Strange But Red Velvet [Recipes]

Red Velvet isn’t so strange.

Until I get a hold of it.

I’ve always been a fan of red velvet, but I went on a bender when I remembered it’s Vegas’ favorite.  Of course, I couldn’t just do it the normal way (though I did once win a cake baking contest with my great grandmother’s “normal” recipe).  I made it healthier and used beets.  A little strange perhaps, but good!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I am doing the obligatory red post.  Like I apparently do every year.*  But these red velvet treats won’t leave you so full that you won’t want to participate in and romantic activities.  Who am I not to follow good advice?

*One day I’ll be more original with V-Day food.  This year I’m being original by actually having a Valentine. :)

Red Velvet Protein Shake

Red Velvet Protein Shake… 

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Tagalong French Toast + A Broccoli Weekend

I could eat a box of Tagalongs in one sitting.


Thankfully I haven’t proven that, but I’m sure I could.

While I was snowed (iced) in last week, I decided to make myself a healthier version.  One that I could eat an entire plate of.  And I did.

Tagalong French Toast… 

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Strange But Good: I’m Seeing Red

Red is an extreme color.

And I love extremes.

Red is typically used as either a color of danger or a color of love.  Obviously, this season is of love.

I happen to love food.  Desserts especially.  Even better if it’s strange (but good).  My contribution to the #strangebutgood linkup today is a round-up of red-themed healthy treats.  Many are even one-serving for Singles Awareness Day. 😉


Mocha Beet Frappuccino

I make this 4-5 times a week.  Usually without the coffee – I rarely drink it so I don’t keep it around.

Mocha Beet Frappuccino

Red Velvet Chia Cheesecake

It’s been too long since I’ve made this.  Happening again next week.  For breakfast.

Red Velvet Chia Cheesecake

Red Velvet Protein Mugcake

You guys know I’m a mugcake addict.  I married this with my Marshmallow cake this week… there are no words.

Red Velvet Protein Mugcake

Red Velvet Protein Bars

I didn’t come up with these, but I wish I had.  These were a guest post by Kammie.  They taste as good as they look.  I keep a batch in my freezer for a quick snack when I need a chocolate fix.  Which is quite often.

Red Velvet Protein Bars

Vegan Goat Cheese Stuffed Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

No, I’m not going to try to tell you a tomato is dessert.  Just in case you already have dessert plans I wanted to include a savory item for you.  This is a complicated-looking, gorgeous dish.  And it’s extremely easy.

Vegan Goat Cheese Tomatoes

♥ Happy Valentine’s Day! ♥


How have you enjoyed making co-workers, friends, or family stare with strange but good creations this week? The link up rules can be found here or by clicking on “Strange But Good” in the menu bar above. In short, I want to see what concoctions have earned you weird looks from co-workers, family and friends! Post your Strange But Good creations, grab the logo below for your blog, and link up here.

Sprint 2 the Table

Remember to use #strangebutgood in any Tweets and Instagrams of your creations. :)


Curious about the Fitmark giveaway?  Click here to check to see the winner!  Now, I must go get ready for my hot date.

What are you doing to celebrate VD?  *snicker*

What’s your favorite red recipe?  Link it up!

Happy Singles Awareness Day

I like being married to the gym single.

monopoly cats

I couldn’t even handle having a cat in my life.

What I can handle is eating red food.  I’ve been traveling too much to make anything special, but if I make it to the grocery store today I may eat something red.

In the meantime, I did manage to round-up my favorites… and separate them into courses.  This is what happens when you blog on an airplane.

Then I couldn’t help myself – I made a new sugar-free, high protein microwave cake when I got home from the airport.  It was late, the pics are dark… but this is what happens when you are without chocolate cake and Nuttzo for days.  Cravings must be satisfied!  Recipe at the end.



Raspberry Baked Oatmeal (To-Go!)

Raspberry Baked Oatmeal (To-Go!)

Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal

Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal

Roasted Beet and Orange Smoothie

Roasted Beet and Orange Smoothie


Crabby Smoked Gazpacho

Crabby Smoked Gazpacho

Vegan Goat Cheese Stuffed Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

Vegan Goat Cheese Stuffed Oven-Roasted Tomatoes


Veggie Sushi with Beet Wasabi Sauce

Veggie Sushi with Beet Wasabi Sauce


Beet Protein Frozen Custard

Beet Protein Frozen Custard

Strawberry Smoky Almond Tart

Strawberry Smoky Almond Tart


This last dessert is the one I made upon arriving home last night.  I had a fierce peanut butter and chocolate craving, and this sugar-less treat fit the bill.  And did I mention it has 30g of protein???

If you stop the microwave while it still looks a tad jiggly on top, you’ll have a gooey, molten cake.  Which is exactly when I did, and highly recommend.  Then I topped it with a healthy serving of Nuttzo (which I am obsessed with), and a festive strawberry heart.

PB Chocolate Cake

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Microwave Cake

  • 2 T peanut flour
  • 1 scoop (2T) chocolate protein powder
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1 T pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 C egg whites
  • 1/4 unsweetened almond milk (or water)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 drops chocolate liquid stevia (I used NuNaturals)


Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl.  Add wet to dry and stir to combine.  

Transfer to a small, greased bowl (I used coconut oil).  Microwave until just done, ~ 45-60 secs.  

Transfer to a plate, top as desired, and enjoy!

Approximate Nutritionals: 180 calories, 4g fat, 150.8mg sodium, 11.2g carbohydrates, 4.8g fiber, 1.5g sugar, 31.5g protein

I received this jar of NuttZo free of charge through participation in a FitFluential campaign. I was not otherwise compensated; all opinions on the product are my own (I already ate the stuff religiously). Check out NuttZo on Twitter and/or Facebook!


Happy Valentine’s Day!

I think this is the perfect night to curl up with a glass of red wine, some popcorn, and dark chocolate while watching Grey’s.

Do you have big Valentine’s plans?

What is your favorite Valentine-themed food?  I dig those Reese’s hearts… the shapes have more PB!


Butternut Squash-Cherry Bomb +WIAW

We’re half way there… whoaaaa, livin’ on a prayer…

Last Wednesday I shared with you all that 2 friends and I began the Standard Process Cleanse.  Which means this is another super-clean What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW).  And by Wednesday, I mean Tuesday. :)

10 days in to the cleanse (half way – woot!), I can honestly say that I haven’t been hungry one time.  Veggies are really filling!  Admittedly, eating and plant-based diet with no processed foods or breads is more time consuming.  The key is to be sure you are prepared.

For instance, on Sunday I roasted beets, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash.  Easy fixin’s for smoothies, salads, and “pastas.”

Don’t forget to check out Jenn’s blog to see what everyone else at this Wednesday during this veggie-centric month!



Ice cream isn’t legal, but that didn’t stop me from a Neapolitan smoothie.

It didn’t stay so pretty after it was fully mixed… but these things happen when you mix green, red, and orange.

Trust me, it tasted better than it looks here:

Butternut Squash-Cherry Bomb Smoothie

  • 1 C spinach
  • 1/2 C butternut squash, roasted
  • 1/2 C black cherries
  • 1/2 C unsweetened vanilla coconut milk (a la So Delicious)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 5-6 drops vanilla stevia
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp guar gum (optional)
  • Shake of allspice
  • Shake of salt

Looks bad, taste good. :)


The deliciousness below is brought to you by a new (to me) blog: The Vegetable Centric Kitchen.

Rande makes some delicious-looking, vegetarian dishes.  This is her Zucchini Pasta with Lemon Tahini Sauce and Roasted Crimini Mushrooms.

Since I don’t have a spiralizer, I used the nifty orange tool picture below to peel my zucchini.  I’m not sure what it’s called other than a peeler with razor teeth, but thanks to OXO from gift from the FoodBuzz Festival!

My tweaks:

  • Used a mix of crimini, oyster, and shiitake mushrooms
  • Sautéed my mushrooms and onions in coconut oil
  • Edited the sauce: 2 T tahini, 1/2 lemon juiced, 1 garlic clove (pressed), heaping 1/4 tsp sriracha, S+P, and a bit of water to thin it out.

I’ll be making this on the regular – especially that sauce.  It’s going to be making an appearance as a sauce for broccolini tomorrow night!  Thanks, Rande!


More veggies(Try to hide your surprise.)

This dip was ah-mazing with my celery and flax cracker (flax seeds are cleanse-legal!).  Recipe to come! :)


Pre-dinner snack was another shake – this time with avocado!  Nothing earth-shattering in this one…banana, avocado, protein powder, almond extract, cinnamon, vanilla stevia, water, and ice.  You’ve seen it all before… I’m scared my shakes are going to bore you! :)


I mentioned yesterday that I had some super-cool Valentine’s Day plans cleanse dinner with by best friend!  And her baby boy.  And her mom.  These are some of my favorite people in the world, so it was actually a really nice way to spend Valentine’s Day.

This un-photogenic brown soup was my contribution.  It’s a Sweet Potato-Pineapple-Eggplant Curry soup served over wild rice.  I’d had it pinned to try for a while, but it was just ok.  I’d try again to tweak it to my liking… but honestly it was so time-consuming I don’t think it’s worth it.  That takes A LOT for me to say.

More delicious was the raw French green bean salad Mallory made.  She tossed them with olive oil, lots of lemon, dill, and a few other herbs.  It was fantastically light and the dill was wonderful.

Note to self: use dill more often!

Lastly, I received the nicest surprise – Mallory’s mom brought us both flowers!  I was the lucky Valentine’s recipient of a gorgeous bouquet of white tulips.

Overall, it was a nice V-Day.  Even if it was chocolate-free.


I’m driving to AL for a client meeting with my boss.  It’s my first one to lead in this role… nervous!!!

What was the best Valentine’s treat/dish you had yesterday?

Do you prep food for week on Sundays?

Drinking My Valentine

No candy hearts here.

 This Valentine’s Day marks the first one I’ve ever celebrated candy-free.  It doesn’t seem like a big deal… maybe it’s because Valentine’s Day is a a Tuesday and I’m spending the entire day holed up in a conference room with my boss prepping for a meeting tomorrow?  Or it could be because I’ve been single for 2 years.

In lieu of silly things like candy and flowers, I’m drinking my holiday spirit…. and for once it doesn’t involve red wine.  Today I bring you the best new smoothie I’ve made lately: Roasted Beet and Orange.

You know you make a lot of green smoothies when you get excited that the beets overpowered the spinach to make a red smoothie.

I have never liked beets.  The dirt flavor was off-putting and I didn’t like how they stain everything they touch (I also never ate chicken wings because they are too messy… and the bone grosses me out).

Recently, I discovered how delicious they are with citrus – orange and grapefruit in particular.  When we started the cleanse, I decided to take the plunge and roast them myself.  This has only made me fall completely in love with them!  Just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Freshly roasted, the flavor turns more earthy than straight-up dirt.  I find that the sweetness in these beets came forward more as well.


After using the first beet in last week’s red cabbage lentil salad, I started on beet #2.  It’s fairly common to see beets listed in juices, why not smoothies?

This post-workout, protein-loaded breakfast smoothie turned out better than I’d hoped!  The orange flavor was quite prevalent, and the almond extract was an amazing compliment.  Both of these are what I credit for hiding the beet “funk” I was sensitive to.

In case you were wondering, beet sunflower pesto* also eliminates the funk.  :)

*That post also explains why you should buy ’em even if you don’t like ’em. 

Oh yeah…

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!


Roasted Beet and Orange Smoothie

  • 1 C spinach
  • 1/3 C beet, roasted
  • 1/2 a medium orange
  • 1scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cap full of almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp guar gum (optional)
  • 7-8 vanilla stevia drops
  • 1/2 C unsweetened coconut milk
  • Water and ice, to taste
  • Ground flax seed, to top

Put it all in the blender/Magic Bullet and let the magic happen!


I’m seriously thinking of taking up online dating.

Do you feel like it’s V-Day today?  Or just another Tuesday?

What is your favorite Valentine’s candy/chocolate/treat?  I love those Reese’s hearts.

Salad Gone Wild: Red Beet and Cabbage Salad with Lentils

Anyone who says couponing is boring is a liar.


Look what I found last night!


It was in my weekly circular.  Tis the season, ‘eh?  Anyone need a little KY for VD?  I’ll send you my coupon…

As uncomfortable as it is to make purchases of this nature, can you imagine handing the cashier a coupon for it?!  Some things you should just suck it up and pay full price for.


Speaking of things commonly thought of as boring but are not (most brilliant transition ever)


Salads.  Tuesday night’s salad (mentioned yesterday in WIAW) was anything but boring.  Forget your standard side (or toss) salad and kick it up with color and protein.

And perhaps some eggplant bacon.


I used Post Punk Kitchen’s recipe for eggplant “bacon” and loved it.  The only thing I would add next time is add a little cayenne and freshly ground pepper.  I’d also finish it off under broil to get it more crisp.

The salad overall was great – I loved how crunchy the cabbage was (thought I could have been less lazy about shredding it), and the substance added by the lentils.  Lemon-olive oil vinaigrette gave it a bright taste, and the citrus was delish with the beets.

Dressed and topped with nooch


Those beets were my favorite part.  It was my first time roasting my own and let me tell you it makes a HUGE difference.  The earthy, slightly sweet flavor was unlike any other I’ve had.  Some good advice for roasting them yourself: cook until you think it’s done, and then cook for 30 more mins.

Top it with some nutritional yeast and you’ve got a colorful, unexpected salad.  (If I weren’t cleansing, I’d have toasted some walnuts to sprinkle on top too!)


Green and Red Beet Salad with Lentils

  • 1/2 C French green lentils, uncooked
  • Eggplant “bacon”
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 drops Stevia
  • 1/2 lb red cabbage (~1/2 large head)
  • 1 medium beet, roasted
  • 1/4 C parsley, chopped
  • 2 C spinach, rough chopped
  • S+P, to taste
  • Optional topping: nutritional year or a nutty cheese such as pecorino


In a small pot, cover lentils with ~2 in of water and bring to a boil.  Add 1/4 tsp salt and simmer over low heat until tender, but not mushy (20-30 mins). Drain lentils and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare eggplant “bacon” according to these instructions from PPK.

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, oregano, and Stevia.  Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

In a large bowl, toss cabbage, beets, parsley, spinach, and lentils. Top with eggplant bacon and serve with dressing (I served mine on the side).

Serve with dressing (I served mine on the side), nutritional yeast or other cheese, and perhaps some toasted walnuts.

Makes 4 mains or 8 sides.

Note for those interested in roasting your own beets:  Preheat oven to 35o.  Wash stemmed beets thoroughly and wrap in foil.  Place in oven and cook 1 hour.  Check for doneness by pressing on the sides – there should be a some give, but they’ll still be firm.  To verify doneness, stab with a fork.  It should go through the beet  easily.


Don’t forget to enter to “Be My Veggie Valentine” and win 1 of 3 boxes of heart-shaped veggie cookies from Cookie Underground!  Click here to enter.

Do you coupon?  I have a friend who was so good at it that CVS gave HER money at the checkout.

What is your favorite salad?


Be My Veggie Valentine – a Giveaway!

I’ve been excited to announce this for weeks.


Cookie Underground and I would love for you to be our Veggie Valentines!

You may remember me posting about the Atlanta Underground Market where I first discovered Cookie Underground.



The fabulous Kim has built a business around making (delicious) cookies out of vegetables.  Each cookie is ~50 calories and filled with good, clean vitamins and nutrients from fresh veggies.  Thank God because I could eat a whole box.



Forget flowers, nothing says “I love you” like cookies.

The Giveaway:  You’ll get 15 bright pink Almond “Heart Beet” cookies (their top seller) and 15 light pink Grapefruit Fennel cookies.



There are 3 boxes up for grabs!  Receive up to 4 entries by:


  1. Follow me on Twitter or Subscribe to the Sprint 2 the Table RSS feed OR via email
  2. Facebook: Like Cookie Underground and share this post
  3. Tweet: You could say something like: I’ve entered to win 1 of 3 “Be My Veggie Valentine” cookie boxes from Cookie Underground and @sprint2thetable
  4. Comment: What is your dream veggie-cookie flavor?


Please leave a *separate comment* for each entry!

The giveaway will be open until Thursday February 9 at midnight with the winner announced on Friday January 10.


You can also order your own “Be My Veggie Valentine” Box for $12.  Order by February 10 to receive by Valentine’s Day.  To place your order, email to

***Cookie Underground does offer gluten-free and vegan cookies; however, the giveaway is for the “classic” cookie.***


These are seriously delicious cookies.  I wish I could enter to win.

Do you have big plans for Valentines Day?

What is your dream veggie-cookie flavor?


ChocolateLove: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

These are a few of my favorite things…


Really.  How can one possibly go wrong with chocolate, peanut butter, and salt?



Side note: the best thing about vegan cookies is the fearless eating of batter… not that egg in batter ever stopped me before.


The site of the flaky fleur de sel and crunchy pretzel bits poking out of fudgy dough may tempt you to eat an entire scoop raw. *Please tell me I’m not the only one that does that*



February is the month of foil-wrapped chocolates, Hallmark cards, and over-priced flowers.  I beg you, this Valentine’s Day skip the artificial red colored stuff and go straight for the dark chocolate treats.

No one will miss the boxes of processed chocolates and Forrest Gump metaphors for life..  I promise.  



At the very least they won’t be able to protest with their mouths full. 😉


Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

  • 2 T softened butter (or Earth Balance)
  • 2 T unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 C light brown sugar
  • 1/4 C xylitol
  • 1/4 C peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg (or flax egg)
  • 1 T unsweetened almond milk (or other liquid)
  • 4 T cocoa
  • 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 C crushed pretzels
  • Fleur de sel (or other high-quality flaky salt)


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

With a hand mixer, cream together butter, applesauce, sugars, and peanut butter.  Add in milk, vanilla, and egg.

Sift together remaining ingredients (except pretzels) and incorporate into butter mixture.  Fold in pretzels.

Scoop dough in ~2T balls onto parchment-lined baking sheet.  Lightly flatten with palm and sprinkle with fleur de sel.

Bake for 8-10 mins.

Makes 15 cookies.

Note: My peanut butter was really thick, so I needed that 1 T of milk.  Depending on what you use, you may not – use your judgment here.


I’ll be lucky if I even get cole in my stocking.  Wait.  Wrong holiday.

Would you rather have chocolate or cookies?  Something else?


February is #chocolatelove month! I am excited to be co-hosting this month’s lovebloghop for the first time.  Please check out my co-hosts’ posts too:
A Little Bit of Everything ~ Roxana ~ @RoxanaGreenGirl
ASTIG Vegan ~ Richgail ~  @astigvegan
Badger Girl Learns to Cook ~ Kimberly ~ @BdgrGrl
Baker Street ~ Anuradha ~ @bakerstreet29
Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves ~ Becky Higgins
Baking Extravaganza ~ Samantha
BigFatBaker ~ Erin ~ @BigFatBaker 
Bon a croquer ~ Valerie ~ @Valouth
CafeTerraBlog ~ Terra ~ @CafeTerraBlog
Cake Duchess ~ Lora ~ @cakeduchess
Cakeballs, Cookies and More ~ Sue
Cooking with Books ~ Marnely ~ @nella22
Creative Cooking Corner ~ Karriann ~ @KarriannGraf
Easily Good Eats ~ Three Cookies
Elephant Eats ~ Amy
Georgiecakes ~ Georgie ~ @georgiecakes
Hobby And More ~ Richa ~ @betit19
Java Cupcake ~ Betsy ~ @JavaCupcake
Kitchen Belleicious ~ Jessica ~ @kbelleicious
Mike’s Baking ~ Mike ~ @mikesbaking
Mis Pensamientos ~ Junia ~ @juniakk
No One Likes Crumbley Cookies ~ TR ~ @TRCrumbley
Oh Cake ~ Jessica ~ @jesshose
Rico sin Azucar ~ Helena ~ @ricosinazucar
Savoring Every Bite ~ Linda ~ @Spicegirlfla
Simply Reem ~ Reem ~ @simplyreem
Smart Food and Fit ~ Lisa ~ @LisaNutrition
Soni’s Food for Thought ~ Soni ~ @sonisfood
Sprint 2 the Table ~ Laura ~ @Sprint2theTable
Teaspoon of Spice ~ Deanna ~ @tspbasil 
That Skinny Chick Can Bake ~ Liz ~ @Thatskinnychick
The Dusty Baker ~ Jacqueline ~ @dustybakergal
The More Than Occasional Baker ~ Ros ~ @bakingaddict
The Spicy RD ~ EA ~ @thespicyrd
The Wimpy Vegetarian ~ Susan ~ @wimpyvegetarian 
Vegan Yack Attack! ~ Jackie ~ @veganyackattack
Vegetarian Mamma  ~ Cindy ~ @VegetarianMamma
You Made That? ~  Suzanne ~ @YouMadeThatblog


Join us in the #chocolatelove fun by linking up any chocolate recipe from the month of February 2012. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #chocolatelove event!  The Twitter hashtag is #chocolatelove.


Local Soup

When people think of roller derby, I doubt the first thing that comes to mind is “family.” 


Families beat each other up…

However, one of the biggest components of my league is the family aspect.  Becoming one of the Atlanta Rollergirls = 80+ new family members.

Getting injured is a great reminder of that!  From the calls/emails/texts to the treats courtesy of a league-mate and baker, I feel like one lucky girl.

Last night I received another special delivery.  This was from my teammate, Polly Atomic, and Local 3. Local 3 is one of the newest restaurants in Atlanta and has received some rave reviews.  Lucky me – Polly and her husband, Chris Hall, are a couple of the founders of this fine establishment. :)

The delivery?

2 massive containers of soup: Creamy Tomato and Creamy Butternut Squash.

Chris even included straws!


I couldn’t decide which soup to try first… and then I thought

“Why limit yourself to eating one at a time?”

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Polly, Chris, and the awesome kitchen at Local 3!

Local 3 is definitely my first stop when chewing resumes!


In honor of Valentine’s Day, I brought Mom some treats from International Bakery.

It is this little hole-in-the-wall Greek Bakery with a curmudgeon of a man behind the register and baklava so fantastic it could make you cry.

This dreamy box of goodness was a big hit.  At least I hear it was good…

The trip did include a treat for me.  This Greek bakery also carries a few authentic packaged goods, straight from Greece.  I came home with a big tub of authentic Greek yogurt!  OMG – it is so, so good.  American Greek yogurt is good, but this is much ticker and rich – almost like eating a dessert.


I can’t wait to chew.

What is your favorite tiny local find? 

Any cool ethic bakeries/shops to do some International food shopping?