Just so you know...this recipe is on repeat at our house--weekly!
I really, really like recipes that I can repurpose throughout the week. I mean, who doesn't like one day of prep in the kitchen followed by a couple of free days where your kitchen doesn't look like a tornado came through it?! Uh, hello...you and I both
And the key word is SIMPLE here!
All of the ingredients you have in your pantry and I am sure that you can find 2 frozen, neglected bananas kicking around in your freezer that have fallen out on occasion.
I am always up for being in the kitchen...obviously;) but there are days where I don't feel like running to the grocery store or doing a sink full of dishes in order to make a recipe. So today this recipe checks both boxes. No trip to the store and no huge mess in the kitchen-bonus!
I am more of a cookie kid if I had the choice but there are times where muffins foot the bill on a nutrition level or quick breakfast for the wee ones. So when it comes to muffins I usually don't mess around making mini muffins because let's be honest...I usually end up eating about 4 of them anyways, so I might as well make the big guys and eat just one! However for the wee people in the house or my friends that have WAAAY more self control than myself, I make the mini ones. I freeze them so I can pack them on a road trip or a day trip or pretty much whenever I am in a pinch for a healthy, little snack - win, win!
As for the OPTIONAL ingredients these are just "NICE TO HAVE" in the recipe, but without them the recipe is still yum. I am always up for getting in a variety of goodies into baked goods, especially healthy fats, vitamins and minerals that can be sometimes hard to choke down on their own.
Here is a dirty, little secret though. If you have any butterscotch chips in the house...put them in! The combo of banana and butterscotch is UHHH-mazing!
So here ya go, a super, simple banana muffin recipe that you can use over and over and over again!
SIMPLE BANANA MUFFINS
1 1/2 cups flour (half whole wheat and half all purpose is great too)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
2 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup melted butter, coconut oil or applesauce
Optional EXTRAS, use NONE, SOME or ALL if you want and play around with the amounts.
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp flax seeds
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or butterscotch
2 tbsp cocoa nibs
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a medium bowl, mix bananas, egg, oil and sugar. Blend together using a hand blender or whisk. I like the hand blender since it mashes the bananas for me.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. If you are adding any of the optional EXTRAS, add them to the dry ingredients. Make a well in the dry ingredients.
4. Using a rubber spatula, pour the liquid ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients and gently fold the mixture until you no longer see any dry ingredients. The batter will be thicker, make sure you don’t over mix the batter or your muffins will be tough.
5. Fill muffin tins, lined with paper liners about 3/4 full.
6. Regular size muffins will bake for ~15-17 mins and mini muffins will bake for ~ 8 mins.
Today was a total scorcher. So obviously I started thinking of ways to NOT stand in front of the stove to make supper.
I think the house was actually hotter than the temperature outside today :(
Hence another SALAD recipe for ya! This one has a super light vietnamese dressing with crunchy, chopped vegetables, some grilled chicken and a few rice noodles for body--a real winner!
Chopped Vietnamese Salad
For the Dressing
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp fish sauce
1 large lime, zested and juiced ~ 6 tbsp 6 tbsp olive oil
splash of Sriracha
For the Salad
2 chicken breasts, grilled
6 ounces thick rice noodles
4 large carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup purple cabbage, sliced thin
1 cup green cabbage, sliced thin
1/2 cup english cucumbers, sliced thin
one large handful of cilantro leaves, chopped small handful of mint leaves, chopped
For the Dressing: Using a hand blender, pulse all of the dressing ingredients together. Set aside.
For the Chicken: I cut the chicken breast into smaller pieces so that they grilled quicker and then I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper and an apricot asian salad dressing that I had in the fridge. Keep this part simple, if you don’t have a dressing, salt and pepper with a little oil works good too before you throw it on the grill.
For the Noodles: Cook them as directed on the package. When they are done cut the noodles if you want them to be shorter and easier to eat. Let them drain well and cool before adding them to the vegetables and chicken.
For the Vegetables: Once all of the vegetables are prepped, toss them in a large bowl.
To Assemble: Toss the chicken, noodles and vegetables together. If you are wanting to eat this salad throughout the week, keep the dressing on the side and add as you go.
As you can most likely guess, I am always looking for new salad recipes that I can pack whatever veggies I have hanging out in my fridge into one massive bowl and feed the family.
I get a bit bored of green salads so if you need to shake things up at your house or you need a go-to salad for your next pot luck, give this recipe a try. It's QUICK, TASTY & HEALTHY. These are 3 things I am looking for when it come to my weekday meals. It truly has to satisfy everyone because this girl is only cooking 1 meal for the whole tribe! So if no one ate the meal...I would NOT be putting it up on the blog for you too try.
Last night the toddler of the house comes up to me and says "Mommy, thanks for supper; it was delicious"--In my mom brain I thought "WTF is this real life" but my mom voice said "Thank you, that makes mommy so happy". So with that being said, if the toddler likes it, it is a win for everybody.
This salad is so easy to change up with whatever you have on hand so feel free to add a can of black beans or chickpeas to the mix and anything else that needs using up in your pantry or fridge.
For this recipe I used the WildRoots Pearl Harvest Couscous blend that has quinoa, yellow split peas and some orzo in it and it served as a nice base that has a bit of texture. I picked it up at Costco. If you can't get this blend just use regular Israeli couscous and cook as directed on the package.
For the seasoning on the shrimp use Emeril's Essence. I make up a big batch throughout the year and use it whenever I need a little hit of creole seasoning.
If you come up with any great, new ingredient combinations for this salad, please leave them in the comments, I would love to hear them.
ISRAELI COUSCOUS SALAD
For the Dressing
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup good quality olive oil 1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp honey
1/8 tsp dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste
For the Salad
1 1/2 cups Israeli Couscous, uncooked
1/2 english cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup red and yellow grape tomatoes, quartered 1/2 cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup feta, cubed
1 avocado, sliced
20 shrimp, uncooked
1.Mix all of the dressing ingredients together into a large mason jar and pulse with a hand blender.
2.Cook the couscous as directed on the package. Set aside and let cool in the fridge.
3.For the shrimp, season with salt and pepper and desired spice (I use Emeril’s Essence which has a nice creole flavour and great heat). In a medium frying pan over medium heat add butter and sauté the shrimp just until pink. Remove from heat and set aside.
4.In a large bowl, toss all of the prepped salad ingredients together EXCEPT the avocado and the shrimp. Add the cooled couscous and toss to combine.
5.Dress the salad to your desired liking (you may not need all the dressing) and make sure to taste it and adjust the salt and pepper if needed.
6.Serve and garnished each bowl with avocado and cooked shrimp. Keeps well for a couple of days in the fridge.
You could say that my posts are few and far between which would be absolutely true these days.
The majority of my days consist of toddler play, canoodling a new born, diaper changes, grocery shopping, preparing snacks, laundry, cleaning up the kitchen (which seems endless most days) and explaining to a toddler why she can't have another snack while I distract her into doing something else....ALL of which are VERY important jobs.
Woven inside the craziness of my day I try to find the time to make a homemade, healthy meal that everyone will enjoy. We have been blessed with a toddler who has an adventurous palate and she will eat almost anything so thankfully meal planning is not too difficult.
OKAY! Onto the recipe. This one is a keeper; print it out and put it in your weekly rotation.
This one pot wonder that has all of the flavours of a lasagna but with none of the layering and prep work of a traditional recipe, not to mention it can be made using 1 pot in under 30 mins.
If you are feeling creative, or your pantry doesn't have all of the options feel free to play around.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we do :)
One Pot Pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Italian sausage links, casing removed
2 cups kale, finely chopped (spinach is also great just use 3-4 cups)
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 tsp sugar
8 ounces pasta of choice (I used ziti)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1.Heat olive oil in a large, oven safe skillet over medium high heat. Add onions, garlic and Italian sausage and cook until browned, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat.
2.Stir in kale, diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and sugar; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer for 5-10 mins. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Stir in pasta and ~1.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 15 mins depending on the pasta you choose.
3.Remove from heat. Stir in HALF the mozzarella and Parmesan until well combined. Sprinkle the other HALF of the mozzarella and parmesan on top. Using a small cookie scoop, top with dollops of ricotta. Preheat oven to BROIL and place the heat safe skillet under the heat and broil until cheese is heated throughout and starting to bubble.
4.Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
Crater Cake....AKA the most amazing banana bread you will EVER have. Layers of banana combined with brown sugar, cinnamon and dark chocolate turn the basic banana bread into something that people with fight over.
I opened the freezer up the other day and noticed an extremely large amount of overripe bananas that were just begging me to turn them into something amazing & with Kasey heading out on his hunting trip I thought it might be a nice wife gesture to send some Crater Cake along with him to share with the boys.
This recipe would not be found on your clean eating plan. It is full of rich butter, sour cream, brown sugar and chocolate; definitely something we should NOT to eat every day (but seriously, rules are sometimes made for breaking). I usually freeze the extras to resist the temptation of eating it until it is gone! But hey, it you do happened to have one of those weeks, don't worry about it. Be kind to yourself and give yourself a break.
Quick and easy and highly addictive making it the perfect snack to pack!
I will be the first to admit it...I have a sweet tooth.
Nothing that required me to lay on a couch and talk about it, however after a meal I like a little bite of some chocolate or whatever I have laying around the house.
This recipe is the ideal bite after lunch or and excellent backpack snack to take on the go.
It's half hippie and half yummy. The perfect combination or so I like to think. Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below.
Sometimes when I get home from work or yoga, I am ravenous for a healthy snack. Who am I kidding...I am ALWAYS hungry. I usually find myself opening the pantry door, grabbing some kind of nut and then dried fruit and carrying on with my day.
So, for this recipe, I decided that it was time to devise an all in one, protein bar that would keep in the fridge or freezer for my so called ravenous moments; and this is what I came up with. Feel free to play around with the flavour combinations and leave a comment on your creations.
You've got to love the versatility and the "on-the-go" ease of granola. It is the perfect breakfast food and it also doubles as a great snack (on numerous occasions I have seen Kasey eat this stuff out of the pantry by the handfuls, so it must be good). This granola is loaded with protein, good fats, fiber and happy minerals and it goes great with greek yogurt and a few sliced bananas:)