Banana Oatmeal Cookies

banana choc chip cookies (4)These cookies are a.m.a.z.i.n.g.

banana choc chip cookiesThey are basically an oatmeal banana bread baked into cookie form. The original recipe is from Two Peas and Their Pod, who also just welcomed a new little man into their life. I made the first batch last night, following the original recipe except for adding 1 cup of chopped walnuts as well. They turned out delicious and I have eaten more than I’ll ever admit (I’m telling myself that Eli needs them for healthy breast milk).

However, once they cooled off and sat in the storage container they got super soft. The texture reminded me of banana bread, not a cookie. I decided to make a few changes to the recipe. First I wanted to make them healthier – so healthy they could pass as a breakfast cookie. Second, I wanted to see if I could improve the texture for storage purposes. The original recipe’s texture is still great, just not something that should be kept in the pantry for more than a day or two to since mold could start growing pretty quickly (yes, they are that moist).

The modified recipe was a success! The cookies are a little darker and the center was much more crumbly, but not too dry. The taste is great. The whole wheat flour adds some nuttiness and the coconut oil adds just a hint of coconut. I think it is safe to say that these will please anyone looking for a tasty treat while also being healthy enough to eat at breakfast.

 

banana coconut choc chip cookies2Banana Bread Breakfast Cookies
adapted from two peas and their pod

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil (room temp)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large ripe banana (or 1 1/2 small bananas), mashed
  • 2 cups old fashion rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (not necessary, but helpful)
  2. In a small bowl, combined flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix well and sent aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the coconut oil and sugars by beating well on high. Add vanilla and egg and mix well. Lastly, add mashed banana and beat well.
  4. Add flour mixture to the banana mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until just combined. Stir in oats and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well-distributed.
  5. Spray two large spoons with cooking spray and use them to scoop out 1.5 tbsp size drops of dough. Place about 1-2″ apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  6. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.
  7. Let cookies cool for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before storing. Store in an air-tight container or freeze for later.
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Lemon summer squash olive oil bread

I love quick breads. The tender crumb and sweet flavor leave me thinking “just one more piece.” I usually make zucchini bread and pumpkin bread throughout the late summer and winter. This year we haven’t been getting much zucchini; instead, we are getting boat loads of patty pan squash. I found this summer squash bread recipe on pinterest and knew it would be the perfect trial run for patty pan squash bread.

I never used to make dishes with lemon – sweet dishes were always cinnamon-spiced or chocolate. A few years ago my naive palate found a delicious poppy seed lemon cake and I was hooked instantly.  Few things are as delicious as freshly baked lemon quick bread. I hope you enjoy this wonderful treat!

2013-08-10 14.10.34Lemon Summer Squash Olive Oil Bread

Bread Recipe From Dula Notes
Note: I did not make the lemon crunch glaze but you can visit the link above if you’d like to add it.

Ingredients

  • 1 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 C.  whole wheat flour
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 C. granulated sugar
  • 1 C. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 t. pure lemon extract
  • 2 1/2 C. grated summer squash (about 2 small or 1 medium summer squash)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 2 loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Grate summer squash and place between 2 towels to remove excess moisture
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  4. In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and olive oil. Beat well on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add lemon extract and mix until incorporated.
  5. Add the dry ingredients while beating on low. Once combined, increase to medium speed and mix for 30 seconds. Mix in grated squash until combined.
  6. Divide between the 2 prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the top begins to crack and the sides pull away.
  7. Remove from baking pan after 5 minutes of cooling and move to a cooling rack.

The loaf is very moist with patty pan squash, so I stored it in the refrigerator after a day. Since it makes 2 loaves, I recommend wrapping one in plastic cling wrap and putting it into a freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to a few months.

Breakfast Tortillas

With all the egg bakes I have been posting, I figured I’d post a little variation for serving them – breakfast tortillas! Rewind 5 years – J and I decide to try corn tortillas. A package of small tortillas is $1.19 for 50 – it isn’t often you can find something that cheap that doesn’t have questionable ingredients. We needed to try them. In our naive way, we just put the taco filling in the room-temperature corn tortilla and took a bite. Not a good idea. Corn tortillas are absolutely disgusting if you get them cold or straight out of the package. We thought it was crazy that anyone liked them and never bought them again. Fast-forward 2 years from then and my brother’s wife is making us a meal. She whips out the corn tortillas and we cringe a bit. Memories from the last time flood our minds, but we don’t say anything. Then we taste…heaven. The difference? M warmed up the corn tortillas on a griddle before she used them. I would never have guessed something so simple could make such a difference. Now corn tortillas are the only thing we buy. J was in CA last week and ordered corn tortillas at the local Mexican restaurant his group ate at. Everyone looked at him like he was crazy, asking how he could eat them when they are so dry. He happily explained the simple fact that they need to be warmed – thank goodness he was able to save those 3 people the misery of living life without corn tortillas.

Breakfast Tortillas

breakfast tortillasIngredients

  • 2-3 Corn tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • Leftover egg bake
    or
    2 eggs scrambled with mixed vegetables
  • 1 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Warm up a non-stick pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add corn tortilla to the pan and let warm for 1-2 minutes, spray the top with cooking spray and flip over. Repeat until the desired doneness.
  2. Warm egg bake while the tortillas are preparing
  3. Once done, add eggs to the tortilla and top with cheese, Wrap sides and secure with a toothpick. Enjoy 🙂

Swiss Chard Pancakes

swiss chard

We got a TON of Swiss Chard a few weeks ago. I had always admired the bright colors when I saw it at the market, but had never cooked with it before. I wanted to make something different with it, so after a little searching I found a number of blog posts about swiss chard pancakes. I figured we’d give them a try. One day we served them with caramelized onions, goat cheese, and balsamic roasted beef. Another day we substituted eggs for beef (see picture below).

These didn’t turn out quite as planned, but I think I know why. First, since they are called pancakes, we used the pancake griddle and scooped out portions of batter as if we were making normal pancakes…not the greatest idea. The result was a dense, rubbery blob. Next, the recipe said we could just chunk up the chard (that it didn’t need to be well processed). Also,  not the greatest idea. The result was big chunks of chard surrounded by rubbery-ness. Lastly, I would have preferred a thinner pancake, so if I were making these again, I’d add more milk to the batter. So, the take home message from my experience – pulverize the chard, add more milk, use a pancake griddle, and scope small portions of batter at a time.

swiss chard pancake with eggs, onions, and goat cheese

Swiss Chard Pancakes
Recipe adapted from The Splendid Table

Ingredients

  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 garlic scapes, diced
  • 10 fresh chives, snipped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 large or 10 small Swiss chard leaves, center ribs removed, washed, and dried

swiss chard pancakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat pancake griddle to 250F.
  2. Place the swiss chard in a food processor and process into small pieces (not pureed). Remove and set aside.
  3. Working in batches, put everything else into the food processor. Be sure to work in batches unless you have a food processor that can handle this much liquid. Mine had milk pouring out the bottom 😦
  4. Process the mixture until the batter is smooth. Add the chopped chard to the mix and process until well incorporated.
  5. Once the griddle is ready, spoon 1/4 cup of batter onto the surface. Cook about 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden. Transfer the pancakes to a plate and cover with towels to keep warm.

These pancakes in crepe form can be seen here.

CSA Veggie Egg Bake

IMG_0232

Each week we have got 1 huge bunch of spinach (along with 2 huge bunches of lettuce). There are so many greens that I need to come up with creative ways to use them up – because who really wants to eat salad 2+ times a day? Not this girl, and definitely not my husband. As I’ve mentioned before, we eat eggs every morning for breakfast. While I have been known to throw all kinds of veggies into my eggs, J claims he always “forgets” to add them. The solution – egg bakes. They take less time to heat than frying some eggs in a pan, and they guarantee he has had 1-2 servings of vegetables before 7am.

Egg bakes are super easy to make. You can put anything you like in them. If you use spinach or greens, you need to decide if you want to pre-cook the greens. Remember, spinach shrinks down to next-to-nothing when it is steamed. If you put whole spinach leaves into the egg bake they won’t cook down much, so they will take up a lot of space (= less veggies in your bake). If I am using the entire bag of spinach, I will cook int down first, squeeze out the water, and then place them in the egg bake. It is dense, so it makes a nice base for the egg bake.

photo (3)

Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Egg Bake
makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 18 eggs – 12 whites only and 6 whole eggs
    (12 eggs if you don’t mind using whole eggs)
  • 16oz spinach, steamed and drained
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup caramelized onions*
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper per personal preference

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a large baking dish by coating with cooking spray.
  2. Press the cooked spinach into the baking dish to form the egg bake base. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if you’d like.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and whites together until lightly bubbly. Add the broccoli and red pepper. Stir well and pour onto the spinach base. Top to the mixture with caramelized onions and cheese. Add salt and/or pepper if you’d like.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes. You can tell it is done because the edges pull away a bit from the side and there is no standing liquid in the center.

*I love, love, LOVE caramelized onions. To make them I saute any type of onion in a little olive oil. Once they are translucent I had balsamic vinegar and a little salt. Then I simmer for 15 minutes. You can use regular onions in this recipe if you’d like, but I would be sure to mix them into the egg, not just put them on top.

Artichoke and Sun Dried Tomato Frittata

Girls Weekend 12

Every year 4 of my high school girlfriends and I get together for a girls’ weekend. This year I hosted and it was absolutely wonderful. We spent the weekend catching up, eating delicious meals, drinking microbrews and wine, and making homemade beauty products. We spent one night out at the infamous Cleo’s downtown, which is full-out decorated for Christmas year-round. Here’s a picture from the night – they are all so beautiful 🙂

When we decided I would host I was so excited to finally have an excuse to make some of the delicious looking recipes I had been pinning.  For breakfast I had quite the spread – crock-pot steel-cut oats with a variety of toppings, fresh fruit, fresh bread, and this tasty frittata. It was absolutely delicious and only took 10 minutes to throw together. I have made it a few more times since and it has turned out great each time.

sun dried tomato and artichoke quiche

Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata
Original Recipe – Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients

  • 27 eggs* (18 whites, 9 full eggs)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 small jar of sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 3 – 15oz jars of artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 bag of fresh spinach
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat a large baking dish or corning ware dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Separate the yolk from 18 of the eggs** and place them in a large bowl. Add the remaining 9 eggs and whisk well. 
  3. Mix in the onion, sun-dried tomatoes, and artichokes. Add the fresh spinach and stir well.
  4. Pour into the baking dish. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the eggs begin to pull away from the side and the center is set.
  6. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.

* If you aren’t looking to limit saturated fat/calories, you can use 9 full eggs instead of 18 egg whites. 

**If you feel it is a waste to throw out the 18 yolks, you could save these for a custard. 

Banana Bars

A few months ago I posted about the most delicious Banana Oat Muffins. Not only are they delicious, but they are probably the easiest muffins I have ever made. I think my favorite thing about these muffins is that they use those over-ripe bananas that you need to find something, anything, to do with so you don’t need to throw them in the garbage.

photo (4)

We started to run low on my last batch, so last weekend I decided to make some more. I tripled the recipe, so I could keep them in the freezer for whenever we need a snack. I also wanted to try to cut the sugar and egg content. Sugar is just a sweetener in this recipe, so cutting it out shouldn’t change the texture. Eggs, on the other hand are what help keep the bars together, so it is risky to cut them out without a replacement. One option is to just use egg whites instead of the whole egg. Another option. is to substitute with some flax seed or chia seeds. I had chia seeds on hand, so I opted for the later option. After I mixed everything up I realized it would take all evening to make these one muffin tray at a time. I decided to try making these into bars and they worked great.

Super Simple Banana Bars

Bulk Recipe

Ingredients

  • 7.5 cups of old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tbsp baking soda
  • 3 cup of fat-free plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp chia seed
  • 9 ripe bananas

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray 2 baking pans with cooking spray.
  2. Place oats in a food processor and pulse until they are very fine chunks – not quite flour, but very small pieces. Pour into a large bowl. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and sugar. Mix well.
  3. Place the remaining ingredients in the food processor and process until well blended.
  4. Divide batter evenly between the two pans.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top and edges are lightly browned (I did 25 minutes).
  6. Let cool for 5 minutes and then carefully transfer from the pan to a cooling rack. Cut into bars once cool.
  7. If you plan to  freeze them, individually wrap them with plastic cling wrap and place into a freezer bag or large plastic container.

Banana Oat Muffins

photo (4)These muffins are  so d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. and only contain a few simple ingredients. Plus they are low-fat and flour-free, so they are a great snack or breakfast for people with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and well, anyone!

I should call they lazy day muffins, because they are so easy to make. You don’t have to mix anything yourself and you only have to clean 2 things when you are done – a food processor and a muffin tin. I am pretty sure they took 10 minutes from start to oven.

The recipe is a modification from “Keeping up with the Joneses” blog. I made their original recipe last week – it turned out ok but I knew it needed some tweaking. This version turned out perfect, so give it a try!

Simple Banana Oat Muffins

photo (1)

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups of old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 cup of fat-free plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Place oats in a food processor and pulse until they are very fine chunks – not quite flour, but very small pieces.
  3. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and sugar. Pulse a few times to mix.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and then let the food processor do the rest of the work! Process until well blended.
  5. Fill the muffin tins nearly full with batter.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top and edges are lightly browned (I did 25 minutes).

Larabars

Homemade Larabars – Chocolate Chip Cashew Cookie Dough! via http://pinterest.com/pin/119275090103150322/

Much cheaper than buying them at the store for almost $2 each! I first fell in love with larabars back in 2010 (read more here), thanks to a suggestion from my food from Sarah. I have been making them at home ever since, but after a quick search of my blog I just realized I have never posted my recipe! The link provided above and here will take you to Oh She Glows’ version. I usually don’t add salt or vanilla and follow a different pattern for mixing the ingredients, but it all turns out the same in the end. Here is the general ingredient structure I follow.

  • 1.5 cups of nuts (any mixture – I usually buy raw or roasted, unsalted nuts whenever possible)
  • 1 cup of pitted dates or combination of dates and other dried fruit (not chopped, but the big ones that don’t have a pit)
  • 0.5 cup of add-in chocolate chips, coconut, or more dried fruit

You can mix and match nuts, seeds, fruit, and ingredients as you like.  As you see here I have 1.5 cups nuts and 1.5 cups fruit and other. Play with the consistency to see how you like yours. You can make a bigger batch by keeping the proprotion of nuts:fruit and add-ins about the same.

Here are the steps I take to make the bars:

  • Place the nuts in a food processor and pulse them so they are very small pieces (some will be chopped while others will be a powder) and set this aside. Add the dates and let the food processor (no need to clean it out) and turn it on. It will need to process for a while. First the dates (or 1 cup combination of fruit) will roll up into a big ball. Then it will start to smooth out. Stop the food processor once the dates have smoothed out. Add the nuts to the mixture and pulse until everything is combined (maybe 10 pulses).
  • Line a square 8″ x 8″ baking pan with wax or parchment paper. Remove the mixture from the food processor and place in the pain. Pat the mixture down firmly and spread with your hands to cover the entire pain. Continue to pat the mixture together until the mixture seems to be pressed down as far as it can go. Set in the refrigerator for an hour. Cut the bars and wrap in cling wrap. You can keep them at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer.