Meatless Monday aftermath & Black Bean Brownies

Yesterday, I told you all about our recent decision to have Lee cook our meals on Meatless Monday. I'm back today to talk about best laid plans and how oft they go awry.

In our house, Monday is probably a lot like Monday in your house. It comes too early and no matter what we do over the weekend, you find yourself at least marginally unprepared for the events of the day. We spent some time over the weekend meticulously planning our meals and coordinating our grocery shopping, so that was covered. However, we didn't anticipate both having the day off at the last minute's notice.

Once we realized that, we decided to devote our "spare" day to a household project we've been putting off. We invited a very handy friend over, and the hours flew by. Suddenly, it was dinner time and bellies were rumbling and Lee was eyeball deep in the aforementioned project. So, I made dinner. See?

Since we painstakingly collected the ingredients and I've been dying to try this recipe for two weeks now, I went ahead with the original plan and made Creamy Tomato Gnocchi, a recipe by Kinzie of To Cheese or Not to Cheese?, which is featured on the Meatless Monday site. Except I left out the zucchini because, well, it's January and zucchini doesn't grow in Washington in January! So, instead I paired the gnocchi with a few steamed broccoli florets.

Let me say first that the recipe is SUPER easy and a child could make it (with supervision) and given its simplicity, I never expected that the results would be so utterly and outright delicious. Let me put it this way: I fed this vegan dish to two carnivores and they omm'd and they nomm'd and scraped the bottoms of their bowls. I should have made a double batch!

Since the guys really ended up doing most of the work last night, I also made a special treat: brownies! But not just any brownies. I whipped up a batch of Black Bean Brownies from and the three of us were equally amazed by the result.I know what you're thinking, because we were thinking it too. Black beans... in a dessert? Well, after watching Lindsay make them on her internet show, I was 99% sold. The only thing left was a taste test, and they passed with flying colors! We'll never doubt it again; black beans and cocoa are a match made in fudgey brownie heaven! And come on, have you ever met another vegan brownie that only contains 1g of fat per serving and packs a whopping 4g of protein? And looks like this?

I followed the original recipe more or less exactly, except that I reduced the ground cinnamon from 1 Tbsp to approx 1/2 Tbsp (because I don't like cinnamon very much) and increased the oats from 1/4 cup to approx 3/8 cup. I heard no complains about my modifications, and most of the pan of brownies disappeared within 20 minutes of us digging in! Winner!

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