Black Bean Brownies

1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 eggs
3 Tbsp vegetable oil (or unsweetened applesauce to substitute)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp instant coffee
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk or semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish.
Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, sugar, baking powder and instant coffee in a blender; blend until smooth; pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 - 40 minutes.

Adapted from a recipe found on

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
2 jars chunky salsa (any kind)
1 can black beans, drained or 1 cup of dried beans soaked and cooked
1 can corn or 1 cup of frozen corn

Put black beans, corn and one jar of salsa in bottom of a crockpot and lay the chicken on the salsa.
Pour second jar of salsa over the chicken.
Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours.
With 30 minutes to go, shred chicken with a fork and stir everything in crockpot.

You can serve this immediately with fat free sour cream in a lettuce wrap, tortilla shells, over a salad, over brown rice or as dip with corn tortilla chips. My family actually prefers eating it the next day heated up.


Romaine Hearts Lettuce Wraps

1 romaine heart
3 chicken breasts, grilled and then diced
1 bunch cilantro
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 avocado, diced
2 red roma tomatoes, diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
reduced sodium soy sauce for dipping (optional)

Blend garlic cloves, pinch of salt, cilantro leaves and pine nuts in food processor until creamy.
Transfer to bowl and add oil while whisking.
Add chicken, diced avocados, tomatoes and green onions and stir. 
Clean and separate romaine leaves.
Spoon the chicken pesto into the leaves and wrap.
Adapted from the recipe on packaging of Andy Boy Romaine Hearts


Grilled Chili-Lime Chicken with Strawberry-Avocado Salsa

juice of 1 1/2 limes (about 3 Tbsp), divided
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 large garlic clove minced
1 1/4 tsp chili powder, divided
1/2 tsp seasalt
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts butterflied to make 4 breasts
8 large strawberries, hulled and diced
1/2 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
1/3 cup white onion diced
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

In medium bowl, whisk together 2 Tbsp lime juice, oil, honey, garlic, 1 tsp chili powder and salt.  Pour into resealable plastic bags and add chicken breasts.  Seal and toss well to coat.  Place bag of chicken in refrigerator and chill for 4 hours.
Heat the grill to medium-high heat. 
Prepare salsa: toss together strawberries, avocado, onion, cilantro and remaining lime juice and chili powder. 
Grill chicken for 12 minutes turning only once.
Let chicken stand for 5 minutes.  
Serve together either with the salsa spooned over the chicken on to the side.

This recipe was in the June 2006 issue of Fitness. 


Grilled Greek Chicken Sandwiches


This recipe only takes 30 minutes to prepare from beginning to end! 

Cucumber Sauce:

1/2 cup plain fat free greek yogurt
1/3 cup finely chopped, seeded cucumber
1 - 2 Tablespoons green onion, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon peel
1 small tomato diced
salt and pepper to taste


Chicken marinade:
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts butterflied to make 4 thinner pieces
2 whole wheat pitas cut in half to form pockets.
a few thin slices red onion

Marinate the chicken breasts in the lemon juice marinade for about 30 minutes.
Grill the marinated chicken and cut up into smaller pieces to fit into the pita pockets.  Top with cucumber sauce and red onions.

You can also top a salad with the chicken and cucumber sauce instead of making sandwiches.

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