I come to realize that growing up on fast food and junk food, I probably am not getting the nutrients I need. I’ve been trying my best to eat healthier whole meals. Sometimes I just have a salad or I make a quesadilla. I’ve been reading a lot about the real food movement and it makes alot of sense. So instead of focusing on not eating carbs or not eating sugar, I’m going to try on focus on eating food that I prepare. Not pre-made frozen items from the market. Last night I had broccoli with chicken pesto quinoa pasta. I’ll gradually cut out the processed stuff. Ever little bit helps right?
I don’t usually roast broccoli, but I thought I’d give it a try. I think it taste more delicious this way. Roasting vegetables brings out the sweetness in them. Roast vegetables at 425°F for 15 minutes. Cut all the vegetables to the same size.
For the broccoli, I seasoned them with salt and pepper and olive oil. For the asparagus, I seasoned them with lemon zest, thyme and salt. Next time I’ll make double the amount so I have enough for the week.
Recently I had a baking party and one of the girls brought in her mom’s recipe for banana bread. It was so easy to make and so delicious. It came out super moist. If you want, you can bake this in a bread loaf pan for 50 minutes. I really like it that way cause the outside it’s crispy and gives a nice texture to the bread. Today, I made it in a 9 x 9 pan since I was short on time and really just wanted to get to the eating part.
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
3/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas
1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Cream the butter and sugar together until nice and fluffy. Add one egg in at a time. Add in vanilla extract.
Add in the mashed bananas. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix until combine. Pour into a greased 9×9 pan or parchment lined pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
The other day I decided to try to make gluten-free pancakes with almond flour/meal. I’m not particularly fond of gluten-free things but my sister is always looking for new gluten-free recipes so I thought I would try some for her.
1 cup of almond flour
1 tablespoon of ground flax-seeds
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of milk or almond milk or coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Mix the flour, flax seeds, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon together. In a cup, add the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract and mix until blended. Pour in the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix with a fork until blended. Cook pancakes on low to medium heat. Flip when you start to see bubbles.
Tip: Make sure the heat isn’t higher than medium. These pancakes will burn before they’re cooked in the middle. I had mine on low heat. You also have to make smaller circles since there’s no flour in them. The texture of these are a bit more grainy than normal pancakes. I think in the future I will use 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of almond flour. I like that these pancakes give you protein from the almonds and omega 3s from the flax-seeds.
The other day I was on Pinterest and saw a picture of these wonderful lemon brownies. I love almost all things lemons so I had to try it.
For the recipe, please visit the Back for Seconds blog. They actually taste like lemon pound cakes, but still delicious. You can’t really taste the white chocolate. Perhaps next time I’ll try using oil instead of butter to see if it gives it more of a brownie texture.
This past Easter I went to my husband’s aunt’s house for brunch. I was in charge of bringing potatoes or hash brown. This is my first time making any type of potatoes for a large group and since I don’t usually celebrate Easter, I didn’t know what a hot item hash browns were. By the time I got to the market, they were all gone! So I went with the country style hash browns (there was 1 bag left in the frozen aisle). I could have made fresh hash browns but I also wanted to make lemon bars so I went the easy route.
Country Style Hash Brown Casserole
2lb frozen country style hash browns or regular hash browns
1 8oz can of cream of chicken
1 tbsp of garlic powder
1 tbsp of onion powder
1/2 cup of sour cream
1-2 cups of shredded colby-jack cheese
2 strips of bacon (cooked til crispy)
1/4 cup of green onions (chopped)
Mix the frozen hashbrowns, cream of chicken, sour cream, garlic powder, onion powder, and 1 cup of cheese together in giant bowl. Refrigerate overnight. Add into a greased 9×13 inch pan. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes then top with as much cheese as you like and bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top the casserole with crumbled pieces of bacon and chopped green onions. This is a really savory potato dish. It also goes well with chicken.
Shortbread Lemon Bars
Now for the truly yummy stuff. Lemon Bars! This is the easiest lemon bar recipe I found. You can get it at Fine Living’s website.All you do is mix everything together. No need for a bain-marie. The lemon part doesn’t come out as smooth as my lemon tart recipe but it tastes just as good. I would line your pans with parchment paper. It not only creates easy clean up, but the bars will also be easy to remove. I don’t recommend using foil. For those of you who love lemon, this is a must. Enjoy!
I saw a picture the other day of Dominique Ansel’s Cookie Shooters with milk and thought what a great idea! So I went home and decided to experiment a little. I decided to use a mini muffin pan since those are bite size and you can just pop them in your mouth. All you need to do is put in cookie dough in each muffin space and press some of the dough to the sides. Only fill the muffin pan halfway. Bake at 350°F for 8 minutes. While the cookie muffins are still warm, use the back of a spatula to create an indentation for fillings. I don’t really care to drink milk so instead of putting in milk, I added mini scoops of ice cream. I would advise to use a scoop smaller than a melon baller (unlike what I did) or you might get brain freeze. I’m definitely going to purchase a smaller scooper for future eatings. Delicious!
The other day I walked into Whole Foods and there was a Vita-Mix demo. The guy made a green juice out of spinach and I thought to myself, “This is the best tasting green juice I’ve had! How come mine doesn’t taste like this?!” Well now I learned that if I’m making a kale smoothie, I really should throw in a banana and either a mango or pineapple to give it some sweetness. I went home and adjusted my smoothie ingredients for my newly improved green smoothie.
1 cup of kale (I didn’t have spinach)
1 frozen banana
1 ripe mango (or 1/2 a mango and 1/2 a pineapple)
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1/2 cup of ice
If you prefer a more watery smoothie, just add more ice. Delicious!