Have your cake and eat it too

“A party without a cake is really just a meeting.”            

– Julia Child

As a self-proclaimed “foodie,” I can appreciate Julia Child’s attitude about enjoying food. I think her and I would have gotten along splendidly, especially since she modestly proclaimed, “people who love to eat are always the best people!”

However, it is now that dreaded time of year when most people are wearing their stretchiest clothes and weight loss books and organizations are seeing record sales.The eggnog has left us all a little more egg-shaped than we’d prefer, and those second helpings of dessert that we didn’t want to go to waste went to our waists. It’s time to face the new year (and our summer wardrobes) with a healthier lifestyle, which for most people includes a few changes in diet and activity levels.

For some, the dreaded D-word conjures up images of cabbage soup and carrot sticks; saying no to delicious deep-fried delicacies and sugar-laden carbohydrate-rich treats. Although not enjoyable, we take comfort in telling ourselves it’s the right thing to do. After all, the Bible is clear that our bodies – temples of the Holy Spirit – must be used to glorify God (1. Cor. 3 & 6) and  that the “drunkard and glutton will come to poverty” (Prov. 23:11).

There seems to be much Biblical instruction on avoiding gluttony. But doesn’t our Creator God also desire for us to delight in his gifts of good food? He designed us with tastebuds and a sense of smell and a physical need to consume the plethora of delicious edible items he provides for us. When we bite into a juicy steak or a fresh cinnamon bun, we are glorifying God with our bodies just by the sheer joy we experience from it. Joy that he created us to feel at those very moments! It is a small way for us, as sinful humans, to get a taste of the glory that is coming, that he refers to in Psalm 81:10 “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” We are to “taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Ps. 34:8).

A time is coming when we will feast at the table of our King forever, and he is gracious enough to give us a glimpse of that glorious delight here on earth through our enjoyment of food. Of course, while we are still tempted by sinful desires (with bodies that will reflect our choices), we will struggle with finding the path between gluttony and glory. Self-control is a narrow balance beam between the pits of letting it all go and playing God.

This chocolate cake is my new favourite “health food” – loaded with the nutritious benefits of quinoa and coconut, but with the classic taste of rich and decadent chocolate cake, this is the kind of dessert that you can feel good about making and eating it too!

For more interesting information about protein-rich quinoa (proncounced ‘keen-WAH’), visit foodrepublic.com.

Best-ever Chocolate Quinoa Cake (gluten-free)


2 cups cooked quinoa (approx. ¾ cup dry)
⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk (or preferred milk)
4 whole eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup melted butter
¼ cup melted coconut oil
1 cup organic cane, white or coconut sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Whipped Chocolate Coconut Frosting

1 (13.5 ounce) can of full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1 (10 ounce) bag chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. In a food processor or blender, combine eggs, milk and vanilla extract then blend for 10 seconds to combine.
3. Add the cooked and cooled quinoa, melted butter and coconut oil; blend until completely smooth, about 30-60 seconds.
4. Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl; add the wet mixture to the bowl and mix together until well combined.
5. Pour the batter into a greased 9×13” or two 8” round cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes.
6. Melt chocolate in a sauce pan over low-medium heat. Carefully open the refrigerated can of coconut milk and scoop out the solid parts with a spoon, placing them into the pot with the chocolate.Melt together then transfer to a large bowl.
7. Refrigerate for a few hours until thickened, then beat on high for 30-60 seconds, until a fluffy icing has formed. Spread over cooled cake.


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