Monday, October 31, 2011

Food Prep=Quick Meals

Quick Veggie and Chicken Sausage Stir Fry

Preparing food ahead of time really pays off during the week when you may be hungry, in a hurry and often times BOTH! This is often the case with me but by having a bunch of food prepped and waiting in the fridge I was able to quickly pull together a delicious, healthy lunch in less than 15 from start to finish, including clean-up!
Check it:
Chicken Sausage cooked ahead and sliced 

Pre-sliced Mushrooms, Bell Peppers, Onion & Baby Spinach

Brown Rice! I make a batch of brown rice cooked in my broth of choice. It keeps well in the refrigerator so I can just scoop out a serving, heat and serve!
1. Drizzle 1-2 tsp of your fave olive oil (I love garlic flavor from the Olive Gallery) in a pan.
Heat over medium high heat.
2. When pan is hot add the *bell peppers and onions. Sautee' for 1-2 minutes.
3. Add the sliced chicken sausage.
4. Add a serving of brown rice. Stir for 1-2 minutes.
5. Add the mushrooms and sautee' for another minute.
6. Add the *spinach last. It just needs to be stirred til it begins to wilt!
*Add as much or as little vegetables as you want...You can never have too many veggies!
Serve! So Easy and delicious! Make this vegan by omitting the meat and adding other veggies and/or beans!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Banana Bread

Banana bread! Who doesn't love this delicious, warm comfort food that feels so homey? I know I do and it's been a very long time since I made a loaf. So, yesterday my daughter and I were on a mission to use as many of the over ripe, frozen bananas we had waiting in the freezer for just this occasion. I  found three recipes that were different enough from each other and sounded good. I then went and modified each a bit here and there. I will post my modifications at the end of each recipe.

 Upper Left: Protein Banana Bread. Upper Right: Traditional Banana Bread from Better Homes and Garden Cookbook (modified). Front Center: Oatmeal Banana Bread.

The first recipe, protein banana bread, was found on the Eat Clean Diet website! 

#1 Protein Banana Bread
  • 1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup Stevia or sweetener of your choice
  • 3 scoops vanilla whey protein powder *
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites*
  • 1 cup mashed banana (2-3 small bananas)
  • 1/4 cup water*
  • 3.9 oz applesauce (unsweetened, natural)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

    *My modifications: I used chocolate protein powder, that's what I had on hand & I used one whole egg instead of two egg whites, I used Almond milk instead of water.


Step 1: Preheat Oven to 350
Step 2: Mix all ingredients together.
Step 3: Pour into a greased 8"x4" pan.
Step 4: Bake for 40 minutes or until a tooth pick can be stabbed into the middle of the loaf and pulls out clean with no dough sticking to it.

Nutrition Facts
(I got 14 pieces): Cals: 65, Fat: 1.6 g, Carbs: 6.2 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2.5 g, Protein: 8 g I used a Whey Isolate Protein - zero fat & sugar, 1 carb & 30 grams of protein per scoop.

*My modifications: I used chocolate protein powder, that's what I had on hand & I use one whole egg instead of two egg whites!

#2 Traditional Banana Bread

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 mashed, ripe bananas
  • 2/3 cup sugar*
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts*My modifications: I used whole wheat flour & brown sugar.


  1. Oil the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and set aside.
  2. In another bowl combine egg, bananas, sugar, cooking oil. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in nuts if desired.
  3. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven 50-55 minutes or till a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool on rack.

    Servings Per Recipe: 16
    Amount Per Serving:
    Calories 157.4
    Calories from Fat 56
    Total Fat 6.2 g
    Saturated Fat 0.8 g
    Cholesterol 11.6 mg
    Sodium 76.9 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 24.0 g
    Dietary Fiber 1.1 g
    Sugars 12.2 g
    Protein 2.4 g 
    #3 Banana Oatmeal Bread
  • 1 1/2 cups flour*
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk*
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil*
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla 
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • cooking spray *My modifications: I used 3/4 cup whole wheat flour & 3/4 unbleached all purpose flour. I did not have buttermilk so I found a buttermilk alternative at Joy The Baker which called for a 3 to 1 ratio of yogurt (I used plain Greek yogurt) to milk (I used skim). Last, I used extra virgin olive oil.  


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Combine banana, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a small bowl or measuring cup.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
  5. Spoon batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool on a wire rack, in the pan, for about 15 minutes (I left mine in longer and it was fine).

    Servings Per Recipe: 12
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 210.6
    Calories from Fat 56
    Total Fat 6.2 g
    Saturated Fat 1.0 g
    Cholesterol 31.2 mg
    Sodium 139.8 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 34.3 g
    Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
    Sugars 13.8 g
    Protein 4.7 g
Bread Ratings:
#1 Protein Banana Bread. This one was our least favorite in terms of taste and texture. It was very dense and not as flavorful. I use stevia for a lot of things but I don't really like to bake with sugar alternatives (even though it's considered "clean") because it really alters the taste, in my opinion. However, the nutritional values are great!
#2 Traditional. This one had the most banana flavor. Although I used whole wheat flour here it was still moist, fluffy and definitely sweeter.
#3 Oatmeal Banana Bread. This one was really good too. I liked the addition of oatmeal and the yogurt I used instead of buttermilk. Overall, very good. 
Please take note of the nutritional values. They are for the original recipes, not my modifications. ALSO, each recipe yields different servings per recipe. While #3 has higher values it also states the least amount of servings per recipe!!!
My family liked #3 then #2. #1 was their least favorite! I personally don't mind the #1 simply because of the nutritional values. I'll be bringing this one to work with me this week since I doubt anyone else in the house will be eating it anyway and that's fine with me!

***As with anything...too much of a good thing is still too much! So, ENJOY your banana bread but be mindful of what a serving is and how it fits into your daily nutritional needs!