This post was written by Ellie, who has gotten our nutrition back on track!
We've been eating healthily for a week now, including lentil-and-corn lettuce tacos last week, yakisoba-style spaghetti squash yesterday, and zoodles with homemade(!) pesto for dinner. #allvegetablesallthetime . . . Granted, we've had some Girl Scout cookies and a few pieces of Easter pastry over the course of the past week, but we've counteracted it with workout sessions and runs. We're feeling pretty good (knock on wood).
A messy stove means it gets used. Don't hate.
So with this renewed commitment to our diets, and with a fairly open weekend, we didn't want to lose the opportunity to set ourselves up for the week. I chose two recipes early last week, one of which I had planned on making Wednesday night and the other on Sunday. Well, I made both on Sunday: sweet potato brownies and fresh fruit scones. My goals were to satiate our sweets cravings with the brownies and to give us something hearty for breakfast with the scones.
The brownies were so stinking easy to make, and I highly recommend the recipe linked above. Having a microwave pouch for potatoes is kind of clutch and saved me a whole hour of prep time—thanks, Mom!!! Seriously, everyone should have one of these, so go make one or buy the As Seen on TV version from Bed, Bath & Beyond.
While my two sweet potatoes were cooking, I mixed the almond butter, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and baking soda (saving the egg for very last, as specified in the directions). We tossed in the peeled and mashed sweet potatoes, then the egg, and spread it in a greased pan (ain't nobody got time for parchment paper). Boom. Done. We did cook them for a bit longer than the directions suggested because they initially seemed a little too gooey for our taste, but they are still ridiculously moist. Honestly, I taste the cocoa and almond butter more than I taste any sweet potato. These get five out of five stars from me.
Everyone should probably buy this book.
Next up were the scones. Our Runner's World cookbook has a glorious picture of these babies, and the first time I saw it (last week), I knew we would be making them ASAP. This recipe was a little more complicated than the brownies in terms of prep, but it is worth the effort. We used plain Greek yogurt instead of buttermilk (again, ain't nobody got time for makin' buttermilk
[it actually doesn't take that long; I'm just lazy]) and ended up having to add a bit more yogurt than the recipe called for in buttermilk because the dough seemed a little too dry. For the fresh fruit element, we chose two varieties of plums with the skin on. We may have put in too many (if there is such a thing), because the plum bits didn't want to incorporate into the dough and it was a little hard to spread out in the pan.
I'm convinced our oven will always take longer than recipes say, so the scones stayed in a while extra, just like the brownies. The plums on top deceived me and made me think the dough was still raw, but it was the moisture from the fruit keeping the dough slightly gooey. After we left everything to sit while we did our nine-mile long run, we came back to some perfectly baked scones. Runner's World suggests these as a pre-run snack, but we're using them as breakfasts for the week—one batch makes between eight and ten, depending on how large or, in my case, crappily you cut them. In any case, these also get five stars. (Side note: I can't WAIT to make them with different combinations of fruits! Raspberries, cherries, blueberries!)
This is the image. The one I fell in love with.
Having these edibles ready to go sets up the day for success. Before, if we didn't have breakfasts ready to go, we'd likely stop at a coffee shop or I'd make my famous "mocha" at work (half coffee + half water + two creamers + hot cocoa packet = NOT healthy). I really enjoyed prepping these delicious baked goods—and I think Jono did, too, or he's at least enjoying the spoils. Knowing that they don't need to be classified as guilty pleasures or things you'd eat only on cheat day makes it even better. So if you're thinking of trying a new recipe, especially one with alternative ingredients, I say you should go for it!!