Tag Archives: bread

GOURMET SANDWICH BAR – Great for Entertaining

Gourmet Sandwich Bar

Gourmet Sandwich Bar

There are days when I just don’t have time to prepare an elaborate meal, so often on those days when my kids ask, “What’s for dinner?” I answer with, “gourmet sandwiches.”  My family has come to love this answer.  Who knew something so simple could taste so good?

I have also found that a gourmet sandwich bar can be a good solution when entertaining…it looks fancy, but is quick and easy to put together.  In addition, this is a great meal to serve when there will be vegans and meat eaters at the same event. 

My in-laws had some friends in town and I had them over for dinner last night.  I knew that they were meat eaters, so I added grilled chicken to the sandwich bar menu.  Last night my sandwich bar consisted of:

  1. Fresh baked bread
  2. Sundried tomato spread
  3. Pesto spread
  4. Mayonnaise
  5. Grilled Mushrooms
  6. Carmelized onions
  7. Avocado
  8. Tomato
  9. Lettuce

I serve this menu buffet-style which allows people to make their sandwiches to their liking.  I have made this meal many times for guests and it always turns out well.  I also find that by slicing the chicken people tend to eat less meat (Sneaky me…always trying to reduce the meat consumption of those I care about!).  If you were to leave the chicken breasts whole, people would eat the whole breast in their sandwich.  When you slice it up I find that people eat about half as much meat!!!

Last night my sandwich consisted of bread, sundried tomato spread, lots of grilled mushrooms, carmelized onions, avocado, tomato, and lettuce (I could barely get my mouth around it!).  I wanted to take a picture of it for you, but got too busy jabby gabbing with my guests.

Maybe you can have a sandwich bar this weekend when you host your Super Bowl parties!

Gourmet Sandwich Bar

Gourmet Sandwich Bar

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Filed under Main Dish, Quick, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

HEALTHY BANANA BREAD (Gluten- Free and Vegan)

Banana Bread Muffins

Our family eats a lot of bananas, but ever so often a few get to the point where my kids find them too ripe to eat plain… I then know it is time to whip-up some banana bread (click here to see another use for ripe bananas).  This recipe has been my tried and true recipe for a while.

My daughter has a wheat allergy, so a few years ago I began experimenting with alternative flours.  I know I have a winning recipe when my husband (who does not have a wheat allergy) gives them the thumbs up.

This recipe tends to be healthier than most because it uses nut flours as the base (coconut and almond) which are much lower on the glycemic index than regular flours.  I also do not use sugar in this recipe.  The bananas in themselves are very sweet since they are so ripe.  I do add some Somersweet (which was created by Suzanne Somers).  Somersweet uses inulin which comes from chicory and is a pre-biotic.  If you do not have Somersweet on hand, you can substitute sugar (coconut sugar or brown sugar).  Coconut oil is also a very beneficial and nutritious.

DRY INGREDIENTS
1 cup blanched almond flour
1 cup coconut flour
2/3 cup Somersweet
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ cup coconut oil *
2 handfuls pecans (chopped) **
1/3 cup Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips **
* will be mixed in with the dry ingredients with a pastry blender
** will be mixed in once the batter has been made
 
WET INGREDIENTS
1 cup vanilla So Delicious Coconut Yogurt OR applesauce
2/3 cup So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 bananas (mashed)
4 eggs OR the equivalent Ener G Egg Replacer
Preheat oven to 325˚.

Grease the bottom and sides of your muffin tins with coconut oil (I use a mini crumb cake pan).

Grease the Pan

Grease the Pan

Combine all of the dry ingredients (except for the coconut oil, pecans, and chocolate chips) in a bowl and whisk them to incorporate.

Whisk All of the Dry Ingredients

Whisk All of the Dry Ingredients

Once the dry ingredients are well mixed, add the coconut oil into the mixture and cut it in with a pastry blender.  You want the coconut oil to break into lots of tiny pieces so that when you add the wet ingredients you won’t have large chunks of coconut oil throughout your batter (this step is very important).

Blend in the Coconut Oil

Blend in the Coconut Oil

Slice the bananas into a separate bowl and then mash them being sure to leave some chunks.

I Use a Potato Masher

I Use a Potato Masher

Add the rest of the wet ingredients into the bowl with the bananas and mix well.

Add in the Wet Ingredients

Add in the Wet Ingredients

Next combine the wet ingredients with the dry and mix to combine.  The batter will not be runny, but will hold together fairly well.

Incorporate Wet & Dry Ingredients

Incorporate Wet & Dry IngredientsBatter Texture Pre- Pecans & Chocolate Chips

Batter Texture Pre- Pecans & Chocolate Chips

Batter Texture Pre- Pecans & Chocolate Chips

Once the batter is fully mixed, add in the pecans and chocolate chips.

I use an ice cream scoop (approximately 1/3 cup) to fill my muffin tins and make them uniform so they cook evenly.  Once you have filled the muffin tins, push them down to flatten.

Using and Ice Cream Scoop

Using and Ice Cream Scoop

Flatten the Muffins

Flatten the Muffins

If you have any remaining batter, put it into a zip lock bag, flatten it, and remove all of the air bubbles.  This batter freezes well.

Freeze Remaining Batter

Freeze Remaining Batter

Bake the muffins for 30-40 minutes (depending upon your muffin tin).  Turn the pan 180˚ halfway through the bake time.

Once they are nice and brown and the middle of the muffin is set, remove from the oven.

Nice & Brown

Nice & Brown

Let the muffins rest for 5 minutes and then transfer them to cooling racks.  It is very important to allow the muffins to cool so they firm/set-up.  The texture of the muffin won’t be at its best until it is room temperature (not that my kids ever wait that long).

Cooling Racks

Cooling Racks

Once they have cooled enjoy!

For a printable version of this recipe click here

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Filed under Breakfast, Dessert, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegetarian