Recipe | Blueberry Banana Bread

I’ve been craving banana bread lately. Maybe it’s because it’s summer and I used to spend lots of time at my Grandmother’s house during the summer and HER banana bread is the BEST I’ve ever had. But, this isn’t her recipe. I had planned on sharing her’s with you, but then I realized it called for butter and I didn’t have any… shoot!

I also wanted banana with a crumble topping like the spice muffins from Mimi’s Cafe, so I set out to find a banana bread and crumble topping and found this one from bon appetit! I also decided that I REALLY wanted it to have blueberries so I added those to the recipe and altered the crumble topping a bit.

Serves: 1 (just kidding more like 10, but it could serve just one)
Cooking Time: 60 mins

What You’ll Need:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 medium ripe or frozen (thawed) bananas
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used olive oil, because I’m fancy like that)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 (or two) handfuls of fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons brown sugar (I used Trader Joe’s Organic)

What You’ll Do:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil and flour 9x5x3-inch metal baking pan.

Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.

Whisk next 5 ingredients in large bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients; stir to blend.

Then, add those oh so tasty blueberries.

Transfer batter to pan.

CRUMBLE TOPPING:
Mix 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and brown sugar; sprinkle over batter.

Bake bread until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Honestly, if it’s not ready in 60 minutes, only add 2 mins at a time otherwise you’ll over-bake it.

Cool bread in pan 30 minutes (Or don’t. I didn’t).

Enjoy!

Recipe | Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Adapted From Tasty Kitchen

What I love about this recipe is how fast it is! Only 15 mins for a tasty and hearty soup, that’s easy to reheat for leftovers throughout the week. Or, a great last minute meal for small gatherings.

Serves: 6-8
Cooking Time: 15 mins

What You’ll Need:
3 cups (or 2 cans) of tomato soup (I used Trader Joe’s boxed soup)
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups chicken stock
1 whole 9 oz package of cheese filled tortellini
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

What You’ll Have:
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

What You’ll Do:
Saute garlic with the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat until golden brown.

Add in the tomato soup, sun-dried tomatoes, half-n-half, chicken stock and spices. Bring to a simmer.

Once simmering, drop uncooked tortellini into the soup. Cook about 12 minutes, until the tortellini is cooked through.

Serve topped with shredded parmesan cheese.

You can also serve this with a side salad and toasted baguette.

Enjoy!

Recipe | Vegetarian Chili

 Adapted from Emeril’s Vegetarian Chili

This chili is so tasty and I guarantee any meat eaters in your family will LOVE this soup because it’s very hearty. Some of the changes I made, I believe, make the soup taste better but you can always use fresh ingredients — it just may need a bit more seasoning.

This also reheats GREAT for leftovers during the week.

Serves: 6-8
Cooking Time: 55 min

TIP: Do all the prep before, it makes the cooking process much faster.

What You’ll Need:
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 cup chopped red bell peppers
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 to 3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1 medium zucchini chopped
1 can corn
1 can stewed organic tomatoes
1 can organic black beans
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup vegetable stock or water
Sour cream and avocado for garnish
Cooked brown rice

What You’ll Have:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespooon ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

What You’ll Do:
(If you’re cooking brown rice — start cooking now)
In a large pot heat the oil over medium heat, until it coats the pan. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook until soft (about 3 minutes).

Add the zucchini and corn, cooking until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid (about 6 minutes).

Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne, and stir. Add the tomatoes, the beans, tomato sauce, and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.

(If you’re cooking white rice, you can start cooking that now).

To serve, place 1/4 cup of rice in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the chili into the bowls over the rice. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and spoonful of avocado.

Enjoy.

Recipe | Baked Potato Soup

I know what you’re thinking… WHAT?!?! a recipe? Yes. I’m back to cooking again and it feels so good! I was getting tired of eating out and quick fast food runs when the craving struck. This week I made salmon and asparagus (a veggie I haven’t been able to stomach for 4 months)!

So, anyway, I’m so happy to share one of my favorite recipes — Baked Potato Soup. It’s not a very involved soup and it is very hearty, especially with the bacon fat cooked into the onions. Oh yeah, you know you want some.

Serves: 4-5 (depending on thickness)
Cooking Time: 45 min

What You’ll Need:
3 bacon strips, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
2 large baked potatoes, peeled (optional) and cubed
1 cup half-and-half cream

What You’ll Have:
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Shredded Cheddar cheese

What You’ll Do:
In a large saucepan, cook up the three strips of bacon until crisp. Drain the fat, but reserve about 1 tablespoon of the drippings.

In the same pan, saute the chopped onion and garlic until tender (This smells sooooo good — sorry to all the vegetarians out there). Stir in the flour, salt, basil and pepper.

Slowly add in the chicken broth and bring it to boil. Then stir for 2 minutes.

Add the potatoes, cream and hot pepper sauce; heat thoroughly. This soup thickens up quite a bit so if you feel like you need to add some milk or more chicken broth, feel free!

Serve it up with the bacon (or stir that stuff right in there — Nom). Don’t forgot to top it with cheese. LOTS.

Enjoy!

Recipe | Proscuitto Wrapped Chicken in a Cream Sauce

Adapted from http://www.kwestiasmaku.com/

Guys, I’m not lying — this dish is so freaking good. Seriously guys, enjoy making this fast, tasty and easily Gfree meal. Nom. Major Nom.

What You’ll Need:
Thinly sliced chicken breast
Proscuitto
Asparagus
Half n’ Half
Pesto

What You’ll Have:
Flour (optional)
Olive Oil

What You’ll Do:
In a cast iron skillet heat up a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Lightly coat the chicken in flour (optional).
Wrap each piece of chicken in 1-2 slices of proscuitto and place them in the skillet, 5-7 minutes on each side until browned.

While that is cooking, trim and snap the asparagus.
Steam for 7-10 minutes.
Set aside.

Pour in 1/8 – 1/4 cup of half n’ half and mix in about 1-2 tablespoons of pesto.
Add a dash of flour to thicken (optional).
Stir in steamed asparagus.

Serve with either warm bread or pasta.

Enjoy!

 

 

Recipe | Southwestern Salad

This tasty salad is extra filling. Add whatever your heart desires, but these are some of the ingredients I love.

Serving Size: 2
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

What You’ll Need:
Romaine
TJ’s Precooked Chicken
Canned Corn
Avocado
Turkey Bacon (optional)
Canned Black Beans
Shredded Cheddar
Trader Joe’s Parmesan Ranch Dressing (surprisingly low cal)
Tomato or Rosted Red Pepper (optional)
Lime wedge

What You’ll Do:
> We buy the “heads” of romaine, so simply chop it up and place it into a large bowl.
> Layer in the precooked chicken
> Add 1 cup of corn
> Add 1/2 an avocado
> Add 1 cup black beans (rinsed)
> Add 1/4 cup shredded cheese
> Add chopped tomato (optional) or roasted red pepper
> Garnish with chopped cooked turkey bacon (optional) dressing and lime wedges.

Enjoy!

Recipe | Waldorf Salad

If you’re like me, eating hot food for lunch in the summer doesn’t sound so hot. I find myself craving fruits and salads or tuna sandwiches but I often get bored with the same old salad. So, I thought I would do some research and start mixing it up a bit! This week (and as I find more to make/share) I’ll be posting about yummy, awesome, and pretty low cal salads.

First off, my favorite. The first time I had this salad was with my friend Bree at the Glen Ivy Day Spa for her birthday a million years ago. It was magical and tasty and I crave it always. I hope you enjoy.

Serving Size: 2
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

What You’ll Need:
Spinach (yes, I’m aware I used romaine in the photo but spinach is where it’s at)
Chicken (I buy pre-cooked from TJ’s)
Berries (blue, straw, and/or rasp)
Walnuts or Almonds
Red Apples (you can do green if you want, but I like the sweet reds)
Crumbled Feta
Pear Vinaigrette or Balsamic (my fav)

What You’ll Do:
Take two LARGE handfuls of spinach, chop it on a cutting board and place it in a large bowl.
> Cube chicken (that sounds gross — like artificial chicken or something. Nevertheless, do it) layer it on top of the spinach.
> Core and chop the apples. Layer them on.
> Cut up strawberries (if using) and layer them with the raspberries and blueberries.
> Crumble feta cheese on top.
> Sprinkle walnuts or almonds.
> Serve with Champagne Pear Vinaigrette from Trader’s (if you do this you actually might not need the feta as there is cheese in the dressing) or Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Enjoy!

Recipe | Stuffed Bell Peppers

Serving Size: 3-4
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes

What You’ll Need:
1/2 lb lean ground turkey breast
1 cup onions
1 heaping tbsp of taco seasoning
2 cups of cooked rice (we used brown)
3-4 organic bell peppers
1 can of black beans
½ cup of corn
1 (16 ounce) jar of salsa
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Sour cream
Avocado

What You’ll Have:
Olive Oil
Taco Seasoning

What You’ll Do:
>
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
> Half bell peppers and seed them.  Coat them in olive oil and place in a baking dish.
> Cook for 20-25 minutes.

> While the bell peppers are cooking, cook turkey meat AND cook the rice (20 mins for white and 40 mins for brown).
> In another pan cook chopped onion until browned. Then add cooked rice, black beans and corn until heated through.
> In a large mixing bowl add the taco seasoning, cooked ground turkey, chopped onions, black beans, corn and rice. Add in the jar of salsa and mix well.

> Stuff the turkey into each half of the bell peppers and place back into the baking dish.
> Cook the peppers for another 15-20 minutes.
> Sprinkle the tops of each pepper with shredded cheddar cheese. Place back in the oven to melt the cheese.
> Top with avocado slices and sour cream just before serving.

Enjoy!

P.S. You might have some stuffing left after — it’s perfect to mix with some scrambled eggs in the morning for a Spanish Scramble!

P.P.S. For a vegetarian meal, cut out the meat and add quinoa and sautéed veggies.

Recipe | Brussel Sprouts

I know what you’re thinking… “What in the heck?! Brussel Sprouts? NO.”

Well, I’m here to tell you, “YES!” These little super foods are actually super delicious. Hear me out, I’m not talking about steamed and mushy brussel sprouts. I’m talking about olive oil and garlic and roasty-toasty brussel sprouts. Its amazing. I promise. Even my husband likes them.

Serving Size: 2-4 (but probably 2, because you’ll want to eat them all!)
Cook Time: 20-30 depending on the size of the sprouts

What You’ll Need:
1 Bag of Brussel Sprouts
2 Cloves of Garlic

What You’ll Have:
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

What You’ll Do:
>
Rise sprouts and cut ends. Then cut into halves or quarters, depending on the size.
> Mince 2 cloves of garlic.
> Place sprouts in a Pyrex dish with olive oil and toss.
> Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
> Roast for 25-30 mins, until just browned.
> Toss in minced garlic and roast for an additional 5-10 minutes until sprouts are browned.

Enjoy!

Recipe | Egg & Spinach on Toast

This is my FAVORITE breakfast recipe.  I make it every chance I get and it doesn’t take very long.  It’s nice to take a break from traditional scrambled eggs and it’s a nice mix between that and the super fancy, eggs benedict.

Serves: 1-4
Cooking Time: 10-15 mins

What You’ll Need:
1 egg per person
1 slice of provolone cheese per person
1 cup spinach per person
1 slice of toast per person
1 slice of turkey bacon per person

What You’ll Have:
Garlic Salt
Salsa or Cholula or Tabasco Sauce

What You’ll Do:
> In one skillet heat up spinach with garlic salt.
> In another skillet crack eggs and cook until over-easy.
> While the eggs and spinach are cooking, pop in the toast.
> Place turkey bacon between two paper towels and heat on a microwave safe place for 2 mins.
> Assemble each plate with toast, then bacon, then spinach, and egg.  Top with slice of cheese and let melt.
> Drizzle with salsa/Cholula/Tabasco.

Enjoy!