Tag Archives: banana

What I Ate Wednesday – Birthday Edition!

8 Aug

Hey I had a birthday not long ago! I’m 31! My birthday was actually at the end of July, so this is a bit late. But anyway. My birthday day was very relaxing. I went on a 3.1 mile run for my 31st, which is something I want to make a habit of for birthdays to come!

Paul came home with a bag full of goodies from Cafe Indigo, like really a bag full. We shared a piece of vegan fudge before going out to eat sushi. After sushi we headed to a bar that I had heard has many beers on tap, and then we went galactic bowling! I haven’t been bowling in years. I’m still terrible at it, it seems!

But this What I Ate Wednesday is about what I ate the day AFTER my birthday! Paul and I headed down to Boston, with plans to stay at a swanky hotel and go see a play in a park in Chelsea.

We woke up late-ish and had breakfast. Judge me if you want, but I eat egg white omelets sometimes. Paul makes really good omelets, what can I say.

This one had spinach, sauteed mushrooms, and vegan cheese in it. We had toasted pitas with homemade blueberry lime jam (more on that tomorrow!) and fruit salad.

After packing up our things for the night, we made a pit stop at the local running store. I picked up a new pair of Mizuno Inspires, since the Brooks Adrenaline were just not working out for me (not enough room in the toe box for my freakishly long second toes). Across the street is this cafe called Planet Marshmallow that sells homemade marshmallows. We picked up a bag. Again, feel free to judge! I ate eggs and gelatin on the day after my birthday. It happens sometimes. I ate some with a banana on the way to Boston

We checked into this totally swanky hotel that had bath robes and slippers waiting for us (I think rich people have freakishly small feet?) and it started looking like it was going to rain. We were pretty sure the play in the park was off, so we decided to walk around. We had a small snack and some coffee before heading out

The plan was to walk in the direction of Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge. I am obsessed with this place, they have the most amazing food and I have to eat there every time we’re in Boston. We made it about a mile before it started raining. I saw this shortly before getting on the T.

Don’t forget!

So it started POURING! Stupid us, we brought umbrellas with us, but didn’t take them on our walk. Of course, a little corner store had some for us to purchase. We made it to Veggie Galaxy mostly dry.

And then we ate so much.

We skipped the vegan frappe this time, sadly. It is so delicious but so filling.
I ordered the Vegetable Pot Pie with smoked tofu, covered in pesto, with mashed sweet potatoes and arugula. We ordered a kids portion of the vegan mac and cheese because it is too good to not order. It had to be done. And Paul had the Beer Battered House Smoked Tofu, which came with red cabbage slaw and the most delicious black pepper french fries. I mean, how awesome does this food look? It tastes even better! They even make their own ketchup. Seriously. Love you, Veggie Galaxy.

After eating, it was still raining. We made it over the Charles river, but not without getting drenched. So, we decided to pick up some booze, get a cab back to the hotel, and just relax for the night.

Mission accomplished! We shared a bottle of cider, and some black IPA. The IPA went so well with a Cafe Indigo brownie:

We spent the rest of the night curled in our bath robes, watching the olympics. That was a fine birthday for me!

Peanut Butter Banana Soy Ice Cream

29 May

I have a deep, dark secret hiding in my freezer.  Not the collection of severed heads, I kind of like showing those off.    No, I have about half a case of the limited edition Elvis Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  You know, peanut butter and banana.  I was so excited about these things that my friend Brian bought me an entire case when he first spotted them.

But they didn’t quite live up to my expectations and a case of peanut butter cups is a lot to handle, so I started feeding them to anyone that came over to my apartment.  I chopped them up and put them in brownies.  Anything.  Eventually I forgot they were there, and they pretty much just serve as a ledge to put my frozen veggies on.  Maybe someone will eat them someday.

Peanut butter and banana is one of my favorite combinations.  Peanut butter is one of my favorite things to put in ice cream.  Ice cream is one of my favorite foods, period.

So I thought I’d give the soy ice cream another try.  I would really, really like to get a soy ice cream made that doesn’t turn to a rock in my freezer.  I mean, it’s fine, just let it thaw for a little bit and it’s still creamy and good.  But I really like attacking the ice cream in my freezer at random moments, spoon in hand.  I can’t do that if the ice cream is too hard to eat.

There’s two problems with homemade soy ice cream.  1) You need a high fat content to get it creamy.  Soy cream doesn’t quite have the fatty fatness of heavy cream from cows.  2) When making ice cream, it just gets whirred around in the ice cream maker for a half hour or so.  Any longer and it would probably turn back into ice cream liquid.  So you don’t get a bunch of air mixed in.

So I wanted to use half soy cream and half soy milk, and hoped that the peanut butter would add enough fat to make it creamy enough.  The grocery store near me has stopped carrying soy cream (jerks!), so I had to use all soy milk.  To even things out, I decided to add a couple of teaspoons of canola oil to the mixture.  And I hoped for the best.

Fresh out of my ice cream maker, it had the usual soft serve consistency.  It tasted awesome, but I let it get a little more solid in my freezer.  After a few hours it was firm enough to scoop nicely.  Look!

Holy cow, that’s some nice looking ice cream.  Since I really like peanut butter a lot, I would up the amount to maybe 3/4 cup next time.  The banana overpowered it quite a bit.  It’s not an incredibly sweet ice cream, even though there is a lot of banana.

After a whole day in my freezer, it did turn to a brick.  Less of a brick than other soy ice creams have, but still very hard.  Oh well!  I haven’t had a chance to feed some to anyone yet, but I’m bringing a container of it to Bret’s this weekend so hopefully it wont kill him.

 Okay on with the recipe!

Ingredients!

3 ripe bananas

2 cups soy milk or 1 cup soy milk and 1 cup soy cream or any combination you want, I suppose

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 – 3/4 cup peanut butter

1 Tbsp. vanilla (or less, I don’t think it needed that much)

1 – 2 tsp. canola oil or flax oil (optional, I’m not actually sure it did much)

Directions!

Put your bananas (peeled!) into a blender and blend with the soy milk/cream until there are no chunks left.  At this point you’ll be tempted to drink your banana soy shake, but resist temptation and pour it into a saucepan.

Add the brown sugar and the peanut butter to the saucepan, and heat it over a medium-low heat.  Stir it all up until the peanut butter and sugar dissolve.  Take it off the heat and add the vanilla and the oil if you’re going to use it.  Go ahead and lick the spoon that you’ve been using, because it’s gonna taste real good.

Let the mixture sit until it’s cool, then transfer to a lidded container and stick it in the fridge for a few hours.  Once it’s cold, process it in your ice cream maker.

Eat it right away or let it harden a bit in the freezer.  Once it’s frozen for more than a day, you’ll need to soften it up in the microwave for like 10 – 15 seconds so it’s scoopable. 

– Ellen

Banana Chickpea Curry Mk. II

7 May

I had to try this recipe again. Mainly because it was awesome but also because I wanted to try a few things. One thing I didn’t get to try was cooking it with Thai chili peppers because Brenna was over for dinner and she’s a total wussface, and I also didn’t get to try any Thai basil because it wasn’t available at the grocery stores I checked. But I tried my new lemongrass tactics courtesy of Shreyas, and I tried green curry paste and some minced ginger. It turned out real great. Beyond the two lacking ingredients, the only thing I feel like this recipe missed was browning up the chickpeas before adding the coconut and the curry. But this one was mega tasty and might be close to perfect.

I felt guilty making it without Ellen around though. :/

-Bret

Banana Chickpea Curry

14 Apr

So for our first post I thought I would write about a recipe we made together and I think we talked about making a food blog while we were doing that. So yeah this is totally appropriate as a first post. I really wanted to cook something with bananas and so we searched the internet.

You know what there’s a lot of? Banana desserts. Know what there’s not a lot of? Banana entrees.

So we thought real hard and decided that bananas would be awesome in a curry. Other people thought that was a good idea too but their recipes were all too complicated. We came up with some ingredients to use and away we went. It was good!

Banana Chickpea Curry!

Ingredients!

2 tablespoons canola oil or some other oil for sauteing

3 shallots, chopped or diced or something

1 bell pepper, chopped

1/2 stalk lemon grass, chopped

2 bananas, unripened and sliced

1 15 oz. can of chickpeas

1 however-many oz. can of coconut milk

2 tablespoons curry paste (we used red but that’s because it’s all we had – green might be better)

Directions!

This is how Ellen did it. I watched. And waited…

So heat the oil in a big pan or skillet. Let it heat up good and then drop in your shallots, bell pepper, and lemon grass. Let it sizzle and smell good until it turns soft and your shallots are translucentish.

Now you should add in the chickpeas and the bananas. Let them heat up and brown up. I don’t know if our bananas actually browned, but they should have. Okay, forget the browning.

Now dump in the coconut milk and the curry paste. Stir it up until it changes into a color. Let it bubble for awhile. Make sure your vegetables are soft. Poke them!

Okay, I think it’s done. You should serve it over rice or maybe some noodles. Eat! Not bad for people who have no idea how to make curry, right?

Bret’s Notes!

So here’s what I would do differently if I was doing it again: I would have put the chickpeas in at the very beginning so they would have browned. I also would have put in the whole stalk of lemon grass and maybe I would have put it in with the coconut milk. Maybe I’m making this up, but I feel like the flavor of the lemon grass would saturate the curry better that way.

Two additions I would make are some Thai basil. It was super-good, but it lacked something. I think that something was Thai basil. Ellen thinks I’m wrong. I think her butt is wrong. Ooh. I would also add a Thai chili pepper or two because I like spicy things. If you don’t like spicy things don’t do that. Eat something safe instead like bread. Or porridge.

Also: I like cooking with Ellen!

Ellen’s Notes!

I did some lemongrass research.  To bring the flavor out more, I think we should have sliced it and then mooshed it in a food processor for a couple of seconds.  And then it could be added to the coconut milk!  Something about bruising the stalks brings out more of the lemony flavor, or so’s the word on the streets.  There’s a stalk and a half of lemongrass left.  I will try it and report back!

Bret might not be wrong about the Thai basil.  I do, however, dig on cilantro quite a bit and it would probably be quite tasty either added at the last minute or used as a garnish.  I am right there with him on the Thai chili peppers.  The cayenne added enough heat, but the peppers would add heat and tastiness.

I am fairly sure that Bret and I are awesome.  For only having a vague idea of what makes a curry, the result was curry-ish enough to fool me into thinking we knew what we were doing.

I like cooking with Bret too!