Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

I almost forgot tomorrow was Valentine’s Day. I had planned on posting an entirely different recipe until I realized that February 14th happened to be a short day away. Clearly I’m single. Also I’m not into sharing things with other people, especially days that revolve around me, so even when I haven’t been single for Valentine’s Day, I’ve been off it.

This weekend I was craving chickpea chocolate chip cookies. No, I’d never had one before – but I knew I was craving them (see above – clearly not pregnant). Luckily, I had some chickpeas left over from a Goop recipe (millet falafel) that I wasn’t into enough to make again.

After my first beet experiment, I am hooked on cooking with beets. I also remembered that most – if not all – healthy red velvet recipes involve beets for natural red food coloring. They’re also naturally sweet so no need to add sugar (if you’re a freak like me with a fear of refined sugar).

These cookies are full of protein and fiber – a great post-workout treat or middle of the day snack for some staying power. Much better than the cookies full of empty calories from butter and sugar! They’re also vegan and gluten free – and can easily be raw if you put them in the fridge to harden instead of baking them. Eat the batter. It literally won’t kill you (unless you have a nut/chickpea/beet allergy).

Vegan & Gluten Free Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 16 cookies

red velvet chocolate chip cookies | almost getting it together

Full of nutrients, fiber & protein – free of guilt (unless you eat the entire batch).

red velvet chocolate chip cookies | almost getting it together

I like how when they cooked the middles weren’t as red!

What you’ll need:
1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed
1 banana
1/2 cup beets
1/3 cup almond butter
1/3 cup unsweetened carob chips
2 TBSP unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder

What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a cookie sheet with coconut oil or other non-stick spray.
Place chickpeas, beets and almond milk in food processor and mix until smooth.
Add almond butter, vanilla extract and baking powder and continue mixing.
Fold in carob chips with a fork.
Place spoonfuls of ‘dough’ onto cookie sheet about two inches apart.
Bake 12-15 minutes, until cookies begin browning on top.

red velvet chocolate chip cookies | almost getting it together

Bringing back out the Valentine’s themed plate.

red velvet chocolate chip cookies | almost getting it together

Take the gun, leave the cookies.

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookie Nutrition Facts

Chat with me:
Healthiffing treats – worth it or just eat the real thing?


Two Bite Gluten Free, Sugar Free Paleo Brownies

I used to be afraid of beets. Isn’t that weird? They are so delicious! Something about them – I thought they would taste “earthy”. I love greens and veggies and green juice, don’t get me wrong – but root vegetables freak me out a little because I’m afraid of them tasting like dirt. I must have had a bad beet experience once.

gluten free brownies paleo brownies sugar free brownies  nutrition facts | almost getting it together

Get ready to turn the beet up.

gluten free brownies paleo brownies sugar free brownies nutrition facts | almost getting it together

Themed photo styling, what up?

I’ve always seen baked good recipes calling for beets, so I decided it was finally my time to take the plunge. Also red things are perfect for Valentine’s Day… except the cocoa powder kind of kills the red vibe and they’re just normal brown brownies.

Disclaimer: These brownies are a little bittersweet because there isn’t any sugar. I thought they were amazing, but my taste-tester [my dad] thought they were “different”. He is also used to sugar and I am used to the lack thereof. If you want a sweeter brownie, sub out some of the almond butter for maple syrup – a 1:1 tbsp ratio should do the trick.

Two Bite Gluten Free, Sugar Free Paleo Brownies

gluten free brownies paleo brownies sugar free brownies  nutrition facts | almost getting it together

The sweetest little sugar-free Valentine’s Day treat.

What you’ll need:
1 banana
1/2 cup beets
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup almond butter
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put banana, beets and almond butter into food processor Vitamix and blend until smooth. Don’t be afraid to give the cute pink puree a taste test if you’re scared. I did.
Add the rest of your ingredients and continue blending until smooth.
Spray a mini-muffin pan with coconut oil (or whatever you use to grease pans with).
Fill muffin tins two-thirds full with batter.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Impress everyone with your super healthy treats!

gluten free brownies paleo brownies sugar free brownies  nutrition facts | almost getting it together

Please, have four of my brownies for the caloric content of two pre-packaged ones.

Note: WATCH THESE GUYS CLOSELY. You really are only baking them to form them, there’s not anything in them that isn’t safe to eat raw (not that I’m one to talk, but if you’re paranoid of that kind of thing good for you). Test their done-ness (is that a word?) by poking carefully with a toothpick or fork. It should come out a little moist. (Sorry for that word usage!)

Two Bite Gluten Free, Sugar Free Paleo Brownie Nutrition Facts

Chat with me:
Are you a Valentine’s Day lover or hater? What’s your most memorable Valentine’s Day?

What I Ate Wednesday [2]: Long Runs & Sugar Detoxing

I almost didn’t write this post. I ate basically the same things on my long run day as I did on the previous day I documented for What I Ate Wednesday. Which is surprising – usually on long run days I eat anything that stands still. This Sunday I only did eight miles because the snow was nuts (I know, that makes me sound like a real jerk – only eight miles) so I’m pretty positive that’s why my hunger was in check. Also, I have figured out that long run days don’t mean eat everything I can find – it means just eat a little more than normal.

Sorry I’m not sorry for the multitude of iPhone photos coming up.

Breakfast: Two Minute Pumpkin Quinoa Breakfast Muffin

two minute microwave mug cake quinoa pumpkin breakfast | almost getting it together

Actual good photo taken from the recipe.

I’ve always had the all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to food: I’ll literally eat the same things every day for 2-3 months then move on to the next thing. Right now, the quinoa pumpkin breakfast muffin is doing it for me so I’m not fixing what isn’t broken.


Lunch: Grilled chicken salad with grilled veggies and feta cheese

what I ate Wednesday grilled chicken salad | almost getting it together

Salad with grilled chicken and veggies.

When I got in from my run I was frozen. I was at my grandparents because my grandmother and I had a spa day on Saturday and I was snowed in (I didn’t hate it) so when I got home she grilled some chicken for me and I had a huge salad. My fave.


Snack: Yogurt with cinnamon apples

what I ate Wednesday yogurt with apples | almost getting it together

I try to eat all my meals in mugs or bowls.

About an hour or two after my salad was finished, I was hungry again (long run probs). I ignored it for an hour or so, focusing on some work I had to get done, then microwaved half a chopped apple with some vanilla and cinnamon and ate it over plain Greek yogurt.


Dinner: Spaghetti squash with cod, asparagus, capers and pesto

Spaghetti squash with cod, asparagus, capers and pesto | almost getting it together

Once again – a bowl of something.

Dinner was once again basically cleaning out the fridge into a bowl. I had some spaghetti squash, random asparagus, random cod from failed fish sticks, and a little bit of pesto left over. I added parmesan cheese and capers.


Dessert: Roasted kabocha squash with cottage cheese

roasted kabocha squash | almost getting it together

I need a 12-step program for my squash addiction.

I’m literally addicted to squash. Thank God I found out Oriental grocery stores sell kabocha squash under the code name “Japanese Yam”. My life is once again complete. Topped this deliciousness with some almond butter and cinnamon. Perfection.

Chat with me:
Do you think my eating habits are weird/unhealthy? Do you eat the same foods for months at a time?

Two Minute Pumpkin Quinoa Breakfast Muffin

If you haven’t picked up on it, breakfast is my FAVORITE meal. My biggest concern with the 21 Day Sugar Detox was breakfast – what would I eat? I NEED something vaguely sweet in the morning. I’m not a savory breakfast person. I know it’s better for you blah, blah, blah – breakfast is the happiest part of my morning, you can’t take that away from me.

Angela inspired me to make some quinoa a la Goop. I figured I could have quinoa with almond milk, almond butter, nuts and banana for breakfast and pretend it was oatmeal – I’ve made overnight oat style quinoa in the past and enjoyed it. Then I started thinking – people make pumpkin quinoa, I could add some and make it more substantial and get some veggies. I then remembered the key to mug cakes and a delicious source of protein – eggs. Thus, after luckily throwing a bunch of things together on my first try, the Two Minute Pumpkin Quinoa Breakfast Muffin was born. And it’s honestly even better than my pumpkin pie oatmeal.

This keeps me full until 2 p.m. Granted, I try to eat breakfast between 9:30-10 so it happens that way, but I’m satiated from all the protein and fiber. Go ahead, make it, go crazy. Send me a photo of how you make it.

Two Minute Pumpkin Quinoa Breakfast Muffin

two minute microwave mug cake quinoa pumpkin breakfast | almost getting it together

A protein and fiber packed bowl of deliciousness.


What you’ll need:
1/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup egg whites
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp coconut milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/8 tsp baking powder

Optional Toppings:
Almond butter
Chopped nuts
Unsweetened carob chips
Greek yogurt
Sliced banana


two minute microwave mug cake quinoa pumpkin breakfast | almost getting it together

Getting real risky with the food styling.

two minute microwave mug cake quinoa pumpkin breakfast | almost getting it together

The saddest part of my day is when this bowl is empty.


What to do:
Spray a ramekin with non-stick spray (I use coconut oil).
Put everything into ramekin and mix well.
Microwave for 2 minutes – WATCH YOUR MICROWAVE. This gets really big and could explode if you aren’t careful. It hasn’t exploded on me yet, but don’t hold me responsible if yours does. I warned you.
Carefully turn ramekin upside down into a bowl. Your ramekin will probably be really hot so use an Ove Glove. (Or if you’re lazy like me, your sleeves.)
Add toppings and enjoy!

Chat with me:
Sweet or savory breakfast?

What I Ate Wednesday [1]: Sugar Detox Day 7

In case you haven’t seen me in person/read my other blog posts/been on my Twitter/Instagram – I’m doing a 21 Day Sugar Detox. I’ve always wanted to do a WIAW and thought that some days in my life (long-run days, sugar detox days) might be more interesting to show so this is the first time I remembered (for the most part) to photograph what I ate.

Basically I can’t have gluten or added sugar (natural or artificial) for three weeks. This includes fruits (except for one banana or green apple a day), which I thought would be crazy hard because I eat fruit constantly. Other than day two when I binge ate an apple (think how Mango from SNL would eat an apple), it’s been going well. The only two things I would say were that my long run on Sunday was much more difficult than normal and I also think I had a little harder time recovering from it without carbs.

You’re supposed to keep starchy vegetables to a minimum, as well as grains to a 1/2 cup, but you’re allowed more if you’re active. Since I’m still logging 20+ miles a week, I decided to just take this liberally and eat whatever as long as it wasn’t sugar, gluten or extra fruit (for the most part).

Ignore the crappy iPhone photos and that most were eaten out of Tupperware – I eat a lot of meals at my desk, sorry. Also not pictured is half an apple and two egg-broccoli muffins with some avocado. Forgot I was doing this until they were in my stomach.

Breakfast – Quinoa Pumpkin Microwave Muffin
(click-thru for recipe above!)

pumpkin quinoa microwave muffin | almost getting it together

Topped with 1/2 sliced banana, some unsweetened carob chips, chopped pecans and Greek Yogurt.

Lunch – Salad with chicken

salad with grilled veggies & chicken thighs | almost getting it together

Mixed greens, grilled veggies from the grocery store, mustard chicken thighs and my new go-to homemade dressing (recipe also coming soon). Oh, and some feta.

Snack – Un-photographed broccoli-egg muffins with avocado and 1/2 green apple

Dinner – Spaghetti squash with sautéed veggies and chicken sausage

broccoli with coconut aminos | almost getting it together

Couldn’t stop thinking about broccoli with coconut aminos so I ate these leftovers while my dinner was heating.

spaghetti squash | almost getting it together

Spaghetti squash with sautéed veggies (mushroom, peppers and onion) & chicken sausage, topped with pasta sauce.

Dessert – Sweet potato with cottage cheese

sweet potato with cottage cheese | almost getting it together

Sweet potato with cottage cheese, cinnamon, chopped pecans and unsweetened carob chips.

Chat with me:
Have you ever done the 21 Day Sugar Detox? What did you eat today?

Sweet Potato Hummus

I’m currently 20:56 hours into a 21 day (or 504 hour) sugar detox. I just had a bite of sweet potato and it was like angels singing in my mouth. (Sorry, potentially hallucinating from lack of sugar.)

A long, long time ago there was a holiday called Christmas. I took over cooking the sides from my grandmother this year as to protect myself and my family from butter overload and to give her the chance to relax and enjoy the holiday. Also I generally just wanted to cook Christmas dinner (my grandfather made the ham).


christmas dinner | almost getting it together

Christmas spread.


mashed sweet potatoes | almost getting it together

Too many potatoes.


I have no perspective of how much food to cook for any given amount of people. I’ll either cook too little or too much. In the case of Christmas dinner, my grandmother had purchased 10 sweet potatoes so I decided to mash all 10 sweet potatoes for a dinner of eight people. Let’s just say there were A LOT of leftover mashed sweet potatoes. You can only eat a few spoonfuls of mashed sweet potato before you are over mashed sweet potato (unless you’re on a sugar detox, of course).

This is the first of two recipes I made with the leftover sweet potato. I took the same recipe to a party (with fresh potato, of course) a few weeks later and it was a hit. People said it tasted like cookie dough, so there you go.

Sweet Potato Hummus

sweet potato hummus | almost getting it together

Getting fancy with my food props.


sweet potato hummus | almost getting it together

Hummus close-up.



What you’ll need:
1 cup mashed sweet potato
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 TBSP almond butter
1 TBSP maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon

What to do:
Put everything in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Serve with apple slices, pita chips, etc.

Nutrition facts for sweet potato hummus. (Makes 18 two heaping tablespoon sized servings).

sweet potato hummus | almost getting it together

Hummus close-up.

Chat with me:
What’s your favorite type of hummus?

Chocolate Chip Blueberry Banana Bread

I had a lot of bananas browning up a few weeks ago. I love bananas but honestly – I only eat half at a time. I know, I shouldn’t be afraid of banana calories and sugar and carbs – but the reason I started doing it was so I could have bananas more than once a day – half at breakfast and half for a snack or in my go-to dessert of Greek yogurt and fruit (#addicted). I haven’t been making smoothies with a banana base (see Pear Cinnamon Smoothie – also #addicted), so I had to figure out how to use up all my browning bananas – hence, the banana berry chia pancakes.

This bread was SO good. I had to stop myself from eating the entire loaf straight out of the pan. I continued to eat it throughout the week warmed up with a little ricotta cheese on top. (I have good willpower once something is in slices – I can eat one piece of something at a time. I actually just finished a chocolate bar Angela bought me at the beginning of August this week.)


Chocolate Chip Blueberry Banana Bread

gluten free chocolate chip blueberry banana bread | almost getting it together

gluten free chocolate chip blueberry banana bread


What you’ll need:
1 medium very ripe banana
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup nut butter (I used almond)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup blueberries
1/8 cup carob chips
2 eggs
1 tablespoon 0% greek yogurt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch Himalyan pink sea salt


What to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a bread pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Blend banana, pumpkin and nut butter until smooth.
Mix in Greek yogurt, baking powder, vanilla and honey.
Add in almond meal and a pinch of salt and continue blending until smooth.
Carefully fold in blueberries and carob (or chocolate) chips.
Pour mixture into bread pan and smooth out top with a spoon.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a fork inserted comes out clean and the top is beginning to brown.
Let cool completely then slice and enjoy.

I was experimenting and did this entire process in my Vitamix, other than baking of course. You can easily do it with a hand mixer and an old fashioned wooden spoon, too. I also recommend topping with pumpkin cream cheese if you’re like me and just had to try it so now you have a mostly-full container of pumpkin cream cheese in your fridge.


gluten free chocolate chip blueberry banana loaf | almost getting it together

A little crumbly, but delicious.


Chat with me:
How is your willpower when it comes to sweets?