Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Coconut Banana Bread

We operate on a tight budget, and I try not to waste anything. I often find myself hunting for banana recipes, because we never seem to make it through a batch of bananas before the last two or three are too brown to eat. This recipe came from Quick Cooking, and I adapted it just a bit to suit my preferences. Boy, is it good!!! Watch the cooking time, though - mine only needed 45 minutes.

Coconut Banana Bread

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 c. mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. flaked coconut
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, combine eggs, bananas, butter, coconut, and extract. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in walnuts.

Transfer to loaf pan and bake 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Chickpea Curry

This recipe came from my friend Elle, and while it may be a carb overdose waiting to happen, it's gu-u-ud! If you can find light coconut milk, you can lessen the fat content a bit. Serve it with rice or couscous.

Chickpea Curry

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp. garlic
1 tbsp curry powder or curry paste
1 can coconut milk
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
2-3 medium red potatoes, peeled & diced
1 c green peas (optional)

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Saute onion and garlic until softened. Stir in curry; mix well and saute 2 minutes longer. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer, covered, from 45-60 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.

Serves 4.

South American Harvest Stew

Boy, it feels good to be cooking again, even though I'm sick and would rather be feeling sorry for myself in bed! I only made three dishes tonight, since spaghetti is on the menu for later this week and I don't like to make it until I'm ready to serve it. This stew, courtesy of my friend Elle, is chunky, low-fat, low-sodium, and unbelievably tasty. If you can find plain frozen winter squash, go for it - otherwise, cut it half and roast at 400 for 40-60 minutes. I used butternut, but acorn, carnival, sugar pumpkin, or golden nugget would work. Let it cool thoroughly before you try to cube it.

South American Harvest Stew

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, any color, diced
4 heaping cups cubed cooked orange winter squash
3 c. cooked corn kernels
28-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
10-oz red or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. water
2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt to taste
hot cooked rice

In a large soup pot over medium heat, warm oil. Add onion and pepper; saute until tender. Add all remaining ingredients except rice. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15-20 minutes. Serve with rice.

Serves 8

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Tropical Breakfast Quinoa

In honor of my foray into the world of vegetarians, I tried quinoa (pronounced keen-wa, in case you were wondering). The seed/grain (not sure exactly how to classify it) doesn't have a great deal of flavor, but it is a complete protein, and tastes pretty good in this experiment I put together this morning. Next time I'm going to add bananas.

Tropical Breakfast Quinoa

1/2 c. quinoa
1 c. water
3 Tbsp. craisins
3 Tbsp. dried pineapple, chopped
1 Tbsp. coconut
1 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
Sugar or splenda to taste, optional

Thoroughly rinse quinoa (this is important - otherwise it can have an icky bitter taste). Bring quinoa and water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer until water is absorbed. If desired, add sugar or splenda to sweeten. Serves 2.