Banana Bites

So you have bananas but want a nice twist to them so they aren’t so dull? Make banana bites. These are simply sliced bananas dipped in batter or chocolate to turn them into tasty treats.

shallow Fried banana bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut/ 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (if your bananas are more on the ripe side reduce this)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4-5 bananas
  • oil for frying

NB: if you have self-raising flour, put a cup of this and DON’T add the baking powder.

Method:

  • Mix the flour, baking powered, desiccated coconut/cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl, and the milk and egg in another. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones until you have a pancake-like batter.
  • Cut up your bananas into bite-size pieces.
  • Heat your pan with enough oil to shallow fry the bananas.
  • Dip the pieces in the batter than place them in the oil, rotating each one until all sides are golden brown, then transfer them to a rack or a paper towel spread out to get rid of any excess oil. don’t worry if they turn out wonky, they’ll still taste great!

banana collage

Serve with whipped cream, honey, syrup or just as is. You could also dust them lightly with icing sugar.

Chocolate banana bites

Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas
  • 1.5 cup chocolate chips/crushed chocolate
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil

Watch the video for instructions:

Homemade Flavored Popcorn

For as long as I can remember, we have always made popcorn at home on the stove. It’s fresh and healthy and you’re in control of your seasoning to popcorn ratio.

I tried this little mix to add a little fun to my popcorn for those days you just need a quick sweet treat:

Ingredients

  • 6-8 cups popcorn
  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup nuts (if you want)

Method

Make your popcorn be it on the stove or buy some plain salted ones.

In a pan melt the butter then add your brown sugar and cinnamon. Let it heat until slightly thick, but don’t over do it. Pour your mixture over popcorn (and toss in your nuts), cover it and shake to distribute the mix. Spread your popcorn on a baking sheet or on wax paper on a flat surface to let it dry. Then put it in a bowl and enjoy 🙂

Now if you want some healthier options (less salt and butter) check out these recipes from Lively Aly

 

Banana Mug Cake Recipe

You find yourself craving a sweet treat and really don’t want to leave the house…mug cakes are the answer! Now I know not everyone has these ingredients in their home but maybe you should.

Anyhow, my current favorite is a simple, moist, banana mug cake.

Ingredients:

Ingredients.jpg

  • 1 tablespoon butter/margarine (melted)
  • 1/2 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 3 tablespoon plain flour
  • 3 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • You can add nuts if you like.

Method:

Mash the banana till it’s as smooth as you can get it, with a fork.

To a microwaveable mug add your butter and melt it. Make sure it’s at room temperature and add in the other wet ingredients (egg, milk, milk and mashed banana.

Add in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar) next, and fold them into the wet ingredients until it’s well combined and there aren’t any lumps.

Put into the microwave and let it cook on high for 1 minute. Different microwaves work…well…differently so if it isn’t quite done after a minute, cook it at 10 second intervals until it’s moist and cooked through. Don’t over do it though…it’ll dry out the cake.

You can add whatever you like on top and dig in. It’s awesome when it’s nice and warm.

Let me know how it goes 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to Basics: Cooking Rice and Pasta

Everyone knows how to cook rice and pasta right?

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Here are some easy instructions:

Cooking Rice

What you need:

  • 3 cups rice
  • 4 cups water (for every cup of rice add an extra cup of water. 1 cup rice, 2 cups water e.t.c.)
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Method:

Wash and rinse the rice really well, until the water doesn’t look milky. Place in a sufuria with the water and salt and stir once. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat all the way down and cover the sufuria tightly with a lid. Cook on the lowest heat possible for 10-15 mins without uncovering the pan. After 10-15 mins, leave the sufuria lid on to let the steam do the last of the cooking for 5 mins.

Keep in mind that there are different kinds of rice and some brands have instructions written on the packaging.

Don’ts

Do not cook on high heat, it won’t make it cook faster and you’ll end up with a gooey mess on the top and a black disaster on the bottom.

Do

Try this pilau recipe once you’ve gotten the basics down.

Cooking Pasta

What you need:

  • Pack of pasta
  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Method:

Choose which pasta you want to cook. Fill a large sufuria 2/3 of the way with water. Turn the knob on the stove to high and add salt and olive oil, then wait for the water to boil.

  • Macaroni add to the boiling water as is.
  • Spaghetti since you’re learning, split the spaghetti in halves and add to the boiling water.

Take care that the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom, especially when you first add it. Turn down the heat slightly, continue to boil the pasta, and continue to stir every so often. Make sure you don’t cover the sufuria. After about 10 minutes, take a piece of the pasta out and bite into it. If it’s too hard to bite it needs to cook a little longer, and when it’s cooked all the way through but still firm, it’s ready. Turn off the stove and empty the entire sufuria of pasta into a strainer and drain the excess water, then pour the pasta back into the sufuria.

Don’ts

Don’t cook it like rice, util there’s no water. It’ll be a sticky mess you’ll have to cut apart with a knife.

Do not cover with a lid.

Do

Try this Spaghetti With Chicken and Beans and put your on spin on it.

Top two Pancake Recipes

Pancakes are an easy breakfast option especially on a lazy Sunday morning. I’ve tried out recipes and these are the ones I enjoy.

Banana Pancake Recipes:

Regular:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk(butter milk is great)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed (it’s okay if it’s chunky)

Method

  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • In separate bowl, mix together beaten egg, milk, vegetable oil and bananas.
  • Stir flour mixture into banana mixture. It’ll be a little lumpy so don’t over stir.
  • Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium high heat.
  • Pour or scoop batter onto pan, using about 1/4 cup for each pancake.
  • When you see bubbles, flip the pancake over and then cook until the other side is golden brown.

No flour or milk:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large banana (it should yield about 1/3-1/2 cup, mashed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Method:

  • Cut the ripe bananas into pieces then mash in a bowl until it takes a pudding like consistency. There’ll be a a few chunks.
  • Beat the eggs then combine with the banana. At this point you can add in the cinnamon and baking powder as well.
  • Pour or scoop batter onto pan, using about 1/4 cup for each pancake.
  • When you see bubbles, flip the pancake over and then cook until the other side is golden brown.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (you could also cut up a chocolate bar into small bits)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter/margarine

Method:

  • Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  • In separate bowl, mix together beaten egg, milk and butter.
  • Stir flour mixture into wet mixture until smooth, then fold in the chocolate chips/bits
  • Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium high heat.
  • Pour or scoop batter onto pan, using about 1/4 cup for each pancake.
  • When you see bubbles, flip the pancake over and then cook until the other side is golden brown.

Pancakes are best served warm with choice of syrup, jam or butter. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Strawberry Chicken Salad with Poppy seed Dressing

If you are set on eating healthy then one of the things you’ve been striving to do is finding a meals that don’t compromise on flavor. If you’re on the ‘no carb’ diet this has been especially challenging when you go to local restaurants.

Well one of the spots that’s both convenient and relatively affordable that has some yummy salads is Java. I am yet to try one I don’t like. My top salad now is the ‘strawberry chicken salad with poppy seed dressing’.

The first time I saw it I wasn’t sure it was a wise choice. I mean apples and raisins in salads is pretty normal for most people but one sees ‘strawberry’ in a salad menu and it just doesn’t register as delicious. But it actually really is.

For those who feel they’re a little more adventurous, this salad is a must try. It’s salty with a nice sweetness and added crunch from the nuts. If you’re having a rough day, having this salad for lunch will give you that something extra to power through. It’s playful, fresh and excitingly confusing. Pair it with an iced lemon and ginger with honey (easy on the honey).

Here’s a recipe I found that you could try

Don’t be afraid to improvise.

Happy eating 🙂