Whole Wheat Banana Chapatis

And this is the other recipe for the weekend… not what I intended to make, but the recipe I was going to make called for buttermilk and I was too lazy to get some this morning and don’t want to buy something like that right before going out of town. These are made with whole wheat flour, which certainly makes me feel better about eating them.

Whole Wheat Banana Chapatis

Chapatis

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups plus 3 tbsp whole wheat flour, plus more for rolling, divided use
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • melted butter for brushing (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl whisk together 1 3/4 cups flour, sugar, and salt. Add the vegetable oil, and work it into the dry ingredients with your fingers.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl mash the bananas. Spray your hands with some nonstick cooking spray and knead the bananas into the flour mixture.
  3. Lightly flour whatever work surface you’ll be using to knead and roll out the dough. Stir the bowling water into the dough, and let cool slightly. Knead the mixture into a sticky dough and then turn it out onto the work surface. Work the remaining flour into the dough, and knead until it’s soft. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat (or in my case, medium-ish, as my stove is a bit overzealous).
  5. Divide the dough into eight equal parts and roll each into a ball. Cover with the damp cloth again.
  6. Take one ball of dough and coat it in flour. Roll it out into about a 7-inch round. Place in the skillet and watch for bubbles to form on the surface. When you see bubbles turn over the chapati  and cook for another minute or so. Repeat the process with the other dough balls, cleaning out the skillet as needed. If you want to eat these right away you can brush them with the melted butter, and stack them on a plate under a dish towel to keep them warm.

I ate one chapati with peanut butter (yum) and the other with some banana slices that I cooked in a skillet with some water and brown sugar for a few minutes (and I added peanut butter – I love the stuff!). The banana flavor in these is pretty subtle but they are a tad sweet which makes them ideal for breakfast/snack/dessert.

Source: Adapted from a recipe in the Washington Post, via the Pioneer Press

Cinnamon Sugar Apple Chips

I’m going out of town this week (NYC and Duluth, MN) and thought I’d aim for posting two recipes this weekend as I don’t think I’ll have time to make and post one next weekend.

This is another autumn-y recipe that I’m making in the spring because 1) I like apple chips and 2) I’m always looking for healthy, portable snacks that I can take with me to work or when I’m out and about. I made my first batch a few weeks ago and they didn’t turn out well – they were still really chewy. This batch turned out much better – light and crispy. In fact, I’ve eaten almost half of them already and they only came out of the oven a few hours ago.

Cinnamon Sugar Apple ChipsApple Chip Close Up

Ingredients

  • 2-4 apples
  • cinnamon
  • granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200° F.
  2. Line baking sheets (one sheet will hold approximately one average-sized  apple) with parchment paper.
  3. Rinse and core the apples. Thinly slice the apples with a mandolin or a sharp knife.
  4. Place the apple slices in a single layer on the baking sheets and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  5. Bake for 1 hour, the turn the apple slices ad bake for another 1.5 hours. You can sprinkle them with more cinnamon and sugar after turning if you wish.
  6. Turn the oven off and let the apple slices sit in the oven for 1 hour to crisp up.

I used two types of apples, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious, and found that I liked the tart flavor of the Granny Smith better. The Golden Delicious apples don’t have a ton of flavor to begin with, and they seem to have even less after they’ve been baked. You can make this healthier by omitting the cinnamon and sugar, but I think they add a nice complementary flavor, especially if you use tart apples.

Source: Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Spicy Tofu and Spinach Pasta

I was low on groceries and needed to use up some tofu, so I threw together a quick dinner that ended up being delicious. So delicious that I’ve eaten it two nights in a row. This is a simple, quick dish, and you can change the amounts of the basic ingredients (tofu, spinach, pasta, and sauce) to make it fit your tastes. I’m a saucy girl (ha!), which means I like to load up on the sauce, and usually have some left over, which is great when there’s some tasty baguette to go with it.

Spicy Tofu and Spinach Pasta

Tofu Spinach Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 7 oz. firm tofu
  • a few handfuls of spinach leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked spaghetti
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup prepared marinara or pasta sauce
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes, until it’s lightly browned. Add cayenne and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  2. Remove skillet from heat and squish tofu through hands into pan. Place back on stove and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the tofu is golden brown. Add spinach, salt, and pepper, and cook until spinach is wilted.
  3. In a large bowl combine the pasta, spinach/tofu mixture, and warmed sauce. Sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan cheese.

Source: My own culinary genius. : )

Pumpkin Butter

This is a recipe that most people associate with fall, but I love pumpkin butter, so why not make it in the spring? Plus, I have another recipe in mind that will be great with pumpkin butter…

Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin Butter 1

Ingredients

  • 1 (29 oz) can pumpkin puree (about 3.5 cups)
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan stir together all of the ingredients except for the lemon juice.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  4. Allow the pumpkin butter to cool before pouring into glass jar(s), using a funnel if necessary. Refrigerate pumpkin butter and use within 2-3 weeks.

Source: Adapted from Tidy Mom

Chocolate Coconut Quinoa Cookies

Chocolate Coconut Quinoa Cookies

I’m having some friends over tomorrow night, which seemed like a good reason to finally try this recipe. These cookies came about by accident, as I neglected to note that I was supposed to let the quinoa cool before adding it to the bowl, so my chocolate chips got all melty. I think I’ll actually like this “modified” recipe better, because the chocolate flavor is present throughout the cookie  as opposed to being concentrated in bits of chocolate.

Chocolate etc Cookies 1

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (freshly cooked so it’s still warm)
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (sweetened)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks or chips (I used Hershey’s Special Dark chips)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. With a stand or handheld mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and honey until it’s light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract, and mix well.
  4. Add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time and mix until incorporated. Mix in the coconut and chocolate, then stir in the quinoa, making sure the chocolate chips/chunks get nice and melty.
  5. Place tablespoon-sized amounts of dough roughly 1-inch apart on baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until top is firm.

Source: Adapted from Food 52

Cauliflower Steaks with Farro and Raisins

When I first saw this recipe I was a bit skeptical. Having eaten cauliflower since I was a child I didn’t really believe that it could ever be tasty and/or attractive enough to be eaten as a main dish. My experience making this dish has convinced me otherwise. In fact, in slightly overcooking (ahem, burning) one of the steaks I discovered a tasty new favorite.

If you’ve never eaten farro before I recommend trying it. It’s kind of a cross between rice and barley. I bought a small microwaveable pouch so I could try it out, and I really liked it. The farro adds some great texture to the dish, and the raisins add a pop of sweetness that pairs well with the spices used on the cauliflower. One of those spices is turmeric, which supposedly has some great health benefits, but is really good at turning things a bright shade of yellow, so beware of that as you’re preparing and cooking the dish.

Cauliflower Steaks with Farro and Raisins

Cauliflower Steak 1

 

Cauliflower Steaks 2

Ingredients

  • one head of cauliflower
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 cups prepared farro
  • 1 cup raisins (use more or less depending on how much you like them, or omit completely)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower and cut the stem off, leaving the core intact. Cut the cauliflower from top to base into three 1 -inch thick steaks, starting an inch or two from one side so you get a nice long piece that holds together. Season each steak with salt and pepper on both sides. Set the rest of the cauliflower aside for another use.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Sear each steak until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Use a large spatula to transfer the steaks to a baking sheet.
  4. Whisk together the rest of the olive oil, ginger, cumin, and turmeric. Brush the mixture onto both sides of the steaks.
  5. Roast the steaks in the over until they’re tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Mix the farro with the raisins, scoop out how much you want, and top with a cauliflower steak. Enjoy!

To kick up the flavor you can cook the farro in low-sodium vegetable broth, and/or add some greens to the mix.

Source: Adapted from The Kitchn