chocolate-chip banana muffins

One of the first baking recipes I ever learned to make was my mom’s banana bread. To me, banana bread just tastes like home. And it’s a great recipe for someone like me who hates to waste food. I prefer to eat bananas when they are just ripening, still a little green at the tips. When they begin to get brown spots, I really don’t care for them. But thanks to Mom, I don’t have to worry about them going to waste — I just whip up a batch of banana bread…

…or banana muffins! In the past few years I’ve gotten really into making muffins instead of bread because I just find muffins so much more portable — easy to slip into a lunchbox or grab for breakfast on the way out the door. {That said, you could easily adapt this recipe for a loaf of bread if you’d prefer!}

I added chocolate chips to Mom’s recipe for a little extra treat to start the school year off right. 🙂 Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

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chocolate-chip banana muffins

  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 & 3/4 cup flour {I used whole-wheat flour}
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup ripe mashed bananas {I used two bananas}
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper cups and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients.

4. Add a portion of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well. Then add a portion of the mashed bananas. Continue alternating dry ingredients and mashed bananas until the entire mixture is combined. {Batter will be slightly lumpy due to the bananas.}

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5. Add chocolate chips.

6. Spoon batter into paper muffin cups, about 3/4 of the way full.

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7. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Enjoy! These are great for breakfast, a mid-afternoon snack, and also make a great healthy dessert!

Hope your week is going great,
-Dallas

chicken & quinoa salad

A few weeks ago, Mike and I went down to Indianapolis for the day. We went to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch, one of my favorite restaurants — I used to eat there all the time when I lived in California, but since moving to Indiana the closest one is in Indianapolis about an hour away. Whenever we go there, I always get my favorite pizza, the Barbeque Chicken Pizza. This time I tried something a little new: the Hawaiian Barbeque Chicken Pizza {pretty much the same pizza, but with pineapple added. YUM!}

Another item on the menu, however, did catch my eye: a healthy and delicious-looking chicken quinoa salad. I ended up sticking with my tried-and-true fave pizza, but I made a mental note to sometime come up with my own version of the salad inspired by the CPK version.

I tried out this recipe tonight, and it turned out great! Both Mike and I give it two thumbs up!

{This recipe currently serves two people, but can easily be modified to serve more.}

chicken & quinoa salad

– 2 chicken breasts
– 1 cup uncooked quinoa
– 1 and 1/4 cups water
– 4 cups arugula {or your choice of lettuce}
– 1 cucumber
– 2 roma tomatoes
– 1 tsp chopped garlic
– feta cheese to taste
– pine nuts to taste
– salad dressing to taste {I used fat-free sesame; I think a balsamic vinagrette would be nice, too}

1. Cook chicken in a pan on the stove until golden brown; I used a nonstick pan, but you might want to use a little olive oil if you’re worried about it sticking to the pan.

2. While chicken is cooking, boil 1 and 1/4 cups of water. Stir in quinoa and garlic and cook about ten minutes, until all the water is absorbed.

3. Slice up the roma tomatoes and cucumber and cooked chicken.

4. Serve quinoa and chicken warm over bed of arugula. Top with tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, pine nuts, and salad dressing.

YUM!

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Time spent: 25 minutes
Cost: about $6.00