Saturday, April 4, 2009

Banana Bread Muffins

Zen got the idea of banana bread stuck in his head after watching an episode of Blues Clues. After talking about it all week, we picked up a bunch of bananas today and made muffins instead of a loaf. Just seemed more fun that way! This recipe has my modification based on one posted by Elise from

4 ripe bananas
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 12 cup muffin pan.

Mash bananas with a fork in large mixing bowl. Stir in butter, eggs, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and fold in. Add the flour and nutmeg and fold in.

Pour mixture into the buttered muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees after 15 minutes.

Cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes before attempting to remove from the pan (but they are OH SO GOOD WARM!).

Red Curry Carrot Soup with Apple Lime Salsa and Jalapeno Corn Cakes

This yummy lunch was prepared as part of "Natural Foods 201: Food as Medicine," an ongoing series at Sevananda Natural Foods Market on the first Wednesday of each month from noon to 2 p.m. We chased away symptoms of yucky seasonal allergies with this spicy soup and its tasty accoutrement. It was simple to make and really, I mean REALLY, good. I hope you try it.

For the soup
1 lb organic carrots, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2" piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
salt and pepper

In a large pot, saute onions, garlic and carrots until onions become translucent.

Stir in tomato paste, ginger and curry paste and continue cooking occasionally until the vegetables caramelize.

Pour in enough water to cover by about two inches and bring up to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking about 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender.

Puree the soup with a hand blender or by pouring batches into a stand blender. The soup should have some body and still be somewhat chunky and rustic. Return to the pot and keep warm.

For the salsa
2 fugi apples (or granny smith if you want it tart vs. sweet)
juice from 1 lime
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, diced

Dice the apples and place into a mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients and season lightly with salt and pepper.

For the corn cakes
1 cup whole grain or multi-grain corn muffin mix
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 red bell pepper diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (or more to taste)
pinch of salt
lots of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup water (more or less to get the consistency of pancake batter)

Combine all ingredients except water in a mixing bowl. Gradually add water until you get the desired batter consistency.

Cook just like you would pancakes: Heat a griddle or pan with a tablespoon of oil or butter. Spoon 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle/pan to form cakes. Cook on each side about 4 minutes. Spread with butter and serve.