Undercover brownies

Tomorrow is half marathon day!  I’m back in Des Moines, hydrating  like a champion and baking to avoid being scared.  Now, I know this sounds weird…but here’s today’s featured recipe:

Black Bean Brownies:

  • 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 T. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. coffee granules
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Put all of that business (except the chocolate chips) into a food processor.  (A blender might also work, if you don’t have a food processor.)

Process for awhile, scrape down the sides, and process again until it looks gooooood and smooth.  (I would surmise that chunks of black bean in a brownie would not be pleasant.)  Pour the batter into a greased 8×8 pan, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top, and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Finished product:

Verdict: I’m a fan!  But, because I kind of like weird, healthy food, I passed one off on my unsuspecting padre when he wandered through the kitchen.  Although he guessed there was something “healthy” in there, he gave them two thumbs up as well and was impressed when the secret ingredient was revealed.   My Grandma Neva has a spice cake recipe that involves a can of Van de Kamp’s Pork and Beans, so I guess I’m in good company.

Speaking of my Grandma Neva, I spent about an hour today looking through her old binders of recipe columns clipped from my hometown newspaper.  These things go back to the sixties, and they’re fabulous!  Here’s the column from the week she was the “featured chef”:

At the end, it says, “Neva thoroughly enjoys cooking, and her daughter does too–which makes for some happy times in the kitchen for the two of them.”  AWWW.  I’m so glad she saved these.

In other news, I can’t stop eating butternut squash lately.  I may actually be taking on a sort of orange-y glow.  Here’s my favorite lunch-y creation of the past few weeks:

I would highly recommend making your own salad dressing, if you’ve never tried it before.  It doesn’t take long, it keeps in the refrigerator for a week or so, and salad dressing from the store has some weirdo ingredients that you can avoid by just blending up your own.  Here are the ingredients for the dressing on that delish fall salad pictured above:

Honey-balsamic vinaigrette:

  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and let it run until everything is combined.  The last batch of dressing I made was particularly good because I used an apple-flavored balsamic vinegar.  (I have far more varieties of vinegar than a young lady of my station in life really ought to have.)  To recreate the salad above, pour a bit of the dressing over greens, cubes of roasted butternut squash, and sliced pear.  Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds (or walnuts, or pecans, or anything fall-ish and crunchy), and chow down.

Send good vibes my way tomorrow morning, faithful recipe readers!  If I survive all 13.1 miles, I’ll be back soon with a recap.

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4 responses to “Undercover brownies

  1. Darcy,

    This is incredible. I did not know you had your own blog! I’ve gone backwards, now, to catch up on all of your previous entries. I particularly liked your frozen bananas and red shoes…good combo! Hey, another idea for frozen bananas I heard, that you might be interested in…..You know how when you have a few bananas going brown and you hate for them to go to waist, but you don’t have time to make them into banana bread? Well, someone told us recently to freeze them, and you can not feel “rushed” to make your banana bread. I thought this was brilliant. Why, I bet you could even add some black beans or something to “health-up” that banana bread….what do you think?

    I look forward to your next installment!

    Love ya! Uncle Matt

    • Hey Uncle Matt! I’m glad you enjoyed reading the entries…writing them is a nice little diversion from my studies 🙂 And yes–I’m all about the frozen bananas…I usually have a few ready to go at all times for impromptu banana-based baked goods!

  2. Brownies were fine, but what really fed the soul was the smoked pork loin with carmelized onions. Just don’t be putting black beans in your killer chocolate chip cookies. Can you say, “dis-inherited?”

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