Banana Bread

Cream together:
            1 ¾ c. sugar                                                ½ c. butter
            4 beaten eggs
            2 c. mashed bananas (abt. 4)                    1 t. soda
            1 ½ c. flour                                                1 t. vanilla
            ½ c. whole wheat flour

Bake at 350 for 40 –50 minutes.  Makes 2 loaves.  

Thanks to my mom for this amazing recipe!

Spice Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Spice Crusted Pork Tenderloin

2 1/2  tsp. salt
2 tsp. granulated garlic
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander

Mix together and store for later use.  When ready, preheat oven to 450 F.  Rub spic mix over a 1 LB pork tenderloin.  Heat medium skillet over medium heat,  add a small amount of olive oil and brown pork on all sides turning every 3-4 minutes with tongs.  Transfer pork to a roasting pan and cook until internal temperatures reach 145 F.    Let rest at least 4-5 minutes before thinly slicing.   

Italian Dressing Mix

Italian Dressing Mix

1 tablespoon garlic salt

1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
2 tablespoons salt

Mix together and store until ready for us.  Great for making salad dressings and seasoning chicken. 

Blackened Tilapia

Blackened Tilapia

1 ½ TBSP paprika
½ TBSP onion powder
½ TBSP salt
½ tsp. ground white pepper
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. garlic power
¼ tsp. celery seed
Dash cayenne pepper, or to taste

2 tilapia loins
1 TBSP olive oil

In a small bowl mix together spices.  Coat all sides of the fish with the spice mixture and if time allows place back in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Heat a medium skillet to medium high heat.  Add olive oil to hot pan and allow the oil heat for 30-60 seconds.  Place the fish in the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side or until fish is opaque and can be flaked with a fork.  Remove from the pan and serve with rice and vegetables.

This is one of our new favorites- we make it at least once a month and everyone is begging for seconds. Recipe adapted from   

Poppy Seed Muffins

Poppy Seed Muffins

3 eggs*
2 1/2 cups white sugar
½ cup plus 2 TBSP safflower oil
½ cup applesauce

1 1/2 cups milk (rice milk can be used)

¼ tsp. Stevia (optional)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 TBSP poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

¾- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (or more until you get the right consistency)
1/8 cup frozen apple juice concentrate (orange juice concentrate or milk may be used as well)
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. almond extract

Beat together the eggs, 2 1/2 cups white sugar and oil. Add in milk, Stevia (optional), salt, baking powder, poppy seeds, vanilla, almond flavoring, and flour. Mix well.  Bake in paper lined muffin cups at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20-23 minutes or mini muffins for 13 minutes.  The tops should be browned and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.  Remove muffins as soon as you can while still warm/hot and dunk tops into glaze. Turn right side up and cool on a cookie rack.

These are so good!  I love the zing the apple juice concentrate gives the glaze but the rest of my family prefers them without a glaze.  They freeze very well.  Recipe modified from

*3 TBSP chia seeds and 9 TBSP of water can be used in place of the eggs.  The texture of the muffins change dramatically, they have a more spongy texture and need to be cooked 3 minutes longer. 

Chicken and Cashew Lettuce Wraps

Chicken and Cashew Lettuce Wraps

3 TBSP soy sauce
3 TBSP honey

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts- cut into ¾ inch pieces
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely minced*
1 TBSP fresh grated ginger*
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (8 oz. can) sliced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed

½ cup roasted cashews, roughly chopped
1 head Boston or romaine lettuce, wash and separate lettuce leaves
White rice

Combine soy sauce and honey in a small bowl; set aside.  Heat a medium size sauté pan over medium heat.  Once the pan is very hot, drizzle a small amount of olive oil into the pan.  Wait a few seconds for the oil to get hot.  Sauté the chicken over medium heat, then season with salt and pepper.  Once chicken is almost cooked through, add the garlic, green onions and ginger.  Then add the water chestnuts and most of the soy sauce mixture.  Continue cooking until chicken is fully cooked.  Divide lettuce leaves among individual plates.  Spoon prepared rice into lettuce leaves, spoon the chicken over the top, then top with cashews and remaining soy sauce mixture. 

*A microplane is perfect for tool for quickly grating garlic and ginger.  It’s a great investment for the kitchen.  While you are grating the ginger, go ahead and grate the entire thing.  Freeze TBSP proportions of the grated ginger in an ice cube tray.  Once fully frozen, transfer the ginger cubes into a ziplock bag and return to the freezer.  Next time you make this dish, simply thaw one of the ginger cubes.   

This is one of our new all time favorite dishes.  It’s super simple, doesn’t have any dairy or gluten and we all love it.  It was easy to throw together, makes fantastic leftovers and is fun for kids to assemble their own “lettuce boats.”   Thanks to my friend Reed for introducing me to this dish and for his mom Carol Taylor for the recipe.  It’s a winner.