Archive | bread RSS feed for this section

Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread

26 Mar

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Do I really need another banana bread recipe? No.

But, when I had some extra lemons on hand from last week’s Earl Grey Spiced Fruit Compote workshop, and when an “accidental” two bunches of bananas were sprawled on the counter that needed to be immediately eaten, frozen, or baked with, my wheels started turning.

Currently, my top three go-to banana bread recipes include Smitten Kitchen’s Jacked-Up Banana Bread, Cookie and Kate’s Honey Whole Wheat Banana Bread, and my Peanut Butter Banana Bread.

My rule of thumb? Always better with chocolate chips/chunks. And, just saying, a little whole wheat flour makes chocolate-studded banana bread okay to eat for breakfast, too. Finally, don’t mash to oblivion; just lightly mush the bananas with a fork so you have some puree and some small pieces.

IMG_2245Classic Figs In My Belly Loaf Shot

I bookmarked Heidi Swanson’s version of Melissa Clark’s Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread a while ago, and this was the perfect opportunity to try a new spin on my obsession with banana bread, and quick breads in general.

The taste is classic banana bread, with a subtle hint of lemon zest and a little zing of olive oil at the end. I love it.

There is an optional glaze that you can whisk up (Swanson uses a mix of confectioners’ and brown sugar [I found the granules of the brown sugar too “crunchy” for my taste] and Clark just uses confectioners’ sugar), but I tried it and found that when it comes to banana bread, I prefer mine naked and de-glazed.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

This Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread is definitely going on my list of favorite go-to banana-breads.

Oh boy, do I love a good loaf.

Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread

recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks, Originally adapted from Melissa Clark’s Cook This Now

1 cup / 125g all-purpose flour
1 cup / 140g whole wheat flour
3/4 cup /125 g  dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup / 4 oz / 115 g coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate (leave some bigger chunks!)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups / 340 g mashed, VERY ripe bananas (~3 bananas)
1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used 2% low-fat yogurt)
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F, and place a rack in the center. Grease a 9- by 5- inch loaf pan, or equivalent.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate pieces and combine well.

In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, mashed banana, yogurt, zest, and vanilla. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown, about 50 minutes. Swanson says, “You want to get that beautiful color on the cake, but at the same time you don’t want to bake all the moisture out of it. So the minute you’re in that zone, pull it. Erring on the side of under-baking versus over.”

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan to cool completely.

Shutterbean’s (and Ina’s) Greek Panzanella

27 Jun

IMG_0742

My gal Michelle and I are both avid followers of Tracy Shutterbean and her food, family, and boozy adventures. The day Tracy posted about this Grilled Greek Panzanella, Michelle and I went nuts! Within 1 day, we were at my place, chopping away in anticipation of enjoying a cool crunch on a hot summer day.

Intense New York City summer weather means salad for dinner. A big honking salad with lots of bread cubes and raw veggies, salty feta, and “evoo”.

Store-bought hummus and tzatziki add an easy Mediterranean touch with a bit of protein. It makes a huge difference (aesthetically) to scoop the dips into ramekins or little bowls and embellish with your own spices i.e. adding extra paprika on top of the hummus.

Giant salad. Bread. Dips. A chilled bottle of white. And a small scoop of Steve’s Blackberry Honey (vegan) ice cream to finish.

Catch the recipe over at Tracy’s blog. We used a whole wheat French Bread, but you should use whatever bread strikes you (I imagine a white seeded bread would be nice!). We lightly toasted the bread on the stove top. And we used fresh basil instead of oregano.

Tracy served her salad with lamb meatballs and grilled eggplant. YUM!

Now get chopping and eat a giant bowl of this deliciousness! Makes great lunch leftovers, too.

 

Healthy Carrot Breakfast Bread

2 Apr

IMG_0679

Last summer, in the blazing heat, I made an enormously decadent cream-cheese frosted layered carrot cake. It was absolutely fantastic, but sometimes I crave the challenge of making something secretively healthy (and not cloyingly sweet) that still packs that satisfying punch. In other words, I want to eat cake for breakfast and not feel bad about it.

I love a good quick-bread, especially for breakfast, slathered with nut or seed butter and washed down with a hot mug of coffee. This Carrot Breakfast Bread scratches that itch for me. It’s packed with carrots, pulsed oats, and a touch of yogurt, oil, and fruit (I used up the last of the charoset that I made for Passover). It’s sweetened with agave and chopped dates, and simply feels right to eat first thing in the morning.

I was feeling lazy (and efficient, mind you), so I used my blender to speed up the preparation time. First, I pulsed my oats in the clean, dry blender. After that I grated my carrots in there, and then I mixed my wet ingredients together in the blender. Just a few pulses and some mixing together by hand and that’s it.

Of course, if you are not a fan of unfrosted carrot cake, you could always enjoy this healthy carrot bread frosted with Love and Lemon’s cream cheese frosting. It’s all about balance.

IMG_0676

Healthy Carrot Breakfast Bread

adapted from LoveandLemons

2 cups flour, I used 1c. oat flour (pulverized oats in the blender until they turned to flour) and 1c. all-purpose flour

2 t. baking powder

1 t. baking soda

spices: 1 T. cinnamon, 1/4 t. cloves, 1 t. ground ginger, 1/2 t. nutmeg, pinch of salt

1 lb. carrots, peeled

2 eggs

1/2 cup of agave

1/4 cup canola oil or coconut oil

1/4 cup plain yogurt, I used plain, low-fat Stonyfield yogurt

1/4 cup applesauce or mashed/pureed fruit such as banana

1/4-1/2 cup dates, pitted and chopped dates

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly dust a loaf pan with flour.

I used a blender for this recipe; you could also use a food processor. Grind your oats in the blender until they look like flour. Transfer to a bowl and whisk together the 1 cup of oat flour with the 1 cup of all-purpose or whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.

Take your peeled carrots and chop them into rough bite-sized pieces. You will need to do this next step in batches: throw a small amount of the carrots into the blender and pulse until a fine chop (not totally a puree but not giant carrot chunks…somewhere in the middle). Dump the finely chopped carrots into a large bowl. ***Note: you could also grate the carrots by hand, but I was lazy.

Next in the blender go the eggs, agave, oil, yogurt, and applesauce. Pulse for about 20 seconds until everything blends together. Pour this mixture into the carrots and stir it all together with a rubber spatula.

Add the dry mix to the wet and fold with a rubber spatula until it all comes together. Fold in the chopped dates. Dump everything into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with some cinnamon and maybe a dash of sugar on top. Bake for about 50 minutes to an hour, rotating half-way through baking.

Serve for breakfast with some sunflower or almond butter and a hot mug of coffee or tea.

5 Days of Simple Breakfasts…

31 Aug

Just a little post to show you what I’ve been eating for breakfast lately. It’s easy to get in a breakfast rut, and I’m here to offer you five small simple breakfast ideas that will help get your day started.

I like to exercise in the late morning, and these are all great pre-(or post) workout options for breakfast or a snack. I try to think: carb + a little protein. And it never hurts to keep in mind color and appearance. Even if it’s just a mini-meal, your belly will feel more satisfied if your eyes are entertained as well.

Toast with avocado and low-fat cottage cheese. Lots of fresh ground pepper. I never liked cottage cheese as a kid because I didn’t like the texture. Once I discovered that I could spread it on a crunchy piece of toast or crackers, there was no turning back. I can’t get enough of the stuff now! AND you get 15 grams of protein per serving of cottage cheese.

Almond butter schmeared on toast. With a squeeze of honey (or banana). I recently tried sunflower seed butter, which is another great alternative to add to the peanut/almond butter rotation.

Oatmeal. I like making rolled oats on the stove top. This time around my toppers included: cinnamon, coconut chips, a combo of walnuts/macadamias, frozen berries, plain yogurt, and honey. (you can just barely see the steam coming from my coffee…!!!)

Baby berry smoothie: 1 cup frozen berries, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 cup milk, 1 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Whir it up in the blender. Add a frozen banana if you want to bulk this up a bit (I had some whole wheat crackers with nut butter shortly after this to complement the smallness of the smoothie). Pour into an old jam jar and enjoy.

A layered yogurt parfait. Plain yogurt, granola, more yogurt, melon (or whatever fruit you want), finished with more granola. You could even take something like this on the go in a small tupperware container (or a clean container from a previous yogurt).

Note that most of the ingredients for these breakfasts you can always have on hand. Frozen fruit, rolled oats, nut butters, bread (you can even put bread in the freezer and toast off as needed). Even yogurt stays fresh for a long time in the fridge. So much easier to whip up a quick healthy breakfast when your pantry and refrigerator/freezer are stocked with these simple breakfast staples.

Kitchen Madness: Maple Bourbon Cider, Beef Stroganoff made Healthy, Pumpkin Millet Bread, and Sausage Pesto Ravioli

13 Dec

I’ve been feeling the back-and-forth bounce. I’ve been trying to cook comfort foods but with a healthy twist. Sometimes it totally works (millet pumpkin bread=phenomenal), sometimes it totally flops (made a coconut kale salad but added way to much large flake unsweetened coconut). And sometimes it just makes you crave a cocktail.

Maple Bourbon Cider. Got this recipe from Shutterbean and it is absolutely perfect. She also has a recipe for homemade amaretto which I look forward to making soon!

There’s apple cider, maple syrup, lemon juice, and bourbon. Lately I’ve been diggin’ Bulleit Bourbon. Good stuff. Oh, and I do not have a cocktail shaker, so I used my water bottle. Worked like a gem AND its portable 😉

This was a pre- (and post!) dinner cocktail. Yes, I made it twice in the same night, but don’t worry, I shared. Dinner was Mustard Green Beans with Beef Stroganoff made with 0% Greek yogurt instead of 21302983% sour cream. Definitely not as rich and creamy as the traditional, but still tasted great and saved on calories and fat (I needed the cals for my second cocktail). Thanks, Ellie!

And the smell of simmering mushrooms and onions with wine and beef broth is so Cozy. Winter. Night.

As if all of this cooking and eating wasn’t enough, I made Pumpkin Bread with millet, whole wheat pastry flour, coconut oil (no saturated fat), and honey instead of sugar. A moist cake with some crunch from the millet (adds fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium). I got the recipe from Cookie+Kate. Y to the UM. With an extra drizzle of honey on top.

It has been fun trying out your recipes, Tracy, Ellie, and Kate.

All of this experimenting in the kitchen makes a girl want to kick off her shoes and wake up with someone else cooking a meal for her. And this girl got exactly that. Ravioli, spinach, sausage, pesto, cream, black pepper. Ah, now this is bliss.

Happy Eating, everyone!