giant peanut butter cups

Tonight was Pizza and Movie Night at the von Euw house. We've been doing it every Saturday for as long as I can remember. For our pizza, we make our own crust and use fresh ingredients so when I first went vegan, we just started making vegan pizza with tons of veggies and a wee bit of vegan cheese on top =) Thank you, Daiya!

But pretty fast I realized I'd rather just have a normal whole food meal. It's not that big a deal I miss out on pizza. We all still spend the evening together and that's what's important. Anyway, I do have pizza every now and then. So tonight I steamed some vegetables and added tempeh, avocado and hot sauce to them. NOM.

This hardly even needs a recipe. I lightly sauteed about 3 cups of carrots, beans, broccoli, corn, water chestnut, and mushrooms with salt, pepper and spices. Then I added some tamari and seasoned tempeh and put sliced avocado and Sriracha on top. 

The reason for the tempeh is protein. NO - I am at all concerned with getting enough protein on a vegan diet. It's effortless. However, my exercise lately has been quite intense; I do an hour of cardio in the morning, and then 30-60 minutes of light cardio and weight lifting in the PM. I'm in the process of "cutting". It's a bodybuilding term that basically means getting ripped and very defined before a competition.

Is it for health reasons? I admit, no. Bodybuilding itself isn't actually that healthy. You exercise excessively and  have to eat unnaturally large amounts of protein. It's literally a superficial sport. Yet I'm still very intrigued by it... don't judge me! Blame Vegan Body Building, (freaking LOVE this site!) I've always loved working out and lately I've been thinking about one day competing in a BB competition. That's why I'm trying to "cut" right now. I'm seeing how I do, and if my results might be good enough. Plus, summer's coming and I wanna show off my muscles.

A "cutting" diet is high-protein, low-carb, low-fat and lots of cardio. I'll be doing this for about 3 months. Luckily, my body changes really fast depending on my lifestyle changes so I am HOPING to see the results I want relatively soon.

Of course, I'd also like to stay as raw as possible. This means I'll be having green smoothies and raw/steamed veggies a lot, plus a couple fruits each day. I would like to keep cooked foods (including tempeh, gardein and tofu) to a minimum. It also means I need to eat more, which may sound great - but it gets tiring pretty fast. I think I'll do some cleanses and fasts in the next 3 months as well. It will balance out the intense exercise and large amount of food with low exercise and hardly any food.

Anyway! You don't care about this; what you want is dessert. Well, here you go.

Tonight I made over-sized peanut butter and chocolate cups. Yeyyyaaahh baby. My inspiration (although, do you really need  inspiration for PB & Chocolate?) was this cake. Minus all the butter, sugar, white flour, eggs, dairy and baking. All these have in 'em are dates, nuts, peanut butter, cocoa and avocado. My family LOVED them. Greg was using physical force to steal the last one from my mom.

There was screaming. 

I didn't have one myself because I was way too full from my dinner, but from the fighting over them that ensued, I can guarantee you'll love them. In hindsight, I probably could've added more PB in the middle just to make them look cuter, and also made the chocolate layers more like fudge and less like pudding. 
Mais c'est la vie! I changed the recipe to make them more like this, so it's not EXACTLY what I did, but it should work better. 

Giant Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cups: makes 3-4

1/4 cup nuts
2-3 soaked dates
1 Tb cocoa

Chocolate Layer:
1/2 avocado 
4 soaked dates
2 Tb cocoa
2 Tb coconut oil 
2 Tb cashew butter
2 Tb agave
Pinch of salt

Peanut Butter Layer:
3 Tb Natural peanut butter
2 Tb cashew butter
1/4 t salt

For the crust, process all ingredients until it's crumbly but holds together when you press it. You may need to add some agave syrup. Press into sides and bottom of cupcake molds and set in fridge. 

For the chocolate layer, blend all ingredients until smooth and very thick. Spoon into the cupcake molds, it should take 1/3 of the room in each. 

For the PB layer, mix the nut butters and the salt until smooth (if you're lazy, you can just use plain PB). Add to the first chocolate layers in each cupcake mold, making them 2/3 full. Then - you guessed it! Fill them up with the remaining chocolate. Set in fridge for an hour and then enjoy =)

In other news: today I ordered stuff from Upaya Naturals! HURRAW! We got glass straws, VIRGIN COCONUT OIL, and Sunfood cacao powder!!! I can't wait to receive our shipment in the mail.