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I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Ours was so much fun! We’ve been back a couple of hours and I just had to write to tell you all about it.

The first uber fun thing we got to do was a cooking demo at Beyond The Kitchen Door on Saturday. We had a great turn out and thank you to everyone who showed up! For those of you who were requesting the recipe we featured, here’s the link.

Teaching a cooking class at Beyond The Kitchen Door in Courtenay, BC.

We absolutely love doing the demos, but especially during this time of the year. The store is full of Christmas cheer and people looking for fun gifts for loved ones. What better place to shop than a kitchen store, right? So much fun. We had the opportunity to meet with so many great people, which is the real reason we do it. I love getting to meet new people from our community and it’s even better when we’re brought together because of good, healthy, real food.

We had double booked ourselves, doing a cooking demo in Courtenay (our home town) which ended at 2 and having to be in Vancouver by 6. Now Vancouver isn’t necessarily far, but it is inconvenient to get to from where we live. There is no bridge from Vancouver Island to the Mainland, and the hour and a half ferry ride is over an hour drive away just to get to the ferry terminal. So, we were lucky enough to get a flight over instead. We would have never made it if we hadn’t had that option.

Looking back at Vancouver Island from just north of where we live.

The flight was special because it wasn’t just a regular plane but a float plane instead. I had never been on a float plane before. I’ve been in numerous aircraft, but this was entirely novel to me and one I had been longing to add to the list. It is so much fun to take off from the water. To add to the excitement, we were the only two people on the plane. It felt like a private charter! The cloud cover was low so we flew 500 feet above the water the whole way there. We could see all the beautiful houses built on secluded islands, the sandy beaches with washed up driftwood and the incredible rocky shores that are distinct to the Pacific Northwest.

The airline company, Harbor Air is really quite a lovely service. The flight takes off from the Comox Harbor, which is 10 minutes from our house. There is free parking and the employees are exceptional. They even make the effort to get to know your name! They do an excellent job of making you feel like they really value your business. The receiving airport in downtown Vancouver Harbor even serves complimentary cappuccinos, beverages and pastries. This is not something you get from BC Ferries!

Comox Harbor where the float planes take off.

My sister, who lives in Vancouver, came to pick us up. She and Joshua work for the same company. She did an amazing job of organizing the event. They hosted the party at the Deeley Motorcycle Museum. This is a very unique venue because of the vintage motorcycles they have on display. They had refurbished original motorcycles, some as far back as the 1890′s. They were beautifully restored. I even got to meet a fellow blogger that I have been following for over a year. Tyla blogs at Finding Breathing Room. Her husband Darrel works for the company as well. They served hors d’oeuvres and cocktails as we toured this beautiful museum. We even got our photo taken in a vintage Harley and a side car, all dressed up in our heels and suits! The staff that catered the event was without a word of exaggeration, exceptional. They were professional, attentive and polite. The decorations were nicer than some people’s weddings I’ve been to. So a big hats off to all the people that made the event possible! We had a great time.

This was than topped off with a Sunday brunch the next morning with all my cousins that live in the area. One of which I had not seen in 25 years. Needless to say, we looked a little different than we did back then. I didn’t even know what zits were 25 years ago. We often feel like we are so removed from our family living on Vancouver Island, but this was an excellent reminder that we are only a hop, skip and a jump away from family should we ever be in need.

So, onto food, the real reason we’re all here. My attempt number two at protein brownies was much more successful. I’m excited to share it with you. It’s quite the adult type of protein bar with its subtle mix of chocolate, cinnamon and coffee. It’s the perfect mix for chocolate if you ask me. This recipe could easily be used as a base for many protein brownie variations. You could be naughty and add chocolate chips, nice by adding nuts, or any combination of fabulous additions typically found in brownies. They start off very light and airy if you don’t allow them to chill. So, thought it’s tough to resist, allow these babies the justice of a little down time in your fridge. You’ll be glad you did.

A few things about the recipe.

First off, just because I used lentils doesn’t mean you couldn’t use black beans instead, because you absolutely could. The legume in this recipe represents our source of protein and fiber. It’s quite challenging to make a protein anything without the use of whey, but I decided to settle for a lower protein content for a higher quality product. In this case the product in question is nutrition content.

Secondly, the sugar source comes from the dried fruit and honey. The fruit not only provides sweetness, but also a good source of fiber. I mean really, don’t we all want a happy pooper? I know I do! I even think you could use raisins instead of the dates or prunes. If you get into a position where you go to reach for the dates and you find yourself saying “…what the heck…I swore I had some dates…really?”, and you’re having a “now what” moment, I’m sure raisins would do the trick. My original intention was to make these brownies using all dates but I ran a little short after my last brownie fiasco. So, I decided to do a little combo of dates and prunes. One or the other would work as long as the total adds up to 1 cup. I used coconut flour in these specifically because I was aiming to achieve a higher level of overall fiber.

Protein Brownies

  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup prunes, pitted
  • 1 1/2 cups brewed coffee, hot
  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted or coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Start by brewing a cup and a half of coffee. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside.

Soak the dates and prunes in 1 1/2 cups of freshly made hot coffee for 5 minutes.

In a large food processor add the prunes, dates, coffee, lentils, cocoa and cinnamon and blend until the mixture is relatively smooth. The next step can be done either using a food processor or a cake mixer. (Our food processor is not large enough for all the ingredients so the rest of the instructions will be followed out using a cake mixer.)

In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs. Add the melted butter, honey and vanilla. Whisk together. Add the egg mixture to the lentil mixture and blend until well combined.

Mix coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl. Add in the dry ingredients to the lentil in two parts, making sure the first batch is well incorporated before continuing on the the second addition.

Pour the batter into the lined baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.

Allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting them into individual size pieces approximately, an inch and a half by 3 inch squares. I would recommend refrigerating overnight. When they first come out they are very light and almost airy. The consistency of a brownie develops once they have cooled completely. We wrap individual squares in plastic and freeze them. This way they stay fresh and they are ready to go for the hubbies ski days. Now I didn’t quite reach my mark of 10 grams of protein, but I can settle for 8.5. After all, we still want them to taste good.

240 calories, with just under 8.5 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. Makes 18 squares. Or as little or as many as you like really, but those are the figures for 18 :)

I’m sharing this with My Meatless Mondays, Real Food 101, Mangia Mondays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays Parade of Food, A Little Birdie Told Me, Traditional Tuesdays, Fat Tuesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Lunch Box Love and Monday Mania.

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