Brunch, Budgeting, recipes

Banana Bread, and Other Eats

Good evening!

Today I wanted to share some more of our recent cheap eats with you (information on our budget goals being here), and so far so good!  I haven’t hit the point of feeling deprived yet, mainly because I still have a small stash of chocolate, and I scored some free kale this week… but also because we made some banana bread for sweet snacking, which came out great (more on that below).

First up is a cauliflower-chickpea curry with rice and lotsa seasoned and steamed kale.  Mike made the curry seat-of-the-pants style like he tends to do – he sauteed some onion, garlic and ginger with a bunch of spices (mustard seeds, curry powder, cumin, coriander, hing, salt), added a little water to the pan, and then threw in a head of chopped cauliflower.  That was cooked, covered, for 30-40 minutes until nice and tender, and then he added the pre-cooked chickpeas in the last few minutes of cooking time.  Once it was done cooking, a bunch of lemon was squeezed into it and we ate it with liberal amounts of Sriracha.

Since there were lots of curry leftovers, we enjoyed it on a rice bowl the next day.  Nutritional yeast was added as a garnish, and we enjoyed it with a generous helping of tahini sauce (tahini, lemon, garlic, salt) and some Sriracha for good measure.  We eat some variation of a tahini bowl about once a week, sometimes more – it’s our Old Faithful.

Another rice bowl we enjoyed was packed with black beans and pan-steamed cabbage, carrots and collards (I know you can’t see the rice and beans, but they’re definitely there), with a fantastic, cheesy sauce made from blending soaked sunflower seeds with a whole bunch of nutritional yeast, grainy mustard, lemon, garlic and onion powder, and salt and pepper.  We also ate this with plenty of Sriracha (are you noticing a theme?), as well as homemade ‘kraut.

I wanted a soup that was classy, super flavorful and brothy, so we made a white bean and greens soup with a LOT of garlic, minced but not too small, onion, and lemon zest/lemon juice stirred in at the end.  It was heavenly, and even better the next day as leftovers.  Plus, we used homemade veggie broth which was made from a giant bag of veggie scraps we accumulated over the week.

To accompany the soup, we had chapati, which is a super simple flatbread that can be thrown together in minutes and is made with flour (we used a mix of white and whole wheat), water, a little oil and salt.  It’s beautiful smeared with margarine, and is a nice alternative to bread if you’re too lazy for making that.

But dessert is the best part!  This banana bread exceeded my expectations, mainly because I “healthified” it – doesn’t taste health-foody though.  I’m just not a fan of quickbreads that are intensely sweet, and besides, overripe bananas are plenty sweet anyway.  Even with just 1/4 cup sugar, these are definitely sweet enough, and the banana flavor is very pleasant and almost floral.

Healthified Banana Bread
Makes 1 9×5 loaf

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup neutral oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 large overripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup non-dairy milk

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 9×5 loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder and soda, and salt.  In a separate smaller bowl, stir together the oil and brown sugar until combined, and then add the bananas and milk.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Scrape the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and even out the top.

3. Bake for 30-45 minutes – I know this is a big time frame, but I’ve noticed that I’ve been using a loaf pan that I thought was a normal size, but is probably larger than what most normal people use, so ours was done in 30 minutes.  Stick a toothpick in the loaf in order to see if it’s done.  Let it cool in the pan for 30 minutes or so before turning out on a cooling rack.

Since this loaf uses whole wheat flour, it’s best enjoyed within 24 hours, or up to 2 days, for maximum moistness.

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  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/00589414740603993442 foodfeud

    The rice + beans with steamed cabbage collards and carrots sounds great! I never think to buy cabbage but it is great, and super cheap so that works well for you. When I did the food bank challenge I found it really, really important to add a lot of spices or garnishes to stuff to keep things from feeling tedious. sometimes sriracha or a new spice can make a meal seem totally different.
    Gotta go back and find yr original post because I have a lot of questions about this project. Excited to see what happens with it!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/15887621874869110597 Kari

    I love the look of your bowls, and the chapati, and the banana bread. You've also made me realise that I am yet to mix sriracha with nutritional yeast and now I want to do so pronto!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/11490816021651698189 Jolene – EverydayFoodie

    Your love of sriracha makes me happy 🙂 And, I liked your "warm and fuzzy" comment. We are very happy, and now share an address too 😉

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/08901767751926870086 veganmiam.com

    Mmmm all your meals are tasty and I love a bit of curry with rice – it's filling and of course, easy and great as leftovers. The banana bread recipe looks fantastic – I love overripe and blackest bananas – so good! Now I have this overripe plantain I want to use and fry them up with rice 🙂

    Sriracha is my favorite! We finished it in 1 month in Spain and found it at the big Asian supermarket 🙂 and sadly we couldn't find one here in Argentina especially in ChinaTown (they had the other brand, but it is not as good as Sriracha). The local cuisine in Argentina isn't spicy so you won't see any spicy sauces anywhere.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16097190577011498780 Allysia

    I adore black plantains! I love 'em sliced for dessert with a little cinnamon. 🙂

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16097190577011498780 Allysia

    That is awesome, Jolene! I was wondering when that would happen. 🙂

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16097190577011498780 Allysia

    Sriracha goes well with everything (except dessert maybe? ha ha).

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16097190577011498780 Allysia

    Yup, totally get it with the spices/garnishes. Fresh herbs is crucial I think, even if it's just cilantro (what am I talking about 'even if'…cilantro is amazing).

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/11490816021651698189 Jolene – EverydayFoodie

    Oh, and I forgot to answer your question … we are going to Vancouver for our little vacation! Both our birthdays are 2 days apart and just after the long weekend, so it's our little celebration 🙂

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/17066424084187434409 Joey

    I'm going to get me two hats, put them on, then take my hat off to you once for that banana bread (good call on that – don't want to be deprived of afters!) and once more for those chapatis. I've never managed to make a flat bread that wasn't terrible!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/03361314949001991348 Maggie Muggins

    Mmm, all your meals look great! What do you guys normally throw in your tahini bowls? I'm in serious need of some new go-to meals. Nice job on the flat bread, I still have never attempted to make my own, I'm thinking that needs to change the next time I make soup.