Banana Bread

bananabread

I haven’t made banana bread for a long time. My favourite recipe makes delicious banana bread, but it uses a lot of white sugar, white flour, and vegetable oil…ingredients that I rarely, if ever, use anymore. In fact, I do not even have white sugar in my house, and, while I have all sorts of flours (quinoa, brown rice, coconut, garbanzo bean, etc.), I do not have any wheat flour. But I had some very ripe bananas sitting on my kitchen counter…

So, I took my recipe, made some adaptations, and hoped that the end result would be palatable. I think it worked!

Here is the original recipe and the changes:

2 cups flour (I used a store-bought gluten-free flour mix)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup raw honey)

1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted)

2 large eggs

3 medium ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

3 tbsp milk

3/4 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set it aside.

2. Beat the sugar and oil until light and fluffy. (It never really got fluffy using the honey and coconut oil.) Beat the eggs in one at a time. Add the bananas. Beat thoroughly.

3. Gently stir in flour mixture, stirring only enough to moisten the dry ingredients and blend them in. Gently stir in milk and vanilla. (You could add nuts or chocolate chips at this point, if desired. 3/4 cup) Pour batter into pan and bake for one hour. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan.

Quiche

While I often make frittata, I cannot recall ever making quiche, but I made one for dinner last night. (I forgot to take a picture-sorry!) I could not find a quiche recipe in my clean eating cookbooks, so I kind of cobbled together a couple of different recipes and made a ‘hope it works’ substitution to make something that would work for me and the ingredients I had on hand. This is likely not truly “clean”, but it would be lighter than a traditional recipe.

You need:

1 pie crust (I am horrible at making my own pie pastry, so I used a store-bought crust I had in the freezer.)

6-8 slices of bacon (I cut off most of the fat, then diced what was left before frying.)

1 cup grated Swiss cheese

4-5 green onion stalks, diced

4 large eggs

1 cup skim milk

1/2 cup low-fat, plain yogurt

1 tsp sea salt

freshly ground pepper

1. Heat oven to 425F.

2. Sprinkle bacon, cheese, and onion onto pie pastry.

3. In a bowl, beat eggs lightly. Whisk in milk, yogurt, salt and pepper. Pour into pie pastry.

4. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300F. Bake another 30-40 minutes, until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

 

It must have been good, because there wasn’t any left after dinner!

Apple Tart

I came across this recipe on my Facebook feed this morning, and it looked like a perfect thing to bake on this grey, late October day. This is a paleo recipe for those that follow a paleo diet, which I do not, but it is also wheat-free and I am trying to follow that!

This is a photo of the crust before adding the filling. You can find the crust recipe here. It was super quick and easy to make. The filling was also simple and quick. The recipes both come from Elana’s Pantry.

And here is a photo of the finished product fresh from the oven! It looks delicious, although an official taste test will have to wait until a bit later.

Edited to add this:

It was delicious! Casey wasn’t too sure about the crust, but then he has never really been a nut-lover. The rest of us did not mind at all.

Mexican 5-Layer Dip

I needed to bring an appetizer to a meeting the other night and, after a lot of searching and hesitancy, I decided to try this recipe from my Best of Clean Eating cookbook. It sounded relatively easy, which is what I was most in need of in an appetizer that day; however, I am not a big avocado or mushed bean fan. I am quite pleased to say that this recipe was amazingly delicious! There was a bit left over, and it was just as good the next day. It was fresh and flavourful. I can’t wait for an excuse to make it again.

I did tweak the recipe just a little bit, so my version is posted below. While the recipe is simple, there are a few distinct steps, which may require washing your food processor between steps. For simplicity, I’m not going to include those steps in the recipe.

The recipe called for dried pinto beans. I had hoped to use canned beans, but I could not find pinto. Instead, I used a can of black beans, drained and rinsed. In the food processor, puree the beans with a bit of water until you have a slightly chunky puree. Add salt and pepper. Pulse to combine. Transfer to 9×9 casserole dish or large glass bowl and spread into an even layer. Top with a layer of shredded low-fat cheddar cheese, about 1 1/2 cups.

In a medium bowl, combine the following: 3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped; 1/2 a white onion, chopped; 2-3 jalapeno, seeded and chopped; roughly 1/2 cup chopped cilantro; the juice of one lime; salt and pepper. Set aside for now.

In food processor or blender, puree the following: 2 avocados, pitted and peeled; the juice of one lime;roughly 1/4 cup chopped cilantro; salt and pepper. Puree until slightly chunky. Dollop over cheese layer and spread out.

Dollop 1 1/2 cups low-fat sour cream over avocado and spread into a thin layer.

Use a slotted spoon to drain any liquid from the tomato mixture and spread tomatoes evenly over sour cream.

Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 4 hours. Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips, rice chips…

Per 1/4 cup serving: approximately 86 calories, fat 4.5 g, carbs 8 g, fiber 2 g, sugars 1.5 g, protein 4 g

Just for the record…I use Celtic sea salt (course and/or fine) and freshly ground black pepper.

 

 

 

Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Salad

This salad is so simple to make and so easy to manipulate. Fresh basil leaves, sliced tomatoes, and sliced fresh mozzarella, coarse Celtic sea salt, fresh ground pepper, a drizzle of olive oil, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar-that’s it! You could add sliced avocado. If you can get your hands on heirloom tomatoes or yellow tomatoes, they would create an interesting visual and wonderful flavour. You could use crumbled feta instead of the mozzarella.

I will admit that I found the mozzarella to be rather bland and boring. Perhaps I could have drizzled the oil and vinegar more generously?

Salsa!

I love fresh, homemade salsa! Seriously, I could eat the entire bowl, with or without tortilla chips. It is so easy to make, and tastes so much better than anything bottled.

My recipe is not exact and easily adaptable to personal taste.

In a medium-sized bowl add: 3 cored and diced tomatoes, 2 pressed cloves of garlic, a 1/4 red onion minced, 1 jalapeno pepper minced, a handful of cilantro chopped, fresh ground pepper and coarse sea salt, and fresh lime juice. Toss.

If you like your salsa hot, add more jalapeno. My heat tolerance is not too great, so one jalapeno is usually enough to make my mouth burn without being too spicy hot. You could use parsley instead of cilantro, but I personally find that lacking in flavour. I love cilantro.

Some day I want to try adding some black beans and corn!

Lunch

I have not been very good at bringing a lunch with me to work, but I know that doing so is a necessary step on this journey to clean eating and a healthy lifestyle. So, I bought myself a cute but functional lunch bag, and last night I prepared my lunch for today. Fat-free plain Balkan-style yogurt with fresh raspberries and blueberries. A southwest quinoa salad which I made last night.

Here is the recipe for my southwest quinoa salad, more or less, because I made it up as I went along.

You need 1 cup quinoa, cooked with chili powder and cumin, then allowed to cool. I think I used about 2 teaspoons of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of cumin.

In a large bowl combine the following:

  • the cooled quinoa
  • roughly a half cup of frozen corn niblets
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
  • roughly a half cup of canned black beans, rinsed
  • red onion, finely minced, as much or as little as you like
  • red pepper, finely chopped
  • a handful of chopped cilantro
  • a couple pinches of Celtic sea salt
  • juice from half a lime
  • one tablespoon of olive oil
  • one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar