We’ve all had leftover bananas. I bet you even have some sitting on your counter right now. Surrounded by fruit flies. Don’t you just hate that???
Summer fruit flies kill me. I’ve tried every trick in the book! (And if you have any others, send them my way!). I can’t have my bananas sitting on the counter, so I’ve got to think up ways to use them up. The thing is though, I’m not the biggest banana person. I like bananas – freshly ripe and creamy. But when I start to mix them into other foods – I get picky.
I make pancakes for breakfast at least once a week – my kids can’t get enough. Even my husband has gotten in on the pancake fun as we explore creative flavors. These are our favorite!
When I served these up for breakfast one weekday morning, I got a 2 out of 3 from the kiddies (since one of them detests bananas, and there was no hiding them here!)
The great thing about this recipe is that they’re not altogether bad for you. Chock full of oats and potassium-rich bananas, they offer more than the standard pancake – and they’re even dairy-free! Although if you want to go even healthier, try these incredible 4-ingredient Paleo banana pancakes from kitchen-tested. They’re amazing!
Banana Oat Pancakes
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup mashed banana (from 2 large)
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 cup coconut milk
coconut oil, for frying cinnamon honey walnut butter, for serving
sliced bananas and maple syrup, for serving
In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder and cinnamon and whisk to incorporate. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, banana, egg, oil and milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just incorporated. Melt coconut oil in a frying pan and fry the pancakes until golden on both sides.
NOTE: adjust sweetener, as needed, depending on the ripeness of your bananas.
It feels like forever since I’ve posted real recipes! I’ve been so busy with the ebook, cooking demos and traveling abroad that I haven’t had a chance to really get in the kitchen. Luckily, I have a few recipes that I’ve been saving for days like these, and I’m finally digging them up.
Making your own nut butter is a lot easier than it looks. And the possibilities are endless! Almond butter, peanut butter, pecan butter, hazelnut butter (hello nutella!)….there are so many to choose from! Some people opt to soak and dehydrate their nuts before processing (it makes it easier to digest, improves the flavor, and removes bitterness), but that just takes the easy out of it! I go the quick route – blend, blend and blend some more until they go from piecey to mealy to ground to creamy…yummy! Stay tuned for the perfect compliment to this butter – banana oat pancakes, coming to the blog next week!
Cinnamon Honey Walnut Butter
7 oz. raw walnuts
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toast the walnuts for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant. Be careful not to let them burn! Set aside to cool. Place walnuts in a food processor and blend until mealy. Scrape down the sides and continue to process until creamy and smooth. Add salt, honey and cinnamon and blend until incorporated. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
VARIATION: use maple syrup instead of honey or add melted chocolate.
If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Instagram, you probably know that I’ve been doing the Whole30 diet. Ever since I had baby #4 back in October, shedding the pregnancy pounds has not been easy. My go-to weightloss plan has always been The South Beach Diet, but it just wasn’t working for me this time around. I guess as we get older, our bodies change and what may have worked for us in our twenties, just doesn’t cut it during the big 3-0.
I had been seeing the Whole30 plastered all over Instagram and I was curious to see if it would work for me. My friend Melinda of Kitchen-Tested was raving about the diet, and after pushing it off for some time, I finally took the plunge! I chronicled my Whole30 diet via social media, sharing my meals for everyone to see. It held me accountable and made me feel like I had to stick to the program, or else I had a lot of people to answer to!
One of my biggest rules of dieting is to eat well. If I munch on salad greens every day, I feel deprived, miserable and hungry! On the other hand, when I take the time out to prepare a satisfying meal, I feel full and I don’t end up with cravings. Three meals a day becomes more than enough and I don’t feel the need to snack in between.
And so, each day, I challenged myself to come up with exciting recipes and dishes. Omelettes certainly became boring over time, so I turned to one of my favorite dishes – shakshuka. I prepared jalapeno shakshuka, marinara shakshuka and even meat shakshuka! But I really hit the jackpot with this incredible spaghetti squash shakshuka. The strands of spaghetti squash coated in runny egg yolk is so spectacular, you feel like you’re eating something so indulgent – and you are!
Dishes like these carried me through the Whole30 without a single mistep. I originally went on the diet to lose weight, but I never imagined the amazing after-effects that 30 days without sugar, dairy, carbs, legumes or alcohol would bring. Yes, I lost 8 lbs, but even better than that was that my sugar-cravings all but disappeared and I never feel the need to snack anymore. I eat when I’m hungry – and I eat well, but that is all! I feel so in control of my eating habits, and I don’t crave that added drizzle of honey or the teaspoon of sugar that I once did. In fact, just a few days after I completed my Whole30, I spent Shavuot with friends where I was surrounded by dairy delicacies and delicious dishes of all kinds. When I tried to eat a salad that had a sweet salad dressing, I was so overwhelmed by it’s cloying nature that I literally could not swallow it. There is no question that the Whole30 changed my taste towards food and my attitude as well. I much prefer savory to sweet now, in fact I plan to continue following the Whole30 diet until I lose another 20 lbs. After that, I will transition to a Paleo diet (the Whole30 is based on it, it just has more restrictions).
One of the other great outcomes of the Whole30 diet, is something I could have never imagined. When I began posting photos of all of the delicious meals I was preparing, the requests for recipes poured in. At first, I shared the recipes under the photos, but after a few days I realized, why don’t I just compile a 30-day meal plan? And so, without much ado, my Paleo ebook was born! Writing a cookbook has seemed so far away for the longest time – and a real, physical, turn-the-page kind of cookbook might be. But this ebook has allowed me to share over 100 recipes without nearly as much work as a hardcover book would be. I am still working on the last bit of edits and recipe testing, but the ebook should be available within the next 2 weeks! Stay tuned for more details in my upcoming posts and look out for the #Paleoebook hashtag via social media. I think I smell a giveaway.
Spaghetti Squash Shakshuka
1 leek (white and pale green part only)
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bag baby spinach
1/2 spaghetti squash (how to roast spaghetti squash)
splash of vegetable stock (about a 1/4 cup)
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh parsley, for garnish
Feta cheese, optional
Saute leek and garlic in olive oil until softened. Add baby spinach and continue to saute until wilted. Add spaghetti squash and vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper. Make wells in the squash and crack eggs in each well. Cook until eggs are set (it helps to cover the pot). Sprinkle with parsley and feta, if desired.
I don’t know if I’ve ever walked you through the BIB process before, but I think it’s about time. Let me start by telling you that my posts don’t happen in realtime. If you want to follow what I’m cooking/eating now, check out my Instagram feed or follow me on Facebook. As for the blog, the stuff you see here may or may not have been cooked weeks, or even months, ago. Case in point: I did not make this decadent s’mores oatmeal for breakfast today (I am currently on the Whole30 diet cleanse!). I didn’t make it yesterday, or even last week. I made it back on December 24th – last year! Even I can’t believe it’s been that long! Why has it taken me so long to post? Read on.
As you might imagine, blogging takes up lots of time. From testing the recipes to photographing them – there are hours of work involved. Hours, that I don’t usually have with 4 kids in tow. So instead of cooking and photographing every day, I usually reserve a day for a full-fledged cookingfest. I’ll make and photograph 3 or 4 recipes at a time and save them on my computer to post at a later date. I usually invite over some family or friends to share the bounty!
When I have a handful of recipes saved, plus some ideas for future ones, I set up a blogging calendar that I fill up between holidays. Sometimes, recipes get lost in the shuffle, especially when I have to squeeze in holiday-related posts some 2 weeks before it begins. This is one such recipe, and I’m sorry it’s taken so long. I guarantee it was worth waiting for!
Breakfast could not get any better than rich and creamy chocolate oatmeal topped with toasted marshmallows and crushed grahams. The best part is, you get to make it from scratch, so it’s not full of ingredients you can’t pronounce, like all those funky flavors in the store. I love that you get to deguiltify the whole smores-for-breakfast thing by incorporating into a healthy dish like oatmeal. After all, who said oatmeal has to be boring?
1 cup quick cooking oats (see note)
1 3/4 c milk
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp sugar or sweetener of choice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 handful mini marshmallows
2 tbsp chocolate syrup
1 graham cracker, crushed
warm milk, for serving
Bring milk to simmer , stir in oats and salt and cook for 1 minute. Stir in cocoa, sugar and vanilla and stir to combine. Divide oatmeal between 2 ramekins and top with marshmallows. Broil for 1 minute, until marshmallows are toasted. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and top with crushed graham crackers. Serve with warm milk.
NOTE: You can adapt the recipe to use old fashioned or steel cut oatmeal. Just prepare according to package directions (adjust milk amount, as needed) and proceed as above.
TIP: To avoid the cocoa from clumping inside the oatmeal, whisk it with the sugar to break up the lumps before adding, or, dissolve it in a bit of water.
They say necessity is the mother of invention and I guess that’s how this recipe came to be. I mean, you can’t say you’ve really tried every type of egg dish over Passover until you’ve tried scrambled hard-boiled eggs, right?
My mother has been making these on Passover for as long as I can remember. She learned to make them from my grandmother, who learned to make them from her mother. I’m not sure if this is a traditional Hungarian dish, or if my great-grandmother invented it. I imagine there wasn’t much else to eat back in Europe besides for eggs and potatoes, with a little chicken or meat on the side, if they were lucky. So creativity with eggs and potatoes was a must. How else can you explain adding hard boiled eggs to runny scrambled ones?
Eggs on eggs might sound kind of weird. Ok, it does sound really weird, but trust me when I tell you that these scrambled hard-boiled eggs are incredibly delicous. Adding hard-boiled eggs to the scrambled ones make this dish substantial enough to serve for lunch, with a side of salad or matza and cheese.
Scrambled hard-boiled eggs is just one of the interesting recipes my family whips up with eggs over Pesach. There’s also our sweet nut omelette that we’d whip up for breakfast and the mock chopped liver that begins with some deeply caramelized onions.
Aside from eggs and potatoes, sauteed onions are the other quintessential Passover ingredient. Since we don’t use spices or processed ingredients over the holiday, sauteed onions are a crucial base for adding flavor to every dish. These scrambled hard-boiled eggs are no exception.
Scrambled Hard-Boiled Eggs
2 tbsp oil or shmaltz
1 small onion, thinly sliced into half rings
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and mashed
4 raw eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
Saute the onions in oil until deeply golden and caramelized. Add the mashed eggs and saute for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. whisk the raw eggs and season with salt and pepper, Pour over the cooked eggs mixture and stir until scrambled but still slightly wet (but not runny). Serve immediately.