Pinteresting Banana Chips

I saw a recipe on Pinterest for homemade banana chips.  The picture looked like this…

The text read: “Slice banana into thin chips, dip in lemon juice, and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake for 2 hours @ 200 degrees and flip. Bake for another 1.5-2 hours or until crisp, MAYBE add cinnamon”

They looked delicious and sounded easy enough… only mine turned out like this:

Aesthetically, they were an epic fail but they still tasted great.  Here are some tips in case you want to make these chips at home.

I used 3 bananas, sliced at a diagonal about 1/4 inch thick; thinner slices stuck to the cookie sheet and were miserable to scrape off.  I cooked them at 200 degrees for 3.5 hours, flipping once (hello high electric bill) and used a spatula to remove the chips while they were still hot.  The banana chips get crunchy as they cool so for the most crunch wait until the chips completely cool off.

If you make these with more success please let me know!

Monday.

That’s all I’ve got.  Well, that and a little story…

Back in April, my husband sat near Albert Pujols while dining at Fogo De Chao in Scottsdale; we are from St. Louis so this is kind of a big deal.  Bob was thrilled because for that brief moment in time he and Pujols had one thing in common… the love of meat wrapped in bacon on a skewer.

We visited a similar restaurant on Friday and now I have one question for Albert… after dining at a churrasco 5 nights in a row (according to the waiter), how does he cope with a meat hangover?  I wonder if he even gets such a thing… we certainly did.

Despite the 2-day food coma, we still managed to get out to do some hiking; we found a lone apple tree on the trail and picked these delicious little guys to take home.

We also got a taste of winter after the first snowfall on Pikes Peak.  Who wouldn’t love this view?

I hope your week is off to a great start!

Birthday Treats

Remember when you brought treats to school for your birthday and everyone sang to you?

Now, if you bring treats to your workplace and demand singing you are perceived as creepy and kicked off the happy-hour invite list.  It’s so unfortunate.

Is it still weird if your wife makes the treats and demands you take them to work on a day that just so happens to be your birthday?  No singing required.

I certainly hope not because I sent my husband off to work with some insanely delicious homemade Pumpkin Oatmeal Creme Pies.  It’s his birthday and the first day we are allowed to cheat on Sugar-Free September without a mile-run-per-offense punishment.

We don’t have big plans; we are just celebrating his 29th year with a little chocolate, a lot of meat and maybe a gin and tonic (or two)- totally his idea of a good time.  Oh, and I’m super excited to announce that he is finally trading in his Env or Chocolate or whatever old-fashioned cell phone for an iPhone 5 and I could not be more thrilled!  Good things come to those who wait and he has been waiting 4 years!  I’m totally impressed, I gave in a long time ago.

Now I can only hope his coworkers don’t send him home with a shaved head…

 

 

Sautéed Peach & Coconut Overnight Oats

There is a delicious mess going on over here and it’s impacting our entire week…

We are making mornings a little easier with a week of overnight oats and quinoa.  These jars are incredibly easy to put together and make mornings a lot more convenient.

Quinoa is packed with protein to keep you full while oats offer a mild and familiar flavor that is perfectly complimented with various fruit combinations.  In the upcoming weeks, I will share more of these recipes but I want to post this one right away so you have a way to use those delicious end-of-season peaches.

Sautéed Peach and Coconut Overnight Oats

Makes 1 jar

Ingredients

  • 1/3 c. gluten-free old-fashioned oats (can substitute with cooked quinoa for a protein boost)
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 peach, sliced
  • 1/2 c. coconut milk
  • 1/4 c. shaved, unsweetened coconut
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds

Method

Heat the coconut oil in pan and add the sliced peach, sauté until soft.  In a jar, add oats, coconut milk, shaved coconut, salt, cinnamon and chia seeds.  Close the jar and shake to combine then refrigerate overnight.  You can eat this cold or warm it up in the morning.

Weekending

I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend!

In addition to yoga teacher training (more on that later) I got to hang out with the hub, watch hot air balloons glow and check out Taste of Colorado where we watched a great cooking demo by Daniel Asher, Chef at two restaurants I’m dying to try.  I especially loved the emphasis on using locally grown, fresh foods to support the economy and environment; always a good choice.

And my best piece of advice for the weekend came from the inside of my mug…

 

Sugar-Free September

Well, we survived 4 Meatless Mondays in August and today officially begins this month’s challenge: Sugar-Free September!

Skipping sugar is probably the last thing you want to think about as you stare at the dessert table while watching your favorite college football game but, in this house, it’s time to kick the bad habits we picked up while enjoying the sweetness 0f summer!

The rules are simple: no refined sugar or added sweeteners (including honey, agave, cane juice, stevia, etc) for the entire month.

There’s just one catch… both of us celebrate birthdays this month so a treat on those days will be the only exception!  Setting one or two cheat days during a 30-day challenge makes the effort much more bearable.

So, are you in?

 

Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas with Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

You could say this recipe developed in the midst of complete kitchen chaos…

It was a concoction created minutes before dusk as we rushed out to exercise the energetic lab puppy residing with us for the next 10 days.

But, it doesn’t really matter how this dish came together because it’s all about flavor and this enchilada packs a punch.

You are probably thinking “really, again with the lettuce wraps?” Sorry!  These gigantic, locally grown collard greens were irresistible!  If you must, you can substitute the greens for corn or (it pains me to say) flour tortillas.

We had a communication breakdown during the recipe development; I said “grill the tomatillos,” the resident carnivore heard “peel and pulverize.”

We were left with a delicious, fresh tomatillo salsa that added a wonderful flavor to the dish.  It’s a great thing the resident carnivore’s dad is a chef because Bob inherited some major skills!

Hatch Green Chile & Chicken Enchiladas with Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

Time: 1 hour Serves: 4

Filling

  • 3 boneless Chicken breasts
  • 1 can black beans (omit for Paleo)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ white onion
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 5 fresh Hatch Green Chiles, you can used canned as well
  • ½ c. Cilantro
  • Tomatillo salsa (recipe below or use store bought)
  • 1/2 c. shredded Monterrey jack cheese (optional, omit for Paleo)

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

  • 6 tomatillos, peeled and chopped
  • 1 poblano
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1.5 c. cilantro
  • Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Place the chicken breast garlic and white onion into a pot, fill with enough water to cover the chicken and bring to a boil until cooked about 18-20 minutes.

Wash and dry the collard greens and place in a large baking dish filled with about a ½ inch of water.  Cover and place in the pre heated oven to steam for 10-15 minutes (depending on size).  This will soften the greens and make them easier to fold.

Meanwhile, heat a grill pan or skillet over medium heat and cook the green chiles, jalapeño and poblano pepper  until they are blistered and soft.  Set the poblano aside as you will use this in the salsa.  Drain and rinse the black beans and place into a large mixing bowl.  When the chicken is through cooking, shred and add to the black beans.  Add chiles and cilantro and mix well.

To make the salsa, add the tomatillos, blistered poblano, jalapeno and cilantro to the food processor and blend until well combined.  Season to your liking with salt.

To assemble place a few spoonfuls of the chicken filling in the middle of a collard green leaf, add one spoonful of salsa (more if desired) and begin to fold the bottom and sides in as you wrap up the collard green.  Place in a baking dish and repeat until you use all leaves.  Top with salsa and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until heated through.

Make ahead: the filling can be made ahead and refrigerated for one day, you can also assemble the enchiladas ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Enjoy!