Recipe: Protein Banana Bread Muffins

Morning! I hope you’re having a wonderful day šŸ™‚ The husband and I are lucky enough to have the day off. Just a friendly reminder to remember WHY we get this lovely three day weekend.

Things have been fantastic on the Tone It Up nutrition plan, and one of my favorite parts is that I have found new inspiration to try new recipes. I mean, how long has it been since I did a recipe post?! Sad.

I had three bananas that were waaaaay past their prime. Well for me that’s like a day after being perfectly ripe, I cannot stand overripe bananas! But I hate to see them go to waste, so I started looking up ideas. One of the first things that game to mind was banana bread. I’m a huge fan of baking, but I find it hard to make easy gluten free substitutions. This was one of my first recipes that came out pretty great on the first time.

Protein Banana Bread Muffins

(Adapted from this recipe)

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Three large ripe bananas
Three scoops chocolate protein powder (or vanilla, whichever you like, I’ve heard that non-whey protein can be better for baking but use what you prefer)
1 1/3 cup flour of choice. I used quinoa but use while wheat if you’d rather. You can also blend to make your own custom mix.
1/4 – 1/2 cup sweetener. I used a combo of Xagave and stevia powder. This will affect the end calorie count, if that’s relevant to you.
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 egg whites
1/4 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350*

Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add and mix all the wet ingredients.

Line a cupcake tin and spray with nonstick spray.

Fill the liners with the batter. These don’t rise much so you can fill them relatively high.

Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Try to let them cool before you totally devour them šŸ™‚

Alternate cooking method: poor batter into a greased bread pan and bake for about 40 minutes.

These are yumm! The quinoa flour isn’t an exact replacement for wheat so I’m not making promises but these are great! Super filling and very high in protein.

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Recipe: Chicken Curry

Evening friends! How are all of you doing this evening? I am a sleepy panda! I don’t know what my dealo is, but I am just wiped!

Most days when I am super tired I lean towards takeout, which isn’t the healthiest of habits to get into. Tonight I was brainstorming ideas for dinner, but only things that we had in the house. Well, we had veggies, chicken, and curry paste. DONE. Which turned out perfectly because of this:

I love how Janetha is always posting about what national food day is, and a part of me is always bummed that I don’t usually celebrate. NOT TODAY! Woooooohoooooooo!

Chicken Curry:
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 more cups veggies of your choice: bell peppers, cauliflower, potato, peas, etc.
1 large spoonful curry paste (or you can use pre-made curry sauce like from Trader Joe’s)
2 cups almond milk
2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped

Dice all the veggies and saute. Add the chicken, almond milk, and curry paste. Cover and heat through. You can serve with rice if you’d like.

I mean, easy right? I LOVE curry, and since moving to Utah, I’ve been separated from my beloved Trader Joe’s curry sauce, I haven’t made it that much. No longer!!

What is your favorite take out? Mine is between thai, cafe rio, or sushi.

Vegetarian Lasagna Two Ways

Good morning! I hope you are having a lovely day. I love when I have Mondays off, because the whole week I think it’s a day earlier than it is, and then BAM, it’s Thursday. Haha. It’s the little things, clearly.

Here is that lasagna recipe I promised you! I made it vegetarian because my sister-in-law is a vegetarian, and it’s cheaper to cook that way anyways. šŸ™‚ I used the following measurements to make two lasagnas, one with gluten free noodles in an 9×13 inch pan, and another with butternut squash “noodles” in a smaller pan (it was either 8×8 or something else, all I know is that it came in the Pyrex set and it fit’s inside the other one, haha).

But for regular people, I think you should use the recipe below to make ONE lasagna, either with noodles OR squash. It will yield a thicker lasagna with more layers, always a winner.

Vegetarian Lasagna (serves 8-10)
1 box no-boil noodles of choice (whole wheat or gluten free) OR 1 butternut squash, peeled and thinly sliced into “noodles”
1 jar marinara sauce of choice
1 big container of part skim ricotta (21 oz. I believe?)
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 egg
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 lb. mushrooms, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. Italian seasonings of choice
3/4 cup shredded mosarella
1/4 cup shredded parmesean cheese

First you need to preheat the oven to 375* and prep the various components for the layers. Mix the ricotta, spinach, and eggs into a large bowl, set aside.

Chop the onion and mushrooms and add to a pan to saute in olive oil. While those are cooking, grate the carrots. Once the mushrooms and onions are cooked and starting to brown, add the carrots and all the seasonings. Cook all of that together until everything is wilty and the carrots are starting to brown. If you do this at a low heat, it should be fine, but if you are impatient like me and do it at a higher heat, add a little water to the pan if needed.

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Here comes the fun part, layering!! Here is the order to follow (you should get about 4 layers in, so plan accordingly):
sauce
noodles or squash
ricotta mixture
mushroom mixture
repeat!

You want sauce on either side of the noodle layer. Finish the last layer, top with remaining sauce, and top with the shredded cheese! So the last layer will go sauce, noodle, sauce, cheese. But don’t sweat the layering, I can pinky promise you that no one will go OMG YOU SKIPPED A RICOTTA LAYER. It just won’t happen.

Bake at 375* for about 45 minutes covered with foil for the first 30 minutes so that the cheese doesn’t burn. Behold the cheesey goodness.

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I made these a few days ahead of time, stored them in the freezer, and then popped into the oven. It was amazing! If you are using no-boil gluten free noodles, letting it sit for AT LEAST a day before baking is the ONLY way to get the noodle texture right. Otherwise they seem too raw.

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Another yummy pic for good measure.