Nutty Chocolate Dream Pie Takes the Cake

It must have been a candy company’s CEO who subconsciously planted the idea that a dinner plate is split into six components: protein, grains, fruit, vegetables, dairy, and dessert. Frankly, America’s bulging waistline cannot handle a bowl of ice cream, a candy bar, several cookies, or a piece of cake several times a day throughout the week. While our body will somewhat willingly process about 200 calories of sweets or empty calories a day (which may differ based on your specific calorie and nutrient needs), how many of us stop at just 200? (Curious about empty calories? Click here: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/weight-management-calories/calories/empty-calories.html).

For my part, now that I’m back on the healthy track, I try to follow the No S Diet, which means ‘no sweets, no snacks, no seconds, except (sometimes) on Saturdays, Sundays, and special occasions. Brilliant. When I do indulge in a beloved sweet, I go for the good stuff. Homemade desserts are my favorite, followed by Edy’s slow churned ice cream or Dove chocolates; to me, a Hostess Cupcake, a Snickers Bar, or a doughnut just isn’t worth the calories.

Like the Black Pearl crew, I prefer to think of the ‘No S Diet’ as a guideline rather than an actual rule. If it’s a Wednesday and I’m craving a small bowl of ice cream after dinner, as long as I’ve filled my body with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains throughout the day, I’ll go for it. The most important thing to remember when you are trying to lose weight is to not deprive yourself! This doesn’t mean go crazy with chocolate whenever you feel like it, but don’t completely cut your favorite treats out of your new eating plan. Instead, try to incorporate them into your lifestyle in a more intuitive manner. Otherwise, you might go on a binge and end up doing this to yourself:

White Goodman (played by Ben Stiller) in Dodgeball

If this isn’t enough to scare you out of depriving yourself, I don’t know what is.

When a birthday or special occasion arises, I like to go all out. Rather than baking something sweet for myself that calls to me all week, I like to bake something I hope will be splendid and share it with a large group of family and friends. The thought of spending many hours concocting the perfect recipe isn’t a chore for me, but something I look forward to. In fact, I spent nearly the entire day before Thanksgiving last year concentrating on three pies: a ‘Better than Pumpkin’ Butternut Squash pie, a Cranberry Apple Oat Crunch Pie, and my personal favorite, newly created recipe: Chocolate Chipotle Sweet Potato Pie (which will be posted after I remember what went into it).

For Ty’s birthday party tonight, I mulled over what to make. Since he’s not a fan of cake, cheesecake and ice cream cakes were both considered. However, while perusing Pinterest one day, something caught my eye: a Nutella cream pie–perfect! I took the idea of using Nutella and incorporated my own special touches. Because this Nutty Chocolate Dream Pie (I decided it needed its own title) was about a three and a half hour process (don’t let that scare you off, it’s relatively simple), the full recipe and directions will be posted in my Recipe page. The main ingredients:

Vanilla bean, powdered peanut butter, graham crackers, mascarpone cheese, whole milk, heavy whipping cream, and Nutella.  Please note: unfortunately, this is not an inexpensive pie to make. The powdered peanut butter alone is over eight dollars, and for some strange reason, the price of graham crackers has skyrocketed to four dollars a box. (Look for sales!) However, I kind of like my brother, and I think the end result will be worth it. Plus, I’ve been wanting to try powdered peanut butter for quite some time, and this gave me an excuse to buy it.

The components included a baked graham cracker crust:

Spread with a mixture of Nutella and mascarpone:

Which was frozen, then covered with a combination of the ‘Nutella mixture’ and homemade whipped topping:

Which was frozen again, then covered with a combination of the remaining whipped topping and powdered peanut butter:

This will be drizzled with dulce de leche sauce which is now cooling in the fridge. I’ll post a photo of the final result when it’s ready! I have a hunch it’s going to be scrumptious.

Because I’m sure there won’t be many veggies available for consumption for dinner, I made a salad with spring mix, spinach, diced celery, grapes, a hard boiled egg, some shredded chicken (from our grill out on Saturday) and a splash of rice wine vinegar. I also had two Breton multigrain crackers, because Dave’s mom says “It’s not lunch if it doesn’t crunch!”

It’s only been three days since I’ve had pizza…..but I can’t wait for more! 😀

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