Makeover Gooey Chocolate PB Cake

I wasn’t planning on posting this recipe as it certainly isn’t the best for you. However, after sharing the cake with others I received several requests for the recipe.  So with a few modifications this recipes has a least been a little “healthified.”  Otherwise, it’s just plain good and deserves to be enjoyed in moderation. 

Makeover Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
from healthy cooking and

  • 1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar


  • In a large bowl, beat the cake mix, egg, oil and applesauce on low speed until combined. Press into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  • In a another large bowl, beat cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Add the butter, eggs, egg whites and vanilla; beat on low until combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar; mix well. Pour over crust.
  • Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before cutting. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 24 servings.

Nutritional Facts 1 piece equals 228 calories, 11 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 38 mg cholesterol, 255 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Until next time…
Look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Peanut Butter Banana Pudding

Here’s a healthy snack that can be whipped up in no time.  After school snack, midnight cravings, or just because! 

Peanut Butter Banana Pudding:
recipe from 
1 plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
2 large ripe bananas
3-4 Tbsp peanut butter, chunky/salted
2/3 cup maple syrup (if you choose sugar-free syrup and you’ll save 105 calories per serving!)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
|Add all ingredients to blender, blend. Pour into serving dishes or a large bowl. Chill in fridge or freezer until thick. Serve and enjoy!

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Chickpea Cookie Dough!?

You got it! Another deceptive yet nutritious and delicious dessert for you to whip up for your family tonight!  Similar to my black bean brownies, this recipe uses beans as its creamy base.

Chickpea Cookie Dough

recipe adapted from
1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained)
heaping 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda (a bit more)
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pure Watkins vanilla extract
up to 1/4 cup nut butter
1 and 1/4 cup pitted dates, soaked
1/3 cup chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons oats
few drops of stevia
Milk or nondairy milk as needed to thin (a few T at the most)
In a bowl, cover the dates with 1/2 cup water.  Let this sit for several hours (the original recipe says 8 but you can get away with 2-3).  Add all ingredients (including the date water), except chocolate chips, to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes and then stir in chocolate chips.

Serve as a dessert dip (with apple slices, animal crackers, etc) or pudding, mix into oatmeal, stuff into cupcakes or top pancakes with it.  Remember it is a dessert so don’t eat all the batter at once 🙂  The taste is similiar to a cough flavored Larabar!

Untill next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Mugged by a Cake

That’s right…a cake made in a mug.  Crazy right?!  That’s what I thought when I saw my pal Abby post the recipe on her blog: La Vida de Frida.  I knew I had to try. 
This is a PERFECT way to portion out a treat and not have the temptation to go back for seconds .

Chocolate Cake in a Mug, recipe slightly adapted from AJ’s Cooking Secrets (post from La Vida de Frida)

I was drawn to this recipe for chocolate cake in a mug because it had a fraction of the sugar (some recipes used as much as 1/4 cup for one serving!) and fat compared to other recipes. It also contains no eggs, so no worries about eating undercooked eggs! I have made a few changes to the original recipe to make it a bit more wholesome. Like any dessert, I want it to be as wholesome as I can make it, without sacrificing flavor.

  • 2 Tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour ….I used white whole wheat flour as that is what I had on hand
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dark chocolate chips (about 15)
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon canola or other light oil
  • Very small splash of vanilla extract
  1. In a microwave-safe coffee mug, thoroughly mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, sugar, and chocolate chips
  2. Stir in milk, oil, and vanilla extract until combined with the dry ingredients (make sure to scrape the bottom, as the dry ingredients like to “hang out” there).
  3. Microwave batter for 40-60 seconds, depending on microwave power and desired cake texture. (I microwave my cake for 40 seconds, and the result is similar to a molten chocolate lava cake.)
  4. Enjoy plain, or with a dusting of powdered sugar, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, or a cold glass of milk!


Here’s a close up of the ooey-gooey goodness.

In this convenience world we live in…anyone else have healhty-convenient recipes to share?

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Strawberry-Kiwi Dessert Pizza

Father’s Day weekend was kicked off with a date night as Cosi Cucina’s….one of my favorite local Italian restaurants in Des Moines.

Sunday, Trey woke up bright and early to celebrate (oh wait, that’s every morning)

Happy Father’s Day Dad!

ok, I’m bored

seriously, how do you get out of this thing…

we then ventured down to Winterset to celebrate Father’s Day with J’s dad and family.

His mom made this yummy dessert that I had to share with ya’ll. It has great curb appeal and would be fabulous for a summer picnic.

Strawberry-Kiwi Dessert Pizza

from my mother-in-law’s kitchen, who clipped it from the DSM Register

For the crust:

3/4 C whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 C all purpose flours, plus some for dusting (you could probably use all whole wheat)

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 C low fat cottage cheese

1/3 C sugar
3 T canola oil

2 T skim milk

3/4 tsp almond extract (YUM)

For the topping:

1/3 seedless raspberry jam (maybe you can pick some up at the farmer’s market!)

2 T orange juice (my favorite is Simply Orange)

3 T coconut flakes, divided

2 kiwi fruit, peeled and thinly sliced

3 large strawberries, thinly sliced


To prepare crust, in small bowl whisk together the flour and baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In food processor, puree the cottage cheese. Add sugar, oil, milk, and almond extract, then process until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and pulse 5 to 6 times, just until dough clumps together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and using floured hands press the dough into a ball. Knead 2 or 3 times, but do not overwork. Dust with flour, wrap in plastic and refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare topping. In small bowel whip jam and orange juice together. Set aside. To bake and assemble the pizza, position rack in the middle of oven. Heat the oven to 400F. Coat 12 inch pizza pan or large baking sheet or pie pan with cooking spray. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 12 inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. Roll the dough back over the rolling pin and transfer to the prepared pan. Spread the jam mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4inch border around edge. Bake until crust in golden and crispy, about 15-20 minutes (my mother-in-law under baked it just a tad to have a softer crust…I recommend this!) Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Place the cooled crust on a clean pizza pan or large serving plate. Sprinkle evenly with half the coconut. Arrange the fruit on top and sprinkle remaining coconut. Serve immediately or wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 hours before serving.

Nutrition per serving (serves 8): 207 calories, 6g fat, 35g carbs, 4g protein

Until next time…

look good, feel good, do good

Strawberry Lime Cream Pie

Strawberry Lime Cream Pie
from Clean Eating Magazine


1 1/2 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered (reserve 1 or 2 for garnish)

1/4 C sugar, honey, or stevia

1 12 oz pkg extra firm silken tofu (about 2 cups cubed)….yes tofu!

1 C low fat cottage cheese

zest 1 lime

1 baked extra-easy whole wheat pie crust (see below)


In a medium sauce pot on medium heat, combine strawberries and sugar. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often, until strawberries break down, release their juices and become thick and jam-like. Scrape strawberries into a large glass bowl and cool to room temp, about 20 minutes. Scrape strawberries into the jar of a blender with tofu, cottage cheese and lime zest. Blend until very smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of blender. Pour puree into baked pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Garnish with reserved strawberries. Slice and serve!

I used the left over strawberry mix in my plain Greek yogurt throughout the week…YUM!

Extra-Easy Whole Wheat Pie Crust


1 1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour, plus some for work surface

1 tsp sugar or stevia

1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

1/3 C low fat milk

1 egg yolk

1 T oil (safflower, grape, canola)

1 T apple cider vinegar


Preheat over to 350F. In bowl of food processor, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Pulse together until mixed. In a spouted measuring cup, whisk together milk, egg yolk, oil, and vinegar. With processor running, slowly pour mixture through chute into dry ingredients. The mix should be partially crumbly but sticks together when squeezed. Dump dough out onto well-floured surface. Squeeze into a singular mound and pat it down to a disc and 1/2inch thick. Using rolling pin, roll dough out until 12 inches in diameter. Set rolling pin at bottom edge and gently roll dough onto pin so that dough drapes over pin. Transfer dough to pie dish. Gently press dough into the edges of dosh and up the sides. Fold excess dough under and pinch, creating a roughly 1/2 in rim. Using your fingers, or with a fork, crimp entire rim. Poke dough all over with a fork to create stem. (my edge wasn’t pretty, but that’s ok because it didn’t change the flavor 🙂 Bake in oven for 20 minutes until edges and center are just golden. Remove from oven and let cool.
Variations: you can sub 1/4 the flour with 1/4 C unsalted nuts of your choice, finely chopped or ground. Almond flour, pistachios….

Nutrients per serving (1/8): 207 calories, 5g fat, 12g sugar, 30g carbs, 10g protein (wahoo cottage cheese and tofu!)

Until next time…

look good, feel good, do good