Monday, March 3, 2014

3/1-3/3: Weekend Highlights and a Banana Bread Recipe

Greetings from our winter wonderland.
Despite the fact that it is now March, we got hit with yet another round of freezing rain, sleet, and snow yesterday. 

Due to the weather, it was a pretty low key weekend.  The highlight was an 80th birthday dinner celebration for my grandma on Saturday night.  We enjoyed a delicious meal with around 20 family members and close friends.
I ordered the chili relleno stuffed with quinoa and goat cheese.  It was really flavorful and tasty, as were the soup, salad, and dessert courses.  
I loved this adorable dessert sampler that offered a little bite of everything.  It was just the right size. 

I would have liked to see more of my out-of-town family yesterday, but the weather really hindered our ability to leave the house.  Instead, Jay and I did some major cleaning and laundry, started the second season of House of Cards (there was a big shocker in that first episode!), and rented Captain Phillips.  I am not usually a fan of action movies (guns and explosions make me fall asleep), but this one was really good.  It was so suspenseful and kept my attention the entire time.   

I also finally did something with the slew of overripe bananas that have been in our freezer forever. I tried a new banana bread recipe based on ingredients I had on-hand (inspired by a recipe in my Peas and Thank You cookbook). It turned out really good and hearty, and the whole house smelled amazing all afternoon!
Hearty Vegan Banana Bread

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 cups overripe bananas
1/2 vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond milk
nuts and seeds to sprinkle on top (I used chia and flax seeds)

1) Pre-heat oven to 350.
2) In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg
3) In a medium-sized bowl, cream together brown sugar, coconut oil, and peanut butter using hand mixer, and add mashed bananas. Add vanilla extract and milk and stir to combine.
4) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
5) Spray loaf pan with cooking spray, spread batter evenly and sprinkle desired nuts and seeds on top.
6) Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

This recipe would also be delicious with a handful of chocolate chips or chopped walnuts stirred in to the batter.

I ate two pieces this morning topped with honey and cinnamon. Yum!
For dinner last night, I made my favorite black rice risotto recipe and served it inside/atop a roasted butternut squash. This was the I-have-plenty-of-time-to-make-dinner version of the shortcut butternut squash risotto I shared last week.

There is no school today, so it will probably be another relaxing day at home.  I am not complaining!  Stay warm out there!

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