Banana Bread Muffins (Vegan)

As you know, I am always on the lookout for a new banana bread recipe. Here’s another successful one ūüôā . It has a nice crumb texture and it is not too sweet. Now a change of subject…Recounting the number of health/food memes that exploded on ripe bananas, you may have already seen the hype on the anti-cancer substance “Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)”. If not, the memes basically rave about the increase in TNF in ripe bananas, and implies a cure-all to cancer with banana consumption.¬†If you are intrigued with science and health, you may have found it as amazing as I did. Continue reading

Easy At-Home Breads

It’s been a while since I posted a recipe. I am currently away from home but I still want to post these recipes that were made a couple of weeks ago.

1. Whole Foods’ Cranberry Walnut Bread I follow 13 going on 30’s recipe.I prefer making the recipe without cinnamon and it’s easy to add in any extra nuts, seeds or dried fruit.

¬†2.¬† Whole Foods’ Seeduction Bread

I follow the recipe from Taste Book but omit the egg, wheat gluten and 10 grain cereal. I also use 2 cups of whole wheat flour + 1 cup all-purpose flour wheat and 1 cup of all-purpose flour instead.
3. Whole Wheat Ciabatta Bread
Although this one takes a bit longer to rise, it is one of the easiest breads to make.
Whole Wheat Ciabatta Bread
Yield: 2 loaves

2  1/ 4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp dry active yeast

1 1/2 cup warm water
1 tbsp olive oil

Dried herbs + black pepper for garnishing

1. Combine flour, salt, sugar and yeast in one bowl. In another, combine the water and oil.
2. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Mix just enough to incorporate everything. Cover and let it rise for 18 hours.
3. On a floured surface, fold the sides of the bread inwards. Then the top and bottom inwards. Continue folding a few more times. Cover and let it rise again for 2 hours.
4. Divide the dough in 2. Shape as you like. Make a slit on each loaf. Top with dried herbs, spices.
5. Bake at 375 degrees F for 40-45 minutes.

Bread Making Craze

Well hello there. Things have been so busy…and when it comes to keeping up with the blog it has been mostly lazy around here. I have so many photos, recipes and others waiting to be written but I have been putting them off for a while. Anyways I am in a good mood today, so I will try to cram in as many things as possible. The clock just passed midnight and technically it is June 29, but I am writing for June 28 ūüôā

Breakfast was a load of berries, beet juice, vegan brownie and a slice of homemade bread.

I have been trying to use up the rice flour wraps by filling them with salads of some sort. For lunch I used mixed salad, avocado, cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries and balsamic vinegar. And to drink was the other half of beet juice from breakfast.

The book from the second-hand store in Waterloo is the coolest dictionary ever. I am a nerd for this content, but it’s not the same as reading a novel. I am using it to decipher the ingredients on packaged things in the kitchen. The thought of bringing it to a grocery store is nice…but I probably will leave it home most of the time because it is quite chunky. C’mon….this is pretty neat. I have been on the roll with making bread for the past few weeks. Ever since trying Whole Food’s cranberry walnut bread I have been testing out imitation recipes. The recipes will be up in the coming posts.

imitation of Whole Food’s cranberry walnut bread
imitation recipe of Whole Food’s Seeduction bread

Today I baked my first whole wheat ciabatta bread. It seems like most recipes online are very similar and it is surprisingly simple. Combine the dry ingredients:  3 and 1/4 cup of flour, a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of sugar and 1+1/2 tsp of yeast with the wet ingredients: 1+ 1/2 cup warm water and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.   It had to rest for 18 hours then again for another 2 hours. Baked for 30 minutes and voila it is airy on the inside and crusty on the exterior.

Dinner was leftovers of sauteed kale and a concoction of quinoa with marinara sauce, chickpeas, zucchini and eggplant. I had some chocolate banana oat cookies right before dinner too. The 2 ingredient recipe is from Blogilates, a must try!
On a small note, about a week ago I acquired this painful misfortune from a fork while using it to juice a lemon. It wasn’t the first time juicing a lemon but I was probably in a rush.
Well, the good news is that it is scabbing up and healing quickly. Lesson learned, forks can be dangerous.

Pumpkin in Your Tummy- 3 Ways

Today was National Dessert Day. I happily indulged in some homemade larabars that I prepared a few days ago. Extra fudgy mmm…It was also my birthday, happy birthday to me. How beautiful is this set of flowers. Thank you to my friends April and Jenn for this special surprise.

The upcoming week will be a busy week in terms of school, I pretty much spent the day on my butt and giving it my all to avoid distractions. Last weekend was an amazing few days spent in Waterloo with my friends Mavis and Jona. I count that as my blessed birthday present.

And exactly one week ago was Thanksgiving here in Canada, which means…pumpkin! There are 3 recipes I will be sharing.

The first one is this pumpkin loaf. I mentioned in the last post that I found this recipe at the farmers market. After making some changes to the recipe and baking it at home, I am very happy with how it came out. It was not too sweet and was very moist and dense. Continue reading

Nectarine Salad with Roasted Tomatoes & Zimt Chocolate

Hello, I’m back! I finished a couple of midterms this week and I am enjoying my time so far as I am spending the weekend in Waterloo to I am visiting my dear friends. I brought along a batch of pumpkin loaf. The farmer’s market near school this week was featuring pumpkin loaf and I was smitten after trying a sample.

I left the recipe at home so I will be posting it when I get back. Sadly, tomorrow evening will be the end of this lovely weekend. This morning we had the pumpkin loaf for breakfast and a few surprise (not to mention delicious) vegan treats from Jona and Mavis for my soon to come birthday. For most of the afternoon we visited an Italian grocery store and walked around the uptown district. Hopefully I will be able to post about it another time. We cooked ourselves dinner and for dessert, we had the left over vegan treats (vegan brownie, black bean chocolate cake and date square), and Jona taught me how to make chocolate covered orange peels. They smell fantastic, but we will wait until tomorrow morning to taste them.

As for the chocolate I mentioned previously, they are from Zimt Artisian Chocolates. I had a wonderful time exploring around the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival. As bummed as I was for not remembering to bring my camera with me, I had so much fun sampling everything and speaking to people.

I stumbled on a few raw chocolate companies but I was most intrigued by Zimt’s, a Vancouver based chocolate company. Their products are also organic, fair-trade, raw and vegan. I enjoyed speaking to the founder, Emma Smith who was very open to answering the many questions I bombarded her with. She assured me that her chocolate would taste different than most raw chocolates, without that sandy grainy-like texture. I was convinced‚ÄĒI love when people have complete confidence in their products. It was true, it definitely had a unique soft taste and nothing was brittle at all. The secret ingredient, although not so secret is coconut nectar. Yummy yummy!

On top of the chocolate bars I took home, I got a smackaroon. It was to die for, and the best part was that it was guilt free! Chocolate makes me happy, so I was in a terrific mood after this macaroon.

source: http://zimtartisanchocolates.blogspot.ca/

My recent go-to salad in September has been something like this concoction. I love the colour appeal and the different textures. The highlight of the salad is the nectarine, I added in roasted tomatoes because I had them on hand. Some people prefer raw tomatoes and that is just as good.

Serving: 1

In the salad was:
-chopped romaine salad
-1 nectarine, sliced
-sliced bell pepper
-1 handful raisins
-1 handful walnuts
-roasted grape tomatoes (as much as prefered, I used about 8 tomatos )

If roasting tomatoes: cut them in half, season with salt, pepper and preferred herbs, and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Put them in the oven for 10-15 minutes. You can add in the juices on top of the salad.
I also added a splash of balsamic vinegar, but any other sauces would be just as good.

It’s about time to go to bed.¬† Happy Thanksgiving weekend to the Canadian folks and anybody else who will be celebrating it soon!

Moist Banana Walnut Bread

I will be heading to Michigan this weekend with my family and snacks will be needed. This afternoon I finally set out to make the banana walnut bread using the recipe from the book, 100 Foods To Stay Young.  Food #91 to stay young by is walnuts.  Some interesting facts from the book says:

-walnut shells are used in facial cleansers, as paint thickeners, to clean metals and as explosive fillers. And the inner husk is used for making strong brown dye.
-walnuts are a good source of ellagic acid, an antioxidant that possesses some anti-cancer properties.
-walnuts are high in zinc, selenium and phytosterols.
-walnuts are high in omega 3 fatty acids and omega 9 fatty acids. They help prevent clogging of arteries, arteriosclerosis, heart disease and stroke. Continue reading

Potato/Spinach Cheese Knish

Offices, dental appointments, doctor’s offices all have¬†something¬†in common. Magazines. Loads of them. It is always nice to find an interesting recipe or something you have not tried before.

I rediscovered one of those torn pages from Saveur magazine, with a recipe for knishes. But I wanted to confine the internet for other options. I do not know much about these, but from what was found online knishes are savoury-filled turnovers popularized by Jewish immigrants. They turned out great, and the dough was fluffy and chewy. Continue reading