Easiest Banana Nut Bread

If you know me, you know I LOVE to bake. But, the recipe must be easy, I don't like multiple steps or ingredients. I made this banana bread yesterday on a whim because I had 4 brown bananas that were headed to the trash but I desperately didn't' want to waste. The bread turned out PERFECT, and even my husband went nuts over it, and he isn't' really into baked goods (don't even get me started, I just don't understand how anyone could NOT love baked goods).

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I shared this recipe over on my Facebook page but I thought I’d write it up in a blog post for future reference as well! It was so easy, so if you have any pancake mix and brown bananas lying around, get ready for the best banana bread of your life! 

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4 mashed bananas (the browner the better!)

2.5 cups gluten free (or regular) pancake mix...I used the Trader Joe’s gluten free pancake mix

2/3 cup coconut sugar

1 cup almond milk

2 eggs

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped pecans


Mix all that goodness together, pour into a greased bread pan, and bake on 350 degrees for about an hour! Enjoyyyyyy!

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After having one slice, I realized they were just too huge, so I cut them in half. So perfect and delicious! I hope you enjoy! 

Paleo Pizookie!

I have been loving making Danielle Walker's Real Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies as a way to still enjoy treats in my gluten free lifestyle. But lately, my baking sheets have been burning the bottoms of every cookie I bake! I finally got an AirBake pan today which I have heard amazing things about so I can't wait to use it! But yesterday, I was craving the cookies before I had the magic cookie sheet, so I decided to tweak the recipe a bit and make the cookies into more of "cookie bars." They taste just like a pizookie when you add ice cream on top and are absolutely delicious!! Here's the recipe!

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Makes 12 bars

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 egg

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1.5 cups almond flour

1 T coconut flour

1 T arrowroot starch

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup chocolate chips

 

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and grease an 8x8 baking dish.

Cream together the coconut oil, egg, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.

Then add the flours, salt, and baking soda.

Fold in 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.

Pour into the baking dish and pat until it is even all around. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean!

Let it cook for about 20 minutes, then enjoy with some dairy free ice cream or just as is!!

Blueberry Oat Bake

Good morning everyone! I had quite an interesting morning today, as my brain was in about 40 places at once. I have been wanting to bake a Blueberry Oat Bake recipe that I had thought up as a way to use all of the blueberries we have in the house! I brainstormed the recipe this week and finally decided to bake it this morning as a pre-workout snack before heading to the gym! After my morning quiet time, I headed to the kitchen and got to work:

Makes 16 squares (one 8x8 baking dish)

1/2 cup Gluten-free oats

2/3 cup Pamela's Gluten-free Pancake and Baking Mix

1/4 cup almond flour

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 T olive oil

1 whole egg

1/3 cup liquid egg whites

1/3-1/2 cup blueberries, washed and dried

16-20 packets stevia (optional)

 

I mixed all of the ingredients, first the dry...then the wet, then folded in the blueberries. In the meantime, I was separating laundry, and starting to make tea for my Mama. I sprayed my 8x8 baking dish, poured the batter into the dish, and stuck it in the oven. Then I changed into my workout clothes, continued separating laundry, and took the tea to my Mama. About 15 minutes later, I went to check on the bake and saw that it wasn't cooking! I was so confused and stared at the oven for about 30 seconds before figuring out that I had forgotten to turn the oven ON! Oh goodness, it was one of those mornings! I was definitely trying to do too many things at once, so it was inevitable that one vital component of baking would get lost in the process! I turned the oven on (350 degrees by the way) and decided to just scramble an egg while I waited for the bake in order to digest my food before my workout:

After 30 minutes, I pulled the bake out of the oven (and turned the oven OFF). I headed to the gym, resolving that I would just taste my bake when I got back. It looked so good, so I was definitely excited!

I can't wait to enjoy these little baked squares with my tea the next few days since we have some cold weather coming!

So, lessons for today: don't try to do too many things at once and always turn the oven ON when you are attempting to bake something. I hope you guys get to try this recipe soon!

 

Nutrition facts per square: 60 calories, 2g fat, 6g carb, 2.5g protein

Spanish Rice

My husband is a huge rice lover. I mean he will eat it every day for every meal and not get bored. Spanish Rice, Asian rice, rice pilaf…he doesn’t discriminate. But one of our favorites is definitely Spanish rice. I’ve always been intimidated by it and usually leave it to our favorite Mexican restaurants. BUT, in an effort to eat out less and eat homemade food more, I experimented a bit and finally came up with the perfect recipe! My husband couldn’t get enough of it, so that’s a win in my book! 

Spanish Rice (makes 6-8 servings…cook in bulk, it’s so much easier!) 

2-3 T olive oil 

1/2 medium white onion 

1/2 medium green bell pepper 

2 cups rice 

2, 8 oz cans of tomato sauce 

5 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth or water) 

2 tsp salt 

1/2 tsp garlic salt 

1/2-1 tsp red pepper (depending on how spicy you want it!) 

A dash of cumin (probably 1/4 tsp…not much!) 
Start by heating up the oil in a pot. Chop the onion and bell pepper finely, the smaller the better! Saute the onion and bell pepper in the oil until they are nice and soft. Then add the rice, and saute that in the oil as well, just for a minute or so.

Add the tomato sauce, water/broth, and spices. Mix well and bring everything to a boil, then let the rice simmer on low heat for 35-40 minutes, or until all the water disappears. It’s a slow and steady process, but this is what makes the rice sticky and so restaurant-like! Then, enjoy! 

We served ours with some tilapia, but I’ve also made it with a side of carne asada or chicken. You could even add black beans on top and turn it into a beans & rice bowl! So versatile! 

Hope y’all enjoy this recipe! Happy Wednesday! 

Macaroni & Cheese Casserole

Last night, I decided to make my fiancé a macaroni and cheese dish we had been brainstorming together. He LOVES anything mushy, warm, cheesy, and, of course, yummy! He is a big fan of comfort food. I wanted to make him a dish he would like, while making it semi-healthier than the typical macaroni and cheese dish. This recipe tasted much lighter than other similar recipes and left us feeling full without feeling gross. I was so happy with the way this dish turned out, and I hope you are too! 

Macaroni and Cheese Casserole (serves 8)

*4 cups whole wheat fusilli pasta

*1 lb lean ground beef

*1 T olive oil

*1 cup lite Alfredo sauce (I used Bertolli's...it was SO GOOD!)

*2 cups steamed broccoli

*1 cup lite mozzarella cheese (separate into 2, 1/2 cup portions)

*1 cup lite Mexican cheese blend (separate into 2, 1/2 cup portions)

Start out by boiling the fusilli pasta for about 8-10 minutes, or however long it advises on the package.

While the pasta is boiling, heat up 1 T olive oil in a skillet and cook the ground beef until it is brown and in little itty bitty pieces.

Once the pasta cooked, I drained the noodles and rinsed them with water. I added the noodles back into the pot (without the water of course!) and added the ground beef. I steamed the broccoli in the microwave (what can I say, it was a Friday night!) and added that to the pot as well. I added 1/2 a cup of each kind of cheese and the cup of Alfredo sauce, and mixed it all thoroughly in the pot.

I transferred the mixture to a casserole dish (I sprayed with non-stick spray first!), and topped it with the remaining 1/2 cup of each type of cheese.

I baked it uncovered in the oven for about 20 minutes on 375 degrees, then let it broil on high for another 5-7 minutes until it got a little golden brown on top.

 

We let it cool for about 5 minutes, then dug right in. This recipe is supposed to make 8 servings, but we may or may not have eaten 75% of the dish!!! It was that good!

 

This dish pulled together in about 45 minutes and was super easy to make! I hope you all get to try it out. You can also add any type of veggies you want like kale, spinach, peppers, onions, anything! Get creative! :)

 

Have a happy Saturday everyone!

Parmesan Garlic Chicken

Sometimes, you can get sick of healthy food. It happens, and it's normal. Chicken is one of those dishes that can get boring fast. Grilled chicken and salad is a meal one of my best friends and I joke about, because we ALWAYS have it. However, there are many ways to make even the blandest food a little more exciting. This week, I made a chicken dish that was so different and SO delicious. The parmesan and garlic combination was amazing, and kale was a great supplement to the meal! This meal was also super easy to whip up! Here is my easy and tasty chicken recipe!

Makes 2 servings

6 chicken tenders 2-3 T olive oil 2 garlic cloves, crushed Garlic salt Parmesan (I used about 2-3 T grated) 2 large handfuls of kale 

Heat the oil over medium heat in a skillet. Crush the garlic cloves, and sauté the garlic with the oil for a few minutes. 

Cut the chicken tenders into cubes. Add the chicken to the oil and sprinkle some garlic salt on top. Once the chicken is cooked through, add 2-3 tablespoons of Parmesan. Lastly, add a few handfuls of kale to the skillet and sauté everything together until the chicken starts to brown and the kale is wilted. 

I let these cool in two small containers so they would be ready for my lunches! This chicken was such a treat and a meal I looked forward to instead of dreaded! I highly recommend you all trying this dish if you feel yourself getting bored of your usual chicken meals!

Banana Oatmeal Nut Muffins

Good morning all and happy Tuesday! How was everyone's Monday? Mine was a busy, stressful, but great one all at the same time! It started with a wonderful run and leg day workout, busy day at work, yummy dinner, yoga, and hanging out with the fiancé! All in all, I'd say a pretty successful start to the week. And I got home to beautiful red roses my fiancé had left for me earlier in the evening...it doesn't get much better than that! This morning, I thought I'd share my banana muffin recipe. This recipe turned out pretty amazing and makes the perfect quick morning snack before hitting the gym. It's healthy and delicious and I know you all will love it. Here is the recipe! 

Makes 12 muffins 

3/4 cup Pamela's gluten free pancake mix 1/2 cup oatmeal 2 T coconut flour 3 scoops vanilla whey (I use Jaime Eason's because it's THE BEST) 2 mashed bananas 1/2 cup applesauce 1 T olive oil 2 eggs 1/2 cup coconut milk 1/4 t Baking powder 1/4 cup walnuts Dash of cinnamon 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. 

For your muffin pan, either spray or brush some melted butter or coconut oil to grease the muffin pots. I used melted butter since our home as become a no-fake-spray zone, and it worked beautifully!! Drop about 1/4 cup batter in each muffin pot. 

 

Bake for 20-25 mins until a toothpick comes out clean. Then, enjoy!

Turkey Arrabbiata

Monday night was one of those nights that I did not want to do ANYTHING after work besides come home. I had such a long day and was feeling pretty crummy. I worked almost 12 hours, trying to get a few hours in at my new job, while doing my regular shift at my old job. I came home and scanned our ingredients to see what I could come up with for dinner that was quick, healthy, and of course, tasty. I always keep some ground beef and turkey on hand, as well as a big bag of frozen veggies from Costco. I spotted some fire roasted diced tomatoes, some crushed tomatoes, and of course some rice (a staple in our home), and got to work! I made this spicy turkey and veggie arrabbiata that we ate with some rice, and it was delicious! This meal made almost 6 servings and kept us well fed these past few days. Even though it is a simple recipe, I wanted to share it with you all! Healthy meals don't have to be complicated :) so here is the recipe!

Turkey & Veggie Arrabbiata (makes 6 servings)

1.5 lbs ground turkey

1/2 cup diced onion

2-3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 T olive oil

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can crushed tomatoes

1-2 cups frozen veggies

1/2 t salt

1/2-1 T red pepper (depending on how spicy you want this dish!)

1 T Italian seasoning (or basil and oregano to taste)

 

 

Start by heating up the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and crushed garlic and wait until they are cooked and translucent. Then, add your turkey. Cook the turkey thoroughly while grinding it up. 

While the turkey is cooking, microwave the frozen veggies. I like to cut mine even smaller than the size they naturally are. Once they are microwaved, they are softer and easier to chop up. Add the chopped frozen veggies to the skillet, as well as the diced and crushed tomatoes. Add the spices, stir, then cover the pot for about an hour, stirring occasionally. 

Once the arrabbiata is done, you can dish it up with some rice, or even pasta! You can also eat this dish by itself or with zoodles or spaghetti squash if you want to jive with the low carb life. My husband and I got SO used to rice on our honeymoon (there were two scoops of rice served with practically every meal in Hawaii), so we are still on the rice train! We should probably hop off soon...but oh well! :) 

I hope you guys enjoy this quick and easy recipe! Happy almost weekend to you all!