Sunday, June 14, 2009

Calorie Counting and Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Cake

I don't normally count calories. I count food groups, which for me is a lot easier. But since I use a 1200 calorie plan as my guideline, I thought it might be interesting to see how many calories I actually consume on any given day. I know I don't eat 1200 calories, because if I did, I would have already lost those annoying little five vanity pounds I'm trying to get off. I would guess I eat somewhere around 2000 calories a day, but I really have no idea.

So let's find out...

Breakfast was a delicious green smoothie with a Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Waffle. The smoothie had 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, about a cup of spinach, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (all-natural, no sugar or anything else added), and half of a banana.

Calorie count: 315. Not a bad start at all.

After breakfast, My boyfriend and I went to the gym. I had a good cardio workout. About 15 minutes on the elliptical and 15 on the stairmaster. I was a little lazy with the weights and sit-ups today though. What can I say? I was hungry...

For lunch I made a simple bean salad with 1 cup of chickpeas, 1 cup of grape tomatoes, 1 grated carrot, half of an avocado, and some red pepper flakes and dried basil.

Calories: 443

And, a small bowl of TJ's Low-sodium Organic Creamy Tomato Soup.

Calories: 67

Around 4pm, I started working on a chocolate cake I've been craving lately. This is actually the cake that started me on my gluten-free journey when I made it for a friend and realized how good it was. I found the original recipe on and just made a few changes this time around. I tried really hard not to eat any batter, but I got a few licks in. How could I resist?

Calories: ??? I have no idea how to count that.

Plus 10 peanuts.

Calories: 60

When my cake was done, I'll admit I had a piece before dinner, plus a small handful of raspberries. It was delicious, almost more of a fudgy brownie than a cake.

Calories: 242 for the cake, 30 for the raspberries

By the time dinner came around, I was too tired to put much effort into it. So I chopped up a green bell pepper and some mushrooms, sauteed them, and scrambled in two eggs. Lots of ketchup and a serving of TJ's corn chips on the side completed the meal.

Calories: 378

My boyfriend and I have opposite schedules, so we rarely eat dinner together, but when we do, we often make our own meals because our food preferences are so different. He had chicken fajitas, which I admit looked a lot better than my dinner...but his came out of a box in the freezer so I figure that doesn't really count.

After dinner, we went on a nice walk. I was still full when I got back, but I couldn't resist having another half of a slice of cake. This time I added some apricot preserves on top, which I think made it even better. Next time I might try to make an apricot glaze.

Calories: 151

So, how many calories did I end up with? 1686, plus a lick of batter. Huh...actually a lot lower than I thought. So if I just cut out the cake, I'd be on target to lose weight. But I'll be honest. It was a really yummy cake and I think it was worth the calories.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie CakePrint-Friendly Option

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. all-natural peanut butter
unsweetened cocoa for dusting
confectioner's sugar for dusting

* If you're making this gluten-free, make sure your chocolate chips and baking powder don't have gluten in them.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-in. spring pan and dust with cocoa powder.
  2. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Start with 1 minute on high power. Stir and continue to microwave in 20 second increments, stirring in between, until the chips are fully melted and creamy.
  3. In a food processor, blend the chickpeas and eggs until smooth. Add the sugar and baking powder and pulse. Pour in the chocolate and blend until completely mixed.
  4. Pour the batter into the spring pan. Stir in the peanut butter. (I tried to drip a thin layer of peanut butter on top, but it was too gloppy, so I ended up just stirring the peanut butter evenly into the cake at this point.)
  5. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.
Serves 8

* The peanut butter flavor was very mild. Next time I might try adding more or heating the peanut butter up first so it would drip more evenly onto the batter. Also, I think this would be great with an apricot glaze, so I'll probably try that also.


paco said...

i nearly licked my computer screen looking at that shot of the cake.

LucindaSarina said...

Haha thanks! You can come over any time and try the actual cake. There's a piece with your name on it.

ajangel25 said...

That cake looks awesome! I'm definitely bookmarking that recipe!

Kati said...

OOhh yum, I love that chick-pea lunch salad- I want to make that! And definitely will have to try the chocolate cake!! I don't have a spring-pan though. . .

LucindaSarina said...

Thanks! You can use any kind of pan. I've made these as cupcakes before, and I think they would be great as brownies, but I don't have a pan to make brownies in. I was just using what I had available. :)

Gena (Choosing Raw) said...

Hey! I'm not usually a fan of calorie counting, but I like the thoughtful and honest presentation of it here. Keep up your great blog.

LucindaSarina said...

Thanks Gena! I don't really like counting calories forces me to think about food a little too much for my liking, but it was definitely informative. By the way, your last post inspired me to make blended soups in addition to smoothies. I'm surprised by how good they can be!

Micaela said...

I forgot to tell you that I got the ingredients to make the chickpea salad for lunch this week. I don't like red pepper flakes, though. Any ideas for a low-fat dressing I could make?

LucindaSarina said...

I used to love mixing mustard and soy sauce with a drizzle of olive oil. I haven't been doing that lately because I'm not sure if our mustard has gluten in it, but I know you're not worried about that, so maybe use your honey mustard?

CDM said...

Your brownie cake looks delicious. I just recently made a vanilla white bean cake and am no longer hesitant to add beans to my desserts. Looking forward to giving your recipe a try.

Chaya said...

I was wondering if you could use garbanzo flour instead of the beans although the beans are a lot more interesting. The cake looks delicious.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Good luck with yours. It looks really good.

LucindaSarina said...

Hi Chaya. Thanks! I'm not really sure about the garbanzo flour. I think you would have to add something else to make it moist then. Maybe honey or agave instead of the sugar? That's an interesting thought...let me know if you try it!

Kati said...

Ok, so I got all excited and was going to make this tonight, but I don't have the chickpeas! Do you think black beans could work?? :/

LucindaSarina said...

I would guess black beans might be too strong. Do you have any white beans? I hope you get to make it!

Linda said...

My husband can't eat peanuts, but maybe I could try it with almond butter. I love a chocolate and peanut butter combination. The cake looks very moist and delicious.

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing this as part of "What can I eat that's gluten free?" It's a great entry.

Linda said...

I knew I had seen this post and left a comment, but I just realized I was looking at last week's links. :) I'm really not feeling well.

Iris said...

No worries, Linda. We all have those days! Hope you're feeling better soon!


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