Chocolate Beet Cake Recipe

Photo courtesy of - My own pics to come on Monday when I make another cake.
Chocolate cake. Is there anything more comforting? I say there is. And perhaps you will agree when you sample this chocolate beet cake. With the genuine essence of chocolate in every bite. With every mouthful of chocolate beet cake, you shall receive chocolate's luxurious comfort in your mouth, without adding to the luxury of your waistline.

Thank you, Kate and Leopold, for that quotable scene. Hubs and I quoted that a lot after that movie came out.

And although Rhett and Link have decided that bacon is the cure-all food, I am a firm believer that that title should go to chocolate cake. 

Bad day? - Chocolate cake.
Cranky kids? - Chocolate cake.
Hormonal mood swings? - Chocolate cake. 

But - we're gonna up the ante.

This chocolate cake has hidden veggies - Beets!

And seriously - they're really hidden. You can't even taste them. I made it for a family gathering once, and the kids actually asked me to make it again.

Here's the recipe - adapted from Green Smoothie Girl's 12 Steps to Whole Foods

Chocolate Beet Cake
recipe from Robyn Openshaw, aka Green Smoothie Girl

Cake Ingredients:
2 cans beets, drained - or if you want to go less processed, you can use 4 large beets, peeled and steamed
3 eggs
1½ C Sucanat
1/4 C coconut oil
1/2 C applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C cocoa powder
1 C whole wheat flour
1 C white flour
1½ tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Frosting Ingredients:
1 stick butter
3/4 lb powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
pinch salt

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Grease a 9x13 pan.
3.Puree the beets in a high-powered blender ( I used my Blendtec - but you could also use a food processor if you want.)
4. To the blender, add the eggs, sucanat, oil, applesauce, vanilla, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Blend again.
5. Add flours, and blend until just mixed.
6. Pour into greased pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
7. While cake is baking, mix all ingredients for frosting.
8. Once cake has cooled, frost and serve.

Greened up Orange Julius

Homemade Orange Julius smoothies were a treat at our house when I was growing up. And it was one of the few things I knew how to "cook" before I left home. I had the recipe memorized. Yum!

Fast forward 12 years. I haven't made Orange Julius smoothies once since I got married. What? This had to be remedied.

So, of course, I figured out a way to "Green it up".  Now it's yummy and nutritious! Probably still a little high in natural sugars because of the refined juice, but sometimes you just gotta have something sweet.

Greened Up Orange Julius
by Shana Galbraith


3 cups unsweetened vanilla Almond milk
1 cup (2 big handfuls) spinach
1 large kale leaf
2 packets truvia
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 bananas (the texture is best if you've previously cut up your bananas and frozen them)
1 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/3 of a container of orange juice concentrate (Not diluted - use the concentrate straight from the can)
1 cup ice


Add first 3 ingredients to blender. Blend.
Add the rest of the ingredients - blend again.  Enjoy.

This recipe made enough for 2 adult sized servings and one kids sized serving. Or - last time I made it, I put the kids sized serving into 6 popsicle molds, and now I have the perfect treat for a hot summer day. If hot days ever get here in Idaho. :)

Flax Meal and Chia Seed pancakes

Flax and chia pancakes? "That's nutrition!"

No matter how much Bill Cosby may not agree with me, these pancakes are nutritious and delicious. I'd rather eat them than chocolate cake and grapefruit juice any day. :)

Flax and Chia Seed Pancakes
by Shana Galbraith


3 cups whole wheat flour
1 packet Truvia
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1/8 cup chia seeds
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups almond milk
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil - or coconut oil

optional: 1/4 cup additional water


Mix first 6 ingredients together.  Add water, almond milk, and olive oil.  Mix well.

Pour by 1/4 cups onto griddle and cook until bubbles form. Flip and cook for 1 or 2 minutes more, or until done.

After doing the first batch, the chia seeds have usually soaked up some of the moisture. So you may need to add an additional 1/4 cup of water to reach the desired consistency.

There you go. And your kids will be singing "Mom is us some great pancakes."   And no one will have a conniption. :)

Snack Attack! - Endurance Crackers and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I have a new favorite snack. It's high protein, high fiber, gluten free, nut free, dairy free, vegan, and totally delicious.  Looking back at that sentence, I should have put "totally delicious" first if I were going in order of importance. Because who wants to eat healthy food if it doesn't taste good, right? :)

From left to right: Endurance Crackers- adapted from, and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, recipe from my sister-in-law, Becky. Hi Becky. Thank you! :)

Added endorsement for the crackers (which are an adaptation of a knockoff  ;D) : 
*My 10 year old will totally scarf these crackers.
*My husband took them to work today, and the guys in the office were asking for the recipe so their wives could make them. 

Endurance Crackers - adapted from Angela Liddon at
See the original here

I didn't change much on this recipe. I simply substituted uncooked quinoa for the sesame seeds because that's what I had on hand - and I don't really care for sesame seeds.

Yield: 22 large crackers

  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pepita seeds (or pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 tsp grated sweet onion
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Herbamare - any other dried herbs you'd like
  • 2 dashes kelp granules (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 325F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix the seeds and quinoa together. In a small bowl, mix the water, grated garlic, grated onion, salt, herbamare, and kelp granules. Whisk well. Pour the water mixture onto the seeds and stir until thick and combined.  (It usually takes 2 or 3 minutes for the chia seeds to absorb the water and make the mixture thick.)
3. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet with the back of a spoon until it’s less than 1/4 inch thick. Not to worry if a couple parts become too thin, you can just patch them up.
4. Bake at 325F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, slice into crackers, carefully flip onto other side with a spatula. Bake for another 30 minutes, watching closely after about 25 minutes. The bottoms will be lightly golden in color. Allow to cool completely on the pan. Store in a container or plastic baggie.

Check out all that high fiber, delicious seedy goodness in those crackers!

And for the second recipe:

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus - taken from Becky Greene

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp tahini
1 clove garlic
15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
¼ C water
1 C roasted red bell pepper (about 2 big peppers)
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
½ tsp honey


1. Clean peppers. Cut into a few pieces. Put peppers and garlic clove on a cookie sheet and broil until sides blacken and it smells good. (About 7-10 minutes)

2. Add all ingredients to blender and puree until desired consistency.

3. Scarf down like there's no tomorrow. (Okay, I added that step. :D)

She's also done this hummus with black beans instead of garbanzo beans, and it's equally delicious. Go ahead. Try it out. Prove me wrong. ;)

And for those of you who like the menu plans, I plan on getting one up by the end of the week. I have it written out, I just want to test 2 of the recipes before I pass them on to you. :)

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup and Gluten Free Pasta recipes

Sorry for the absence lately, people. I have been going through some stuff for my thyroid - and doing a crazy restrictive diet for a month. Which means I have not been into researching recipes or meal plans. I've just been surviving. And dreaming of the day I could get back to eating foods other than organic fruits and veggies. I missed me some grains, and nuts, and beans. And now they're back. Hallelujah!

So this week I got back into recipe research. Hooray! :) And I tried 2 new recipes that I just have to share with you guys. Muy delicioso. And the secret ingredient in both of them is ............drum roll please......... beans!

Image Source: Foodie Fiasco

Oh my gosh, you guys. This pasta is A-MA-ZING! I didn't think any pasta could be homemade, gluten free, and YUMMY all in one. But this one fits the bill. To. Die. For. Delish. You must try it.

Kelly, over at FoodieFiasco found it on the internet, tested it, and photographed it. And guess what, you guys? She's only 14. Fourteen! And she's one of my very favorite foodie blogs. You should really go check her out. Then you try to believe she's only 14.

*Taps fingers. Waits. Crickets chirping.*

Okay, you're back?

Now on to recipe number 2 that blew my mind this week.

Image Source: For the Love of Food

I grew up on Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup. If there was a recipe that involved said soup, you can bet my mom knew how to make it. :) And I loved cream of mushroom soup. 

But - it's not all that good for you. All kinds of processed crap floating around in that innocent looking little can.

Then, I found this DE-LI-CIOUS recipe from Sonnet over at For the Love of Food.  It's like the canned soup - on crack! I totally could have eaten the whole pot. By myself. No regrets. :) And as it was cooking, it filled my house with the aroma of sauteed mushrooms, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. If heaven has a welcoming aroma, this would be it, in my book.

And - even though my kids thought it looked like barf (my presentation isn't nearly as pretty as Sonnet's) - they were troopers and tried it anyway. And they all loved it. Even my picky 6 year old, and my 10 year old who hates mushrooms.

Best thing - it's totally creamy and dreamy. And there's no milk. No almond milk. No soy milk. No rice milk. The creamy goodness comes from brown rice and white canellini beans. High fiber and high protein. Score!

So - go try this soup, you guys. Your taste buds will thank you.

And - lucky me - I have some leftover soup! So - tomorrow for lunch, I'm making myself some more gluten free pasta and topping it with the scrumptiously creamy soup. - Gluten free, high protein, guilt free comfort food. Now that's my cup of tea - er, bowl of soup. :)

Whole Wheat & Quinoa Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Whew! What a mouthful, right? I couldn't decide what to call these pancakes. What's the best feature?

That they're whole wheat?
That they have hidden quinoa for protein?
That they are sinfully delicious  and taste just like Pumpkin Chocolate chip cookies?

I don't know. You decide. :)

If you wanted to go uber healthy ( my 9 year old insists that uber is NOT a word :D ), you could omit the chocolate chips. I added them because my kids turn their noses up at pumpkin spice flavored things - UNLESS there's chocolate involved.

Or, if you had extra time and ambition, you could even make your own chocolate chips with this recipe here.

So, without further ado, here's my recipe for Whole Wheat and Quinoa Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes. Whew! It wears me out just to type it - check out them finger acrobatics. :)

Printable version here

Whole Wheat and Quinoa Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes
by Shana Galbraith

*Note: This recipe will make 24 -30 pancakes. I usually double the batch, however, because I buy the smaller can of pumpkin puree, and if I double the recipe, it will use up the whole can. They freeze beautifully and are great for hectic mornings when I don't have time to cook a breakfast from scratch.


1/8 c water + 1 tsp chia seeds (to make a chia egg)
1/4 c sucanat
1/4 c agave nectar
3/4 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp wheat germ
2 Tbsp flax seed meal
1/4 c cooked quinoa
3 c whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
4 c water
1 bag dark chocolate chips (optional)


*Mix the 1/8 cup of water with 1 tsp chia seeds and set aside to gel for 3 or 4 minutes.

*In a large bowl, mix the sucanat, agave nectar, pumpkin, coconut oil, vanilla, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, wheat germ, and flax seed meal. Once the chia seeds have had a few minutes to gel, add them to this mixture.

*When those are combined, add the quinoa, flour, baking powder, and water.  Mix well with a whisk.

*Pour batter by 1/4 cups full onto a hot griddle.

*Drop chocolate chips onto pancakes. I wait to put the chocolate chips on now so that they don't all sink to the bottom of the bowl of pancake batter.

*When edges start to look done, flip the pancakes. Cook another minute or two.

Serve, and enjoy!

My secret weapon

2 of my 3 kids are really game for trying new things and new veggies - which is great because I am always trying out new dishes.

But my youngest (we call him Fuzz because of his fuzzy hair) - is a very picky eater.
Getting him to try any fruit or vegetable is like pulling teeth.

Except for asparagus. He LOVES asparagus. Hooray for small victories! :)

Here's my Fuzz . His hair has been fuzzy since he was born. I LOVE rubbing his fuzzy hair. In fact, it reminds me of this clip from Despicable Me.

Since I'm not an evil supervillain, like Gru, I don't have much at my disposal as far as secret weapons go. But for a mildly sneaky supermom, this is a pretty good secret weapon.

Zoo Pals!

Any time I'm going to try a new food (or particularly green smoothie) out, I ask Fuzz if he wants a Zoo Pals plate for dinner. It's always an automatic "Yes!"

I then remind him of our rule that if he uses a Zoo Pals plate, he has to at least TRY everything on his plate before saying "I don't like this!!!"

So far, it's worked. I wonder when he'll figure out that I only offer Zoo Pals when I'm going to try to pull a fast one on him? :)

Here, we have his favorite - Asparagus -steamed with a little sea salt, Sweet potato "fries" - with the obligatory ketchup ;), and a layered salad that I'll be putting up later this week. He did well - he ate both the asparagus and the sweet potatoes.

Not too shabby. At least it's a better weapon than Dr. Nefario's Fart Gun.

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