cinco de delicious

I had a dee-lish-us day of eats.  Shall we begin?

Finallllllllly after what seems like a month, I had the.perfect.bowl. of oats.  My last good bowl was kissed with salt + butter.


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Scottish Oat Perfection

  • 1/3c Scottish Oats

  • 1.25c water

  • 1/4c almond milk

  • 1t vanilla [finally bought another was missed!!!]

  • 1/2 banana

  • 1/2t cinnamon

  • 1 egg white, whisked in the last 2min of cooking

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Toppings:  No crunch today.  It just wasn’t necessary.

The peanut butter is super creamy, thick and delicious.  I can’t wait to start adding the chocolate + coconut to it!

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By 10am I was getting my bake on for a very special boy.  JAKE!  I wanted to make him a birthday cake to celebrate turning ONE!

First time using this baking spray and it rocked.  Definitely recommend!

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I did a lot of recipe searching.  I wanted this cake to be simple but loaded with the best ingredients possible.  I googled for simple healthy kid’s cakes but didn’t have much luck.  Nothing sounded too impressive.

So I turned to Joy The Baker.  I was looking through her cake recipes and found a simple, somewhat unusual, and health filled cake.  It was a recipe she adapted for Vegan Chocolate Cake with Avocado.  Why would I make a vegan cake for a 1yr old?  Well honestly, the recipe sounded super easy, I always love a good vegan challenge, and I thought the ingredient list sounded very baby friendly.

I of course made a few changes ;)

2c of sugar –> 1c brown rice syrup + 3/4c sucanat – I used the brown rice syrup in hopes that it would give a nice thick texture but also because BRS has a very stable glycemic index level, basically meaning it has little effect on your blood sugar levels.  We don’t need to go giving 1yr olds a sugar high!

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1 mashed avocado, as the recipe calls for.  This is apparently a great butter replacement in baking.  While I love butter, avocados are a much healthier source of fats.  I used my immersion blender [loooove] to get this nice + creamy.

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3c all purpose flour –> 3c whole wheat pastry flour – Why not pack in some fiber + protein to this cake?  I think it worked great!  It didn’t taste “wheaty” at all.  I’m sure the all-purp flour would have given it a slightly lighter texture, but honestly I loved how thick this cake was!

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2c water –> 1c unsweetened almond milk + 1c water – I used half almond milk for a little extra flavor and natural sweetness, since I lowered the sugar by 1/2c.

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The batter was seriously amazing + dangerous.  Like I’ve said before, I’m not afraid to take a few licks of batter with egg in it…but when egg is NOT in it, it’s really hard to stop the licking.  This tasted like pudding.  I knew it was going to be a winner.

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The cakes baked beautifully!  A challenge with vegan baking and high altitude baking!

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I was worried that I overcooked them a tad.  The toothpick felt a little goopy when I tested it the first time but I think I left them in 3-5min longer than needed.  I was hoping it wouldn’t taste like a pasty chocolate sponge.

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Oh, also!  This was possibly the easiest cake recipe I’ve ever made!!!  No joke!  You don’t need a stand mixer or any mixer.  You will need 2 bowls, 1 whisk, 2 round pans, and a spatula for scraping.  It was together in no time at all.

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Before I knew it Melissa + Jake arrived and we headed to Parsley, which I mentioned the other day.  I just found this little restaurant while driving and loved the sound of their menu.

Melissa got the caprese sandwich with a peach smoothie.  I had a taste of the peach smoothie.  YUM.

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I was brave and tried my first veggie juice!!!

Green Juice –> organic apple, organic spinach, organic celery, organic cucumber

At first sip it was good but I ended up not really liking it.  ALL you could taste was celery.  I’m sure all of the other ingredients were in there too but celery must be really overpowering.  Even though they don’t add sugar it was almost too sweet and they must not keep all of the veggies + fruits in the fridge because this was not cold enough for my liking.  I could barely choke down half.  I like celery, but not that much.  Probably should have gotten the carrot + apple for my first try.

My samich:  Housemade ciabatta + red pepper hummus + lettuce + roasted red peppers + tomato + cucumber

The bread rocked.

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Doesn’t it look completely fabulous?  Even with the red pepper hummus this was really bland…and watery! :(  I gobbled down every bite but was not overly satisfied with it.  There are a lot of red peppers in there but they were almost flavorless and the tomatoes made the sandwich SO watery when I would take a bite.  Would have been a lot better with a simple shake of salt + pepper.  I’ll definitely be back for another try, but just make different choices!  The sandwich was HUGE and cost $6.95.  Not too bad for being packed with fresh, mostly organic ingredients.

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Cute little shops.

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Back to the cake!  When we got home from lunch I got to making the frosting.  While the cake is vegan, the frosting is not.  I could have easily made it vegan by using coconut milk, but wasn’t sure about coconut + babies.  I wasn’t sure if Jake ever had coconut before and didn’t want to try something new.  So, I opted for heavy whipping cream.  I wanted to make a simple whipped cream frosting.

I didn’t want to make the avocado buttercream that was suggested for 2 reasons.  1 – I only had one avocado!  2 – I didn’t want to make a frosting full of powdered sugar.  I definitely want to try it at some point though!

Now WHY is there spinach in this bowl?

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muahahahaa :)

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Green Monster Whipped Cream Frosting – an Ashley original ;)

  • 1pint organic heavy whipping cream [or for a vegan version, try this]

  • 1/4c sucanat

  • 2c spinach

  1. Puree whipping cream + spinach + sucanat just until there are no spinach pieces floating around.  I used the vita-mix for this.

  2. Pour into a chilled metal bowl and whip the metal whisk attachment [if you have one] with your mixer.

  3. Whip on high until stiff peaks form.

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The sneakiest way ever to get your kids [or Jessica] to eat their veggies.  You could not taste it at all…unlike the celery in my juice.

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I didn’t pack it with spinach so Jake would eat more veggies…but I packed it with spinach for the nice green color!!  The veggie nutrients were just an added bonus.  I’m done using chemical dyes when baking!

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So how was it?  I loved the cake.  It was thick and fudge-like, but still cakey.  It had a great texture and was moist, even though I cooked it a little too long.  It had a mild sweetness and went well with the whipped topping.  The chocolate came through but next time I will add 1T more of cocoa.  I might try making it with cake flour at some point, just to see the texture difference.

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You could tell there was something different about the cake but not in a bad way.  I didn’t miss the butter or the butter cream frosting that usually gives me a headache + stomach ache from sugar overload.

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The cake is now in the fridge and has called my name more than once.  Please. Someone come help me eat it!!  Oh and I think I like it better cold!  SO excited about this cake!

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Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake [adapted from this] *recipe updated from original post

  • 3c whole wheat pastry flour

  • 8T unsweetened cocoa powder [*updated]

  • 1/2t salt

  • 2t baking powder

  • 2t baking soda

  • 1c brown rice syrup

  • 3/4c sucanat

  • 1/4c safflower oil [sunflower, grapeseed, almond, avocado, etc. would work]

  • ~1/2c ripe avocado, mashed until smooth

  • 1c water

  • 1c unsweetened almond milk

  • 2T white vinegar

  • 2t vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350*

  2. Grease + flour [or use baking spray] 2 – 8” or 9” baking pans.

  3. Sift dry ingredients together [except the sugar].

  4. Mix wet ingredients + sugars in a bowl until thoroughly combined.

  5. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until just combined.  Do 1 good scrape down to make sugar there are no dry ingredients stuck to the bottom of the bowl.  Do not over-mix.

  6. Bake 30-40min and test with a toothpick.

  7. Let cool in pans for at least 15min and then turn onto a cooling rack.

  8. Let cool completely before frosting.

*The sweetness was mild.  If you want it sweeter, use the full cups as the original recipes states.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAKE!!!!  [watch out for a mid-day post from a little photo shoot at the park with Jake ;)]

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Yes, I’m still going.  Stay with me.

When I saw Jessica’s post for loaded sweet potato fries, I couldn’t get them off my mind.  I told Chris the idea and asked how they sounded.  He basically said they sounded good minus the sweet potato part.  There are a few food items we disagree on.  Sweet taters are 1 of them.

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Russets for the boy.  I baked these low + slow style, the only way to bake a sweet tater.  SO good.  The russets crisped up really well but obviously didn’t have the same creaminess the sweet taters have.

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SO GOOD.  I promise you.

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What’s on my plate?

  • 2c baby mixed greens

  • 1 large sweet tater

  • 1/2 acocado

  • ~3/4c black beans

  • 1 tomato

  • Organic Valley extra sharp white cheddar cheese

  • a lot of salsa

  • ~1/4c fage 2% Greek yogurt [I added more than the small dollop]

Nothing was measured.  I’m just approximating.

Would Gena approve this as a Meal Sized Salad??

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Dessert was obviously more chocolate cake + a pear.

Oooh I had a great workout today after Melissa + Jake left.

7 laps at Wash Park = ~16.5m @ 15mph

Rode home and had a quick lifting session:


  • 10 reps – 20lbs

  • 8 reps – 20lbs

  • 8 reps – 10lbs

Overhead Tricep Extension

  • 3 sets of 10 reps – 25lbs

Shoulder Press

  • 3 sets of 12 – 10lbs

Lateral Raises

  • 3 sets of 10 – 10lbs

Then a nice stretch session with a lot of deep yoga stretches from the hip opening flow video.

Phew.  That was long!  I hope you’re not face down, drooling on your desk! Off to answer comments + hopefully get at least 7hrs of sleep!

Happy Thursday!