Posts tagged ‘peanut butter’
It has been humid this past week in Boston, and so I have been craving cold salads and anything frozen. Last summer, I made a heavenly frozen treat that I nick named “Monkey Bites.” When I got around to making them again this summer, I found a way to simplify and clean up the process.
Smart, you say, right? I’d like to say that I am always that on top of my game, but we all know that is not true. More often than not, I am prone to some pretty hilarious blonde moments. Take the time I walked into my grandparent’s glass door in Florida trying to look at the alligator in their lake. They were nice enough to tape a napkin to the door for the rest of the week so I knew my boundaries. In my defense, my grandma is a very clean lady…
When I am not walking into doors or saying silly things, I am at least coming up with creative kitchen ideas! The recipe is about the same: bananas, chocolate, and peanut butter. But the method is simplified and cleaned up with some handy grill skewers. First, cut the bananas into bite sized chunks. Then, thread a few onto a skewer and pop them into the freezer for an hour or two. When they are almost frozen, melt down some chocolate and peanut butter. This is much easier than creating a peanut butter layer on each individual banana piece but still gets you some chocolate and peanut butter-y goodness in every bite!
Then, take the skewers, and rotate the banana pieces in the chocolate, using a spoon to make sure they get fully covered.
Pop ‘em back in the freezer for 20 minutes, then slide ‘em off the sticks and keep in a Tupperware in the freezer! They make a good snack or small dessert bite, perfect for steamy summer days. Enjoy!
Question: Are you prone to blonde moments? Leave a comment telling your funniest silly story!
Smarter than a Monkey Bite
3 medium bananas, very ripe, cut into chunks
3 standard chocolate bars of your choice
2 tbsp peanut butter
6 wooden skewers
Cut the banana into pieces. Slide, with space, onto skewers and freeze. Meanwhile, melt chocolate and peanut butter over a double boiler. Cover each banana piece with chocolate mixture. Freeze for 20 minutes on the skewers, and then remove to a storage container. See text of post for more detailed instructions.
Time is flying faster than I can keep track of! I feel like I just started my third year clerkships, yet I am already 1 week away from finishing my first rotation. The weeks have been busy, so I am backlogged on a few things that have been coming out of my kitchen lately. Like these to-go oatmeal muffins – they have been sitting on my camera almost as long as the bananas were sitting on my counter top. I have a short window of ripeness during which I enjoy bananas, and so I often end up making banana bread if my bunch ripens too fast. I wanted something more substantial for breakfast than my typical quick bread, however, so I tried making mini baked oatmeal muffins. (They aren’t exactly muffins since they are rather dense, but I am at a loss for what else to call them…) They turned out well first shot, so I have been enjoying them over the past week for breakfast! They are whole grain and filled with protein, and low in calories at about 150 calories per muffin. I have been taking two each morning, eating one before rounds and one during mid-morning to keep me going. (Anyone else have insatiable morning hunger problems? No? Just me?) They could also be a great afternoon snack, and are good cold or hot. Suits my oatmeal, peanut butter, and wholesome food craving all in one bite!
Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal, To Go!
makes 10-12 muffins
2 cups rolled oats
2 medium bananas, overripe and mashed
2 cups milk of your choice
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp ground flax seed
2 tbsp agave nectar
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
11 tsp peanut butter
Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the peanut butter. Coat a muffin tray with cooking spray. Fill 10 muffin tins halfway with oatmeal mixture. Spoon in 1 tsp peanut butter to each muffin. Fill the tins the rest of the way with oatmeal. If there is leftovers, fill 1-2 more muffins in the same fashion. Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Immediately upon removing from oven, take a knife to loosen the edges of the muffins. Allow to cool for several minutes and then remove to rack to cool completely. Enjoy one for a snack or two for an on the run breakfast.
Well, time sure flies! I would apologize for being a negligent blogger, but sometimes life is full and takes up more time than expected, and I am not one to regret living it. Between running home to visit my new nephew, getting fancied up for the school formal, going to New Hampshire with my Christian Medical Dental Association for a weekend, and catching up with old friends who are now in different cities for medical school, I would say I have had my fair share of fun over the past few weeks! This also meant that I had to buckle down last week to study for my neurology exam, and so blogging took a necessary hiatis. It was somewhat freeing to spend a little less time in front of my computer screen, but that doesn’t mean I still wasn’t in the kitchen! I have a few fun recipes backlogged from the last few weeks to share, kicking it off with an awesome Vegan Groundnut Stew.
One of my good friends in college, who is now in med school in the midwest, was visiting last weekend for her Spring Break. During our sophomore year of college, she came home and stayed with my family for Thanksgiving. After indulging in all of our American traditions, my mom and I wanted to try something from my friend’s culture. She is originally from Nigeria, so we decided to try out Groundnut Stew. We made the traditional version, to which my friend deemed worthy by stating, “It smells authentic.” A huge compliment coming from Joy! And it tasted pretty good, too! I haven’t thought much about that stew since then, but wanted to try a vegetarian version for my friend’s latest visit. Groundnuts are another term for peanuts, so this soup is pantry-item friendly if you are a peanut butter lover and always have some on hand. It has a good amount of heat to it, and a lot of creaminess, giving it a unique depth and richness. Instead of the traditional meat, I found a recipe from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen that uses sweet potatoes and chickpeas. My friends loved it, even with the modifications. Try this soup out – it is fun, easy, and cheap!
Question: What is one exciting thing you have done in the last week?
Adapted from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, serves 6-8
1 onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
2 14.5 ounce cans chopped tomatoes
2 14.5 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
½ cup natural peanut butter
Saute onion, jalapenos, ginger and garlic in a splash of water. After 5 minutes or until onions soften, add spices and stir to combine. Add cubed sweet potatoes, tomatoes and chickpeas. Cover with vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer for thirty minutes. When potatoes are tender, stir in the peanut butter. When well combined, add the chopped kale and allow to wilt. Serve.
You know you are a med student when:
A. you ask for highlighters and notecards for Christmas
B. you get excited about going to an outside-of-school lecture on the link between diabetes and obesity
C. you view a day off as an extra reading day for your upcoming exam
D. all of the above.
Guilty as charged. Even nerds have to eat, though! Here is a glimpse into my MLK Day!
I started Jillian Michael’s “No More Trouble Zones” – but I couldn’t finish! I need lighter weights, stronger arms, or a longer attention span… or maybe this is another all of the above question ;)
My aunt had me over for dinner on Saturday, and graciously found a vegan friendly recipe for me! It was absolutely incredible the first time, so I was happy to take home some leftovers! The recipe is from her Sicilian hair dresser, and contains cauliflower, raisins, pine nuts, bread crumbs and saffron. I would love to try to recreate it for myself sometime! I had some mixed salad greens and spinach with almonds, cranberries and balsamic viniagrette on the side.
My afternoon was spent doing work with a friend at Panera. Unfortunately, not the most vegan friendly if you have a craving for something sweet, but I was satisfied with a handful of peanuts and raisins, an orange, and a bottomless mug of hot tea!
Dan was complaining about how his veggie and rice dinners are getting boring, and so I recommended this peanut sauce to him. I used to make it a lot in college, and would always share the recipe with guy friends who were new to cooking. It is easy and the ingredients are something most people always have on hand. I spiced up the basic sauce recipe a bit, and was amazed by the results. I may or may not have used a spatula to scrape up every last drop… give me peanut butter and veggies in one meal and I am a happy girl. You can be happy, too, since the recipe is below!
I needed to make cookies to bring to a friend’s house on Tuesday, which needed to be vegan friendly and use only what I had on hand. Enter these Skinny Fig Bars from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. Of course taste testing was in order! I was shocked by how well these turned out. They have almost no added sugar, and are reminiscent of Fig Newtons, but have an even better texture. I used some fresh squeezed orange juice instead of lemon juice and anise extract, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly!
Question: Did you have off for MLK day?
Thai Peanut-Ginger Stir Fry
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp + 1 tsp lime juice
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp ground giner
1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
for stir fry:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 red and 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
2 large handfuls snap peas, cut in half
1 cup brown rice, cooked according to instructions
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
Mix together all of the ingredients for the peanut sauce in a small bowl. Set aside. Over medium heat, sautee onions in olive oil until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the snap peas and bell peppers and sautee for 3-4 more minutes. Stir in the peanut sauce until vegetables are well coated. Serve over cooked brown rice and top each bowl with 1 tbsp chopped peanuts.
Time for another WIAW! Thank goodness this is a short week! I really needed Monday to recover from my half-marathon and other related festivities! I spent the day doing laundry, prepping snacks for the week, and enjoying good muscle-recovery food. Here is a glimpse into my day of domestic recovery!
I woke up much earlier than planned because I was starving! I guess running 13.1 miles the day before will do that to you! I grabbed a handful of granola and tried to fall back asleep, but eventually gave in and got up. I am done with my sugar fast, so I enjoyed jam again for the first time in three weeks! One of my favorite combos on toast is berry jam with goat cheese, and this sandwich was made extra special by homemade blackberry jam from my visit to Italy and fancy bread from the pre-race pasta party.
I spent most of my morning catching up on blog writing and reading, cleaning, doing laundry, and making snacks for the rest of the week! I made these bars from Miss Smart, and enjoyed a few bites as I was rolling them out! I also made these cookie dough balls from Chocolate Covered Katie, taste testing a bit here and there!
Vitamins and minerals in leafy greens are also essential for muscle recovery, so I made myself a big raw kale salad! Angela recommends allowing the kale to marinate in the dressing for 15 minutes, so that is what I did. The result: balsamic marinated raw kale with cranberries, celery and almonds. I was surprised at how good this was! The kale softened a bit in the dressing and had more flavor and crunch than normal lettuce leaves. And how could a combo of balsamic, almonds, and cranberries be bad?
I received a bag of whole almonds as a gift, and just couldn’t let them go to waste! I spent some time shelling them, and then made Chelsey’s cocoa roasted almonds. I probably nibbled as many cracked almond pieces as I did get successfully shelled almonds, but at least nothing went to waste. ;) And now I have a great study snack to satisfy any chocolate cravings I might have in the next few weeks! Afternoon snacking was rounded out by a crisp apple, though not pictured.
My original plan for the afternoon was to make a Roasted Garlic and Potato soup that I have been daydreaming of for a while, complete with some homemade bread, but the unseasonable weather changed my mood! After having the oven on for only 20 minutes to roast the almonds, I decided it was way too hot out to make soup and bread. I pushed that recipe back into my head until it cools down later in the week, and settled on some leftover barley and beet risotto instead. Served with a little shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top – just as good as the first time! My night was finished off with a handful or two of BBQ potato chips and a glass of red wine while studying with a friend – a little splurge to treat myself for the previous day’s work!
Hope to be making that soup later today now that fall is back in Boston… stop by later this week to see the results!
Question: What is the best thing you ate today?
So happy that it’s Wednesday! The last of our lectures for the cardiovascular section is today, leaving me with just 1 1/2 more days of intense studying and then 3 whole days off… As exciting as a distant long weekend may be, Wednesday is even more exciting because of Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday Party! Hope you have had some great meals so far this week!
I woke up early and didn’t want to wake my roommate up while banging around the kitchen, so I snacked on a clementine until a more decent hour. When the sun was finally up (even though my roommate still wasn’t!), I decided to try a new oatmeal bake: peanut butter and banana. I mixed 1/2 cup oats with 1/4 cup milk, 1 tsp ground flax, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1/4 mashed banana. I baked it at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, broiled it for another 2 minutes, and then coated it with another swipe of peanut butter and sliced banana. Paired with a huge cup of coffee, it made for the perfect morning!
I am not usually a salad for lunch kind of girl because I get hungry too quickly after. But my Boston Organics box this week was packed with veggies begging for salad use! I packed myself a big salad with red leaf lettuce, baby spinach, sprouts, carrots, dried cranberries, and balsamic hummus dressing. I always keep the dressing separate when I bring a salad to go so I don’t have leak problems in my backpack en route, and so the lettuce isn’t soggy by the time I get there! No lunch is complete without fruit – a plum and another clementine!
Mid-afternoon snack: 4pm
As predicted, I was hungrier than normal mid-afternoon, after walking to and from school (my bike lock broke, so I am foot mobile until my new one comes!) and spending a lot of brain energy in an exam review. I inhaled this bowl of grapes while settling back down into study-mode.
I am so thankful roommate dinners are back! It is great to cook and share conversation together, and have an excuse to slow down for an hour or two. Plus, we usually make some pretty fantastic food! As we enjoyed a bowl of butternut squash soup with some toast, we decided that fall flavors were our favorite. Pumpkin, squash, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger – so much warmth in fall food!
If we weren’t convinced of our love for fall enough, this bowl of sugar-free apple crisp sure set us over the edge!
Be sure to come back tomorrow for the Butternut Squash and Apple Soup and the Sugar-Free Apple Crisp recipes!
Question: Are you a seasonal food lover? What is your favorite fall flavor?
It’s amazing how fast a head cold can strike you down. I was feeling fine on Saturday – studied, met a friend for coffee, ran 11.5 miles. Then I sneezed, and all of the sudden all I wanted was my bed and a tissue box. I slept 9 hours Saturday night and 10 hours Sunday night in hopes of shaking this cold early. Here is a glimpse into my Monday eats while I was sick! Make sure you check out Peas and Crayons to see other bloggers creative meal ideas!
Breakfast: 9:15 am
Coffee makes my throat even more scratchy than it already is, so I decided to have some chai tea with a splash of rice milk instead. I had a whole grain English muffin with a bit of homemade peanut butter (my second batch, since we used the first up hiking!) and an orange on the side. Load me up with fluids and vitamins please!
My fridge is looking pretty sad right now. My Boston Organics delivery is on Tuesdays, so I only had white and sweet potatoes in my veggie drawer by Monday. Time for some back up green stuff from the freezer! I saw this recipe for Coconut Curried Potatoes with Peas on Daily Garnish a few weeks ago and couldn’t wait to try it. It was so good! I ended up following the recipe more loosely, using what I had on hand rather than running out to the store. I cooked the potatoes in a bit of water, used regular coconut milk, used a little less curry powder (because I ran out), added some curry paste, and used fresh instead of powdered ginger. Even so, this turned out amazing, and now I have lunches for the rest of the week! I enjoyed my lunch with more tea – this time, green tea with slivers of fresh ginger.
Magic nap: 3:30pm
I slept for an hour and a half, choosing to listen to my body rather than my self-imposed study schedule. I went to bed sick and woke up feeling so much better! Still with a runny nose, but no longer feeling sick.
I made plans to meet a few friends from undergrad who are still in school at BU. We met up at my old favorite study spot, the student union. Of course there is a food court there, but it is a bit overpriced if you are no longer on the meal plan. Creature of habit, I packed my dinner into a Tupperware, threw it in my backpack, and biked over to campus! Remember the freezer pesto cubes from yesterday? I threw one in with my hot pasta to let it melt a bit, and then fully mixed it in when I re-heated my meal before eating it. A little broccoli to follow the 1:1 pasta rule… yum! Apple for dessert (the no-sugar thing is much easier this week than last!) Like my veggie supply, my fruit is also running low. I always eat my apples and oranges at the end of the box, since they have a longer shelf life than bananas, berries and stone fruits. Seasonal fall apples are always a treat!
A handful or two of peanuts and raisins before bed to keep my stomach from rumbling, and a cup of Sleepy Time Tea! Sleep and tea – the best cure for the common cold.
I have been thinking a lot about last week’s post and love the feedback I have gotten so far! I would love to hear more thoughts, and will be back tomorrow or Friday with an update of some of my own thoughts and musings about the problem of obesity in America and how doctors should address it.
Question: What was the best thing you ate today?
If I had it my way, I would make an all out breakfast everyday. I love pancakes, waffles, french toast, frittatas – I am a serious breakfast fiend. Unfortunately, early weekday classes leave no time for elaborate morning preparations. I wish there was a solution to my desire for a healthy, exciting breakfast every morning… oh wait, there is! I have been a huge fan of Kath’s overnight oats all summer, loving the endless variation of toppings and preparations you can include to keep things interesting. They take only a minute or two to put together the night before, take absolutely no time in the morning (especially if you eat it straight out of the jar!) and are a lot lower in sugar and higher in fiber (not to mention cheaper) than most prepared cereals. Cold oatmeal sound weird to you? It freaked me out at first too, but give it a try. It is really a refreshing change from hot oats on a summer morning.
Check out Kath Eats Real Food to see her endless variety of oatmeal toppings and her basic outline for overnight oats. My recent creations have been pretty tasty too, and help keep me full through long mornings of class and studying. I love peanut butter and banana together, and the peach was great with the creamy, cold oats. Chia seeds, which keep appearing in my in overnight oats, take on the texture of mini tapioca balls (like you would find in bubble tea) when they are soaked, which I totally love! They are definitely optional, or could be substituted with ground flax seed for the same omega-3/fiber benefits. My ultimate goal is to make mocha overnight oats, but can’t seem to get the chocolate and coffee ratios right… the experiment will continue. Leave it to a medical student to try to infuse their breakfast with coffee! For any of my fellow stressed out med students, check out this NY Times article that a friend sent my way. He and I both found it inspiration to keep studying for another day :)
Question: What are your favorite oatmeal toppings?
Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup oats
1 cup water (or 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup milk)
Combine all ingredients, except banana, in a jar. Let soak in the fridge overnight. In the morning, add half a slice banana.
Perfect Peach Overnight Oats
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup oats
2/3 cup water (or 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup milk)
3 tbsp vanilla yogurt
sprinkle of cinnamon
2 tbsp granola
Combine the vanilla, chia seeds, oats, and water in a jar overnight. In the morning, mix in the yogurt. Top with the sliced peach, cinnamon and granola clusters.