I love cupcakes!

25 May

I went to my parents’ house this weekend, and although they aren’t vegetarians all the time, my mom often fixes veggie meals for everyone when I come visit (she’s the sweetest!). This time it was simply delicious whole-wheat pasta with tomato sauce and vegetables, and a three-bean salad – from simplyrecipes.com.

Prep time: 10 minutes
INGREDIENTS
1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 celery stalks, chopped fine
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
1 cup fresh, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp fresh finely chopped rosemary
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
METHOD
1 In a large bowl, mix the beans, celery, onion, parsley and rosemary.
2 In a separate small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the dressing to the beans. Toss to coat.
3 Chill beans in the refrigerator for several hours, to allow the beans to soak up the flavor of the dressing.
Yield: Serves 4 to 8.

Soooo, so good!! I’m assuming it’s meant as a side dish, but I could eat this for a whole meal.

And now to the subject of my post: CUPCAKES!

So, I care about my health. But I also have a mighty fine sweet teeth at times, so I’m always excited to find healthier (and more yummy) versions of dessert recipes. Last night I made some chocolate-mint cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I started with this recipe from BabycakesNYC and make just a few tweeks:

Makes 24 cupcakes

1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp salt
1 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cup blue agave nectar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 cup hot water

for icing (adapted from vegetarian.about.com):
1 container Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1/2 cup soy margarine
2 cups powdered sugar* – I made my own “unrefined” by putting 2 cups evaporated cane juice + 2 tsp arrowroot into a blender until very fine.
1 tsp blue agave nectar
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

How to:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
2. In medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the coconut oil, agave nectar, applesauce, and extracts until well combined. Then add hot water and keeping stirring until batter is smooth.
3. Pour batter into each cup until almost filling it. Bake cupcakes on center rack for about 24 minutes, turning the pan 180 degrees after 14 minutes.
(While the cupcakes bake, prepare the icing and put in refrigerator until ready to use.)
The finished cupcakes will bounce back when pressure is applied to center, and toothpick inserted into centers should come out clean.
4. Let cupcakes stand in tins for 20 minutes, then place on cooling racks. Apply about 1 tbsp of icing to top of each cupcake. ENJOY!

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