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:
Fresh baked bread
Sundried tomato spread
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!
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.
Grease the bottom and sides of your muffin tins with coconut oil (I use a mini crumb cake 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
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
Slice the bananas into a separate bowl and then mash them being sure to leave some chunks.
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
Next combine the wet ingredients with the dry and mix to combine. The batter will not be runny, but will hold together fairly well.
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
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
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
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).
"The diet that helps to reduce weight in the short run needs to be the same diet that creates and maintains health in the long run."
~T. Colin Campbell
The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have.