Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Peanut butter and banana may not seem like the most traditional combination to some people, but I just can not get enough of it. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches are like my life. (Yes, I lead a thrilling life)

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If you haven’t tried a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Do it NOW. Then make this bread…

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Back to the bread, it *does* have the peanut butter and banana combo going on but the banana is truly the shining star in this recipe. The peanut butter almost just gives it a little sweetness with a tiny hint of a different nutty flavor. If you want more of a peanut taste in here, chopped up peanuts (or any other nuts) would be awesome!

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Peanut Butter Banana Bread

(Makes one loaf)

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3 bananas

2 eggs

1 little less than 1/3 cup skim milk mixed with 1 teaspoon of white vinegar (or 1/3 cup buttermilk)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together smashed bananas, peanut butter, oil, milk-vinegar mixture (or buttermilk), eggs, sugars,and vanilla extract. Once combined mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until completely combined with no streaks of flour.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for 60-75 minutes or until comes out witha few crumbs on it. If the bread is browning quicker than the middle is cooking, you can cover the top with foil partway through.

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Random Fact of the Day: In Uruguay intoxication is a legal excuse for having an accident while driving. “Please believe me officer, I really was drunk.”

 

Kale Chips

I know I am a little late on the whole kale bandwagon here butttttt..better late than never, right?

Baked Kale Chips | Beautiful Disasters

I have heard rave reviews from multiple bloggers about kale chips and have been meaning to make them since like for ever. Kale is not something that we typically have in our house, as I tend to avoid bitter, spiky-looking lettuce type leaves.

Baked Kale Chips | Beautiful Disasters

Side-note: One of my biggest pet peeves is when restaurants serve all the purple and spiky, scary looking leaves in their house or side salads. YUCK! I know that the darker leaves tend to be healthier for you, but bleeeck, I am either forced to drown them in dressing or completely avoid them. So they really do not end up being any healthier for me. Please note this fancy-pants restaurants!

Baked Kale Chips | Beautiful Disasters

Baked Kale Chips | Beautiful Disasters

This is the kale before baking, look at the next picture to see how much they shrink!

Back to kale, I decided to give this one a go the other day when I saw that they actually sell already-made kale chips at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. My thoughts were if people are really buying this stuff, then it must be tasty.

Baked Kale Chips | Beautiful Disasters

This is the kale after baking, they shrink a bit! Beware of over-seasoning

Guys, if you haven’t been convinced by the bajillion kale chip recipe pins on pinterest, or the other gazillion bloggers who have raved about kale chips, listen to me. These are the bomb.com.

Baked Kale Chips | Beautiful Disasters

No, they aren’t something you could eat for lunch (as NO chip should be ate just for lunch!); they will not leave you feeling full. What they are absolutely perfect for is when you are craving something salty or just a crunchy snack. These babies will do the trick and leave you feeling food that you got your crunch and veggies in!

Baked Kale Chips

(serves 1-2)

about 5 oz. kale, cleaned and hard stems removed

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Clean and remove stems from kale. Place kale in large bowl.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over kale, sprinkle chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt over kale. Mix everything together until kale is coated with oil and spices.
  3. Arrange kale in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in preheated oven 18-20 minutes, or until crisp. Remove from oven, let cool on rack, and enjoy!

Baked Kale Chips | Beautiful Disasters

Random Fact of the Day: A violin contains about 70 separate pieces of wood!

Zucchini Chips

Oh hello there, snack numero dos for this week.

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I have been meaning to try zucchini chips for a while now. Those of you who are half as obsessed with pinterest as I am, you’ve probably heard of/seen these before. I was a little skeptical at first, but then I figured…a chip recipe that is under 100 calories if I eat the whole batch (did that), what the heck do I have to lose? A zucchini? That’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

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Here’s the final verdict. These are super easy and a great snack, but you DO need to watch out for a couple things. It is possible to over-season these.

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Seriously, lay low on the seasoning or else you may find yourself wondering where the zucchini chip is under all the seasoning. The zucchini rounds shrink as they bake because they have such a high water content, so when they’re done baking you may wonder who snuck in your oven and stole half your chips…Fear not, they’re all [most likely] still there. Hopefully none of you have little zucchini chip stealing elves in your kitchen.

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P.S. Feel free to let your creativity flow in this recipe. You as much and whatever spices you like, and they’ll taste great. I was even thinking about a sweeter-dessertish chip sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, but then I realized I was dealing with zucchini and freaked myself out. Anyone out there daring enough to give the cinnamon-sugar zucchini chip a go?

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Zucchini Chips

(Serves 1)

1 medium sized zucchini, sliced thinly into 1/4″ rounds

cooking spray

2 Tablespoons paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

3 teaspoons BBQ seasoning (I used my classic recipe)

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne red pepper

1 Tablespoon sea salt

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray an oven-proof wire rack with cooking spray and place on cooking sheet. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine spices except sea salt. When spices are thoroughly combined, lightly coat (be sure to not get too excited on seasoning your zucchini rounds, they shrink in the oven so your zucchini chip will not need as much seasoning as you may think) each zucchini round in spice mixture. After each piece is lightly coated, place on prepared oven-proof rack. Sprinkle sea salt over top of arranged rounds.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, watch carefully to be sure chips don’t burn. Let cool for about a minute and enjoy!

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Random Fact of the Day: Fingernails grow fastest on the hand you favor.

“After School Snack” Smoothie

It may sound weird, but one of the things that I am most about graduating this year is the fact that I will finally be able to eat lunch at my own time.

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Any guesses on my absurd lunch time this year?

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9:45 AM.

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Yep…if it was my choice I would not even be awake at that time! 9:45…who seriously would ever think that is somewhat close to a normal lunch time?! Anyways, I eat my lunch like an obedient little student, and then by my final class of the day it sounds like my stomach is playing it’s theme song. Yes, I could bring snacks and save some of my lunch for later, but something about being the only one in class, making all the eating and chewing noises pushes me away a little. So there is my life problem in a nut shell for you. It’s a torturous life, but someone’s got to live it (sarcasm..)

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So here is a wonderful smoothie I love to make that energizes me and fills me up when I get home. If I woke up early enough, this would be awesome as a breakfast smoothie before I take off to school, but I guess you can’t win em all. One of my favorite things about this smoothie is that it is 100% fruit, and with the frozen banana, a creamy smoothie is made!

“After School Snack” Smoothie

(Serves 1)

1/2 cup sliced, frozen bananas

1/4 cup blackberries

1/3 cup blueberries

1/4 cup juice (I used cranberry-grape juice, but grape or cranberry on their own would work well, this juice is not totally necessary)

  1. In a blender, blend together all the ingredients until smooth and you don’t hear the frozen bananas making a ruckus anymore.

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Random Fact of the Day: On some Caribbean islands, the oysters can climb trees.

Layered Zucchini Parmesan

I have to say, zucchini has shocked me. I never fully appreciated zucchini until recently.

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Zucchini is an awesome and super beneficial vegetable that is low in calories, aids in digestion, maintains low blood sugar, curbs overeating, provides fiber for your diet, has plenty of vitamins A and C which act as powerful antioxidants, and provides you with loads of potassium. Zucchini can be easily “sneaked” into baked breads and whatnot, aaaand it also tastes great in savory dishes like the one I’m sharing with you all today.

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You will fall in love with this zucchini parmesan. You’re going to want to make a big dish of this if you are serving it for your family. It is a good idea to double the recipe if you are planning on serving this as a meal with a salad and bread. We ate this as a side with ravioli and bread, but I will for sure enjoy it again in the future as the main dish, doubling the recipe.

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Remember, when you double the recipe, you need to double the baking time!

Layered Zucchini Parmesan

(as a side, serves 3)

1 1/2 medium zucchinis

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 cup colby jack cheese

1/4 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs

3/4 cup pasta sauce

olive oil

cooking spray

salt

pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a cooking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Slice zucchinis into about 1/3 inch slices, try your best to make them uniform size. Place slices in a medium size bowl and lightly coat with about 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Set aside
  3. In a medium-small bowl, mix together bread crumbs and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon each is good)
  4. Coat zucchini slices in breadcrumb mixtures, then lay flat on sprayed cooking sheet. Coat all zucchini slices, and once all of them are placed on cooking sheet, bake in preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Watch carefully and be sure they don’t burn!
  5. Remove zucchini slices from oven, and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, coat the bottom of a baking dish, I used a round casserole dish (about 8 inches in diameter) with a layer of pasta sauce. Next, lay a layer of the baked zucchini slices on top of the pasta sauce, use about half of them. Then layer a mixture of the colby jack and parmesan cheese on top of the zucchini slices. Layer again with pasta sauce, then zucchini, then cheese, until everything is used up. You should end with a layer of cheese on top. At this point, you may cover the dish and place it in the fridge to bake the next day, or you may bake it now if you plan on eating it right away.
  6. Heat oven to 400 degrees F and bake uncovered dish for about 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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Random Fact of the Day: 7-11 sells 10,000 pots of coffee an hour, every hour, every day.