Blueberry-Lemon Banana Bread

BLOG_July 01, 2014

Blueberries are in season, so why not include them in fabulous banana bread? This is a Cooking Light recipe that was quite delicious. The recipe included a glaze, and I include instructions for one below, but next time I will skip it. The bread is definitely sweet enough without a glaze. If you decide to use a glaze, I would only pour it on right before eating. Enjoy!

Blueberry-Lemon Banana Bread
Author: Cooking Light
Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • Cooking spray
  • For the glaze (optional):
  • 1/4 cup low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add the banana, egg substitute, sour cream, and vanilla and beat until blended. Add the flour mixture; beat at low speed until just moist. Gently fold in blueberries and lemon zest.
  3. Spoon batter into a loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool bread for 10 minutes and then remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
  4. To make the optional glaze – combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. I had a hard time getting the cream cheese smooth, so I used a mini food processor. You could also substitute sour cream for the cream cheese or make a simple glaze with milk and confectioners’ sugar. Drizzle over the loaf immediately before serving.

 

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Quick & Easy Vegetable Frittata

BLOG_July 02, 2014

Frittatas – super easy egg dishes that are a great way to use up that fresh produce sitting in your crisper! Kind of like an omelet, or a crust-less quiche, I love frittatas with a crisp, green salad on the side. In the one pictured, I used broccoli and tomato, but you can really use any variety of produce or add in ham, chicken, or some other protein that has already been cooked.

*You will need an oven-proof or cast-iron skillet for this recipe.

Quick & Easy Vegetable Frittata
Author: Q&DK
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 5 large eggs (you may need more if you add in more vegetables or meat)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • S/P
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced or thinly sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • Parmesan cheese to garnish, optional
Instructions
  1. Combine the eggs and milk in a bowl and whisk until blended. Season with S/P and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp. of the olive oil and the butter in a 12-inch oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender. If you decide to use other vegetables that don’t need much cook time (such as snow peas, bell pepper, etc.) – add those now. Add the broccoli (or another larger vegetable) and 3 tbsp. of water and continue to saute until the broccoli is crisp-tender.
  3. Preheat the broiler to high. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet, coating sides with a spatula, and evenly arrange the vegetables at the bottom of the skillet. Add the egg mixture but do not stir. Continue to cook on the stove for about 2 minutes until the bottom has set. While it cooks, arrange the tomato slices on top and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
  4. Place the skillet under the broiler for about 3 minutes until the top has set and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

 

Chicken and Broccolini Mac and Cheese

A simple comfort-food quality dish that features one of my favorite veggies – broccolini! There’s nothing too complicated or fancy about this, just simple, homemade goodness in the form of a casserole.

This is a Martha Stewart recipe that I lightened up substantially with some recipe tweaks, so you can feel good about every bite. Enjoy!

Chicken and Broccolini Mac and Cheese
Author: Adapted, Martha Stewart
Cook time: 55 mins
Total time: 55 mins
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for baking dish
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in half horizontally OR chicken cutlets (you want a thin cut for cooking purposes)
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese or Neufchâtel cheese
  • S/P
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat egg noodles
  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 3-quart broiler-proof baking dish with oil or spray with cooking spray. Bring milk to a simmer in a pot. Add chicken; simmer until cooked, 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Remove pot from heat; whisk in mustard and cream cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Shred chicken. Cook noodles in a pot of boiling salted water 3 minutes. Add broccolini; cook until noodles and broccolini are al dente, 2 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Drain noodles and broccolini; toss with chicken, sauce, pasta water, and cheddar. Transfer to baking dish.
  3. Toss breadcrumbs with oil; sprinkle over casserole. Cover with foil; bake 20 minutes. Uncover casserole; increase heat to broil. Cook until top is golden brown in places and breadcrumbs are crisp, 4 to 5 minutes.

 

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Chewy Oatmeal Bars

BLOG_July 09, 2014-3

I am eating one of these as we speak … or in between typing to be more exact and they are freakin’ delicious! I’ve always loved oatmeal cookies and these take it to another level with intense, sweet spice flavor and soft, chewy texture.  I’ve been eating these for breakfast, snacks, and dessert – they are that good.

I’m not surprised because the recipe comes from Cook’s Country, which is from the same people behind America’s Test Kitchen and I absolutely love their recipes. I know it’s still July, but some of us may be thinking about back to school mode – teachers, parents, and maybe? kids. These are definitely going in my bag of tricks for school snacking and eat-in-the-car breakfasts. I already see these making a great accompaniment to my morning smoothie. If your kids like oatmeal cookies and granola bars, these are a beautiful marriage between the two and they will love ’em. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Chewy Oatmeal Bars
Author: Cook’s Country
Serves: 24 bars
Ingredients
  • 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spoon/leveled)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 8 tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • 1 and 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup molasses (regular, not blackstrap)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (do not use instant)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2/3 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
  • GLAZE
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat to 350 degrees. Prep two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl and set aside. Beat the shortening and sugar together on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined. Add molasses and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, and mix until just combined, scraping bowl as needed. Add oats, raisins, and nuts if using and mix until incorporated.
  3. Form 2 dough logs on each baking sheet (for a total of 4) – place them 3 inches apart (at least) and make them 9 by 2-inches, about 1 inch tall. It helps to put cooking spray or flour on your hands when doing this because the dough is very sticky. They will spread a lot and become large bars like pictured. Bake until lightly browned and set, 16 to 19 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cool on the sheets and them move to a cutting board and cut into bars. Let cool completely and add the optional glaze.
Notes
*Use fresh, good quality cinnamon to get the best flavor. I love King Arthur’s Vietnamese Cinnamon – it is decadent and smells amazing. [br]*I did not use nuts in my recipe, but I’ve included options in the recipe if you prefer nuts in your sweets. [br]*This recipe includes a glaze, which I made for the pictures, but I don’t think these need it at all because they are already so sweet. I would bake them and taste, and then decide if you want the glaze. [br]*Make sure not to use instant oats (I used a generic grocery brand old-fashioned oats and they were great) and do not use blackstrap molasses, which is too strong.

 

Watermelon Green Juice

BLOG_December 29, 2013

Watermelon has been my go-to snack lately, so why not put it in my green juice? Now, mixing green and pink juices together does not result in the most beautiful of colors, but the taste is delicious. This juice is sweet and super refreshing – perfect for summer!

Watermelon Green Juice
Recipe Type: Beverage
Author: Adapted, Kris Carr
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 2-3 cups watermelon
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 bunch kale or romaine
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 2 cucumbers
Instructions
  1. Prep and wash all produce. Juice and serve. This makes about 3 regular sized mason jar servings for me. I store extra in the fridge and consume within a day.