Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I have been trying to make banana bread taste good without flour, butter and sugar forever, but without success.  However, this time is different, this healthy banana bread is moist and delicious, you’ll never want real banana bread again!  No one was around when I made this, but I wanted to run around screaming I finally did it, I finally did it!  And, maybe I did anyway, you may never know.

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After many gross, flat and mushy breads, I’m proud of this baby.  It didn’t fall and it tasted fantastic.  My mom used to make this amazing chocolate banana bread with this crumbly topping that was absolutely delicious.  So, that’s what I was trying to recreate here, without the buttery sugary topping of course!

What you’ll need, preheat oven to 350:

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup  peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (I know this sounds like a lot, but without real flour, it helps it raise)
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups of almond flour (almond meal)
  • 1/2 cup oat flour

Mush the bananas add the remaining wet ingredients, add dry ingredients together, then add dry to wet, not over mixing,  Bake for 30 minutes.  Keep an eye on this bread, I thought it would take almost an hour like most banana bread recipes do, but it actually cooked pretty fast.  I would recommend checking it after 30 minutes, then see if it needs to be in longer.

Remove from the oven and enjoy your decadent healthy banana bread without feeling guilty!

 

Healthy Sun Dried Tomato Alfredo and Garlic Chicken

As you know if you’ve ever read my blog before, I constantly experiment with trying to make healthier versions of not-so-healthy foods that I love. I’m happy to say this one was a success.  My version of healthy alfredo with a tangy twist was the perfect craving satisfier! Plus, the chicken I made with it is a garlicky, crispy and a healthier version of fried chicken.  This recipe is gluten free, but if you do not have a gluten free diet you can make it with real breadcrumbs and pasta.   If you’re in a rut with healthy recipes and are missing pasta make this now…seriously do it now.

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For Chicken, preheat oven to 400:

  • 2 egg whites beaten until fluffy
  • tablespoon roasted garlic
  • 1 cup of my gluten free bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 lb chicken breasts (butterflied, cut in half so you have thin breasts)

Combine egg whites and garlic in one bowl and bread crumbs and parmesan in another.  Dunk each breast in the egg mixture and then the breadcrumb mixture and place on baking sheet (sprayed or oiled).  Bake for 25-30 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.

For pasta:

  • 1/2 package of brown rice spaghetti  (this was about 4 servings-we wanted leftovers)
  • 1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes in oil (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons of oli from tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • handful of basil chopped

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This sauce is so easy, you will be so surprised.  I start by boiling the water, than adding the pasta.  For the sauce, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil from the tomatoes, add garlic and sundried tomates when oil is hot.  Cook for about 1 minute over medium heat.  Add corn starch, begin to whisk in milk continuously stirring (you may not need all of the milk, so keep an eye on the consistency of the sauce and stop adding when the sauce the way you want it).  Whisk in cheese, if the sauce is too thick after this, whisk in a little more milk.  Add chopped basil and cooked pasta, and top with a garlic chicken breast and YUUUUUUM!

Banana Berry Beastie

Another day, another beastie.  I have no idea why I am obsessed with juices lately, but I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that I have decided I don’t eat enough greens and I need more unique ways to incorporate them into my diet.  These beasties really are a nutritious way to eat kale, spinach and any others you want to add.  I know some of you are extremely skeptical, but I promise you cannot taste the kale and it really tastes good.  Trust me, I do not eat anything that tastes like dirt just because it’s nutritious.  So, for a healthier tasty way to consume greens, drink them!

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What you’ll need:

  • Handful of Kale (my handful is probably about 1 1/2 – 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 blackberries
  • 1 whole banana
  • 1/2 small cucumber
  • 1 cup of water
  • handful of ice cubes

This recipe is not very sweet, so if you want it sweeter add more berries.  Blend well and drink your greens!

 

The Green Beastie 2.0

If you happened to read my post yesterday and were put off by my poop brown “green juice”, then fret no more!  While I still love the poop brown  original green beastie, this one is more frothy and actually green.  The only thing that is different I did not add blueberries and I added more water.

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  • Handful of Kale
  • 1 whole apple (de-seeded)
  • 1/2 small cucumber
  • small square of ginger
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup of water
  • handfull of ice cubes

Thoroughly blend and enjoy!

The Green Beastie Health Juice

Green Beastie Health Juice

OK, so let me just say sorry because it’s been about a month since I last posted a recipe. I’ve been in a cooking rut. I wasn’t feeling creative and was sick of making the same thing over and over. Then, I was inspired last night.

I went to a restaurant called True Food in Denver. They have a philosophy based around seasonal, organic and light but extremely flavorful food. I went with my lovely friend Melissa and we were both in the mood to just have fresh healthy food. We started off with a huge bowl of veggies with tzatziki and olive dip, the veggies were so fresh and crisp, it was heavenly.  But, what really inspired me was the drink we ordered. It was a bright green frothy juice with kale, apple, ginger, lemon and some other stuff.  It was so refreshing, I just felt healthy drinking it and it tasted really good…I swear!

The Green Beastie Health Juice

So, I did my own experiment this morning and other than the poop-like color it turned out really tasty. The reason I decided to call it the green beastie is because it’s a beast of a juice with tons of nutrition loaded into small glass! The juice I made was tart, but slightly sweet and very gingery, which I love. If you prefer it sweeter, leave out the lemon and add more berries.

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What you’ll need: (now, all of these ingredients are optional, I just played with what I had)

  • Handful of Kale
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 whole apple (de-seeded)
  • 1/2 small cucumber
  • small square of ginger
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup of water (mine was pretty think, if you prefer it more watered down, just add more water)
  • handfull of ice cubes

I have a vitamix (which is just a blender with super powers). If you have a regular blender you might have to chop everything up first.  Blend until smooth and enjoy.

I decided to put it in the colored glass because unfortunately the color is the awful poop brown and there’s no way to make that pretty!

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Healthy Brown Fried Rice

I think the key to a balanced diet, as I’ve said many times before, is moderation.  Very few human beings in this age of overwhelming food choices can eat perfect.  However, what I’ve always tried to do is make my favorite unhealthy dishes healthy.  That’s what I’ve done with my healthy brown fried rice.

This recipe is healthy choice for any chicken dish and it goes brilliantly with my Thai Chicken and Peanut Sauce. Or simply add chicken, shrimp or tofu for a complete and healthy dinner!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 5 eggs, 3 whole plus 2 egg whites
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 green onions
  • 5-6 baby carrots or a 1/2 cup of shredded carrots
  • 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil

Start by adding the 3 whole eggs to a sprayed saute pan.  No need to beat before hand, just stir while cooking.  Meanwhile, julienne (long strips) the carrots, finely chop the garlic and rough chop the onions, set aside.  Place egg whites in a bowl and gently beat until slightly fluffy, add in the soy sauce and sesame oil and mix together.  When the 3 whole eggs are done cooking, mix the sauce, veggies (except garlic) and rice together. Heat and spray a saute pan (med-high).  Make sure the pan is really hot and add the garlic, just let this cook for 30 seconds or so and add enough of the rice mixture in a thin layer.  Give it a little time to brown, then stir, remove rice and complete process until all rice is cooked and slightly crispy.  I like to top mine with a little Siracha and lime.

Why I Will Never Diet Again!

I’ve been thinking a lot about women and how many of us are on and off diets for our entire lives.  Almost every woman I know is either on some fad diet right now, wants to lose weight and/or complains that they need to lose weight.  I’m here to tell you that the day I decided to never diet again (mid June, 2012) I felt relieved and free.  I was finally released from the diet prison that I had put myself in for 17 years.  I know I’m not alone.  Just think about it, how many times have you tried the low fat, the low carb, the no carb, the paleo, and the gluten-free diets.  What about the cleanses, the point counting, the calorie counting, the carb counting, the sugar grams counting etc.  Just stop!  It’s tiring, it gets old and we don’t need to do it.  How much of our lives have we wasted worrying about this.  It’s not worth it, once you stop, you’ll realize how much life you have missed out on.  I assure you that I am certainly not skinny, but I am healthy and I am the happiest I have ever been and that’s all that matters.

Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying and go out and just eat everything you’ve ever craved.  I’m not talking about having potato chips for breakfast, ice cream for lunch and french fries and doughnuts for dinner. I’m talking about eating with intuition.  Before there were diets and excessive exercise, and one new diet fad after another, before women worried more about their weight than anything else in the world and before the there were estimated to be 8 million Americans with eating disorders; people ate when they were hungry and stopped when they were satisfied.  There are still some people who eat intuitively like this, but I think those people are rare.  Eating intuitively means really paying attention to what makes your body feel the best and what doesn’t.  If you try for one day, I think you’ll find it’s harder than you imagined.  We have developed into a culture that eats to celebrate,  for emotional reasons, and for no reason at all.  It’s because food is so available.

I’m still trying to master intuitive eating because I think it’s the healthiest way to live.  To allow yourself to be free from the chains of dieting feels so good.  It’s a new life.  It means nothing is forbidden, which in itself it quite liberating.  So I challenge you to try it for one day, one week, one month and let me know how you feel!

Blackened Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya

Holy smokes it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, I really need to work on that!  We have been in the midst of moving and working on our house to get it ready for the new owner.  I hate moving, I really truly never want to do it again!

Anyway, back to the important stuff, food…This is another recipe adapted from the firefighters that Chad works with.  It’s amazing how many yummy things these guys come up with.  This recipe is a little different from theirs because I made my own rice with brown rice and they used the jambalaya mix from the box.  The first two times we made this it was insanely hot, like out of control hot, almost inedible.   This is pretty rare for me because I can handle pretty hot stuff, sometimes I think my internal spice detector is broken.  Anyway, if you do not like spicy food, cut back on the cayenne,

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb. of chicken
  • 1/2 lb. shrimp
  • 1 tb olive oil

Blackening seasoning use the following for the chicken, then use the same ingredients for the shrimp, but half the amount (so  you will actually need 1 1/2 of the amounts below)::

  • 1 teaspoon paprika (I use smoked)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

The rest of the stuff:

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 tb tomato paste
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Depending on what kind of brown rice you get, you probably want to start that first.  Place a 1/2 tb of olive oil in a boiling pan, let it heat up.  Then add 1/2 the red bell pepper and 1/4 of the onion (finely chopped).  Saute for just a few minutes. Then add the chicken broth, bring to a boil then add the rice.  Follow the cooking instructions for the rice, but the idea is that the broth will take place of the water.   Then add a sprinkle of all the blackened spices, and the tomato paste.  Cover and let cook until done.

Heat the oven to 350, trim the fat from the chicken, I cut my chicken breasts in half, like filets so they are really thin.  Pat the chicken dry and coat all chicken in the remaining 1/2 tb of olive oil,.  Then mix the spices above together and coat each chicken breast one at a time, turn on your saute pan and wait until it’s extremely hot, it should be on medium high.  Place the chicken breasts in until they are blackened on both sides.  Then place your pan (if you can’t put yours in the oven, transfer chicken to a baking sheet).  They will cook for another five minutes, remove when done set aside and chop when cool.

Then do the same thing with the shrimp, but do not add the shrimp to the oven.  It just needs to be cooked until it turns pink.  Set the shrimp aside.

Rough chop the remaining bell peppers and onions.  Saute those for a few minutes, so they are still a little crisp.  Add the chicken, shrimp, and rice to the peppers, stir together until thoroughly heated.  Another five minutes or so.

My Favorite Overnight Oats

If you’re anything like me, you probably get sick of eating the same thing for breakfast all of the time.  It’s so hard to eat a healthy breakfast that has enough protein and tastes good.  So, one of my favorite healthy breakfasts is this recipe for overnight oats.  I never get sick of it and if you pair it with a couple of eggs and a piece of fruit, it’s the perfect nutritious and balanced breakfast.  I also discovered that there is no way to take an attractive picture of oatmeal, that’s just the way it is.

For this oatmeal you’ll need to start the night before:

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 dates, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (I use sugar free)

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate overnight.

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