Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins

I find that whenever I buy fresh fruit it never gets eaten and ends up in the garbage. When I stop buying fruit I get asked why I never buy it. UGH! Long behold I found myself making banana bread muffins with bananas that were too ripe to eat. It’s been a while since I baked and it was nice to have fresh muffins in the apartment to grab for breakfast or a snack.

photo (53)

ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup light sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients together. Beat well with electric mixer. Side note: I’m not much of a baker and I don’t have patience to cream the butter and then sugar together and take all the correct steps mix the wet ingredients first and then add the dry ingredients slowly. I just dump everything into the bowl and mix. I am aware this is incorrect but to be honest, the muffins came out great. So… mix as you please!

Spoon the batter evenly into muffin tins. I like to fill the batter all the way to the top of each muffin tin to make big muffins!

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown. You will know they are almost done when your kitchen starts to smell amazing.

Allow the muffins to cool for at least 10 minutes before enjoying.

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Homemade Spicy Kale Chips

When it comes to sweet vs salty, I am definitely a sweet person. Chocolate is my biggest weakness. Lately, when I’m craving a salty snack I always want to grab a bag of chips which is the not best choice for a salty treat except for pop chips of course!
There has been so much hype about kale and how good it is for you. Last week, I ventured to Trader Joe’s and found pre washed chopped kale, which is one of their newest items! I used the pre chopped kale to make kale chips…which turned out delicious! I prepared the kale with some olive oil and seasonings and tossed it together with my best kitchen tool, my hands! …and baked them in a 400 degree oven for 15-17 minutes this photo doesn’t even do them justice My kale chips turned out awesome. They were crispy, crunchy, and had a hint of spice.
I ate the entire tray in one sitting. No joke.
Homemade Spicy Kale Chips
Ingredients:1 bag of pre washed kale1 tbsp of light olive oil1 tsp of salt1 tsp of pepper1 tsp of cayenne pepper1 pinch of red pepper flakes
Directions:Coat the kale with 1 tbsp of olive oil and mix well. TIP: 1 tbsp doesn’t seem like enough but if you add too much olive oil the chips will become soggy. Add the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes to the kale and olive oil and mix well with your hands so all the kale is evenly coated. Spread the kale on a baking sheet lined with foil. Make sure the kale is spread evenly. 
Bake for 15-17 minutes at 400 degrees until the kale is browned and crisp. If you want you chips super crispy, flip them over in the middle of baking (after 7 minutes or so)
These chips are extremely easy to make, full of flavor, and very filling. You are also getting in your vegetable servings while enjoying something that is nutritionally good for you!
Have a great day!

Low Fat Trifle

My friend Lauren made this awesome low fat trifle for Easter a couple of weeks ago. It was so delicious that I had to post the recipe! This is a simple, quick, and low fat desert that will wow your guests. It’s a perfect desert to please a crowd…I know I was :) stunning! Ingredients: -sponge cakeLauren recommends Pillsbury sponge cake and made it herself but you could also buy it from a bakery if you don’t feel like baking it-chocolate and vanilla pudding mix Suggestion: not using pre-made pudding, but rather getting the jell-o pudding mix and making it yourself– strawberries, cut up
– banana’s, cut up
– cool whip Directions:
– Bake the sponge cake (skip this step if you bought it pre-made)
– Layer the bottom of your trifle dish with small, broken up pieces of sponge cake
– Next, add a layer of cool whip on top of the sponge cake. Tip: The cool whip should be room temperature or else it is too difficult to spread over the sponge cake
– Put a layer of vanilla pudding on top of the cool whip. This tends to mix together a little when you are spreading the pudding over the cool whip but that is normal.
– After the pudding has been spread evenly over the cool whip, add a layer of strawberries.
– After the strawberries, add another layer of sponge cake and keep repeating the same steps, alternating with chocolate pudding and bananas.-You will probably end up with 4-5 layers total! You can top the trifle with some shaved chocolate, coconut, chocolate chips, or whatever your heart desires!!  You can also use other flavored puddings such as banana or butterscotch. Lauren decided to keep it simple because who doesn’t like chocolate and vanilla pudding?
Special thanks to Lauren Weisberg for sharing her trifle recipe!
Have a great day!

Julie’s Detox Smoothie

My cousin Julie was in town from San Fransisco for Passover and introduced my Mom to her favorite detox smoothie. Julie and her husband Dorian drank this smoothie while doing a cleanse and have fallen in love with how delicious and nutritious it is! 

Mom, Julie & I at Passover Seder

My Mom has now became obsessed with this detox smoothie and made it for me this morning before I went to work. I must say, this smoothie was a great start to my day…thanks Jan!
Julie’s Detox Smoothie1 1/2 cups Almond Milk
1/2 cup coconut water
1 tsp flax oil or hemp oil
1/2 avocado
1 kale leaf
1/2 cup frozen mango (substitute with any frozen fruit of your choice)
1/2 cup of ice (optional)
1 tsp agave nectar (optional)
Jan used blueberries and mango today make sure to blend well making sure all of the ingredients are incorporated yummmm!!!!!!!!
Have a great day!

Spicy Shrimp Tacos

If you read my blog often enough, you would know that tacos make me happy very happy  especially when they are smothered in some kind of spicy sauce  and some cool, creamy, avocado  it’s a party in your mouth

Spicy Shrimp Tacos 

(inspired by my favorite shrimp tacos from Mercadito)
Ingredients:

1/4 lb raw, deveined shrimp (tails removed)about 5 medium sized shrimp per person

1 tbsp of olive oil

2 tbsp of fajita seasoning

4 tbsp of water

1 tsp of cayenne pepper

1 ripe avodcao

2-3 corn tortillas, warmed

Heat a skillet on medium high heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the shrimp and brown on both sides (about 2-3 minutes on each side). You will know the shrimp are done as soon as they turn a light pink color and firm to the touch. 

While the shrimp is cooking, mix the water and fajita seasoning in a mixing bowl until the seasoning is dissolved. You made need to add a little more water depending on the consistency. Add about half of the sauce to the shrimp and coat well. Allow the shrimp to cool for about 2 minutes then chop into bite sized pieces.

Serve over warm corn tortillas and top with sliced avocado. Drizzle some of the remaining fajita sauce over the top.   I ate them up so fast I barely had time to use my fork.  I can’t wait to make these again.

Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

Whats up Chicago?! Happy Tuesday, although this rainy weather is not making me very happy. 
I had dinner at East Bank Club last week and tried a taste of my friends peanut butter and banana smoothie. Although it was delicious, I was destined to make one of my own using low calorie ingredients.
I love smoothies but when I order them from a restaurant or smoothie shop, I don’t always know how much or what exactly is in it. I like to practice portion control and since peanut butter is high in calories I like to control how much is in my smoothie.
I love all natural creamy peanut butter…skippy just doesn’t do it for me anymore I used 1 tbsp and it was just enough to create that delicious peanut butter flavor
I buy non fat yogurt by the tubs so easy and delicious
Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie Ingredients:1/2 ripe banana (frozen bananas work well for this)1 tbsp of natural peanut butter1/2 cup of non fat plain yogurt 1tsp of honey
Blend all ingredients together until the smoothie is to your desired consistency.
I personally like mine thick, frothy, and smooth.
I love youuuuuuu I slurped up every last drop
My favorite tool in the kitchen…the motor boat!  of course I made a huge mess, would you expect anything less?

Caramelized Chicken with Spinach and Mushroom Sauce

My plan for this week was to cook dinner every night. Obviously that didn’t happen.

Fortunately last night I took the night to myself, got a pedicure, and made this chicken dish.

Totally hit the spot.

Cooking is so therapeutic for me. I love trying out new recipes or creating dishes that come to mind. I’ve been eating out so much recently that it made me miss cooking. Sometimes its nice to spoil yourself and make a good home cooked meal.

Caramelized Chicken with Spinach and Mushroom Sauce
Ingredients: 1-2 thinly sliced chicken breasts1 cup of chopped mushrooms1/2 onion, chopped1 cup of low sodium chicken stock1 tbsp of butter (the real deal)salt & pepper to taste1 big handful of fresh spinach2 tbsp of olive oil
 Saute the mushrooms and onions over medium heat in 1 tbsp of olive oil  While the veggies are cooking, saute the chicken breast (in a second pan) over medium heat until golden brown on both sides. Once the mushrooms and onions are soft, add the chicken stock and cook for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the butter and let it melt into the sauce (this will give it a velvety texture). 
Once the butter is melted, add the spinach and let it wilt with the heat of the sauce. Add the chicken to the sauce and let the flavors blend together for about 2 minutes. fantastic I hate doing the dishes so much that I often leave dishes in my sink for days at a time gross.
I ended up doing them anyways…ughhhh
How do you like to spoil yourself?
Have a great day!

Shrimp Stir Fry

Stir fry is the easiest dish to make, especially when you’re trying to eat healthy but don’t have the time or energy to slave away in the kitchen. The other night I made this quick and easy shrimp stir fry that was quick and delicious.

Ingredients:
Raw shrimp (fresh or frozen)- check the package for how many shrimp are in a serving
2 cups of stir fry veggies (fresh or frozen), any kind you like
1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp of honey
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of sesame oil
1/2 cup of brown rice
salt & pepper to taste

I bought some frozen shrimp at Trader Joe’s last week, peeled and de-veined If you’re using frozen shrimp, defrost them under cold water for about 5 minutes. Optional: remove the tails.  While the shrimp are defrosting, start cooking the veggies by sauteing them in both the olive oil and the sesame oil (the sesame oil gives a great flavor).
As soon as the veggies are tender, add the shrimp. Cook the shrimp for 3-5 minutes stirring frequently. You will know the shrimp is finished when they turn a light pink color.Add the soy sauce and honey. 
Serve with 1/2 cup of brown rice.  If you must, add a little more soy sauce for some extra flavor So light and healthy!
It was the perfect meal to end my day…protein, vegetables, & whole grains.YUM!

Eat like a fatty but not be one…

It’s winter and I think everyone craves comfort food. I came home from a long day at work and a tough workout at Barre Bee Fit and wanted a big bowl of pasta!

This actually wasn’t a big bowl of pasta It was a big bowl of broccoli and some pasta.

how on earth did I think of that?

Well…I only allow myself to eat 1/2 cup of pasta per serving. I knew that wouldn’t be enough to fill me up so I added broccoli… something vibrant and green to give me some nutrients while I stuff my face.

And the colors remind me of spring :)

Laur’s Big Fat Bowl of Creamy, Cheesy, Pasta and some green stuff too

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat penne pasta (or whatever pasta you like)
  • A ton of frozen broccoli florets- idk how much I used, but I added a lot
  • 1 wedge of laughing cow light swiss cheese
  • 1 tbsp of fat free sour cream
  • 2 tsp of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • dash of pepper

Directions:In a large sauce pan boil some water w/ 1 tsp of salt. When the water gets to a boil add the pasta and let cook for about 8 minutes or until half way cooked though. Add the broccoli to the same water as the pasta. Once the pasta and brocoli are tender, rinse and put in a shallow bowl. Add the laughing cow cheese and sour cream to the hot pasta & broccoli. Stir well until the cheese melts. Add the parmesan cheese and pepper.

TIP: Prepare the cheese wedge and sour cream ahead of time by combining them together to make a creamy sauce. This will make the whole mixing process easier.

I can’t take credit for ALL of this recipe… I got the creamy sauce idea from Hungry Girl’s Lisa Lillian.
I know it sounds absolutely disgusting but you should really try it. The sauce tastes like a REAL alfredo sauce and it’s delish. NO JOKE! It’s cheesy, creamy, and super easy, I can’t wait to make this recipe again!

Happy Feasting!

Dear Valentines Day…

Thank you for making my ass grow the size of Texas

I don’t feel bad for myself

You are what you eat

Which means I am what I ate last night for dinner at a fabulous Valentine’s Day potluck dinner with my girlfriends
bruschetta   crunchy asian salad  hummus dip Artichoke and spinach stuffed shells meat balls leaning tower of campaign last but not least… gooey butter cake
Must I say more??
For any of these recipes please leave a comment below or send me an email with your recipe request… my friends will be flattered to share their recipes with you!

Have a great day!

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