This title of this recipe should come as no surprise to those who know me. I love bananas. I love oatmeal. Boom: it’s a Banana Bread Oatmeal Bake for One. YUM.
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This title of this recipe should come as no surprise to those who know me. I love bananas. I love oatmeal. Boom: it’s a Banana Bread Oatmeal Bake for One. YUM.
Pudding was one of my favorite things to eat growing up. I remember downing 4-packs of chocolate pudding in one sitting like it was no big deal. I’d also like to clarify that I can still do that. Yes, I’m a totally sophisticated adult now, but my admiration for all things pudding has never ceased.
And really, who doesn’t love pudding? It’s creamy. It’s sweet. It’s reminiscent of childhood afternoons and school lunches. *~*sigh*~* If only all things in life could be as perfect as the humble food that is pudding.
Anyways, I was inspired by the #madewithchobani campaign to participate in using Chobani in a recipe! There are a million things you can do with yogurt, in snacking, breakfast, sweet and savory cooking, and the possibilities are truly endless. At first I was overwhelmed by all the different directions I could go! And then, last weekend, I popped into Magnolia Bakery in the West Village and was greeted by all those lovely pots of their famous banana pudding.
Have you ever had Magnolia’s banana pudding? It’s ridiculous. I never thought I would like banana pudding, but this banana pudding changed me. Unfortunately, that pudding is both too expensive and too rich to enjoy on a daily basis. It’s also not available in most part of the country.
But then, it hit me: I could re-create it at home! And make it light and nutritious enough to enjoy as an everyday snack. So I made a quick, 3-ingredient version, free from heavy cream, whole milk, boxed pudding mix (which I mean really, who even knows what’s in that stuff), and full of simply, natural things that still taste delicious. Vanilla Greek Yogurt really worked well in place of pudding, as it has a similar flavor and mouthfeel, and absorbed nicely into the vanilla wafers, giving you all that satisfying gooey-crunchy textural contrast of a rich banana cream pudding. MmMmM my mouth is watering just thinking about it (Lucky for me, I have some leftover in my fridge…)
This is literally the easiest thing EVER to make. It’s three ingredients (four if you add a dollop of whipped cream ;-)) and takes less than five minutes to make. It’s sweet and satisfying without feeling super junky, and it can be eaten for breakfast, a snack, or dessert. It will also keep you full and happy for quite a little while without making you feel gross.
I pureed a ripe banana into the yogurt for a little bit of extra banana-i-ness. I dug this. But if you’d like, you can skip this step. You can also customize this simple recipe in a few other ways. For example, I used vanilla yogurt, but thought Coconut would work wonderfully as well. You can also play with the wafers – subbing graham crackers or any crunchy, sweet, cookie-like cracker would mimic the same effect. Natural animal crackers would also be delicious, not to mention adorable. It’s all up to you! Enjoy and happy pudding eating :-).
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
1. Empty yogurt containers into a food processor or blender and add one sliced banana. Puree until smooth.
2. Slice another banana or two (depending on how many banana slices you like).
3. In a glass, bowl, or parfait dish, layer a few heaping spoonfuls of yogurt/banana blend to cover the bottom of your dish. Top with a layer of vanilla wafers or graham crackers. Top that layer with a layer of yogurt/banana blend. Next, add a layer of sliced bananas, and cover those with another layer of yogurt. Repeat until you have a full glass of deliciousness. Garnish with whipped cream if desired and EAT ! 😀
So I’ve never done one of these posts before, where I recap what I ate for a few days. A lot of bloggers do it every day, or post weekly updates on every meal they ate that week. Personally I love to read these and I have no idea why. Why is it so darn interesting what someone you don’t even know in real life ate for a week or a day? I don’t know. Maybe because you can get inspired for new ideas based on something they ate? Or inspired to try a new restaurant or cuisine? I do not have the answer to such questions, but I thought I would try out the whole what-I-ate thing once on this blog and see how it went.
So heres what I ate from the evening of Thursday, November 20th-Sunday November 23rd while I was back home in good old NYC. Per usual, I ate a lot. I eat constantly. This might be why I’ve never done one of these posts before. I snack so often that I forget to take pics of like 80% of what I eat (yes, all my obnoxious food-instagramming is only a tiny portion of my actual overall food consumption). Anyways, here are my eats for those 3 days in photos and words. Honestly everything I had was great. And it made me excited and eager and anxious to return! NYC, I’ll be back soon ;-). In the meantime, here are my EATS:
Thursday, November 20th, 2014:
Snack on the plane from MKE–> NYC:
Friday, November 21th, 2014:
I woke up early and although I usually immediately eat and drink coffee, I was sleeping at a friends and didn’t have a kitchen to use. I had a meeting in Brooklyn at 10 and decided to take a train from Union Square and swing by the Farmer’s market on the way. I ended up grabbing stuff at Whole Foods, cause I saw it as a one-stop place for coffee and food and was running short on time.
Saturday, November 22th, 2014:
Sunday, November 23rd, 2014:
Snack at the Airport:
Snack at Home:
So that’s it. All my eats last weekend. Lots of fruit and granola bars and carbs and veggies. Like 90% vegan. Pretty standard to my typical eating, but also more eating out than usual. In case you care, which you probably don’t. But it was kind of fun to recap it. Maybe I’ll do it again. Maybe not. That’s sort of the fun of having your own blog. You can experiment. I wonder if anyone is still reading. Doubtful. If you are, leave a comment below and I’ll send you a special surprise. Lol. Have a good day!!
Apparently I’m really into making things that look like candy corn. First I made this roasted veggie corn pizza thing, and then on Sunday I made this giant cookie cake for a post for Spoon and frosted it so when you cut it, it looks like a piece of candy corn. When I get into something, I go all out. Hence why I posted like 5 pumpkin recipes in a row.
Speaking of pumpkin, I went to Trader Joe’s this Saturday and got so excited and overwhelmed by all the new pumpkin products that I actually had to leave quickly without letting myself buy any otherwise I would have easily spent $50. I decided I had to go home and think about which to buy first so I don’t end up with nothing but pumpkin spice sugary things in my pantry. This recipe also has pumpkin. #cantgetenough The middle layer of the cookie is pumpkin. And the outside layer is banana. Get it? Orange/yellow. Just like a piece of candy corn.
Using pumpkin and banana also makes this cake a dairy free/vegan option as it replaces using butter + eggs that a cookie mix calls for. Yes I used another mix. When I write for Spoon my goal is to be appealing and realistic to a college student. And when I was in college (omg I feel old saying that), I rarely had a fully stocked pantry or the desire to buy many things at once, so using a mix would have appealed to me, even though I still prefer every-last-detail-from scratch. But this makes it fast, easy, and less to purchase/clean up. Go with it. You can also make this recipe by assembling and whisking all the dry ingredients of regular cookie dough. But a mix will work just fine. A lot of cookie and cake mixes are actually dairy free if you look at them. Just check the back of the package! Or use a fancy specific dairy free one like this.
So here is a recipe for cookie cake. It would be a hit for a Halloween party. Or, if you live alone and mostly hang out with your dogs cause all your friends are far away, you can be like me and have it all to yourself. I currently have about 80% left of it in my fridge from baking it earlier today. And a giant batch of chocolate bark for an upcoming post. #foodbloggerproblems. I’m okay with these problems, btw.
You can view the Spoon version right here, or you can simply look at the recipe below. Happy eating!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Time: 30-35 minutes
1 bag chocolate chip cookie mix
½ cup canned pumpkin
1 large overripe banana
½ cup white chocolate chips, divided
1 ½ cup white frosting of your choice (vanilla, cream cheese, etc) —> I recommend making buttercream with 1 1/2 sticks butter or Earth balance non-dairy butter substitute + 4 cups powdered sugar + 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Divide cookie mix in half in two separate bowls.
3. Peel and mash banana. In one bowl, add mashed banana. In another bowl, add canned pumpkin. If desired, add yellow food coloring to banana portion, and orange to canned pumpkin portion.
4. Mix each bowl of cookie mix and pumpkin or banana until a dough forms.
5. Grease a pizza pan or 9 inch cake pan. First, make an outer ring with the banana cookie dough mix. Fill the center with the pumpkin cookie dough mix. Add half white chocolate chips to center to form a small circle.
6. Place in the oven and bake until the cookie is browned and fragrant and a toothpick releases upon insertion in the center, 15-25 minutes.
7. Allow to cool. Add remaining half white chocolate chips to center on top of the melted/baked white chocolate chips.
8. If frosting, dye half frosting yellow and half frosting orange by mixing food coloring or food dye into frosting. Frost with yellow frosting around the outer banana ring and orange frosting around the middle pumpkin ring.
9.Slice into triangles originating from the center and serve.
It was a very humid day today here in Milwaukee. One of those days where when I left the mall after a fail-boat shopping trip to look for a dress for my friend’s wedding, I literally felt like I had to swim through a wall of heavy wet air to reach my car. MmmMmm, sweaty.
As I write this post, I hear thunder rumbling in the near distance. Today’s inevitable storm is on it’s way! Get excited folks, according to this morning’s news it might get dramatic. And who doesn’t love a dramatic storm (unless of course, you’re Millie, in which case, you may refuse to even step on damp concrete).
I was bored and restless so naturally, I found myself looming in my baking pantry. As I rummaged through my goodies, I noticed a dusty old box of fancy cake mix in the back corner of the pantry. Cake mix (or any baking mix) in my household was considered worse than dropping a four-letter word. My mother and grandmother could have cared less if I screamed the F bomb as a kindergardener, but would thrash out irrationally if I dared bake anything not from scratch.
To be honest, I couldn’t recall why the box was even there. I mean, it was a nice fancy Cherrybrook Vanilla Cake Mix from Target, probably purchased as a back-up at some point, left here by another human, or for some purpose that currently evades me. Anyways, the mystery cake box stared me down, daunting me, saying, “figure out how to use me, you beyotch. let’s get creative.”
Game on. I decided I’d do something different than use it for cake. Honestly, when it’s a nice, preservative/junk-free cake mix like the ones Cherrybrook makes, I don’t really even think it tastes bad, as long as you don’t think of it in the same category as homemade cakes that ooze with butter and love. These mixes create pastries that more airy/fluffy orbes of sugary chewy goodness. If you take them for that, they are good. This is also how I advise meat-eaters to think about veggie burgers. Don’t think it’s going to be the same as meat. Take it for what it is and appreciate it’s different deliciousness. So I must agree with my heritage, no box mix will even come close to a from scratch cake. I wasn’t even going to blog these because they seemed like such a cheat, but I had a few inquires after I Instagramed them, so I figured I’d share my recipe. Apparently people want their vegan banana mini cake donuts, and who am I to deny them?
Breakfast Cookie for One
“Cookies for breakfast?” Yes! No, it’s not Cookie Crisp cereal; in fact, it’s much more delicious and has fiber, whole grains, and healthy fats that, unlike the sugary cereal, will actually keep you full until lunchtime. This is a base recipe that can be jazzed up with whatever fruits, nuts, jams and nut butters you have around your apartment. Use flavored oatmeal packets for an extra flavor kick (maple brown sugar flavor with almond butter and pecans makes for an excellent combination) but if you do, reduce or omit the additional sugar. The possibilities are endless!
1/2 cup rolled oat or one packet of flavored oatmeal
1 tablespoon nut butter or coconut oil.
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg whites
mix ins: chopped fresh or dried fruit, nuts, a teaspoon of jam
1. Place oats in a small bowl. Add nut butter or coconut oil (coconut oil will need to be melted in the microwave), baking soda, brown sugar, and honey. Mix well.
2. Add egg whites to oat mixture.
3. Add mix-ins of your choice. Mix.
4. Gather into a ball of “cookie dough” and place on a small plate. Smush down the dough to make a flat cookie shape. Spritzing the plate with non stick spray (optional).
5. Microwave on high for 1-3 minutes until browned and fluffy. Allow to cool briefly and enjoy.
Banana Cream Pie
Bananas and Greek Yogurt are a match made in heaven. Topped with a warm crispy toaster waffle as the “pie crust,” digging your spoon through this twist on a classic parfait is like just like digging through a personal banana cream pie. Make it your own with your favorite flavor of Greek yogurt (recommended: vanilla or coconut).
1 6oz vanilla, plain, or coconut Greek Yogurt
1 toaster waffle
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 teaspoon honey
optional: coconut shreds
1. Place toaster waffle in the toaster.
2. Remove lid from yogurt. Slice bananas and half of it add to yogurt. Mix.
3. Add coconut shreds or nuts if desired
4. Spread almond or peanut butter on waffle and top with remainder of sliced banana, honey, and coconut shreds (if desired).
5. Place toaster waffle on top of yogurt cup.
6. Eat by spooning through the waffle “crust,” and dolloping with the “pie filling” below. Yum!
Chocolate Breakfast Pudding
Pudding is delicious. Unfortunately, dessert pudding is often high in fat, and store-bought pudding is often full of sugar and preservatives. So, when you wake up craving something smooth chocolatey, make this recipe instead. The Greek yogurt is rich in protein, calcium, and B vitamins. The cocoa powder helps thicken the already rich-tasting Greek yogurt, creating a consistency somewhere between pudding and frosting. A surprisingly small amount of sweetener is all that’s needed to make this taste like a treat. Goes great with fresh berries or bananas.
1 6oz plain Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1-2 teaspoons of sugar or honey
raspberries or strawberries to top (optional)
1. Add cocoa powder to Greek Yogurt and mix thoroughly until the powder is well dispersed in the yogurt and yogurt is free of clumps.
2. Add sweetener and mix again.
3. Top with fresh fruit. Enjoy!
Apple Crisp for One
With the weather getting colder, sometimes there’s nothing more comforting than a warm breakfast. This recipe is an easier but just as delicious play on apple crisp, and takes only a few minutes to prepare. It’s also healthy enough to enjoy every day, and can work as a great study snack or dessert.
1 packet of flavored oatmeal (recommended: apple cinnamon or cinnamon spice)
a dash of cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey, and/or brown sugar to top (optional)
1. Chop apple into small pieces. Place in a microwave safe bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon and mix.
2. Empty flavored oatmeal packet directly over the chopped apples. Drizzle one tablespoon of water over the top of the oatmeal. Do not add any more water (the moisture of the apples will be plenty).
3. Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, until apples are tender and oats on top appear crispy.
4. Allow to cool briefly, then top with honey or brown sugar and enjoy.
Sure, everyone at NYU knows exactly when and where the Waffles’n’Dinges truck parks on campus (Mondays, right in front of Stern), but let’s face it: the Wafles truck, while delicious, is a bit pricey and perhaps not the most nutritious breakfast option before a long day of studying. Fuel up with this healthier version (which even includes a healthy homemade version of the famous Speculoos cookie spread!) and be able to walk by those wafting waffle scents on Washington Square South without a second thought.
1 toaster waffle
For the “Speculoos”:
1 graham cracker
1 tablespoon almond or sunflower butter
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon honey or agave
1 tablespoon greek yogurt
“Dinges” of your choice (ie: sliced strawberries, sliced bananas, whipped cream)
1. Place waffle in toaster.
2. Assemble the speculoos. Start by crushing the graham cracker. This can be done by breaking it into small pieces, placing it in a plastic bag, then smashing it with a large spoon until into small crumbs. A food processor can also be used for this. Place in a small bowl.
3. Add almond or sunflower butter, greek yogurt, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice to the bowl. Mix until well combined into a paste. If the spread is to thick or crumbly, add a bit more greek yogurt and/or honey until paste reaches desired consistency (look for a peanut-butter like spread consistency).
4. Top waffle with “Speculoos” and add your “Dinges” on top of that.
5. Dollop with whipped cream on a test day.