Well, hello there. Long time, no see (er, read?). Yep, it's happened again. Here's summer, I think I'll have so much more time... and no, not at all. But isn't that life? Jobs, college packing, my horse, family, and friends are the names of the games these days. Life may be busy, but it's been awesome at the same time. I feel like I'm spending my last summer before I head off to college the right way!
Oh, and the food has been awesome too. Here's a few products that I've been lovely lately and definitely recommend snatching up if you're fortunate enough to come across them.
Peanut flour at long last! This stuff is. awesome. My favorite way to eat is mixed with water and then spooned over a baked sweet potato with plenty of cinnamon!
Even more addicting that potato chips, these are the perfect snack or desert! Or you could be a normal person and eat them for breakfast, but I can't personally vouch for that because, um, normal is boring ;)
While I love kale, I admit that I was a little skeptical to jump on the kale chip bandwagon. However, these little gems that my dad brought home for me (thanks, dad!) changed all of that. I am now a confessed kale chip addict.
I've heard mixed reviews about Arctic Zero, but I must say that I am a fan! This is my favorite flavor, and I highly recommend setting it out on the counter about 15 or so minutes before you eat it. It gets all melty and the texture turns from icy to just plain awesome.
Now, about that banana bread. In my opinion, it is the best banana bread I have ever had. The rest of my family loved it too, thought they admitted that it wasn't super sweet. That's what I loved about it - you can enjoy it at breakfast, lunch, or dinner and not feel like you're eating dessert. Of course you can definitely have it for dessert or even all four. And yes having it for all four in one day is totally acceptable (at least it better be or I'm in trouble! ;) Before I share the recipe, let me apologize for the beyond awful picture. Night + phone camera = one bad picture. Just sayin'.
Best Banana Bread
Adapted from this recipe.Makes 4 mini loaves or 1 regular loafIngredients:
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3 egg whites
1/4 cup agave + 20 drops stevia*
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup spelt flour**
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch sea salt*To make it sweeter, increase stevia, increase agave and decrease almond milk, or add dry sugar (if you do this you may need to increase the almond milk).**I'm sure that you could sub whole wheat pastry flour for both flours, or even use all spelt flour or another flour of choice.Directions:
And with that, I bid you farewell. Will I be back? Who knows. College is going to be busy, and while I would certainly enjoy to keep up with my blog, I may not have the time. I will try to pop in every now and then though as I plunge into the next step of my life.
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and grease either four mini loaf pans or one large one.
- Combine the pumpkin, melted coconut oil, egg whites, agave, stevia, bananas, almond milk, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl.
- Either in a separate bowl or on top of the wet ingredients, combine, the cinnamon, flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Stir well, but do not over mix.
- Poor the batter into the greased pan(s) and bake for about 43 minutes (this is for the mini loaf pans - it may take longer for one large loaf).
- Allow the bread to cool in the pan(s) for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Let's do a little comparison game, shall we? Pizza is round, pancakes are round. (Well, my pancakes at least slightly resemble a round shape. Most of the time they're more squarish or jagged on the edges. Character. Yes, it gives them character. ;) Pizza has toppings, pancakes have toppings. True, the toppings are quite different... pizza has tomato sauce and cheese, maybe veggies, pepperoni for many while pancakes have butter and maple syrup, or Greek yogurt and peanut butter (!!), possibly coconut butter (!!)... but still, a topping is a topping. Pizza is eaten for dinner, pancakes are eaten for dinner. Who wants to wait until the next morning for pancakes when you can have them that night? Um, not me. Now the most obvious similarity is, of course, the taste. Pizza is delicious, pancakes are delicious. And these two recipes are nothing less.
Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto English Muffin Pizza
1 english muffin, cut in half (I used Rudi's whole wheat english muffins)
1-2 tablespoons basil pesto
About 3 sun-dried tomatoes, torn into small pieces (if using dried, soak in water for a few hours prior to making the pizza)
1 oz shredded mozzarella
Cover a small baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper. Set your oven to broil. Spread each muffin half with half to a full tablespoon of pesto (depending on how pesto-y you want it). Arrange the tomato pieces evenly on top of the pesto, and evenly sprinkle on the cheese. Make sure the tomatoes are under the cheese or your tomato pieces will burn. Put the pizzas on the baking sheet, and put the baking sheet in the oven. Broil for about five minutes or until the the cheese melts and begins to brown. Enjoy!
The pizzas are so easy to make but are extremely yummy! You could even make lots of them and then arrange the pizzas on a big plate and take them to a party!
Side note: I ate the pizzas above with some raw snap peas and a package of spinach, steamed and then mixed with balsamic vinegar and garlic powder. Got my greens for sure!
Now for the pancake recipe. These aren't your basic light and fluffy pancake - they're much softer and denser. But as we've previously discussed, different pancakes are actually good! As long as they're cooked in a pan, I think they qualify as pancakes.
With coconut butter!
Double Banana Pancakes
1/4 cup brown rice flour (or other flour of choice)
2 tablespoons rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon chia seeds, ground (measure first and then grind) mixed with 3-4 tablespoons of water
1 banana, half mashed and half sliced
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sweeter, to taste (sugar, agave, maple syrup, or stevia - I used 2 drops stevia)
In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, and cinnamon (and dry sweetener, if using). In a separate bowl, combine the chia mixture, mashed banana, almond milk, and vanilla (and liquid sweetener, if using). Stir the wet mixture into the dry until well combined, but don't over mix. Spoon the mixture onto a pre-heated, non-stick skillet. Arrange the banana slices on top of the pancakes. Cook until both sides are lightly browned, flipping once half-way through. Enjoy!
Okay, so today I was down town with my mom (we went to this amazing Indian place for lunch <3), and we stopped at this cute little kitchen store called The Cupboard. I found the perfect cup in the sale section.
What I live by.
Just wanted to share that!
What's you favorite variety of pizza? Of pancakes?
Hey all! So I know I still have lots of recaps to do (pictures still not unloaded = lazy), but I really wanted to do just a regular "what I've been eating post" today. I promise I'll still do the recaps, but that'll be another day. And I promise I'm still going to post the peanut butter spelt bagel recipe. Not today, but when I get tired of recaps again, I'm sure it'll be making an appearance. ;)
My first meal of the post is actually one I had at the Boston airport on the way back from Iceland.
That airport is not very vegetarian friendly! The only thing I could find was a wilted salad. Not exactly my cup of tea. So I proceeded to order the "avocado turkey sandwich" without turkey, but they were out of avocado. Then I ordered the "pesto chicken sandwich" without chicken which they did have. The guy taking my order was laughing at me because I kept ordering the meat sandwiches sans the meat, lol. But the sandwich was actually really good! It had lots of pesto so how could it not be good? ;)
My first meal at home was just about the most basic breakfast ever. But it had never tasted so good before! I tried to find oatmeal in Finland, but as you will learn from my Finland recap, that kind of failed.
Oatmeal topped with peanut butter and dark chocolate chips. Like I said, simple but deeeeelicious!
So I know I just said above that me and wilted salads aren't exactly best friends, but that doesn't mean I don't love a good salad. Wilted leaves, a few carrots shreds, and maybe a slice or two of tomato is not what I consider a good salad. This, on the other hand, is what I consider a good salad.
Note: You can use however much or little of the ingredients you like or even substitute ingredients. Think of this as guidelines instead of an actual recipe.
A handful of mixed lettuce leaves
A handful of fresh spinach
A handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Half an avocado, sliced
1/3 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed if using canned
A handful of dried cranberries
1 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Fresh dill, to taste (I like LOTS!)
5 slices of cucumber, sliced in half
2 baby carrots, grated
1 hard-boiled egg, sliced
A big blob of hummus (or salsa of your other favorite salad topping)
Umm, toss ingredients together? I think that's pretty self explanatory. ;)
You can't necessarily tell from the pictures, but that salad was huuuuuuge! It compared to me:
See my shirt? It says "To Be or Not To Be." We visited Hamlet's castle in Denmark, and so I got the shirt to try and get myself psyched up for Hamlet, one of the books I have to read for my AP Lit and Comp class. And it's kind of working! I went from dreading it a lot to dreading it a little. ;) Lol, I'm actually pretty excited!
Other random meals:
White sweet potato topped with peanut butter and peanut butter chips (second best combo - sweet tata with coconut butter/oil + carob chips still ranks number one :)
With steamed veggies (broccoli, carrots, waterchesnuts, and snap peas) topped with red pepper spread and fresh cherry tomatoes.
Steamed eggplant with black pepper, Italian 'sausage' (from Vegan Brunch), roasted brussel sprouts and tomatoes, and high fiber cereal (needed some carbs in there!).
After seeing Tara
steam eggplant, I knew I had to try it! And I'm very glad I did. I still prefer it roasted, but when I'm limited on time, I'll definitely be steaming it!
Whole Foods seven grain bagel half topped with Dark Chocolate Dreams PB, half topped with regular ole' PB, both sprinkled with wheat germ (is it just me or does wheat germ taste a bit like bread dough? Probably just me...), and lots of berries! WF 7 grain bagel = love.
Random fact: I'm always on the search for a good protein powder. I find many to be grainy, and very much lacking in the taste department. They're also really expensive, and since I don't like many, I often buy the packets to experiment with. Here's my most recent:
I normally try rice or soy protein, but I though I might like whey better. And into a smoothie it went! I kept it simple so I could taste the protein powder. In the mix was a frozen banana, about half a package of spinach, flaxseeds, the protein powder, and almond milk. And since I didn't go crazy, the result was actually green! (I'm well known to make purple/brown smoothies... ugh.)
With lots of high fiber cereal (what's shown times at least two). There's no way I'm having breakfast without my carbs!
This was fabulous guys!! Truly, it was. I'm so glad I found a protein powder that actually tastes good!! :D
Ever tried a grilled banana and avocado sandwich? No??? Time to fix that. ;)
Grilled Banana and Avocado Sandwich
One banana, sliced in half and then each half sliced lengthwise
1/2 an avocado, sliced
2 slices bread of choice (I used oatmeal bread), toasted
Place your sliced banana in a pan and turn on heat to medium-low.
Once they get all nice and brown, turn 'em over.
Stack them onto one of the toasted bread pieces...
...and stack the avocado on top of the banana.
The entire plate:
Sandwich close up:
You should try it. You won't be disappointed. Trust me.
Wait, what is that chocoltey amazingess above?! A batch of Katie's Fudge Daddies
before going into the oven. I had no tofu so used pumpkin in place of both the tofu and the applesauce. I doubled the batch (since it was one of Katie's recipes I knew
I would love it!) and used a total of 3/4 cup pumpkin. For flour, I used 1/2 cup whole grain pastry flour, 1/4 cup brown rice flour, and 1/4 cup spelt flour. For sweetener, I used 1/4 cup maple syrup and 10 drops of stevia - perfect sweetness for me! I put the chocolate chips on top and then when they came out, I spread them around and then once they cooled, they had a crunchy top. Definitely recommend doing that! Oh, if the brownies look a little thin, that may or may not be the result of a certain someone (not to mention any name) who quickly became addicted to the batter. Oops.
Katie suggested letting them sit for a bit, but I simply couldn't wait and ate one straight out of the oven!
By the way, this was before I spread around the chocolate chips. Probably a question I've asked before, but how does she do it?! There must be a secret to creating recipes that are so good not even words can explain. Or maybe it's just that she's a magician? Yes, that must be it. ;)
Brownies were also consumed in this form:
Steal cut oats with Greek yogurt and a brownie.
And then yesterday, I saw her recipe for Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes
. It was past breakfast, but I didn't really care. Pancakes are a suitable lunch, right? (Warning: I went a little crazy with the pictures.)
The white drippy amazingness is coconut butter, just in case you were wondering.
Everyone, drop what you're doing and make these pancakes right now. I'm serious here. You're not still reading are you? Didn't I just tell you to go make these pancakes? If you're reading this, you didn't follow my orders. Your loss. I'm telling you, these are the. best. pancakes. ever. I've had a lot of pancakes in my days, but these take the cake (pancake, that is ;) .
Oh dear, this got long. Sorry guys - you're probably bored to tears, if you're still reading that is! I'll let you go now. Just promise me one thing - you'll make Katie's pancakes!!
I'll be back next time with another recap! Love you guys!!
Yep, it's my brother's 18th birthday today!!! In case you do read my blog, brother, I hope you have an amazing birthday!! I know we don't always get along perfectly (how boring would that be?), but I hope you know that you are like my best friend! Seriously, I feel like I can tell you anything! Thank you so much for being the best brother EVER!!! I'm going to miss you more than anything when you go to college next year. I love you!! :D
Everyone left such nice comments on my last post! I can't thank you guys enouph! You are the sweetest!!
You may have noticed that I didn't reply to any. And that's because my blog has a really bad commenting system that doesn't allow me to reply to individual comments. If I ever get that fixed, I will be back to replying! Until then, I will just comment back on all of your awesome blogs! Does that sound all right?
I've tried a lot of different foodie combinations in the last 24ish hours (does anyone else use "ish"?). Let's go in chronological order, shall we...
Friday night, I was kind of in a rut. I was starving for some dinner, but it was dinner time, and it seemed as if I had nothing to eat! But if I'm hungry I always find something to eat. So lo and behold, I did!
Salsa Chickpea-Rice Bowl
About 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (I used canned)
About 3/4 cup cooked brown rice
2 tablespoon salsa
1-2 tablespoon orange juice (adds a nice touch of sweetness)
Garlic powder/onion powder/ground cumin
Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and dig in!
Just perfect for a quick, delicious dinner!!
With a side of steamed veggies (sorry for the awful picture!)
And then for dessert, I had one almond butter cup:
Love those little guys!
The next morning, I tried something that I will be having again without any doubt!!! Behold Kathleen's Almond Joy Pizzert Babies
!!!!!! Go ahead and clap. These little fellas' deserve a major
round of applause!!
I just can't get over how cute they were!!! I topped mine with almond butter, peanut butter, and Greek yogurt! (And chocolate chips, obviously) I also used brown rice flour in place of the whole wheat flour, so they were also gluten free! My mom thought they were absolutely adorable too! Oh, have I mentioned yet that were like mini cakes sent from heaven? Yep, that incredibly delicious!!!!!
And guess what?? I've had socca at last! I used Heather's recipe
and topped it with a spoonful of salsa!
I'm in love with this socca!!! Thanks so much for the fabulous and simple recipe, Heather! I may or may not have gone back for another piece ;)
And then for dinner, I was craving some more socca! So I spread some spicy dijon mustard on it (for some reason, I hate regular yellow mustard but love honey mustard and dijon mustard). Then I topped it with lettuce, a Sunshine burger, and a juicy piece of tomato. Another fantastic use for the socca! (Although I'm thinking the socca would be fantastic used in anything! :)
Now wait! What are those little round bundles sitting at the back? Well, they are:Cinnamon Grilled BananasIngredients:
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 smallish banana, slicedDirections
Melt the coconut oil in a small, not-stick pan. Put the cinnamon in a small bowl and coat the flat side of each banana slice in the cinnamon. Place the banana slices in the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side.
Something else I love? Katie's Banana Brulee Oats
!!! My add ins were vanilla extract and cinnamon! (And topped with peanut butter because a day just can't start without it!)
Katie, I know I've said this before, but you're a genius. You just plain are! The brulee oats were out of this world amazing!! If it weren't for Katie, I would have never thought to blend my oats, but it's the most amazing idea since..... Well, actually, it's just the most amazing idea, period! I felt like I was eating pudding for breakfast. It just doesn't get better than that!
Sorry for this very long, chatty post!! I guess I'm just in a chatty mood this morning!
Just one more week of school and then spring break!!! Woohoo!! In a week, I will be just about on my way to California for a college visit! Can't wait!!!
The daily question: Are you going anywhere/doing anything special for spring break?
I sure am glad that I'm not the only one with a sweet tooth! :)
So, what exactly is a scramlette? It's something that happens when you attempt to make an omelette, get impatient (What? Impatient? Me?), and turn your omelette to be into a scramble. Ya, that's pretty much the story of my life. Anyway, a scramlette is just as tasty even it it doesn't per se look like an omelette. The best part of a banana scramlette? It is one of the best breakfasts I have ever had. Yes, I did say ever :)
Banana Sramlette (serves 1)
1 banana (I used a green banana because I hate yellow bananas but LOVE them green)
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Mash that banana!
Stir in the remaining ingredients:
Pour you banana batter into non-stick pan greased with a bit o' coconut oil (or other non-stick agent of choice):
Let it cook for as long as possible without letting it burn (I would say at least a good five minutes). Flip it over while trying not to scramble it.
The last part of the direction is always the easiest - chow!
I topped mine with coconut butter because, um, coconut butter has special powers and makes anything nothing less than amazing. If you actually get a traditional omelet, I would suggest using your topping as a filling.
For some omelet variation, you could add some cinnamon or cocoa powder to the batter, but I LOVE it just how it is! I think I know what I will be having for breakfast tomorrow (and the day after............ ;)
The daily question: What's you favorite way to enjoy bananas?