Banana-rama Pancakies

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Hmm, nothing beats a nice pancake breakfast on a weekend morning with the whole entire day to do whatever you want. No need to go to work and speak in my “I’m the friendliest person on Earth voice” to callers or to spend the whole day in an air conditioned box of a building. Now, pancakes sometimes get a bad rap especially if they are the deliciously-covered-in-syrup-and- butter type, you know the ones. On behalf of pancake lover’s everywhere I take a stand and say that pancakes can be a part of a healthy diet and you don’t have to feel icky-sticky-guilty after and don’t have to automatically initiate a gag reflex. These pancakes are banana-y, easy, delicious and if you have any monkey friends, they’ll love you if you make them this breakfast. Go ahead, try it.

 Ingredients:
5 very ripe bananas, peeled
5 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup gluten-free flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
Directions:
In a medium bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk them together to make the batter as smooth as possible, a little lumpy is fine.¬† With a ice cream scooper, or a measuring cup in a size you like, pour batter onto a skillet with a little bit of oil. Fry on each side until golden. Repeat until all the batter is gone and pancakes have piled up high on a serving platter. Serve immediately, top with fruit and syrup, if that’s to your liking.
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Veggie Sandwich – with a twist!

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Veggie sandwich? Ick, right? Soggy white bread, bland tomato, lifeless lettuce and an unhealthy slathering of mayonnaise: sound appetizing? No no no no, that’s not how it’s done. Let’s get creative here. During the summer, heavy meals sometimes are just too much on hot days. This sandwich is light, refreshing, healthy, easy to make and tasty too.

Ingredients:

1/2 cucumber

4 thin slices of tomato

1 slice deli turkey meat

1/2 wedge of Laughing Cow cheese, any flavor

mustard (optional)

Directions:

Halve the cucumber, lengthwise, scooping out the pulpy middle. Spread the cheese, dividing it for each half. add the tomato and the turkey. Squiggle a line of mustard, if you’d like. To keep the whole sandwich assembled, skewer it with a few toothpicks.

Several with a summery side dish, I enjoyed with sandwich with a tomato and roasted mushroom salad al fresco. Bon appetite!

Pupusas!

When I was in California a few years ago, my aunt had made some pupusas at my grandma’s house and they were really tasty. In some Hispanic markets in California, you can buy freshly made pupusas to enjoy for lunch or dinner. Somehow, I recently got it into my head to attempt to make them with the help of my mom. Before I delved into my pupusa making experience I watched a few youtube videos to get an idea of how they are assembled. The woman that I watched make them was making pupusas at top notch speed and humbly said she makes 300 to 400 of them per day. Feeling pretty confident, my mom and I started assembling them and then my mom started cooking them on a griddle while I continued making them. Some would crack and the filling would come out, some were made too thin, some came close to perfect, some were really moist and some were bordering on dry and by the time we finished we’d make about 24 of them and I was pupusa’d out! Not so easy to make, I greatly admire that pupusa lady that makes hundreds per day. Although they took some work to make, they turned out pretty tasty; my family and I enjoyed the fruits of my mom and my labor. When you make these pupasas make sure to elicit the help of a few friends and family members and then they can help you eat them! Munch!

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

1 diced onion

salt, pepper and spices to taste

5 cups masa harina (corn flour)

5 cups water

1/2 pound of mozzarella cheese

Directions:

In a nonstick skillet cook the onions until soft. Add the beef, salt, pepper and spices. Cook until browned and well done. Transfer the meat into a bowl and allow to cool slightly. While it’s cooking, place the flour in a large mixing bowl and add water slowly until a stiff, yet moist dough is formed. Take a small chunk of dough, about the size of a golf ball and with your hands, flatten the dough ball into a slightly thick tortilla-like disk. Put about a tablespoon of meat and a teaspoon of cheese into the middle of the tortilla. Then fold the dough over the filling until completely enclosed, flattening into into a disk. You might need to slightly wet your hand to smooth over a cracks in the dough. In a very hot griddle, cook the pupusas on each side until golden brown.

Serve hot! Enjoy with pickled red onion on top or any sauce you might like. Hmm!

Sweet Banana Cake

IMG_5622Last weekend was my little pups birthday, she’s now 8 years old! Man, how time flies. She’s been with me through my high school years, my college years, through the terrible sad times and wonderfully happy times. I wanted to make a special treat for her that would be easy on her tummy and something that us humans could enjoy as well. I was happy to find a recipe for a banana cake with a minimum amount of ingredients on The Detoxinista blog, this is a recipe adapted from that recipe. It was quick to make, easy and let’s just say the birthday girl enjoyed each bite of her piece thoroughly! Hmm hmm good!

Ingredients:

4 bananas, very ripe, mashed

3 eggs, beaten

6 tablespoons peanut butter

dash of cinnamon

dash of salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/8 cup sugar, optional

Directions:

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together until well blended. Grease a microwave safe glass baking pan, or you can divide into microwave safe mugs. Zap in the microwave for about 6 minutes for one loaf, about 1.5 minutes if doing individual servings, making sure to keep an eye on it while it cooks. Each microwave is different and the cooking time may vary. Remove from microwave and allow to cook for a minute or two. Now, it’s ready to eat! May you and your doggy friends enjoy this one!

Pan De Humita (Savory Corn Cake)

This is a South American take on cornbread. Moist, sweet corn, salty cheese and gluten-free, this is a delicious side dish for any occasion. Don’t be fooled by how dense this bread is and make sure not to over bake because the edges of the bread with get dark. A knife inserted in the center to check for doneness will have moist crumbs stuck to it. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Laylita’s Recipes

Ingredients:

6 cups sweet corn (frozen or canned)

1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese

1 cup corn meal

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup non-fat milk

2 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper.

Place the corn, 1 cup cheese, garlic powder, salt, corn meal, milk and eggs in a food processor or blender until well pureed.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Cover with foil and bake for an hour. After an hour, sprinkle a little bit (or a lot bit!) of mozzarella cheese on top of the bread. Turn on the oven’s broiler and broil until the cheese is nice golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Serve warm. Nom nom nom!

Veggie Patties


Ingredients:
2 cups lentils
1 large onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
8 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
2 eggs
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 Italian style bread crumbs (or if you are going gluten-free, add 1/4 cup almond flour)
1/2 cup fresh parsley

Preparation
Combine the lentils and 2 quarts of water in a medium stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are soft (but not falling apart), about 25 minutes. Drain the lentil and allow to cool.

Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and salt over medium-high heat, adding about 1/4 cup of water, stirring frequently. Add any seasoning you’d like. Cook until the vegetable are tender, add the tomato paste and continue to cook, stirring constantly. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until all the liquid is absorbed. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. When cool, add the lentils to the vegetable mixture.

Add the eggs to the mixture, a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and almond flour (or the 1/2 cup almond flour) and parsley. Mix well. Place in the refrigerator for 25 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.

Lightly oil a baking dish. Set aside.

Roll the mixture into round balls (size them however you’d like), making sure to pack the vegetable mixture firmly. Place the ball in the prepared baking dish, allowing space between them.

Roast for 30 minutes, or until the patties are firm and cooked through.

These babies were oh-my-goodness-good, trust me!

Choco-nut cookies

Chocolate. Peanut butter. Cookie. Bam! You’ve got a great cookie that’s guilt-free. Say what? A cookie that’s not going to make you feel guilty? Yes! The cookie is gluten-free, the peanut butter is reduced fat and adds some healthy protein and the dark chocolate adds antioxidants. Plus, come on… chocolate and peanut butter, together? Yummers.

Choco-nut cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup almond flour

1/8 tsp salt (basically a pinch)

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp milk (any kind you like… moo milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc.)

Stevia, if you like

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Reduced fat peanut butter (or any nut butter you prefer)

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate bar

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Then mix in the wet ingredients, mixing well. It will seem crumbly but keep on stirring and it will come together. If you need to, you can add a bit more milk, making sure not to make it too sticky. Place dough in a plastic bag and using a rolling pin, flatten out the dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the plastic bag and cut the cookies into small circles or squares. Maybe you’d like to do triangles, have fun with it. After you’ve cut the dough, stick it in the freezer for at least 20 minutes before baking for 10-15 minutes at 325 degrees F on a greased cookie sheet.

After they’ve baked, let cookies cool for at least 10 minutes. Then smear about a teaspoon of peanut butter on each cookie. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, a few seconds at a time, making sure not to burn the chocolate. If you need to you can add a bit of milk to the chocolate to make it smooth. Spoon a bit of chocolate on top of the peanut butter. And ta-da! A yummy cookie masterpiece!