Archive for April, 2011

April 27, 2011

Banana Bread

Banana Bread


    Banana Bread is one of the many treats that I grew up loving.  There are so many different recipes I have tasted.  Of them all, this truly is my favorite.  My mom, my sister, and I have stuck with this recipe for years.  We may change it up a bit every now and then, but in my opinion, this recipe is perfect!  Eat it for breakfast, a snack or with some cool whip or ice cream for dessert.  It is always a crowd pleaser!  This is best to make with bananas that are getting brown.  So, next time you are about to throw out some bananas, treat yourself and give this bread a try!      




Banana Bread

1 stick butter or margarine

2 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. baking soda

3 T. buttermilk (I sometimes use 2 T. milk and 1 T. mayo instead)

1 3/4 c. flour

3 overripe bananas, mashed

1 c. chopped pecans, if desired

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla


Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan.  Cream butter, sugar and eggs.  Set aside.  In separate bowl, combine baking soda and buttermilk.  To this, add flour, bananas, pecans and vanilla.  Blend in butter, sugar, egg mixture.  Bake at 350 for about 1 hour. 

TIP- I love to keep the bread very moist and soft.  I usually check the bread at about 55 minutes by sticking a knife in center.  I pull it out of the oven when knife is a little gooey.  It hardens up just enough. 

April 26, 2011

Parmesan Green Beans

Parmesan Green Beans



Parmesan Green Beans are another great side to many meals, and a healthy choice too.  Try them with a portobella mushroom burger, a turkey burger or a grilled chicken breast.  You can use frozen or fresh beans.  I always like to keep some frozen, fresh beans in the freezer.  They are perfectly delicious either way. 





Parmesan Green Beans

Green beans, fresh or frozen (you don’t even have to thaw)

Garlic powder


parmesan cheese

2 T. olive oil

Preheat oven to 400.  Spray a jelly roll pan with cooking spray and lay green beans in a single layer on pan.  (I usually make a pan full-they are great as leftovers too)  Sprinke green beans with garlic powder and lightly sprinkle with black pepper.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for about 20 minutes then flip and continue baking for another 15 minutes.  Sprinkle beans with parmesan cheese then return to oven until crispy. 


April 26, 2011

Banana Pudding

   Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding has a been a regular holiday dessert in our family forever.   I grew up loving it!  My Aunt Shirley makes it for most holidays and everyone looks forward to it.  This Easter, Brad and I did not get to celebrate with the family but rather had an Easter of our own.  I made “my version” of banana pudding.  I wanted a light, refreshing dessert that Brad and I could enjoy guilt free.  This banana pudding is low in sugar and fat but just as good, I promise.   

Banana Pudding

1 box vanilla wafers

2 large boxes sugar-free vanilla pudding (or 1 box sugar-free and 1 box regular)

6 cups skim milk

1 pint light cool whip

4 bananas

Make pudding according to package directions.  Layer bottom of 9×13 pan with vanilla wafers, enough to cover.  Slice 2 bananas and layer on top of vanilla wafers.  Add half of the pudding over bananas.  Repeat layers then top with light cool whip.  Sprinkle crushed vanilla wafers on top.  Keep refrigerated.





April 26, 2011

Salmon with Mango Salsa

Baked Salmon topped with Mango Salsa

This is such a fresh, healthy meal.  It’s perfect for the warmer weather.  We love salmon a variety of ways.  Salmon is full of omega-3’s which are so beneficial to our heart health while also giving your skin a glow.  This combination of the cold, fresh salsa with the fish is a refreshing treat.  I bake the salmon as follows, then just before serving, top it with the mango salsa. (check the recipe link for Mango Salsa)
Baked Salmon
2 salmon filets
garlic powder
garlic salt
olive oil
Preheat oven to 350.  Season salmon according to taste and place on greased baking pan.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for about 20 minutes or desired doneness.  Transfer to serving plate and top with the mango salsa.
April 21, 2011

Portobella Mushroom Burger

portobella mushroom burger

Portobella mushroom burger topped with grilled onions, sauteed spinach and tomato


The perfect alternative to a hamburger and french fries! 

The portobella mushroom is tasty, hearty, and full of the flavor of your choice.  Mushrooms are said to be a good source of potassium and are much lower in calories than any burger.  One of everyone’s favorite sides to a burger is french fries, so, simple as that, serve it with baked sweet potato fries. 





Portobella Mushroom Burgers

2 portobella mushrooms, washed and stems removed

1/4 c. balsamic vinegarette salad dressing

1 T. worstershire sauce

1 T. olive oil

100% whole wheat hamburger buns

Hamburger toppings of your choice


Place washed portobella mushrooms in a shallow container.  Drizzle each mushrooms with balsamic vinegarette, and worstershire.  Flip to be sure both sids are covered.  Let sit with stem side up so that marinade can soak in.  Cover container and let marinate for at least 1 hour.  Heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add mushrooms and cook about 7-10 minutes per side.  Remove from skillet and serve just like you would your favorite burger!

April 20, 2011

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms are the perfect appetizer for almost any crowd.  They can be prepared and then heated when ready to serve.  They can also be frozen then thawed and reheated.  This recipe is very light.  You can also make this recipe omitting the breadcrumbs, if desired by those carb-friendly dieters!  I used a small food processor to chop the mushroom stems.  However a large food processor could be used to mix all of the ingredients in one step!  It’s super easy and delicious!





Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

1 pkg. baby portobello mushrooms, washed

1 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well

1/3 c. breadcrumbs (I use whole wheat)

1/2 c. Romano cheese, plus

2 T. Romano or parmesan cheese

1/2 onion, chopped

2 T. parsley, chopped

1 egg



Remove stems from mushroom caps.  Place caps on lightly greased baking sheet.  Chop stems.  Combine chopped stems, spinach, breadcrumbs, Romano cheese, chopped onion and parsley.  Stir in egg.  Season with salt and pepper.  Fill each mushroom cap with about 1 heaping tablespoon of spinach mixture.  Sprinkle each filled mushroom evenly with the remaining 2 T. Romano or parmesan cheese.  Preheat oven to 350 and bake 15-20 minutes.

Hope you enjoy!  


April 14, 2011

Mango Salsa

Mango salsa is a perfect healthy snack, especially now that it is getting hot outside.  It is very refreshing, light, and delicious.  This salsa can be eaten with chips, maybe on fish tacos or even over a light piece of fish or chicken.   This recipe makes enough to use a couple of different ways.  


Mango Salsa

2 tomatoes

1 mango

1/3 c. chopped red onion

2 avacado

1 red bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper 


April 9, 2011

Sesame Spinach Salad

Sesame Spinach Salad
Sesame Spinach Salad
1 1/2 lbs. spinach, stemmed and rinsed
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 T. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
2 T. toasted sesame seeds
In large pan, bring about 3 cups water to boil.  Add half the spinach until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.  Spoon out spinach into strainer then transfer to a bowl of ice water.  Repeat with remaining spinach.  Strain spinach from ice water and remove as much water as possible.  You can use paper towers to ring the water out of the spinach.
Combine the wine, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil.  Mix dried out spinach with the dressing and chill up to 4 hours.  
When ready to serve, divide spinach into 4 or 6 cylindrical bundles.  Squeeze bundles to compact the leaves.  Place bundle on plate then drizzle with some of remaining dressing and top with toasted sesame seeds.  
This dish is colorful, healthy and fairly simple to prepare.  It is a perfect side to tuna, salmon or any other light fish.  The ingredients in the spinach salad are worth buying.  They last and we will be sure to use them again in recipes to come!!  It will help make things even more simple later!! 
April 9, 2011

Poppyseed Spinach Salad

This is a simple salad that can be thrown together anytime.  We love a good, healthy salad with almost any meal.  Spinach is so full of antioxidants and vitamins that are beneficial to our health.  Choosing raw spinach in a salad, rather then iceberg, romaine, etc., automatically gives you more vitamins and minerals.  I like to keep these ingredients, as well as others to change it up a bit, on hand.  This salad is perfect alone, topped with some protein, or to start any meal.  It’s so easy to make and I promise you will love it!
Poppyseed Spinach Salad
Fresh spinach leaves, washed
Poppyseed dressing, Brianna’s is my favorite
golden raisins
sunflower seeds
feta cheese
Mix all ingredients and enjoy!!!
April 9, 2011

Easy Carmelized Grilled Onions

These onions are so simple and so delicious, especially if you are an onion lover already.  The simple twist in the recipe gives the onions a flavor you can enjoy alone or to enhance any other dish.  Try them on a grilled chicken breast, a burger, or even on a salad.


Easy Carmelized Grilled Onions
1 large sweet yellow onion
1 Tbl. butter or margarine
1 Tbl. brown sugar
Peel and slice the onion.  Heat butter in a medium size nonstick skillet on medium high heat.  Add onion and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir the onions every few minutes.  Once onions are tender, sprinkle with brown sugar.  Stir around the onions and brown sugar until carmelized.