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
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
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.