The other day I made the most delicious banana bran muffins as a study snack. I know, I sound like an absolute grandma, but they were so tasty and I couldn’t resist trying to make comfort food a little bit healthier (ok, truth is I had some wheat bran sitting around that I literally hadn’t touched since I made a variation on my quinoa granola and I had a few ancient bananas that were minutes away from rotting, so I thought I might as well whip something up while I was thinking about it). The recipe I followed was super easy and the muffins came out so moist and fluffy. Did I tell myself I’d only have one and share the rest then end up eating five in the same day? Yes, but seeing how fast my housemates finished the rest, I will definitely be doubling (or tripling) the recipe during the next go around!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Ingredients: (makes 12)
– 1/2 cup butter, softened
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 3 ripe bananas, mashed
– 1/4 cup milk
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 eggs
– 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup wheat bran
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/4 tsp salt
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease muffin pan. In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar together until fluffy. Then add bananas, vanilla and eggs. Mix well. Finally, stir in flour, bran, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour batter into muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes then test with a toothpick to see if centers are baked through yet. If toothpick does not come out clean, bake for another 5 minutes. Remove muffins from oven and let cool in pan. Then transfer from pan to wire cooling rack to cool completely. Lastly, dig in!!
Posted in dining, diy
Tagged bake, banana, bran, comfort food, cook, culinary, diy, do it yourself, easy, food, grandma, granola, housemates, muffins, recipe, snack, study, tasty, yum
Guys, I can’t wait to share about my lunch from yesterday with you all! After completing my very last final of winter term I was absolutely starving. I was tempted to just inhale a bagel from the dining hall, but I decided to restrain myself and instead let my creative culinary juices flow (ok, I did have some potato salad while I was at the dining hall, so sue me!). I picked up some fresh veggies from the salad bar and headed back to my house. I grabbed the leftover uncooked quinoa from when I made this and got to work. The result? An easy, healthy, and totally I’ll-never-eat-dining-hall-food-again delicious lunch that I am still dreaming about.
– 1 cup quinoa
– 2 cups broccoli, red and green bell peppers, and mushrooms
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1/2 cup Kikkoman Stir-Fry sauce
Combine 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, set at a simmer and cover. While quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in skillet. Add vegetables and stir-fry for about 3 minutes or until slightly browned in some places. Continue to check on quinoa, stirring occasionally. Return to vegetables. Add stir-fry sauce and mix well for about another minute. Remove skillet from heat. Quinoa should be just about ready now. Stir and make sure that there is no more water on the bottom of the pot — it should all be absorbed by the grains. Once the quinoa is ready, remove from pot and scoop into large mixing bowl. Add vegetables to bowl and combine with quinoa. Serve and enjoy!!
This was such a delicious lunch and I had such a great time making it (you should have smelled the house!). I could imagine adding grilled chicken or even some scrambled eggs to the mixture for an extra punch of added protein, but this simple meal was satisfying just the way it was! Please let me know if you try this recipe yourself, or if you come up with any creative twists on a scrumptious classic! And, as always, enjoy!!
Posted in college life, dining, diy
Tagged apartment, bagel, broccoli, cat, cat ziac, college, cooking, creative, cuisine, culinary, delicious, dining hall, diy, do it yourself, eat, exams, finals, green bell pepper, healthy, house, hunger, iac, ingredients, kikkoman, leftover, lunch, mushrooms, olive oil, pan, pot, potato salad, quinoa, red bell pepper, salad bar, sauce, skillet, starving, stir-fry, stove, thegarnetletter, vegetables, veggies, winter 2014, winter term
Who doesn’t love a good pancake? Such a sweet comfort food, but definitely not the epitome of a healthy breakfast. Luckily, the girls of Tone It Up have come to the rescue with amazing, delicious, and (best of all) super simple protein pancakes! I whipped up a batch for myself one morning last week after an early work out and before heading off to class. The recipe was so easy to follow and SO tasty! Treat yourself here:
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
– 1/4 cup egg whites
– 1 scoop protein powder (I used chocolate flavor — talk about taking amazing to the next level!)
– 1/2 banana
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tbsp almond milk
Mash banana in a small bowl. Stir in almond milk and mix in remaining ingredients. Coat small pan with cooking spray and set over medium heat. Pour batter into pan (about half works well) and cook until you see bubbles rising. Flip pancake and cook all the way through on the other side. Serve with fruit (or plain!) and enjoy!!
(Thank you to Karena and Katrina of Tone It Up for this delicious recipe!!)
Posted in dining, diy
Tagged 2014, almond milk, banana, breakfast, cat, cat ziac, chocolate, cinnamon, comfort, cooking, culinary, delicious, dining, diy, do it yourself, egg whites, food, healthy, ingredients, karena, katrina, morning, pancake, protein, protein powder, simple, tasty, thegarnetletter, tone it up, winter, wok out, ziac
Monday was a big day for me. I had my first grapefruit during breakfast. I’m sure I’ve tried a piece here and there before, but this was the first time I’ve sat down and deliberately ate a grapefruit. all. by. myself. I used a fork and knife (#shouldausedaspoon) and kind of made a mess… Nevertheless it was delicious and knowing all the health benefits (just Google it!) I will definitely try to incorporate the cute fruit into my diet more often. Want to know a great culinary trick when it comes to eating grapefruit? Sprinkle a little salt on top — it actually brings out the fruit’s natural sweetness and subdues its bitterness better than sugar!
Posted in dining, diy, me!
Tagged breakfast, cat, cat ziac, culinary, dining, diy, do it yourself, eating, grapfruit, salt, sugar, sweet, trick, ziac
I’ve done a “5 things to try this week” post before (here), but I love the idea so much that I figured I’d have a go at it again. It’s easy to make weekends great, but sometimes just that fact that the week is the week can make it quasi-miserable. Don’t let that happen! Here are 5 things to try this week:
1. Make kale chips
My best friend from college is a bit of an epicurean and is always testing out new (and incredible!) recipes. When she visited me at school in the fall she brought some home-made kale chips and I’ve been dreaming about them ever since. This recipe seems to be easy enough!
2. Work out
I’ve been doing some of the video work-outs from Karena and Katrina’s ToneItUp.com and I absolutely love the routines. They are super fun, but they also make you work up a good sweat! Plus, the girls have a new show on Bravo, so after you’ve burned some cals you can burn some time in front of the TV!
3. Call a relative
It’s too easy sometimes to let life get in the way and the next thing you know every holiday with the extended family becomes more of a catching-up time than a time for celebration. Give one of your relatives a call this week just to chat. You’ll be surprised how surprised they’ll be!
A lot of college students are either headed back to school soon or already back at school. Set aside at least one hour this week to get organized. Whether this is color-coding your notebooks, cleaning out the top drawer of you desk, updating a studying application on your phone, or organizing your email inbox (see my tips here!), this is one “unproductive” hour that will increase the productivity of all your other hours!
5. Send me a note!
I’d love to hear your comments/questions/suggestions regarding TheGarnetLetter! Send me a letter here:
Posted in diy
Tagged 2014, 5 things, bravo, cat, cat ziac, catch up, college, comment, culinary, diy, do it yourself, email inbox, exercise, family, food, glitter guide, health, how to, kale chips, karena, katrina, letter, note, organize, phone call, productivity, question, recipe, relatives, school, show, student, suggestion, thegarnetletter, tone it up, toned up, tv, week, weekend, work out, ziac