Friday, September 27, 2013

Carrot Banana Bread

Now that fall is here, it pretty much is baking season and what better way to initiate it with this simple and healthier bread. This Carrot Banana bread is soft, moist, nutrient dense, and delicious! It is drizzled with a nice thin greek yogurt sauce and sprinkled with sliced almonds or walnuts if desired. This is great for a breakfast pairing with your daily cup of joe, for a mid-afternoon snack or special little treat, and note it also freezes well. I baked this in a bundt pan but you can certainly just use a bread loaf pan or muffins, which I also did also.

Carrot Banana Bread: makes 2 bread loafs, 1 bundt cake + muffins

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups shredded carrots (3 large)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 bananas, mashed (1 cup)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Greek yogurt frosting:
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tablspoons coconut milk or any milk
1/4 cup powdered sugar
slivered almonds for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking pan/s and set aside.
  •  In a large bowl, combine together dry ingredients: flours, ground flaxseed baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, combine mashed bananas, shredded carrot, sugar, coconut oil, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir until well thorougly mixed.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until moistened. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and edges are slightly browned.
  • Mix together yogurt sauce ingredients & keep in fridge until bread is ready.
  •  Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the bread from the pan. Let cool completely before drizzling yogurt sauce on top. Sprinkle with almonds and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Kellie!

Today is the birthday of one of the most remarkable women I know, my oldest sister, Kellie. She is seriously one of the most kindest, generous, ambitious, and supportive person I have ever met, as she always puts others before herself, all the while fulfilling her dreams and more. In any situation she always sees the positive and benefits as to what can come out of it or how to use it to your agvantage. She always takes every opportunity captive in order to improve herself and that of others. Not only that, but she is constantly in route to help and care for others, her compassionate heart is overflowing. Kellie has truly been the rock in keeping our family so close and to her I am so grateful for that. She has taught me so many things from the basic life skills to implementing career goals. She has a solid understanding of who she is and that confidence radiates beauty.  She honestly uses her talents, skills, and resources to help others. I hope that one day I can be half the woman that she is, she has indeed helped mold me into who I am today, and I owe so much to her for that. She is one of a kind and true blessing to all those around her, she impacts the lives of many with her character. Thank you Kellie for being such incredible woman and truly making a fingerprint in society with your hardwork, generousity, compassion, and skills. Happy Birthday! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lasagna Roll-ups

These are a perfect meal as it includes a a classic Italian favorite but in an easier and individual fashion, plus easier to freeze to use for later. These are still filled with those delicious flavors of a lasagna, but this makes for a fun new way to serve it & especially helps for you to not eat too much! I made this recipe just using the basics, but feel free to spice it up with adding in different vegetables, cheeses, herbs etc. It's also nice because you can cater the rolls to your entire family if perhaps one person doesn't like ricotta, just stuff it with a different mixture while still serving the classic to easily satisfy everyone's needs.

Lasagna Roll-ups: (9 servings)
9 lasagna noodles
1 jar of red pasta sauce (to top)
1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded

Ricotta Mixture:
15 oz  low-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped spinach
1 egg
salt and fresh pepper

Meat Mixture:
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1-2 tomatoes, diced
1/4-1/2 cup tomato paste
2 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
Pinch of garlic or garlic salt
salt (optional)

  • Boil a large pot of water to cook noodles about 5-7 minutes, until soft enough, but not thoroughly cooked, in order to roll without breaking. 
  • Chop ingredients necessary. In a large skillet, heat olive oil in pan & toss in onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Let cook for about 5 minutes until onions are translucent. Add spices, let rest for 1 minute. Add meat and let cook until browned. Combine with tomato paste and let sit until thick.
  • In a large bowl,  combine ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, 1 egg, spices, until thoroughly mixed.
  • Place noodle on surface, layer with cheese mixture first, then meat mix, and roll.
  • You can either place on a lined pan to place in the freezer for an 1hr to set, then place in plastic bags to save and use for later. 
  • Place in a baking sheet with a thin layer of sauce at the bottom, lasagna roll, more sauce, and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Bake in oven at 375 F degrees for 25-30 minutes. 
  • Note: be sure to cover roll with sauce completely while baking so the ends are soft & not crunchy.



Monday, September 2, 2013

Avocado Chicken Quinoa & Vegetable Lettuce Wraps

These wraps are a light & refreshing meal that are sure to satisfy, especially in this exhausting heat. You could simply just use the filling as a side even. Yet, I think add the wrap is a good way to amp a meal up and great way to make it a meal. This combination is bursting with flavor and texture, all the while packing in a ton of nutrients, it's a win win in my opinion. Also, easy for travel and can assemble on your picnic in the mountains are snacks at the beach. 

Avocado Chicken Quinoa & Vegetable Lettuce Wraps4-6 servings
4-6 romaine lettuce leaves
1 cup raw quinoa or 2 cups cooked
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cup corn
1 chicken breast, cooked & chopped
1 avocado
1 lime
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
1 tsp chili powder
salt & pepper
If desired roast corn in a pan until charred. Cook chicken with basic seasoning & dice. Use leftover quinoa or cook (2 to 1 ratio). Chop all the vegetables and place everything in a bowl. Drizzle sauce over the mix & toss to coat well. Serve immediately or cool as a side or with romaine lettuce leaves.