MAP Wellness

MAP Wellness
Spreading the Health

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Chocolate Cake & Celebrations

Chocolate Blueberry Cream Cake

Oh yes, summer, you sneaky little sphinx.  It appears that the season of splendor may finally be making its full appearance here in Ontario, after a spring of cold weather, grey skies, and much rain.  Yes, today kicks off the first weekend of nothing but sunshine (as predicted by the weather whisperers at the Weather Network anyway), and it also marks the day that we celebrate the birth of my big sister Steph!  Happy Birthday beautiful!

So I thought, what better way to honour both occasions, than with a cool, creamy, chocolate cake.  I whipped up this raw round of richness knowing that I wouldn’t get to share it with Stephanie as she does live up in our nation’s capital, but I will have the next best things when it comes to taste testers, as my mother is on her way to visit as I type.  The plan for she and I today includes a morning at Evergreen Brickworks, a stop at the Toronto Wine & Spirit festival in Sugar Beach, and a BBQ on my balcony later this aft.  Heck, we may even sneak in a viewing of the new flick, Man of Steel (fitting I think, as the original Superman movie was the first I ever experienced at the Drive In back when I was a wee babe).

 And for dessert tonight?  THIS:


For the crust

  • 1/2 C almonds
  • ½ C walnuts
  • 1 cup dates
  • ¼ C shredded coconut
  • pinch sea salt

For the filling

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 3 T agave
  • ¼ C raw cacao
  • 1/2 t vanilla 
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • pinch salt

  • 1 ½ C blueberries


  • In a food processor, process the almonds, walnuts, dates and salt until the mixture starts to stick together.  Add in coconut and pulse to combine. 
  • Press crust mixture firmly into the base of a spring-form cake pan.   Top with 1 C of the blueberries.
  • Using the food processor again (no need to rinse!), process the bananas, avocado, agave, vanilla, coconut oil, and salt until very smooth.  

  • Pour filling over the blueberries and crust, smoothing with the back of a spoon.  Freeze to set (at least 2 hours, I like to freeze overnight.
  • When ready to serve, release cake from pan, top with leftover blueberries, and slice.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Black Bean Burgers (Vegan, Grain, Gluten & Nut Free!)

Ah, summer time.  It may not be here *quite* yet, but the past few days of thirty degree weather certainly had my mind on the months ahead and all that this season has to offer.   I spent the better part of last weekend tidying up my seventeenth floor balcony, readying it for its duty as an extension to my home, an extra room that I tend to spend the majority of my time during the months of June, July and August.  This is where I enjoy many a morning meal, indulge in plenty of afternoon lounging with a good book, and entertain in the evening; meals served al fresco almost seven days a week.

And here in Canada, no outdoor space is complete with a BBQ.  Yes, grilling is part of our DNA I’d say, and even though I do not eat meat, there will still be plenty of burgers flipped on my mini Coleman.  I decided it high time that I develop a new vegan burger recipe that I can enjoy, but that also caters to those with grain-free and nut-free lifestyles, but is still tasty, filling, and sturdy!  And this challenge was met with great success, as the following patty product stood up solidly to the char, and was divine with a side of grilled peppers and local asparagus and topped with avocado salsa!

Black Bean Burgers
Makes 8 patties

1 can black beans
1 large clove garlic
2 T tahini
Juice of 1 lime
1.5 t cumin
1 t cinnamon
1 t chili powder
1 t curry
1 t sea salt
½ C ground flax seed, plus 1 C

½ cup diced red onion
¼ cup grated carrot
¼ cup diced yellow or orange pepper
¼ cup salsa (I used an organic bottled version)

  1. 1In food processor, blend first  9 ingredients with ½ cup flax until combined.
  2. Add in the onion, carrot, pepper, and salsa and continue to process until combined, but still little chunky.  The mixture will be quite moist at this point.
  3. Remove mixture to large bowl and stir in remaining 1 cup of ground flax until well combined.  The liquid in the mix should absorb the flax and it will become more dough like.
  4. Refrigerate for 1 hour
  5. Once the dough is well cooled, it will be easier to handle.  Shape into 8 patties, and either grill straight away, or freeze individually on a baking sheet, transferring to Ziploc bag or glass freezer container to store.