Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My Excellent Banana Bread- Healthier (and Yummier) than EVER!

I'm super excited about this updated version of my amazingly delicious banana bread (not to toot my own horn but I make a mean banana bread) healthier version is so moist and flavorful, despite the fact that I omitted the butter and chocked it full of wheat germ and hemp seeds. My kids just love this bread and ask me to make it all the time. They have no idea that it is an improved upon recipe (and by improved upon I just mean that it is original recipe is still the bomb and if you are looking for more of a classic banana bread, click here).  Enjoy the yummy healthiness!!!
Note that the picture above shows three bananas- I did make it with three bananas and I liked it, but I prefer it made with only two bananas. My family likes the more subtle banana flavor of two......

1/3 c coconut oil (and a little bit for greasing the pan)
2 very ripe bananas
3/4 cup coconut sugar (find this at Whole Foods or in the organic section of the grocery)
2 eggs
1/4 cup yogurt
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (these are dairy, nut and soy free)

Preheat oven to 350F

Grease a meatloaf pan with a little coconut oil.

Melt the coconut oil in a large microwave safe bowl for about 50 seconds. Remove bowl from microwave and use a wooden spoon to stir it around until it is completely liquid. Add the two bananas and mash well. Add the coconut sugar to the banana/oil mixture and stir until combined. Add the eggs one at a time and combine; add yogurt and stir. Add the rest of the dry ingredients from the whole wheat pastry flour to the cinnamon. Stir to combine. Fold in chocolate chips.

Bake on 350F for 53-55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for about an hour before turning the bread out and slicing.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Kale, Potato & White Bean Tacos with Creamy Verde Salsa

Okay, I have to admit it, I'm back to being a vegetarian. There is something about the summer that makes it easier for me to ditch meat altogether.  These incredibly tasty tacos were inspired by my new favorite taco and fresh squeezed juice joint (I mean, could there be a better restaurant combination on earth?). My husband agrees that I nailed this taco!!! They are so tasty and will not miss the meat one bit!!! Don't skimp on the yummy sauce- it is muy muy beuno.

If you have been eager to get in on the whole "kale craze", you couldn't pick a better recipe to start with. Even my son kept swiping kale from the skillet every time he walked by. I actually had to tell him to stop eating all the kale! I mean, really, who says that to an eight year old!?!? Make these this week!

1 Tbl olive oil
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1 poblano pepper, finely chopped
1 small white potato, finely chopped (if you do not chop your potato into small pieces, it won't cook in time)
Vegetable or chicken broth (just a little bit to de-glaze the pan)
1 15oz can navy beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 to 3/4 head of curly kale, remove thick spines and use only the leaves
Salt & pepper
Cojita cheese (if you can't find this, a very mild Feta will suffice)
6-8 Corn Tortillas (THE best brand is La Tortilla Factory- I have never had a better store-bought tortilla in my life; try to find these!)
3/4 cup salsa verde (find this green salsa in the International section of the grocery)
1/4 cup sour cream (don't use light, it's just yucky and will ruin my tacos!!) 

Preheat oven to 200F (this is to warm the tortillas)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook for approx 5 minutes. Add the poblano pepper and potato. Cook for about three minutes. Add a little bit of broth (about 1 Tbl) to de-glaze the potatoes from the pan (this helps them cook without sticking) and stir. Cook another 3 minutes and add about 1 Tbl broth to the pan again; stir. Every time you add the broth, it'll completely absorb. The mixture will not be soupy at all. Repeat this step one more time until the potatoes taste cooked, you will cook the potatoes about 9-10 minutes total.

Add the navy beans and stir. Add the kale and stir. With the skillet over medium/low heat, continue to stir the kale until it has wilted down and has become soft. This takes about 5 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper to your taste.
About 10 minutes before you are ready to eat, wrap the tortillas in foil and put them in the oven to warm. 

Mix the salsa verde and the sour cream together. 

To assemble the tacos, spoon kale/potato mixture into a warm tortilla. Spoon creamy verde salsa on top and sprinkle with Cojita cheese. Serve with chips and guacamole. Enjoy!! Eating meatless NEVER tasted so good!!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Chocolate Covered Rice Cakes with Coconut & Hemp Seeds


Even though I'm a very healthy eater, I still have a major sweet tooth. Of all the sweets in the world, I crave chocolate the most. These chocolate covered rice cakes really satisfy my cravings - I promise, promise I'm not kidding!!! I love the crunch of the rice cake paired with the chocolate. The almond butter adds protein while the hemp and chia seeds are rich in Omega-3s - not bad for a "dessert".  I make one batch at a time and they last me for a week (and that includes my kids poaching a few of them for themselves).

1 package of brown rice cakes (approx 13 cakes)
1 package of Enjoy Life dairy/nut/soy free chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
2 Tbl almond butter (optional)
Use any or all of these to top the chocolate:
*unsweetened coconut flakes
*hemp seeds
*chia seeds
Before you get started, put two pieces of wax paper on the counter and lay out all the rice cakes.  Covering the rice cakes with the melted chocolate is pretty messy, so it's a good thing to cover the counter (easy clean up!).

Put 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1 Tbl almond butter (if using) in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir until completely melted and smooth. Using a spoon, top half the rice cakes with melted chocolate.  Repeat with remaining chocolate, almond butter and rice cakes.

While the chocolate is still wet, lightly sprinkle with any of the suggested toppings. I like the coconut flakes on their own; I like to mix the hemp and chia seeds together. Or you don't have to sprinkle them with any toppings at all. My daughter likes them plain.

I store these in a large plastic bag in the refrigerator and eat one for dessert each night!  Enjoy!