Monday, July 16, 2012

Mmm Mmm Monday

While we were in Arkansas Aaron was up here watching wayyyyy too many Netflix documentaries on nutrition: Food Inc, Forks Over Knives, Food Matters ... and probably a dozen more. He was super serious about us changing up our diets and all but becoming like that girl on Notting Hill who thought any vegetables plucked from the earth had been murdered ... I'm not kidding. The man loves a cause.
After a couple "debates," we met in the middle and walked into Wegmans ready to get our healthy on. As I'm getting in the hang of our new lifestyle of mainly plant-based, whole food menu I'm planning to chart our discoveries (Or our more likely would be our failures and quick return to Paula Deen and The Pioneer Woman). But HOPEFULLY it will be a mix of the two: making healthy food yummy!

I love cooking. I'm one of those people that plans out a weekly menu and usually at least half of those are Pinterest finds that I've never made before. My kids are used to my culinary adventures and will eat most anything, bless their sweet hearts. However, even I was shocked when they gobbled up Aaron's southwestern salmon he cooked last night. Maybe this will be easier than I thought!
I'm not really sure what this will look like weekly at this point, but on Mondays I'll try to post at least one recipe ... In a perfect world that will be healthy family faves, but probably a couple slip-ups as well ... Like today. Clearly, I'm off to a good start.

Tonight's Menu is pretty easy- one of the great things about healthy food is that it's usually easy to make since it seems you're not coating the food in lots of unhealthy stuff.

First up: Baked Tilapia.
This recipe is so easy, so yummy, and only takes a few minutes to pull together.
I'm pretty sure if you've ever made tilapia (or most other white fish) then you've probably made the same thing ... But I'll share my fav way, just in case.
All you need is:
4 Tilapia Fillets
2 tbs butter
1 tbs of minced garlic
A pinch of dill
A dash of salt and pepper
A dash of paprika
Juice of half a lemon

To prepare:
Preheat oven to 350.
Over low heat melt your butter and then add in the rest of your ingredients (except the tilapia).
Once it begins to simmer you can pour a bit of the sauce in the bottom of a shallow baking pan. Then place the fillets in the pan as well and pour the rest of the sauce over the fish. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. It will be done when it flakes easily with a fork.
Easy Peasy!

Next on the list: Kale Salad
Kale is all over the documentaries we've watched as a super-food. So I see it being a main staple to our diets. The vitamins and minerals packed inside are unbelievable.
This is such an easy way to fix it without losing any of the goodness it's known for.

All you need is:
Kale: rinsed and chopped
1 large Avocado: mashed
Juice of half a lemon
Dash of kosher salt

To prepare:
Just mix together the avocado and lemon juice and then toss it with the kale. Throw in a dash of salt and serve. It really is super yummy!

Okay, so last on my list is one of the yummiest things I've made in a while... Definitely not part of the healthy eating plan ... But it does have bananas. Sooo ... Yeah, there's that. I saw this on Pinterest yesterday and couldn't get it out of my head until I eventually ran to Wal-Mart to get the fixins.

Last but not least: Chocolate Chip Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

To make the layered cake you have to double this recipe, which is what I did. The recipe that follows is just one 8 inch round cake ... But next time I'm doing it in cupcake form ... You'll see why.

Here's what you need:
For the cake-
1 yellow cake mix
3/4 c water
1/3 c oil
3 eggs
1 c mashed bananas
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c of mini chocolate chips

For the frosting-
1 c butter, softened
1/2 c peanut butter
4 tbsp water
3 tbsp of honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
4 c of powdered sugar

To prepare:
For the cake-
Add in the cake mix, baking soda, cinnamon, eggs,water and oil and beat on low for one minute. Increase mixer speed and beat for two more minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips and bananas by hand.
Grease and flour an 8 in cake pan and fill with batter. Bake at 350 for about 38 minutes. Cool in the pan for ten minutes before letting cool on a wire rack. Frost.

For the frosting-
Cream butter and peanut butter. Add in 2 tbsp water, salt, vanilla and cream again. Slowly add in the sugar. After all the sugar is added, add in another 1-2tbsp water.
Beat in the honey until creamy.


When I first saw the picture of this cake I could not get over how pretty it was ...

She said she used to be pro cake decorator. Look at the basket weave technique. Mmm hmm. Here's how mine turned out:

It reminds me of one of my favorite Pinterest pins ever:

It was still one of the tastiest cakes ever!!!

Happy Monday!

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