*dine. i ate at a really charming, enticing Spanish tapas restaurant in Nolita last night called Cata that i’d definitely recommend to any wine and tapas lovers living in (or visiting) NYC. although i refrained from snapping photos (with my new iPhone 5, woot! after the old one took a face plant onto cement in Boca…whoops) in an attempt to not embarrass myself or my date, their website has a plethora of photos indicative of the warmth and rustic, elemental appeal that is Cata. the menu offers everything from cheese plates to delicious seafood tapas and a variety of paellas, and i really enjoyed everything we tried — including some nice French wine. lovely spot, all around.
*run. i made it outdoors for two runs so far this week, as the temps were in the 40s (hooray!). however, i had a not-so-cute running “first” on Wednesday morning: i totally bit it. one step on black ice and it was all over. thankfully, nobody saw (my first concern, obvi), my Under Armour shirt didn’t rip, and i wasn’t hurt in the least, save a little scrapage on my elbow and a bit of a bruised pride. it definitely turned me into a cautious Winter runner, however; take a look at this mess of a route i had to traverse:
i have to admit i’m about ready for this snow and ice stuff to be over and done with. that 4-miler was a bit sketchy to navigate in spots, and thankfully my 5-miler yesterday evening was much better. i’m just thankful to be back outdoors again, digger and all. maybe i’ll invest in one of those pairs of shoes with spikes for next season…
*bake. i’m all about healthy baking. i don’t have a huge sweet tooth but i def love me some dark chocolate, and if i’m going to make something sweet and have it in the house, i prefer it to be as healthy as possible. my go-to for healthy desserts is Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog, which has a crazy variety of amazing-looking desserts that won’t break your diet. i whipped up a batch of her Black Bean Brownies for the 2nd time ever yesterday, and i have to say, these things are good…and they do not taste like beans!
here’s Katie’s recipe, with my substitutions in bold:
Black Bean Brownies
- 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well)
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder- dutch or regular (add a little extra if desired)
- 1/2 cup quick oats
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave (Honey will work, but not for strict vegans.)
- 2 nunaturals stevia packs or 2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup) *i used 2 tbsp of light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil *i substituted a 1/4cup of unsweetened applesauce here, and they turned out fabulously
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract (didn’t have this, so i omitted)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (115-140g) (Not optional. Omit at your own risk.)
- optional: more chips, for presentation
Black Bean Brownies Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.) Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.
so, so good. make these.
*inspire. dream. believe.