Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Three Times Fast

Banana Bread Bars.

Try saying that three times fast.

Since I've been on this "Make Everything Myself" trip, granola bars have been at the top of my list. My goal is to try to make one that replaces my favorite Kashi Peanutty Dark Chocolate Granola Bars. Those might take a while though, so these Banana Bread Bars are the next best thing. These bar are almost an exact replica of Oh She Glow's Banana Bread Protein Bars, with just a few changes to make them a little less fat heavy (even if they're good fats).

They are definitely a hardy bar! Great for eating as I ride 40 miles in this weekend's 5 Boro Bike Tour. Weeeeeee!

Banana Bread Bars

by Bonnie Graham
Keywords: bake snack oats nuts peanut butter bananas
Ingredients (8 - 10 bars)
  • 2/3 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp mini dark chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life brand)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 small-medium)
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8-inch square pan with 2 pieces of parchment paper, one going each way.
2. Whisk all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
3. Mash bananas until smooth and measure out 3/4 cup. Stir together the banana and all the wet ingredients in a bowl.
4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir well until combined. The dough should be very sticky.
5. Scoop batter into prepared pan. Press batter down to spread it out evenly with wet your hands lightly
6. Bake at 350F for 22-26 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the bread is firm to touch. Cool in the pan completelybefore removing and slicing into bars.
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I'm sure I have 15 posts that are entitled "Countdown" on this blog.

And each and every time I write the title, Final Countdown plays through my head. I hear the electronic rock pumpin' through my ears as I type. This is normal, right?

Well, this post is not a countdown to vacation or detox or whatever other silly things I may have counted down to before. This countdown is for something far more exciting (with exception of vacation, nothing is more exciting then a vacation!).

It's for the start of the Farmer's Market! Yippee, I looooooooove the farmer's market!

And I am determined to make you love it too. Again.

It starts May 1st and trust that we will be at the very first one! Because you and I are BFFs like that.

To learn more about my love obession of the farmer's market, read here and here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ricotta: Not Just for Lasagna

I'm doing it, people.

I am single-handedly changing the food profile for ricotta cheese. Yes, me. I. This gal right here.

I am breaking you out of your "ricotta is only for lasagna" boxes! I am freeing you from the constrictions of "ricotta is only stuff shells!" I am giving ricotta to you as a....wait for it....dessert!

You can totally thank me later.

Wait. What? What did you say? That you've had ricotta cheesecake. And cannolis, where ricotta is the main filling.

Couldn't you just let me know have my moment?

Cinnamon Ricotta Cream with Maserated Strawberries

by Bonnie Graham
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus berries
Keywords: dessert strawberries cinnamon
Ingredients (4 servings)
  • 1 1/2 c homemade or store-bought ricotta cheese (homemade recipe to come!)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 - 4 tbsp milk, depending on desired consistency
  • 2 - 3 tbsp honey, depending on your taste
  • zest of 1 orange, optional
  • 3 - 4 tbsp chocolate chips
  • pinch salt
Maserated Berries
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 tbsp sweetener of your choice
1. Clean and slice your strawberries. Place in a container with sweetener of choice and toss thoroughly. Allow berries to sit for 4 hours or overnight.
2. Add all ingredients for ricotta to a food processor, starting with the least amount of liquid to start. Taste and add milk/honey as you go until you reached your desired consistency and sweetness.
3. Top ricotta with maserated berries and chocolate chips!
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Thursday, April 11, 2013

For My Consideration

I have been neglectful in sharing that I will be doing the NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour in less then a month!

Whaaaaaat?!?! I know, right?

It is 40 mile bike ride through the 5 boroughs of New York City, where you're able to bike over a number of the amazing bridges all over the city. It should be awesome. I love to ride my bike and this has given me a great excuse to get on it as much as possible.

What was pretty amazing about the registration experience is that diabetes did not come up at all. Not for me. Not for the good folks who manage registration. It was just a straightforward "I want to do this. I am signing up for it. Oh, look, done." There was no debate about whether I could/should do it with diabetes.

Yay for being over diabetes!

But then the reality set in. It was great that diabetes didn't play a role in my decision making AT ALL in doing the bike tour, but now it definitely has to be part of the training plan. My longest ride so far has been 10 miles. A far cry from 40, I know. Each time I've gone riding, I have come home with a low blood sugar. As I move forward in my training process, and on the day of the tour, I definitely need to do some planning.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Should Be Waffles

Recently, I went way for the weekend and assumed the place I was staying had a waffle maker. What American household doesn't, right? Imagine my enormous disappointment when there was NOT a waffle maker. Especially since I had glorious plans to make Healthy Carrot Cake Waffles.

Doesn't that sound amazing? With the exception of the healthy part. Which only sounds amazing to me.

I had to Plan B it and turn those glorious waffles into pancakes. The disappointment of no waffle maker and just pancakes subsided a bit when I realized that there was real maple syrup. Can we say fat kid? Usually, I don't let myself have real maple syrup for the obvious pancreatic reasons, but I figured since I lost out on the waffles, I could go for the syrup.

And, yes, I realize that the pancakes are just waffles in a different form! What are you, the Pancake Police?

Let me enjoy my should-be waffle pancakes and syrup!

"Should-Be Waffles" Carrot Cake Pancakes

by Bonnie Graham
Keywords: breakfast carrots
Ingredients (2 servings)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp sweetener of choice (I used stevia)
  • 1 large carrot, shredded (about 1/3 c)
  • 2/3 cup milk or water (more or less may be needed based on desired consistency)
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, and stir well.
2. Add shredded carrot and liquid ingredients. Mix well.
3. Heat a frying pan over medium heat.
4. Grease pan and drop 1/3 c amounts of batter into the pan. Flip when sides firm up slightly or if the tops start to bubble.
5. Flip and cook for 30 - 60 seconds on the opposite side.
6. Remove to plate and enjoy with toppings of your choice!
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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Passover Challenge

Even though I'm not Jewish, Passover is an exciting holiday for me! Not because I feel the need to sell my food or clean out my pantry, but because it's a week where everyone else has to eat a low carb diet! Haha, suckers! Well...I guess with that exception of most people eating their weight in matzo. That's not so low carb.

When I recently invited friends over to my place for dinner, it hadn't initially occurred to me that it was Passover and one of my good friends was observing. Which meant no bread (have I mentioned that I am on a bit of bread-making kick lately), pasta, refined flours, or beans. That sort of put a damper on my plan for Three-Bean Chili with a side of Cheddar Cornbread and Triple Layer Chocolate Cake for dessert.

No worries. When the going gets tough, the tough get....matzo? New favorite saying!

It was a challenge. And I love me some challenges!


The Tough Get Matzo Menu
Build Your Own Crepes (made with matzo flour)
Filling choices: roasted red pepper, sauteed spinach & onions, sauteed mushrooms, marinated chicken cutlet, cheese
Roasted Sesame Broccoli
Crunchy Quinoa Salad

Honey Cinnamon Ricotta Cheese with Macerated Berries (recipe to come!)

The Crunchy Quinoa Salad seemed to be the biggest hit. I share it with you now. Mazel Tov?

Crunchy Quinoa Salad

by Bonnie Graham
Keywords: bake nuts quinoa sweet potato
Ingredients (4 - 6 servings)
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, all around rhe same size
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (optional, I didn't have any on hand, but they'd be good!)
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. Place the quinoa into a small saucepan and add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, or until the water is evaporated. Turn off the heat and let quinoa sit covered for at least one hour.
3. Place the sweet potato cubes into a roasting pan and toss with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes, or until you can just pierce the cubes with a fork. Set aside.
4. In a small bowl, place the remaining three tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, honey salt, pepper, cumin and cinnamon. Whisk well.
5. When the quinoa is dry, use a whisk to break apart the seeds and place into a large bowl. Add half the vinaigrette and mix with the whisk. Add more to taste, depending on how wet you like your quinoa; I add it all.
6. Add the sweet potatoes, walnuts, cranberries (if using) and scallions and mix gently. Serve at room temperature.
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