Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Two extremely ripe bananas were the perfect excuse for another baking project, just in time to send one of my housemates on her way to a conference. Decided the bananas were sweet enough on their own, without needing to add sweetener, and judging by how happily they were gobbled down, everyone seemed to agree. Otherwise, I stuck closely to the original recipe. Thanks to Christy, from Feasting Not Fasting, for introducing us to this simply wonderful treat!

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

2 extremely ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Mash together bananas with a fork, then beat in peanut butter, vanilla, and eggs. Grind oats into flour in a food processor and combine with remaining dry ingredients, then gradually combine with the banana mixture. Preheat oven to 350°F, grease muffin tin, spoon in batter almost to the top, and bake for 15-17 minutes. Wait for a few minutes before removing from tins onto wire rack to finish cooling.

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Posted in Breads and Baked Goods, Breakfast, Gluten Free, Quick and easy, Snacks and Sweets | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Quinoa with Spinach & Parsley Pesto

Brightly flavored and brilliantly emerald green… not bad for an improvised “Plan B” meal! There’s nothing quite like basil, but this was spot-on with its distinctive pesto flavor, and chock full of spring goodness. Perfect accompaniment to the gold and magenta of the leftover soup (beets, carrots, potato, purple daikon, kale, corn, white beans, and herbs). Yum!

I didn’t measure anything but the quinoa as I was making this, but I’ve my best to approximate. Couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!

Spinach & Parsley Pesto
(Made enough to generously mix into a large bowl of quinoa, with some to spare)

1 produce bag full of spinach
1 produce bag full of parsley
2 heads garlic, peeled and sliced
About a cup of walnuts, toasted in a pan
Generous drizzle of olive oil, maybe 2-3 tablespoons
Salt to taste
Generous drizzle or two of lemon juice, maybe 2-3 tablespoons, to taste
Handful or three of asiago cheese, or parmesan if you have it (optional)

Saute garlic, then blend along with toasted walnuts in food processor. Add parsley, olive oil, salt, lemon juice, and cheese and process again. Tear spinach into smaller pieces and add to the food processor as well in batches, blending between each one. Adjust to taste and enjoy!

Posted in Garden Originals, Salads and Pilafs, Sauces, Condiments, and Dips | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Irish “Roasties,” Parsley Sauce, and Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Not a holiday I generally pay much attention to, but I always love an excuse to make a special themed meal and learn more about world cuisine! Made a simple but scrumptious lunch, inspired by the Irish flag and the veggies I had at hand. Was excited to try a completely new method of roasting potatoes, and decided to spruce up the leftover steamed carrots with a simple Irish parsley sauce. The “roasties” certainly did not disappoint. Thanks to A Pinch of Garlic for introducing me to this Irish delicacy! (It is a bit more effort than my usual method, starting from scratch, but I imagine it would be an awesome way to use leftover boiled potatoes.) The parsley sauce was the perfect accompaniment to the carrots, and together with fresh arugula and egg salad, made for a bright, colorful, delightful meal.

For some reason, our Friday bread delivery never arrived… which provided me the opportunity to make Irish soda bread for supper instead. Bread doesn’t get simpler or quicker than this. I was a bit nervous whether it would turn out too dry or bland, since it was entirely whole grain and so minimalistic, but it couldn’t have turned out more fluffy and flavorful. We gobbled the whole loaf down, still slightly warm from the oven and slathered in butter. Couldn’t be better! Now, if only I had remembered to set the kitchen timer, so that I knew how long it took to bake! Huge thanks to The View from Great Island (which looks like an awesome site, well worth exploring further) for the recipe!

“Roasties” (Irish Roasted Potatoes)

Bring lightly salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut potatoes into quarters or roughly even large chunks. Peel if desired (I didn’t bother, and they still turned out great by my standards.) Add to the pot of water, return to boil, then cover and turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, add about 2-4 tablespoons of oil to baking pan(s), place in oven, and preheat to 450°F. Mix together 1/4 cup cornmeal or polenta per baking pan, a few pinches of rosemary, and a little salt and pepper, around 1/4 teaspoon per pan.

Drain and rinse potatoes, then return to pot and cook, covered, over low heat for a couple minutes, shaking pot back and forth, until dried and a little roughed up. Toss with the heated oil in the pan, coat with corn mixture, and bake for 25-40 minutes, until nicely crispy on the outside. Enjoy!

Parsley Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour (I used whole wheat)
1-2 cups milk
Chopped parsley stalks and thyme leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
Minced parsley leaves

Melt butter and whisk in flour until it takes on a wonderful nutty aroma. Add milk, parsley stalks, and thyme and simmer gently, whisking frequently, until it begins to thicken. Adjust seasoning as necessary, pour over carrots, or whatever your heart desires, and garnish with fresh parsley leaves. Yum!

Irish Soda Bread

2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cup buttermilk (I used yogurt slightly thinned with water)

Combine dry, fold in liquid, and let rest for several hours, if possible. May seem dry at first, but resist adding additional liquid right away, as the flour will continue to soak up the liquid as it sits. Preheat oven and an un-greased cast iron pan to 425°F. Form dough into a round or oval loaf, cut deep cross across the top, and bake at 425 for 25-45 minutes, until sounds hollow at bottom/toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on rack for 10-20 minutes, then serve still warm, if possible, with plenty of butter!

Posted in Breads and Baked Goods, Casseroles and Baked Dishes, Gluten Free, Holidays, Quick and easy, Sauces, Condiments, and Dips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment