Healthy Chocolate Mousse

Sounds like an oxymoron, but I promise you, it’s creamy, delicious and yes… even healthy! And, just in time for the weekend.  Happy Friday everyone!

The ingredients also sounds a little, um, abnormal for dessert, and trust me when I tell you that I had the same reaction to the odd list.  But once I got over the foods not usually seen in desserts and just tried it, I really enjoyed it and have made it a few times now. The secret ingredient is… ready? Avocado!  It sounds odd and the combination of the green with the chocolate-brown sounds a bit strange, but mark my words, if you like chocolate mousse, you will LOVE this recipe!

The avocado provides good fat and sets up a creamy consistency.  The mild flavor of the avocado is masked by the other ingredients.  All you will taste is the delicious chocolate!


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 3 tablespoons agave or honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used raw cacao powder)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons almond, soy or regular milk
  • 1 cup washed raspberries or strawberries (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of almond or peanut butter (optional)


  1. Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit.  Scoop out the green flesh and put into a blender or food processor.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (other than the berries) and combine. I recommend adding a tablespoon of sweetener at a time, as you can always add more but can’t take it out if it’s too sweet for your liking.
  3. Scoop into a bowl and chill until you are ready to serve. You can eat it immediately (or taste a spoonful or two) but it thickens as it sits in the refrigerator, which gives it a thick, mousse-like texture.
  4. Top with berries before eating or drudge strawberries through the mousse and enjoy!


Recipe: Japanese Fare, Healthy Soba Noodles

The peak of the Cherry Blossoms here in DC is always hit or miss.  Every year, the city plans a festival celebrating the Japanese culture (the trees were a given as a gift of friendship from the people of Japan to the people of the United States in 1912), complete with a parade and festivities.  And it seems like every year the blossoms peak well before or immediately after the celebration.  It’s tough to be perfect when it comes to predicting the weather, right?

The end of March and the month of April brings tourists from all over the country, and the world, to experience their beauty. Kids come during Spring Break and the city is buzzing with the sights and sounds of Spring’s long-awaited arrival.

The blooms have sprouted and with today’s rain, may have been washed away, but we’re going to celebrate the Japanese culture by cooking up some delicious, and healthy, cuisine: Buckwheat Soba Noodles!

You can find one recipe that I prepared earlier in the year with kale on Genuine Joy, but this one has peanut sauce, which is sure to please a hungry crowd this weekend!

(Recipe adapted from Body & Soul)

Soba, Tofu Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

Buckwheat noodles


  • 8 ounces soba noodles
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (Olive oil works)
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, drained and cute into 1/2 inch cubes (if you prefer, use chicken or shirmp)
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into thin strips
  • 1 1/2 pounds of broccoli, broken into florets
  • 1 pound bok choy
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter (you can substitute almond butter if you prefer, or if you have a peanut allergy in the house)
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • Sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Cook soba noodles in a large pot of salted water, for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté veggies and garlic with lid on until veggies, stirring occasionally until they are crisp tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile make sauce by whisking together peanut butter, vinegar soy sauce, and chili garlic sauce. If sauce seems too thick you can thin with water.
  4. Add noodles, tofu and sauce to pan. Toss and cook until heated through.
  5. Top with sesame (if using)

Soba tofu noodles

Homemade Cadbury Creme Eggs

Unlike gummy bears and M&M’s, some candies, like conversation hearts, candy corn and Cadbury Creme eggs only make an appearance once a year.  I’ve never been a huge fan of the hearts or the corn, but the eggs… now those are another story. No one is ever “on the fence” about creme eggs — you either love ’em or hate ’em.  And if you’re a fan, then I have just the recipe for you, my friend!

Cadbury Creme Eggs aren’t the healthiest of treats, but with this simple recipe, I feel better about eating them once a year, am I’m able to control the ingredients and make them without preservatives.  The insides aren’t as gooey as the store bought eggs, but they are still rather tasty and have that same vanilla flavor.

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Slu**y Brownies

The name isn’t kid friendly, but these brownies are ones that the whole family will love… and one’s that kids can help make to boot!

While in New York for Fashion Week, I was having coffee with a new gal pal. We were introduced on email and became fast friends over breakfast one morning, while talking about ring parties (the NEW bracelet party) and our dislike for the movie the Notebook (we decided that we are the only two women who don’t like the movie).  I’m unsure how we got on the topic of baking, but she told me about these brownies called “Slutty brownies.” (Original recipe creation found on The Londoner, also where the photos below originated).

“Why in the world would they have such a name,” I asked.

“Because they’re SOOOO easy! (to make)”

Perfect timing! I had a family brunch that weekend, where I was in charge of making a dessert.  Done and done.

Before moving on to the recipe, I have to tell you about the dessert.  The bottom layer is chocolate chip cookie dough.  The second, a layer of Oreo cookies with caramel drizzled over top.  Next up is brownie mix poured over it all.  Bake in the oven on 350 degrees for 35 minutes and you’re ready to enjoy. And what comes out of the oven tastes and looks way more detailed than the four simple steps.


You can make your cookies and brownies from scratch if your choose, but I used a refrigerated cookie dough and a boxed brownie mix.  For the caramel, you can also make your own or simply grab a jar from the grocery store — I did the later.  And I’m telling you, everyone will eat them up.  We even discussed whether they should be included on, since it’s so decadent, but I decided to share… live is about enjoyment, in moderation, and this dessert surly created Genuine Joy amongst the family members!

I was concerned that the 8×8 pan of brownies wouldn’t be enough dessert for the 15 people at brunch, but they are so rich and gooey, that we had plenty (with some left over — and every single person had some!) We put a small piece in a bowl and added a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, which help to cut some of the richness of the brownie.

I know, I know.  This recipe is not very healthy; to be honest, it’s not even remotely healthy, but for a special and fast dessert that’s sure to please a crowd, it’s a no brainer!


Peanuts for Super Bowl 47


Tomorrow is the day.  We leave Washington, DC for the packed streets of New Orleans to watch the beloved Baltimore Ravens play the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 47.  Can you imagine playing against your sibling in the sport’s largest game of the year? My sister, Whitney, and I used to swim against one another at the NBAC meets, and I thought THAT was tough! I read a piece that said the Harbaugh parents will wear black on Sunday — no red or purple in sight!

As we head south for a weekend of parties, brunches, tailgates and the big game, I’m figuring out what to pack and taking in as much as possible about New Orleans — it’s also my first time in The Big Easy.

From the busy French Quarter to the hilly streets of San Fran, there are recipes galore to enjoy during the game, but I came across a unique creation from Baltimore’s own Spike Gjerde of Woodbury Kitchen that I thought was interesting and a great option to have on hand for snacking.

Fried Old Bay Peanuts

Spike Gjerde, Woodberry Kitchen, Baltimore

Serves 6.


1/2 tsp Old Bay (or dried and ground fish pepper)

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp celery seed

1 tbsp salt

4 cups lard (or canola oil)

3 cups raw peanuts, shelled


Combine spices with salt and reserve. Warm lard in a wide pan over medium heat. If you have a thermometer, lard should be around 325 degrees F. Carefully add peanuts and fry for 3-4 minutes, until they take on a little color. Drain and season with spice mix, tossing to coat.

What are your plans for the big game?

**Photo and recipe from Esquire magazine**

Soba Kale Noodles

I hope everyone had a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving full of family time, fun and (healthy) food!

Between the potatoes, stuffing and pies, most American eat upwards of 3500 calories on the day of Thanks.  That’s an entire pound of food in one sitting.  Thankfully (pun intended) the holiday full of eating happens only once a year.

If you ate too much, and have said to yourself “I’m going to eat better starting today” then I have a great recipe for you.  With the weather dropping into the 30’s, I want something comforting and warm, that will fill me up and tastes delicious.  Enter Soba Kale Noodles.  I’m typically a recipe follower.  I find one that I like and I follow it to a T. But, I ventured out on my own and threw together an easy, quick and healthy recipe. The noodles give it substance and the tempeh* provides protein.  From start to finish, it takes 15 minutes, making it a keeper for a night you’re in a hurry.  Healthy, quick and tasty make it a win-win-win!

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The Highs and Lows of Caffeine

With anything, there are conflicting viewpoints.  Be it a supplement, a food or an exercise, one can often find competing opinions and facts to back up each side and the same can be said when it comes to caffeine.

On one side, there’s the argument that it’s a drug, causes anxiety, pushes the pH level of your body into an acidic state and should be avoided all together.  The flip side says that it helps to ward off Alzheimer’s, increases memory and helps to increase stamina during exercise.  In the past 60 years, researchers have conducted 21,000 studies on caffeine so one would think that we would have a pretty good grasp on disadvantages/benefits of the elixir, but the jury’s still out.

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14 Sweet Facts about Sugar (Infographic)

Sugar, sugar, sugar… it’s in everything from ketchup to boxed cereal to crackers.  With the rise of processed foods, added sugar is found in almost every prepared food or reduced fat item on the shelves. While I believe in all things in moderation, this infographic is incredible.  Take a look at the changes in our sugar intake over the years and see how much American’s actually consume. Continue reading

Edible Seeds

Nuts are a healthy alternative to chips and crackers when it comes to snacking, but have you tried seeds? I know, I know… Seeds are for birds, but they’re also lower in fat when compared to nuts, full of flavor and packed with nutritional goodness! With pumpkin carving season here, be sure to save the seeds, roast them and enjoy!

Pumpkin Seeds

Eat ’em: Pumpkin seeds are high in protein, iron, and zinc, and they’re one of the best sources of magnesium, a mineral that helps stabilize blood pressure, build bone strength, and even reduce stress. A French study found that men with the highest levels of magnesium in their blood have a 40 percent lower risk of early death than those with the lowest levels.

Use ’em: Pumpkin seeds are healthy for men for one other reason: They’re high in phytosterols, plant-based chemicals that help alleviate symptoms associated with having an enlarged prostate, such as urinary difficulties. Toast your own pumpkin seeds or eat them raw, or grind them into a meal that you can add to breads, pancakes, or other baked goods.

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