask for help. I never understood the power of the mind until I had kids, to be honest. I want to tell you that even though it seems dark right now there is light and maybe that light is within you already, you just have to let it shine. God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT). You can train your mind to seek God first in the moment when you feel like a situation is going to swallow you up. You have the power to stand your ground and declare light over a dark moment.

When I start to get the 4pm blues now I try and find something, just one thing, that brings me joy in that moment. Lately it’s been playing Uno with my kids or blasting music, the kids got a karaoke machine for Christmas so I have them sing me a song or put on a show. I still lose it and Mean Mom comes out but I’m much more aware now why I’m getting frustrated and try to calm myself before taking it out on the kids. It’s not easy being in charge 5 out of 7 days a week without a real break, I’m not going to lie but I know this is what I’m given in this chapter of my life and I try to seek God first in the hard moments. I know God has a purpose in all of this and I hope I can show my kids that my dedication to them and is an act of service I’m happy to do. Sometimes people think that having joy is always being happy and never complaining or getting upset about anything. But joy is more about knowing that God is in control and because of that you don’t have to be! There’s a lot of freedom in that. Carrying on in the dark moment with His light inside of you to light the way, that’s joy. Knowing you don’t have to worry because he “will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5)

I’m not really sure how I want to close this post out, it’s pretty heavy. I hope I can continue being real with you, it’s a great way for me to get some thoughts down. But More than that I hope to encourage someone to give God their fearful or sad moments. Exchange those for love and power and peace because we were not put on this earth to endure chains, fear and sadness, Jesus took care of that for us on the cross.

Day 3

Do you know if You’ve Got Mail is classified as a Christmas movie? I’m only asking because we’re past Christmas now and I’m sitting in bed typing this up watching it for the 4th time in the last 2 weeks. And even though there are all seasons in the movie they do focus a lot on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s one of my all-time favorites and for some ungodly reason I haven’t watched it in ages! I can quote almost every scene and I always talk about how much I love it but hardly watch it. That’s about to change my friends. Christmas or not I’m watching it a lot this year. Goals ha.

I didn’t get on here to tell you about my Tom Hanks obsession though. I came to tell you that it’s only the 3rd day of the year (I typed this up last night) and I’ve already royally screwed up. Oh yes. So bad in fact that I lost my temper so hard I scared my oldest child to actual tears. I’m not exaggerating either. I’m embarrassed to admit it but hey, it’s real life. I have a very short fuse when I’m stressed and yesterday morning was just one of those low moments for me.

I had a session with my trainer at the gym at 8:30am and I set my alarm for 6:00am so that I’d have plenty of time to drink coffee, eat breakfast and merrily wake the children for the day. I pictured myself quietly humming while serving perfectly cooked eggs on to my sweet kids’ plates, who of course would be dressed and ready at the table with their teeth brushed and shoe laces tied. We’d smile at one another and they’d say, “thank you for breakfast mommy!” and eat every last drop of food on their plates. We’d be ready and out the door with time to spare and begin our day on the right foot. Oh if only.

What actually happened was I ignored my alarm and woke up at 7:28am, which by the way was 34 minutes before we had to leave the house. I jumped out of bed with my hair in knots and frizzy because I fell asleep with it wet from my shower the night before. I ran to the big kids’ room and demanded they get dressed and HURRY. I ran back to my room and was jumping around trying to decide if I wanted to pee first or brush my teeth because, ew. I needed to get coffee in my system ASAP. But then I remembered that I needed to wake the baby, change her diaper and get her dressed because she still didn’t know how to do all of that herself. I got her up and then ran to the kitchen and grabbed 4 granola bars and called it breakfast.

I’ll spare you all the details but basically I got 4 kids and 1 adult ready enough to be seen in public while cooking an egg for myself in the microwave, which I don’t recommend because it tasted like one of those plastic eggs from my kids’ kitchen play set. I filled 6 water bottles, tied shoes, slapped coats on them and started the van because the weather was POURING freezing rain and 31 degrees. I live in Jacksonville, for those of you who don’t know, and the city was basically acting like we were getting 10 feet of snow. We get in the car and the kids are complaining about the weather, about how they didn’t want to wear their coats but were cold if they took them off. Riddle me that, I don’t know either.

Finally I just lost it after about the 7th time I asked them to put their seat belts on because it was now 8:05 and my gym is 17 minutes away, without traffic. I really let them have it, I saw red. And you know what? It had nothing to do with them. I lost it because I messed up and didn’t wake up on time and put all the pressure on my kids to be perfect. How unfair is that? I hate being late and I was mad at myself but took it out on them. I read somewhere something that said something along the lines of no matter what happened in your day, it’s your kid’s day too and you should be sensitive to that. But we can’t be can we? We just have to be selfish and only thinking about ourselves. At least I know I’m guilty of this more than I’d like to admit.

Remember when I said we’d have 365 days to start fresh? I could really use one of my re-dos right about now. I don’t like to think ‘hey, my kids will just forgive me, it’s okay.’ Because guess what? They do! They’re so forgiving and they just love you so much, it makes me feel even worse sometimes. They deserve better, I need to be better. So today I’m going to be better for them and I’ll use my screw-up as a learning experience and stepping stone. I guess I’m oversharing my life a little bit today because we all mess up sometimes and there are days when I really wish someone would say, me too. So here I am saying me too.

Gimme Routine

Happy new year! I cannot believe it’s 2018! The possibilities are endless and so exciting. 365 days of newness, 356 days to try again, 365 days to start fresh. I’m not setting any resolutions exactly but I do have some goals or changes I’d like to set my sights on for this coming year. I think the main reason resolutions get a bad reputation and people don’t stick to them is because there’s so much pressure to start day 1 and stick to it, failing isn’t an option! It’s so unrealistic. The best way to make a big change is to start slow, day by day. Choose one thing to change that will steer you in the direction you’d like to go and as you instill that small change it will propel you to make another change and then another until before you know it you’ve reached that goal. And guess what? You’re not obligated to finish in 365 days, you are actually allowed to give yourself all the time you need. HA!

Anyway, moving on..

We’ve had the craziest two weeks. Eva has been out of school since December 20th and we’ve been non-stop every since. We’ve been so busy with visiting family and road trips, my bones actually hurt. I’m old, whatever. Pierre’s parents came to visit for two weeks so we spent a lot of time enjoying each other’s company. One day we drove 3 hours to visit Pierre’s grandparents and drove back that same night with 8 people in a minivan, 4 of those in carseats.

Christmas day was wonderful except that my son was so sick the whole day and, after opening presents, he laid on the couch until it was bedtime. He didn’t eat any of my delicious meal either! Rude. JK.

His stomach bug quickly passed to his twin sister just in time for a 4.5 hour road trip to visit my family later that week. The car ride took an extra hour and a half, ugh. But we had a great time in Sarasota celebrating my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary. My mom and sister threw this massive party, almost like a wedding reception, for my grandparents and we had family fly in from all over the states to celebrate with us. My sister practically tied me to a chair at Sephora and made me get my make-up done. I was super uncomfortable with the idea at first but I was seriously in awe by the end. I wish I could do my make-up as awesome as this girl did it. I loved being pampered for the day! We took family photos and I got to see family I hadn’t seen in may years and introduce them to my babies and husband, so wonderful.

We just got back two days ago and Pierre is already gone for works, 9 days straight this time. I was going to take the kids back to my mom’s house today through the weekend since Eva doesn’t start school until the 9th BUT now the littlest Fuller has the stomach bug. Seriously guys, I can’t. We’ve made it through worse though so I’m fairly certain we’ll be alive by the end of this one. It’s just frustrating.

I’m hoping a few day’s time we’ll all be back on our feet and normalcy will resume. I’m a major creature of habit and Eva back in school means we get back into ROUTINE. Ahh how I love that word. It is nice to break away here and there but man it’ll be nice to be back. Here’s to a new year full of routine!