I’ve been trying to eat healthier. Incorporate more veggies. Get in more fish and shrimp. Cook more at home- at least during the week. But I want easy, convenient, and tasty! Thanks to Trader Joe’s, one of my favorite make at home meals is just that.
My husband and I shop at Trader Joe’s in Kenwood almost every Sunday. We found these fresh stir fry veggies, already chopped up, in the produce section. Score. We decided to pair these veggies, which include baby corn, peppers, broccoli, and snow peas, with shrimp, but chicken or pork would be delicious too.
Here are the steps to make this simple stir fry:
Heat oil and garlic in a pan.
Add shrimp and cook for about two minutes. We buy the frozen medium shrimp- peeled and deveined.
Add the veggies to the pan and cook about three minutes.
Add your favorite sauce. We like Goyza sauce (typically for dumplings, I think, but it’s so good). Stir.
Serve on a bed of vegetable fried rice. We buy the frozen rice at Trader Joe’s. All you have to do is open the bag and heat in a skillet. OR, make it healthier and use cauliflower rice.
We like snacking on edamame while cooking. It’s like having an Asian restaurant in our home. Finish the meal wth some fortune cookies and you have the entire authentic experience. Oooh, have chopsticks!?
A dear friend of mine just reminded me that the very first thing I ever made for her was my banana-chip bread. This made me smile. While banana bread is not bound to a particular season, to me, winter calls for warm banana bread. Whether you slice it and spread a little butter on top, serve it with a warm cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk, you can’t go wrong. Banana bread is breakfast, afternoon snack, and evening treat.
This is my go-to recipe because I love baking with honey (local honey if possible) rather than sugar. If you want to go even healthier, replace the oil with applesauce. Also, I’m messy enough in the kitchen, so I appreciate that this dish is pretty much whipped up in one bowl. I don’t need to fuss around with a bunch of dishes.
⅓ cup vegetable oil
½ cup honey
2 (or 3) large bananas mashed
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ¾ cups flour
Optional add-ins: ½ cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, blueberries, fresh banana slices, etc. Tip- If baking with blueberries or other fruit, toss in a bit of flour (this keeps them from sinking to the bottom).
Optional toppings: Swirl a bit of nutella, peanut butter, or cinnamon on the top; not only does it look gorgeous, it tastes great.
Getting ready to whisk it up!
Get creative with your mix-in ingredients.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan or a mini loaf pan.
In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk.
Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined.
If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, fold them in now.
Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and swirl in topping if desired.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If you’ve added mix-ins, it will need a bit longer.
Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack for cooling.
A couple years ago I purchased an 8-cavity mini loaf pan and it’s totally changed my bread game. First of all, if you’re being good, it’s a single serving (if it’s more than a single serving, let me live in denial please). Secondly, these mini loaves make perfect pick-me-ups for friends, family, and coworkers. Lastly, I like experimenting with mix-ins and toppings. For example, in this batch, I had two blueberry banana (topped with sugar crystals), two banana nut, two banana chip (topped with a nutella swirl), and two regular (topped with a cinnamon swirl).
Making banana bread on WKRC local 12.
If you’re feeling really fancy, bag up your individual mini loaves, add a cute label. . . maybe some ribbon, and deliver!
Mr. Chippy. Mr. Berry. Mr. Nutty.
Check out Bob Herzog and John Lomax whisking up some bread with me in the studio at WKRC 12! The video is below.
GO THERE (WKRC local 12, the kitchen)! TRY THAT (banana bread, mini loaves, baking for others)!