Bring Your Own Dish
Don’t wait to be asked to contribute to a invitation to dinner. In fact, don’t even ask if you can bring something, just do it. Tell the host or hostess that you have fallen in love with a new recipe, or that it would be your pleasure to bring your favorite holiday dish for them to try. I often will show up with something other than wine. (The traditional hostess/host gift.) Most of my friends and family know how I eat now and totally respect and appreciate me bringing along a new dish I want to test out on them. I think some of them secretly love it and look forward to it, though I’m not sure they would admit it to me!!
Some of my favorite things to bring with me to a dinner party are salads, because honestly, you can NEVER have too many greens. I try to add a festive flare like some pomegranate “rubies” as we like to call them at our house, or dried cranberries on top. Nuts and seeds are fantastic addition to add a little crunch as well. The best is trying new dressings as, so many people just stick to store bought dressing and never experiment with other options.
I LOVE to bring a healthier, yet delicious choice for dessert! I like to bring a variety of my raw chocolate (see blog post from Nov 13) selections I have created but my FAVORITE is to surprise people with a quinoa chocolate cake! This is a rich and delicious gluten free, flour free, dairy free (substitute coconut oil for butter), low sugar, high protein cake that will knock your socks off with how amazing it is. It’s SO good that I have included the recipe here for you!! I personally warm up some nut butter (almond, peanut or coconut butter) and use it to add flare (as outlined below) but avocado chocolate icing works too! This cake is great too because you only need a little slice to get full enjoyment.
Quinoa Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 2 cups cooled cooked quinoa
- ¾ cups of melted butter or coconut oil (but not too hot as it will cook the eggs!)
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup of coconut or almond milk
- 1 ½ tsp of vanilla
- ¾ cup of coconut palm sugar (I usually cut this down to ½ cup but this is up to you)
- 1 cup of cocoa powder
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ cup of dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a rectangular cake pan or two 8 inch rounds.
- In a blender or food processor, blend the quinoa, butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract together until smooth.
- Combine sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Stir quinoa mixture into sugar mixture until batter is well combined. Fold chocolate chips into batter; pour into the prepared pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool cake on a wire rack.
- When baking two rounds I spread raw nut butter between the two cakes as “filling” (chocolate avocado icing could be used too). For the top, I melt, in a double boiler, ¼ cup of nut butter and ¼ cup of dark chocolate chips or crushed chocolate bar (85% or darker) and then drizzle the melted mixture over the top of the cake. (licking the pot afterwards is also a favorite part of making this cake!!)
- This cake is VERY rich in taste! I recommend having only a small slice and pairing it with a small scoop of vanilla coconut ice cream or real, hand whipped cream only slightly sweetened (if tolerated).
Good Luck trying out some new recipes on your friends and family this season. Do you have a go-to recipe that you bring along to family gatherings? Are you going to start showing up with a healthy salad or vegetable dish this season? Let me know if you try this cake! Keep me posted on how you are feeling so far about staying aware, active and if you’re making different choices!! Have a great day!