Healthier Banana Zucchini Bread

We have had some wacky weather here in NH – well all over the country but I can only speak to here in my minuscule part of it; pretty much all summer. Hot and humid and either a pop up shower or a thunderstorm. It has been hard trying to time when to harvest not only my garlic but everything out there.  I feel bad for my husband and his crew that generally work outside, how to plan a days worth of work when half of it or at least a portion of it you’re going to get soaked. When I got home from work on Friday I quickly harvested the rest of my garlic before the thunderstorms started up since the soil needs to be dry to harvest.
IMG_2988The problem with not doing a drive by of at least the squashes; they seem to grow overnight and go from cute to shit how did I not see that one! So this morning (Saturday) I had 3 way to overripe bananas, too many ginormous zucchini’s so I grated one up and made a couple of loaves of banana zucchini bread.
IMG_3006.JPGMy daughter thought I was making banana bread and zucchini bread – I’ll refrain from what she actually said but it was kind of like “wow running with scissors Mom” I actually found a healthy low fat recipe that I tweaked a bit to what I had on hand. I have mentioned before that just because someone dubs it healthy doesn’t mean its healthy for your diet. But if having to eat healthy means I can’t have any baked goods I don’t want to play. Which is probably why – oh never mind!
IMG_2994.JPGHealthier Banana Zucchini Bread – makes 2 loaves
Preheat oven to 350’ – get out 2 9×5 loaf pans and spray with non-stick

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ ground nutmeg
4 eggs – thinking of using egg beaters next time
1 cup sugar
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
3 overripe bananas
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups shredded and drained zucchini

Whisk the first 8 ingredients to the nutmeg in a small bowl.

In a stand mixer or not mix the eggs, sugar, yogurt, bananas and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix till combined, add the zucchini and mix again till combined.

Additions if you choose – nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chips etc. you do you!

Split batter between pans and cook for about 45-55 minutes or until cooked through, test by inserting a toothpick and it comes out clean.

The bread(s) came out very moist and I can taste all the spices and the banana’s; the oats add a little texture – plus it smells awesome!  it’s a keeper!

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My daughter tried it before I took pictures – oops!


Macros 1 piece
174 calories  9 g protein  4 g fat  29 g carbs

Macro friendly weekly Frittata

Happy Easter!

Meal prep is such a buzz word all over the internet, it seems there are hundreds of ideas out there that people are sharing. I do like the idea behind it but I don’t think one size fits all and are you going to plan/eat the same thing every single day? Probably not! Could you for a couple or a few day I think so!
IMG_2700My daughter and I have made several versions of mason jar salads, my all time favorite was the orzo, mozzarella, tomato spinach salad but there is only so much of it one can eat in a week. Variety is the spice of life or so goes the saying.  Though the convenience of having lunch already made and my upbringing to not waste food, the saying when I was a kid growing up was there were people starving in Africa eat your meatloaf – yuck! Meatloaf is still my nemesis!
IMG_2692Working on being a little more self conscious of what I put in my mouth I find it a whole lot easier to prep at least my breakfast, lunch and snacks for the work week. I try to do this on a regular basis, when I don’t I actually miss it so I am getting better at it.
IMG_2693IMG_2694My staple for breakfast is the frittata I make every Sunday and once cooled I put 5 pieces in a container and bring it to work with me.  It solves a few problems; one I’m not a morning person, so making a healthy meal every morning just not going to happen, two I am never hungry when I wake up, I generally don’t eat till around 9:30, three is the portions are already pre-set and I have already calculated out the macros – if you are watching them.  
IMG_2695IMG_2696This has been going on for months now and I am have not once been like ugh more eggs! Which is saying something because i’m not a huge fan of eggs I generally only like them poached but this is working for me, so I thought I would share it with those people who might need a little help for at least the morning.
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My Macro Friendly Frittata

16 ounce container of egg whites – or 8 large eggs – 1 container of egg substitute – you be you!
1 Large or Extra Large egg – it does make a difference
3 ounces cubes ham
1 small onion diced
1 ounce fat free feta cheese
5 florets broccoli chopped
1 green onion diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
6-8 grape tomatoes – halved
Kosher salt and black pepper
Sriracha sauce – a must if using egg whites
IMG_2699I heat the olive oil in my cast iron pan, saute the onion and ham.  Add the broccoli for another minute or so. In a small bowl I combine the whites with the egg and season with salt and pepper plus the hot sauce.
IMG_2698Pour the eggs over the ham, onion and broccoli then add the cheese and tomatoes. Sprinkle with the scallions, salt and pepper and let it cook the bottom of the frittata for about 3-5 minutes on medium low heat. Finish off under the broiler till set and browned.

Let it set up for about 5 minutes before you remove it from the pan. I run a spatula around the edge and try to lift it off the bottom of the pan, just so it won’t stick. It’s happened. Slice it and enjoy!
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Serves 8
Approx Macros – for the egg white and 1 egg 
80 Calories – 2 Fat – 2 Carbs – 12 Protein

Homemade Cinnamon Roll under an hour

With Mother’s Day coming up next week I wanted to give you a breakfast or brunch option that tasted as good as it looked. It also needed to tick off a few of my important boxes; mainly using ingredients that most everyone has on hand; be pretty simple and not take you all morning to make.
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This is only the third homemade cinnamon roll I have ever made. My daughter reminded me that a few years ago while she was living in Japan we made maple bacon cinnamon rolls on Mother’s day. But my go-to; up until now; was my very old, very large white box bread maker. I’m sure some of you can envision the one I am talking about. That was what I used to make the dough for my cinnamon rolls. They always came out excellent but if I wanted to eat them in the morning for breakfast I had to get up around 5am so the machine could work it’s magic; as it took a couple of hours before I could roll out the dough; and then they had to rise for an hour or so. Needless to say I only made them on very special occasions.
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When my daughter came down in the morning and saw the cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven; which is truly the only way to eat them. Her first comment was ‘they look beautiful’ she proceeded to eat two of them. So they definitely passed the test. This recipe is really very easy that I think if you have little ones around they could definitely help you make them.
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IMG_5111Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 ¼ teaspoon instant yeast – or 1 packet
½ cup water
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Filing
½ stick unsalted butter softened/room temperature
2 tablespoons cinnamon
¼ cup brown sugar

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoon milk

Pre-heat your oven to 200’ and just before you place the rolls in the oven; turn it off.

I used my stand mixer but you can do this by hand

Making the dough: in a large bowl add the flour, sugar, salt and yeast; mix well. In a microwave safe bowl heat the milk, water and butter till the butter melts 30-40 seconds. Once melted stir into the flour mixture and the egg and knead until the the dough is no longer sticky roughly 3-4 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl to rest for 5 or 6 minutes.
IMG_5113Mix together the cinnamon and sugar for the filing. Roll out the dough after it is done resting; into a 15″x 9″ rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top and then sprinkle the sugar cinnamon mixture over the butter. Roll the dough on the 15” side tightly and cut into 9 large even pieces. Place them in a 9″x 9″ slightly greased pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the; turned off oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the plastic wrap and turn the oven up to 375’F. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are lightly browned.
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I lined my pan with parchment paper so I could lift the rolls out after baking

Make the glaze while the rolls are in the oven. Mix the powdered sugar, vanilla and use enough milk to make the glaze light enough for you to drizzle over the hot rolls when they come out of the oven.


Best served right out of the oven. They are OK re-heated but they do lose a little of their deliciousness. But I have never had any re-heated cinnamon roll that I truly loved.
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recipe adapted from: the recipe critic

Healthy Yummy Oatmeal Muffins

A couple of weeks ago we were staying with some friends up North. The guys went skiing and us girls stayed back at the house. We got some things done, went shopping and then for a very nice walk. The inspiration for this weeks recipe came from my girlfriend making a healthy muffin as something to grab on the way out the door in the morning when in a rush. I can appreciate that; most mornings are pretty hectic around here.  We have also been eating a lot more healthy oatmeal for breakfast.
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My daughter purchased a really cool rice cooker that we try to put steel cut oats in the night before and set the timer for them to be ready when we wake up. It also keeps them warm until we shut it off; which is cool since my daughter wakes up several hours after us; bonus is they taste great and pretty healthy for us.


Back to the healthy muffin. I looked around online for a recipe that I might want to try. I will admit I wasn’t sure how well they would be perceived. I have tried to “health” up things before and haven’t been too successful; or at least well enough to make them a regular thing.
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The first thought about the recipe I found when I read No Flour No Sugar No Oil – I thought NO WAY!
IMG_5047I was very hesitant since I didn’t have any eggs or milk on hand that the recipe asked for and I didn’t have enough bananas so I also grated an apple and made them anyway. I ended up using egg beaters and some Kefir that I bought that no one liked drinking straight; but in a recipe how terrible could it be.  
IMG_5048They smelled good, looked good and believe it or not my husband LOVED them; seriously he immediately ate 2 of them and has done nothing but praise them since . Luckily my daughter and I both really liked them and I was totally amazed that even with my changes they were a hit so much so I have made 4 batches in total; mostly because I wanted to use up the Kefir before it went bad I plan on packaging them up and putting them in the freezer.
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Ingredients
2 ½ cups old fashioned oats (1 ½ cup ground, 1 cup whole) (keep some aside  and press on top of muffins before baking – optional)
2-3 large overripe bananas – I used banana & grated apple – applesauce would work too
2 large eggs – egg beaters also work
⅓ cup honey
¾ cup milk – I used kefir
2 teaspoon real vanilla
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
⅓ cup currants – optional
⅓ cup chopped nuts – optional – I used pecans

Directions
Preheat oven to 325’F. Place oats on a baking sheet and make for 10-15 minutes to brown; stir once. Once cooled; in a food processor place 1 ⅕ cups of oats and blend, you are going for a flour like consistency. Turn oven to 350’F
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Mash the bananas and grate the apple add to the rest of the wet ingredients; eggs, honey, milk and vanilla.
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Add dry ingredients; including all the oats to the wet ingredients and mix till incorporated. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the oats to soak.  Add fruit and nuts if using

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Approximately 163 calories each

Line 12 cup muffin tin with wrappers; scoop batter into cup filling to the top.

Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Recipe adapted by cookingatclarktowers: Brendid.com

Shirred Eggs

A few weeks ago I ripped out a page from a cooking magazine that looked like something we would eat. I do this ALL the time and have SO many pages that I don’t really know how to deal with them. Or at least I haven’t actually done anything with all of them other than place them in “like” piles such as seafood, sandwiches, salads, side dishes etc. you get the picture. Not the most efficient if you are looking for something in a hurry but until I find some miracle way of organizing them; it’ll have to do.
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I find that when I start looking through these papers, I want to make 4 or 5 different things and then I spend the day or weekend cooking and baking; once you do this someone has to eat it all. I do share my food with whoever is interested and thankfully I have a pretty good reputation of making  yummy food so I tend to have a lot of takers.
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I had planned to go to the store last night for the week’s groceries and never got there. It’s Sunday and I sometimes make a clean the fridge frittata but I only had 3 eggs left; there were 3 peeps for breakfast. I remembered the shirred egg picture/recipe and thought I could try making something similar with what I had on hand thinking it was meant to be.
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I did google what shirr meant so here is a quick wikipedia definition for you. While the 3 of us were eating them I also shared this info with my fam.  They both LOVED them and were both coming up with what they would put in theirs.
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Shirred eggs are eggs that have been baked in a gratin dish with a flat bottom. Traditionally they have been cooked in a dish called a shirrer, from which the dish gets its name, but the name now applies regardless of the type of dish in which they are baked
img_4993img_4995Shirred Eggs

Breakfast sausage, crumbled and browned
½ onion, diced
Roasted tomatoes
Asparagus, sliced
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Parmesan cheese, grated
Scallions, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
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In a small saute pan brown the sausage along with the onion, add the tomatoes and asparagus for 1 to 2 minutes. Spray your small dishes with nonstick cooking spray. Fill with sausage mixture, cover with cheddar cheese, crack an egg in each dish. Sprinkle with parmesan and scallions. Salt and pepper then bake at 375’F for 12 minutes or until the whites are set.  They look adorable and special plus super easy.

Must try Granola

I have NO idea why it has taken me SOOOOOO long to make a batch of granola. Seriously; we all love it; we or more like; I buy it; Over the years I’ve bought all different kinds/brands. I have even gone so far as to write down the ingredients listed on a local company’s bag of my favorite granola. I am only slightly embarrassed to say that that was YEARS ago; literally at least over 10 years ago.
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So I would like to thank you all for getting me off my butt and finally pulling the trigger on not only buying the ingredients; which has been in my pantry for a couple of weeks now. Today is the day I make it happen. If I didn’t write a weekly food blog I probably would still be holding onto a piece of paper that says rolled oats on top of it. I am always looking for something yummy and simples to share with you all. So I finally made one of the easiest recipes on the planet. While you might have to buy a few ingredients that you probably wouldn’t have on hand the reward is pretty fantastic.
img_4888img_4889img_4890I also finally now know why it isn’t exactly the cheapest snack on the shelf. This recipe makes a lot of yummy granola. Keep it in an airtight container and it should last a few weeks. If it lasts that long; in my house if it makes a week and a half I will be shocked!
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Granola – preheat oven to 325’F

Ingredients
8 cups rolled oats
1 ½ cups wheat germ
1 ½ cups oat bran
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
¾ cup honey
1 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions
Line two large baking sheets with something – Parchment, tinfoil and if you are lucky Silpat mat

In a very large bowl combine oats, wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, coconut and the nuts.

In a medium saucepan combine salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for a minute and then pour over the dry ingredients; stir to combine. Spread the mixture evenly on the baking sheets.

Bake for 15 minutes take out and stir; bake for another 10-15 minutes just till toasted. Once cooled it will be a little crispy. You can break it up totally or leave some a little chunky.

you can add raisins and or craisins if you wish

Adapted from Megan’s Granola – all recipes

Lemon Zucchini Tea Cake

The garden is winding down a bit, and I’m OK with it. It looks like my zucchini and summer squash harvesting days are over but they were very good to us this year. I am going to go on record today and say that I am all set with making zucchini bread for the year. I even had enough very large zucchinis to make a few Christmas present loaves; I know I know I know it’s way too early to be bringing that up especially since it was like 90 degrees out yesterday. But timing is everything I have everything on hand and I am a get it done kind of person.

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So with being “all set” with zucchini bread and sharing my harvest with family and friends I started looking for something a little different. I came across this recipe while perusing my New Hampshire Magazine. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a recipe and thought hey I have all or at least most of the ingredients on hand and decide right then to get everything out and make it or a resemblance of it.

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I have way too many lemons in the fridge, I asked my daughter to pick up a couple and she bought a bag UGH now what. Reading through the recipe I had everything except coconut oil. I have yet to get on the coconut “everything” bandwagon. I did have some applesauce in the fridge that I use in my zucchini bread recipe so why not use it in this one in replacement of the coconut oil.

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I tend to always break the rule of “no new recipe on guests” I seem to use that rule as more of a guideline and always try new things on people. This time was my co-workers; we were having a birthday graze day for one and I thought there would be other things to eat if this didn’t work out.

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This is my first one using their suggested amount of blueberries – we all felt every bite benefited from having a blueberry with it. Delish!!!

Well it worked out very nicely and everyone loved it, my family loved it so much and I had to use up some more of the lemons I’ve already made it again.

Lemon Zucchini Tea Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

¾ cup applesauce – or if you want coconut oil
1 ¾ cups shredded zucchini – drained
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
3 eggs
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
Handful of fresh blueberries

In a stand mixer or use your hand mixer; combine the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light in color 1-2 minutes. Add the applesauce, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla beat until well combined another 1-2 minutes. Add the zucchini, beat till combined; another minute. Sift the flour, soda, powder and salt. Add this mixture to create the batter and beat till combined; do not over mix.

Grease or spray your pan and add the batter, place in the oven for about 40-45 minutes. Bake until your wooden toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool, loosen the edges and invert the cake onto a wire rack to completely cool. Once cool, spread cream cheese frosting and top with some blueberries

I used 2-8” cake pans but could be made in one larger cake pan; it doesn’t rise like you would think as it is a denser kind of cake.

Cream cheese frosting
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 16-ounce bag of powdered sugar (roughly 4 cups – I buy mine in bulk)