Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bites

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bites

Another month, another new recipe up on Yoga By Candace!

I recently developed these Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bites for her blog. Packed with nutrient-dense items and an extra kick of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, these bites will have you looking like Jennifer Aniston in no time!*

While it’s definitely easy to one, snack on something less healthy, and two, eat a breakfast that is less healthy, these bites definitely have your bases covered. Make them ahead of time! You…and your stomach…will be thankful that you did.

Head over to Yoga By Candace for the full post and recipe!

* – Perhaps a slight hyperbole, but a girl can dream…

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bites

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bites

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bites

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bites
(Makes roughly 12 – 14 bites)

Ingredients:

– 1/4 cup peanut butter
– 1 ripe banana, mashed
– 1 cup old fashioned oats
– 1 tablespoon honey (or other sweetener of choice)
– 1 scoopful Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (unflavored)

Before We Get Started…

– Your hands WILL get sticky when you roll these bites! Consider this fair warning. Ha! But what’s cooking without getting your hands a little dirty?

– If you find your bite mixture to be too sticky after mixing, add an additional 1 – 2 tablespoons of oats.

Directions:

1.) In a small bowl, mash banana until it is as smooth as possible; attempt to leave no chunks.

2.) Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined. Place dough in fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferably 60 minutes.

3.) Remove mixture from fridge; take mixture, which should be a little tacky but not overly sticky, and roll mixture into approximately 1″ ball-shaped bites.

4.) Store bites in fridge in an airtight container; will remain good for up to seven days, though it is better to consume them within three days of making them, as the banana within the mixture can cause the bites to “brown”.

Give them a try and let me know what you think down in the comments section below!

Russian Apple Pie

Russian Apple Pie

It’s wonderful having friends with rich heritages. Years ago, when a friend / former co-worker of mine started dating a wonderful Kazakh gal, I suddenly started noting how the food she brought in for lunch was influenced. She used to be a raw salad and kombucha person, like clockwork, but soon, plastic containers of borscht started to make regular appearances. Even years later, it is quite common to see Russian Apple Pie appear at their house parties. Granted, it’s more akin to a cake than a traditional pie, but the name remains as is!

Recently, when Irina celebrated her Big 3-2, Melissa was in the kitchen whipping up that luscious dessert. The directions? So simple! She had the ingredients written down in a notebook with one note, verbatim: “Bake 350 20 min.”

I figured I could give it a try, eh?

Russian Apple Pie

This past weekend, I went up to Connecticut for a family event, celebrating Christmas a few weeks late and the pending of arrivals of two cousins’ babies. I offered to make an extra dessert, this easy dish in mind.

Russian Apple Pie

Perhaps, unfortunately for me, barely anyone touched it because I was unaware that a giant fondant elephant-topped chocolate mousse cake to celebrate my cousin Simone’s son would also be present. But hey, more leftovers for me to nosh on!

Russian Apple Pie

Russian Apple Pie
(Serves 8)

Ingredients:

– 1 cup flour
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 3 eggs
– 1/2 cup water
– 2 Granny Smith Apples, unpeeled
– 1 cup walnuts, whole or chopped

Before We Get Started…

– Apples must be Granny Smith or another tart variety. Do not use sweeter apples in this dish.

– Walnuts can be whole or chopped, depending on the texture you prefer. I’ve made the pie with both and they’ve been wonderful!

– Though this could be baked in a variety of pans, I make this in a pie plate or a round cake pan.

– That original note stated “Bake 350 20 min”, but I found I had to bake it longer. Bake for at least 30 minutes, but check the pie at the 20 minute mark, as different ovens bake slightly differently.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350°F.

2.) Core and slice apples into eight even sections. Place slices at bottom of a lightly greased pie plate or round cake pan; the slices should cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer, so if you start to pile slices on top of each other, remove those extra slices. Sprinkle apples with walnuts.

3.) In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon; whisk until combined. Add eggs and water to dry mixture and whisk again until combined.

4.) Pour batter on top of apples and walnuts; the batter should coat / cover everything, but if a few apple slices or walnuts break out of the top of the batter slightly, that is fine!

5.) Bake for 30 – 35 minutes; remove from oven and allow to cool on cooling rack for 15 minutes before serving.

 

This is a photo of the Russian Apple Pie from my friend’s birthday party. She used a smaller pie plate than I did to make this recipe, hence the smoother top. Still delicious, regardless!

 

Spaghetti al Limone

Spaghetti al Limone

Being a Manhattan-based millennial, I am often faced with a decision when developing a pasta-based recipe: Do I want to use a box of Barilla, or do I wanted to pull out my spiralizer and twirl a zucchini?

I will happily declare my love for spiralizing fruits and vegetables. I am a fan girl of Inspiralized; been following that blog since 2014! It’s a nice way to eat your vegetables in a different manner; I honestly do not enjoy cubed or sliced vegetables nearly as much anymore when I can twirl curly sweet potato “noodles” around my fork.

That being said, some things shouldn’t be messed with. Spaghetti al Limone is a sacred dish. When it comes to this recipe, I go FULL CARB. Flour. Wheat. GLUTEN. Sweet, delicious, allegedly inflammatory gluten! This ain’t no place for a zoodle, in my oh – so – humble opinion.

(And if / when I make a zoodle-based Spahgetti al Limone recipe months or years from now, feel free to call me out. Ha!)

Spaghetti al Limone

When I lived in the Hudson Heights section of Manhattan for 4+ years, I was blessed because I lived one block away from one of the best Italian restaurants in the whole city: Saggio. Their Spaghetti al Limone is the best I’ve ever had! In fact, it’s theirs that caused me to discover this wonderful recipe in the first place! Theirs is cream-based and served with an entire half of lemon on the side. Amazing!

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Though I’ve attempted a cream-based version, I do enjoy my cream-less version. It takes less time, it’s still insanely flavorful, and it saves me from spending $4 on a bottle of heavy cream that I’ll only use half of, leaving the rest of slowly die in my fridge for 2 months. Haaaa.

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Spaghetti al Limone
(Makes 2 main-sized servings or 3 – 4 side servings)

Ingredients:

– 8 – 10 ounces spaghetti, uncooked
– 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, finely grated
– Juice of two lemons
– 2/3 cups olive oil
– Zest of one lemon
– 1 cup fresh basil, chiffonade-cut
– 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
– Salt, to taste

Before We Get Started…

– It is preferable to grate the cheese so it is fine (powdery) rather than shredded. Either manner of grating will work, but Parmesan that is shredded tends to clump up more when mixed with the pasta. Finely grated cheese will yield a smoother consistency.

– Eat this dish as soon as you make it. It does NOT make for good leftovers. Trust me. I tried. 😉

Directions:

1.) In a large saucepan, cook spaghetti until it is al dente, approximately 8 minutes. Before draining, remove 1/4 cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain, toss with a drizzle of olive oil, and set aside.

2.) In a large bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, and lemon juice. Stir to combine; this lemon cheese mixture will become thick.

3.) Pour lemon cheese mixture onto pasta and toss; add the basil and continue to toss until all ingredients are combined and basil has wilted. If the mixture seems to dry, slowly add reserved pasta water until desired consistency is met. Add salt to taste.

4.) Serve immediately, topped with more basil, parmesan, and / or lemon slices, if desired.

Peanut Butter Blueberry Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter Blueberry Overnight Oats

Ugh, I know, this recipe is familiar (I’ve done this…AND this…in the past) and this genre of oat-based creations is a trifle overdone.

Truth: This recipe post was supposed to be my version of Spaghetti al Limone. I was looking through all of the photos I took of it last weekend and shook my head in defeat as I softly muttered, “…nope…nope…nope…nope…” Honestly, not one photo of the bunch was worthy of posting. The lighting on the day I took the photos of the dish was okay, but most photos turned out blurry. In addition, most looked awkward in plating / presentation.

The upside? I guess I’ll have to make…and eat…another batch of Spaghetti al Limone soon! There are certainly worse calamities to deal with in this wacky world of ours.

Peanut Butter Blueberry Overnight Oats

So…here’s a filler recipe. My opening sentence may make it seem as though I’m knocking overnight oats on the whole. I’m not. This recipe is my life saver and delicious to boot!  I doubled it last week, brought it to work, and had breakfast for two days!

After years of experimentation, I find that a nice healthy glob of peanut butter is what makes my overnight oats the most palatable and satiating. Yogurt makes them pasty, in my multiple experiences; peanut butter keeps ’em creamy.

Peanut Butter Blueberry Overnight Oats

If y’all catch me trying to post another blueberry and oat amalgamation in the future, please stop me from myself. Ha! I think I’ve reached my quota for this blog. 😉

Peanut Butter Blueberry Overnight Oats
(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

– 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
– 1/2 cup milk of choice (dairy or non-dairy)
– 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
– 1 teaspoon honey (or sweetener of choice; omit honey if vegan)
– 1 tablespoon peanut butter (or other nut butter)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 2 hearty dashes of ground cinnamon

Before We Get Started…

– If your peanut butter is too hard or creamy, microwave it until softened.

Directions:

1.) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined. Transfer to container of choice and place in refrigerator. Allow to sit for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Oats will stay edible for up to three days.

almond chai banana bread

Almond Chai Banana Bread

The plight of the spleenless: I have been sick for almost the past three weeks now! Believe me when I say how miserable it is. Every winter, I usually have one cold that spikes a fever, then I’ll feel like I’m on the mend when BAM, I’ll have laryngitis and a horrible cough for days at a time. Right now, I’m feeling as though I’m finally on the mend, but with apprehension. Haaaa.

I have NOT wanted to cook, bake, or even go into my kitchen to pour a glass of water in these past few weeks. I’ve been so listless, as these illnesses leave me feeling more drained than an iPhone after five minuets on Snapchat. I’ve been utilizing the help of handsome men and the wonder that is Seamless to feed me during my illness; my local Indian restaurant’s delivery guy and I are very well acquainted at this juncture.

Now that my energy levels are on the rise again, the urge to get into my kitchen has returned. Thank goodness, because I have so many ripe bananas begging to be turned into bread!

almond chai banana bread

I wanted to shake it up a little bit; I’ve made a slightly more health-conscious banana bread recipe on this blog before, but I wanted to play around with flavors this time. As wonderful as banana bread is, its flavor and texture can be a little boring. Luckily, many other flavors complement banana well. I’ve had my industrial-sized bottle of Dona Chai chillin’ in the back of my fridge for a few weeks now, and I’ve got more sliced almonds than I know what to do with! Though I originally wanted to add slivered almonds to the batter, mine were a little funky-smelling, so I opted to top my bread with sliced almonds.

almond chai banana bread

The result was a bread that turned out not overly sweet and a tad spicy. It’s a welcomed change!

Almond Chai Banana Bread
(Makes One Loaf)

Ingredients:

– 3 very ripe bananas, peeled
– 5 tablespoons butter, melted
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup chai concentrate (I used Dona Chai)
– 1 large egg, beaten
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 & 3/4 cups flour
– Pinch of black pepper (optional)
– 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Before We Get Started…

– This recipe will will an standard loaf pan (8 & 1/2″ x 4 & 1/2″ x 2 1/2″).

– If you prefer a sweeter banana bread, increase sugar to 1/2 cup. Many other chai concentrates have added sugar, so read your labels to keep the sweetness of your bread where you desire.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bread pan or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

2.) Take 1/2 banana and cut 10 – 12 slices. Set aside.

3.) In a large bowl, add flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, flour, and pepper; whisk until incorporated.

4.) In a separate large bowl, mash remaining bananas with a fork until they are as smooth as possible. Add melted butter to bananas and mix to combine; add vanilla, chai concentrate, and egg and mix until combined.

5.) Slowly add dry mixture into the wet mixture 1/2 cup at a time; mix until batter is uniform.

6.) Pour batter into prepared bread pan. Top with banana slices and sliced almonds. Bake for 50 – 55 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

7.) Move pan to cooling rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before removing and slicing; if not slicing, wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Eat within three days.

almond chai banana bread