Author Archives: Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)

Carrot Cake Granola

I can’t believe this week is finally here! It’s our wedding week! Travis and I have been engaged for about one year and a half, and after so many months of wedding planning and thinking about our special day, we are both thrilled that it’s here.

We are getting married in Boston (where I grew up) on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, and flying from Boston to Greece for our honeymoon a few days later. If you’ve been to Greece and have any recommendations with us, be sure to let me know! I know the next week is going to be a whirlwind, and I am going to do my best to soak it all up.

If you love carrot cake, then you're going to love this healthy Carrot Cake Granola! It's gluten-free, vegan, and packed with delicious carrot cake flavor. Eat it with yogurt, milk, or just on its own! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…food!

I’ve been on a major granola kick recently. After months of regularly making my favorite Cardamom Granola, I decided to change things up a bit. For this new granola recipe I wanted to make something reminiscent of my all-time favorite dessert: carrot cake.

If you love carrot cake, then you're going to love this healthy Carrot Cake Granola! It's gluten-free, vegan, and packed with delicious carrot cake flavor. Eat it with yogurt, milk, or just on its own! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

This granola has all of the essential elements of a good carrot cake (minus the frosting, of course!). It’s packed with freshly grated carrots, walnuts, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. It’s also an ideal recipe for anyone with dietary restrictions because it’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free.

If you love carrot cake, then you're going to love this healthy Carrot Cake Granola! It's gluten-free, vegan, and packed with delicious carrot cake flavor. Eat it with yogurt, milk, or just on its own! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

If you love carrot cake like I do, then I know you’re going to love this carrot cake granola. Serve it on top of yogurt, with milk, or just snack on it right out of the container!

 

Carrot Cake Granola
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 3 cups
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup grated carrots
  • ½ cup unsalted pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup unsalted walnuts, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves (optional)
  • ⅛ cup maple syrup
  • ⅛ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raisins
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, grated carrots, pecans, walnuts, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves (optional). In a separate small bowl mix together the maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Pour the maple syrup mixture into the bowl with the oats and carrots, and toss until well combined.
  3. Spread the mixture out evenly on the lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, rotating the pan and stirring the granola halfway through the baking time. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool until the granola reaches room temperature. Then add raisins and toss to combine. Store the granola in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.
 

If you love carrot cake, then you're going to love this healthy Carrot Cake Granola! It's gluten-free, vegan, and packed with delicious carrot cake flavor. Eat it with yogurt, milk, or just on its own! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

My New “Products I Love” Page!

Hey guys! I hope you’re having a great week so far.

I am popping in with a quick post today to let you know about my brand new Products I Love page. I wanted to make it easier for you to reference products I mention in blog posts, so now you can find them all in one place instead of searching through old posts.

The new page is located at the far right end of the menu bar at the top of my site. If you hover over Products I Love you’ll see a dropdown menu with different categories.

 

I’ve separated the products into four categories: Cooking and Baking Equipment, Pantry Staples, Small Kitchen Tools, and Natural Cleaning Products. I am sure that as time goes on I’ll add more categories as needed, but for now, hopefully you’re able to find what you’re looking for.

When you click on a category you’ll be taken to a new page that shows products I love and use on a regular basis.

My New Products I Love Page -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

In some cases I’ve included a bit of commentary to let you know how I use the product or what I love about it.

As I discover new products I’ll make sure to add them to these pages. There are some products for which I was unable to find a reasonable price online, so I haven’t added those to these lists (because no one wants to spend $43 on 2 boxes of cereal!).

I hope you like these new pages and find a new-to-you food product or cooking tool that you love. Please note that if you click on a product image, all of the prices listed are the actual selling prices. While I may receive a tiny commission if you purchase one of these products, there is no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this little blog!

 

If there are any categories or products that you want to see, just be sure to let me know in either the comments below or by emailing me.

Spinach Salad with Cherries, Goat Cheese, and Pistachios

This Spinach Salad with Cherries, Goat Cheese and Pistachios is the perfect healthy, summer salad! Add grilled tofu or chicken and you’ve got yourself a protein-packed workday lunch.

Spinach Salad with Cherries, Goat Cheese, and Pistachios is a summertime crowd pleaser! Even your pickiest eaters will love the combination of sweet and tangy in this delicious and healthy salad. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I love cherries in the summer. They’re best between May and August, so I take full advantage during the summer months and buy them almost weekly. While delicious just for snacking, cherries are incredibly versatile and can be used in many different dishes, both savory and sweet. This Farro Salad with Cherries and Walnuts remains one of my all-time favorite summer recipes. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend you do!

Spinach Salad with Cherries, Goat Cheese, and Pistachios is a summertime crowd pleaser! Even your pickiest eaters will love the combination of sweet and tangy in this delicious and healthy salad. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Pro tip: when selecting the perfect bunch of cherries, look for the ones with shiny skin and green stems still attached. They’re the best.

Spinach Salad with Cherries, Goat Cheese, and Pistachios is a summertime crowd pleaser! Even your pickiest eaters will love the combination of sweet and tangy in this delicious and healthy salad. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

This spinach salad has all of the necessary elements: sweetness from the cherries and blueberries, a bit of tang from the goat cheese and lemon vinaigrette, and a delicious crunch from the pistachios. Serve it alongside grilled chicken or fish for a healthy summer dinner.

Spinach Salad with Cherries, Goat Cheese, and Pistachios is a summertime crowd pleaser! Even your pickiest eaters will love the combination of sweet and tangy in this delicious and healthy salad. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

For the full recipe and some additional tips to perfecting this salad, head over to SoFabFood! I’m sharing the recipe on their site.

Let me know if you try this salad. I think you’re going to love it!

What I’m Loving Lately — July 2017

Hey, hey! Hope you all had a great weekend. Travis was in Montreal for his bachelor party, so Bessie and I were holding down the fort over here, and I spent a lot of the time catching up on final wedding-related tasks. I can’t believe we are only one month away, ahhh!

So here I am on the last day of July ready to share my monthly list of What I’m Loving Lately. Let’s get going, shall we?

 

All Clad Stainless Steel Non-Stick 12 inch Fry Pan

All Clad Stainless Steel Non-Stick 12 Inch Fry Pan -- What I'm Loving Lately July 2017 -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

We recently received this new All Clad Non-Stick 12-inch pan from our wedding registry and we’ve used it every single day since receiving it. It’s perfect for our breakfast eggs and protein pancakes, and you barely need to use any oil to coat the pan! It’s also great for cooking delicate fish that usually would stick to a regular pan.

We already owned a couple of different All Clad pans, but they are not non-stick. I swear by this brand, I cannot stress enough how important it is to use good quality pots and pans. All Clad pans are definitely worth the investment because they cook more evenly and last forever! 

 

Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids Food Containers

Rubbermaid 42-Piece Food Storage Containers -- What I'm Loving Lately July 2017 -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I recently decided to get rid of all of my old tupperware and invest in new containers. My previous batch was a mismatched collection of hand-me-downs from my mom (circa 1996??) that had really seen better days. I tossed the old stuff and purchased this new 42-piece set of Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids Food Containers. and I LOVE them so far. I’m sure you know the horror of digging through your tupperware drawer, trying to find the matching lid and never finding it. With this set, there are only 3 different lid sizes and they each match a variety of containers. The lids also snap together so they stay organized in your drawer. I also love that these containers are BPA-free and made in the USA. And they get major bonus points for making my fridge look super organized and Pinterest-like.

 

Trader Joe’s Spanish Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Spray

Trader Joe's Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray -- What I'm Loving Lately July 2017 -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Ever since I took the Pinnertest and discovered that I am highly intolerant to soy, I’ve noticed soy in just about everything. Most cooking sprays use soy lecithin as an emulsifier, so I’ve been on the lookout for a cooking spray without it. A friend recommended this Trader Joe’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Spray, and I love it! Most of the time olive oil emits a light flavor on the food it’s cooked with, but I use this to cook my protein pancakes in the morning, and I don’t taste the olive oil at all. And if we’re getting reaaaaaaally technical here, I love the sleek design of the bottle because it’s not too clunky in my small hands.

 

Travel Packing Cubes

Bagail Packing Cubes -- What I'm Loving Lately July 2017 -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

When Travis and I were planning our Europe trip earlier this year, I did a lot of research regarding what to pack. Everyone on the internet seemed to rave about packing cubes to save space in your suitcase and keep your clothes organized. At first I didn’t understand, how could a simple cube help me that much?

Well let me tell you, these things are a major game-changer. When we were in Europe, Travis and I each had a set (in different colors so we didn’t get confused), and we used the different sized bags for different items: pants, sweaters, shirts, misc. items., etc. Since we were traveling to seven different cities throughout the course of our trip, these packing cubes basically acted as our drawers. If we needed to get to just one shirt, we didn’t have to dig through our entire suitcase to find it. All we had to do was take out the appropriate cube, find the shirt, zip the cube back up and plop it in the suitcase. Everything stays organized. It also made packing and unpacking at each location so much easier.

Since returning from Europe, Travis and I have continued to use these cubes for our shorter trips and we both love them. We have these ones, and they appear to be out of stock on Amazon, but I think these ones look very similar.

 

Bone Dry Pet Food and Water Mat

Bone Dry Pet Mat -- What I'm Loving Lately July 2017 -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Bessie is a very messy eater. Although she is sweet and dainty in most other ways, when it comes to eating she dives right in (yup, like an animal) and somehow manages to get her food everywhere. I found this pet food mat at Home Goods and immediately scooped it up because it matched the colors in our apartment and it’s machine washable.

After just a couple of days I liked it so much that I bought another one on Amazon (it’s only $8!), so I have a backup when the other one is in the wash. We always pack one of these mats with Bessie’s food and bowls when she goes to a dog sitter. The mats come in a variety of colors and two different sizes, small and large, depending on the size of your dog. I have the small mat and it takes up no room in the washing machine. I highly recommend it for your pet!

 

This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you purchase one of these product I may earn a small commission. That money goes directly towards new recipe and blog post development. Thank you for your support!

Peach-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

This post is sponsored by Simply Organic. As always, all content and opinions are my own.

Thank you for your support!

 

Summer is my favorite season to browse the stands at our local farmers market. Many vendors pass out samples of their freshest produce, and I always seek out those sampling juicy summer peaches.  I usually end up carrying home a giant bag of yellow peaches, and somehow manage to finish them in the blink of an eye.

Homemade Peach-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce. Refined Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, and Vegan. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

While delicious on their own, peaches are fantastic for both cooking and baking. They also hold up very well on the grill.

I made this Peach-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce using Simply Organic’s new Ancho Chili Powder. Ancho chili powder has a delicious, smoky flavor, making it perfect for barbecue recipes. I regularly buy Simply Organic’s spices because they’re high-quality, organic, and in my experience the spices stay fresh longer than other brands.

Homemade Peach-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce. Refined Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, and Vegan. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

In this recipe, the yellow peaches provide a sweet contrast to the heat of the ancho chili powder. I only used 1/2 teaspoon of the chili powder, and I would say this barbecue sauce has mild heat. If you want to amp things up, I’d suggest using an additional 1/2 teaspoon of the ancho chili powder.

Homemade Peach-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce. Refined Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, and Vegan. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

This peach-bourbon barbecue sauce is outstanding on grilled poultry, burgers, and as a dipping sauce.

Homemade Peach-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce. Refined Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, and Vegan. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I highly recommend brushing the sauce on top of grilled boneless chicken thighs and serving it with a side of grilled peaches. It’s a delicious combination!

Homemade Peach-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce. Refined Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, and Vegan. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

This recipe makes about 1 cup of barbecue sauce, so if you’re cooking for a crowd, go ahead and double it. You can store any leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to one week.

 

Peach-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: Makes about 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1 large peach
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ⅓ cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon Simply Organic ancho chili powder
  • ⅛ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup ketchup (I prefer brands without high-fructose corn syrup)
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar*
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • pinch black pepper
Instructions
  1. Score the bottom of the peach with an "X". Heat a medium pot with water until boiling. Add the peach to the pot and blanch for 2-3 minutes. Drain and peel the skin off the peach. Dice the peach into ½ inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. Bring the pot back to medium heat. Add the olive oil, and once hot add the onion to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the garlic and ancho chili powder. Cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  3. Add the peaches to the pot and cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the bourbon and stir until it is mostly evaporated. Finally, add the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, coconut sugar, Worcestershire sauce, dijon, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow the sauce to cool. Transfer to a blender and blend until the barbecue sauce is smooth. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Notes
*Can substitute brown sugar
 

Homemade Peach-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce. Refined Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, and Vegan. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

My Bachelorette Party in Nashville!

This past weekend I celebrated my bachelorette party in Nashville, TN!

This post would be amiss without saying how appreciative I am of my best friends who were able to travel all the way to Nashville to celebrate with me. They made the weekend incredibly special. It took me nearly all week to finish this blog post because I have SO much I want to say and share about our time in Nashville, but I know you guys don’t want to read a 100-page book!

When researching potential cities for my bachelorette, I was drawn to Nashville because it seemed like a convenient meeting point for my friends who were flying in from all over the country. And after just a quick google search of Nashville bachelorette ideas, I realized that there was so much to do and see in the city, including fantastic restaurants, bars with live music, and wine tasting. Most of my friends had never been to Nashville before, which just made the destination all the more exciting.

 

Thursday

Most of our group flew into Nashville by early evening on Thursday, and arrived at the Airbnb we rented by 6PM. By the time I got to the house, my sister-in-law, Morgan, and college friend Emily had already set everything up and picked up lots of delicious snacks for the weekend.

Morgan also put together these adorable goody bags for all of the girls.

Inside the bags were: matching grey tank tops that said “Rachelorette in Nashville”, pink sunglasses with each girl’s name on the stem, a bottle of gatorade (a bachelorette necessity), and an itinerary for the weekend.

Once everyone arrived, we popped a couple bottles of prosecco to enjoy while the girls got to know each other. My best friends are from all different points of my life: high school sports, college, my sorority, summer camp, etc., so for many of the girls this was their first time meeting. It felt very special to have so many of my favorite people in one room together!

We decided to keep it low key that night, and for dinner we picked up take-out from Hattie B’s Hot Chicken and Coco’s Italian Market. It was also my friend Kelly’s birthday (THANK YOU Kel for flying to Nashville on YOUR birthday!), so we celebrated with a variety of cupcakes from Gigi’s Cupcakes. If you’re an icing person, you’d LOVE Gigi’s Cupcakes because there was a TON of icing!

Pretty soon after dinner we decided to call it a night (it was already midnight) and headed to bed so we would feel rested for the next day.

 

Friday

On Friday morning my friends Liz and Rebecca led us through a quick 15 minute workout in the backyard of our Airbnb. Just by looking at us, you would have thought we worked out for 90+ minutes because we were DRENCHED thanks to the humidity and 90 degree heat that morning! I am not used to that kind of humidity, but it felt really good to get the day started with a quick and sweaty workout.

Afterwards, we quickly showered and got ready for brunch at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant. Puckett’s was recommended to us by a couple of people and it lived up to the hype! We ordered pretty classic southern dishes, and I dove right a plate of chicken and waffles.

My Bachelorette Party in Nashville, Tennessee! -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

After brunch we drove to Belle Meade Winery for wine tasting. The tasting was held in an old barn on the property and was led by sommelier, Debbie Van Pelt.

We sampled five different wines and paired them each with a piece of cheese, meat, or chocolate. Since Debbie didn’t have another group after us, she graciously went over our allotted time to talk to us about the wines and answer our (many!) questions. If you’re ever in Nashville and have the opportunity to go to a wine tasting led by Debbie, do it! She was very knowledgable and made the whole experience lots of fun.

After the wine tasting at Belle Meade we went back to the house and played a few games. Without me knowing, my friend Kelly coordinated a really cute game involving Travis. She sent Travis a list of questions and had him answer them over video. At the party, Kelly asked me the same questions and I had to guess what Travis’s answer was. Some of my answers were spot on, but others I guessed completely wrong, which resulted in a LOT of laughter. I guess even after 6+ years of dating you don’t always know what the other person is thinking!

After the games we got ready for dinner and hopped into Ubers for dinner at FLYTE restaurant.

Our dinner at FLYTE was incredible! We sat at a large table overlooking the kitchen, so we could see the chefs at work.

Because we were celebrating, the restaurant generously sent us a round of champagne and some delicious snacks for the table to kick off our meal.

We all ordered different entrées and each of us raved over the presentation and flavor of each dish. Kelly, who is extremely knowledgable about wine, put together some wine pairings for the table, which was awesome! FLYTE has an expansive wine list and two in-house wine directors, so they were also able to offer some fantastic recommendations.

Our meal at FLYTE was a true highlight of the weekend, and I want to give a BIG shoutout to our fantastic server Todd, manager Will, Chef Christopher, the rest of the FLYTE team for providing us with royal treatment that evening. If you’re in Nashville, RUN, don’t walk to FLYTE!

After a 3+ hour dinner (and basically shutting down the restaurant), we jumped in Ubers towards Music Row for some bar hopping. We popped into a few different places with live music and danced the night away. My phone stayed in my bag for the rest of the night, so I unfortunately don’t have any pictures to share, but we had a blast!

 

Saturday

Our late night on Friday resulted in a very slow Saturday morning. We had plans to drive around Nashville on a “party barge” at 11AM, but we woke up to a thunderstorm, so our tour was cancelled. It wasn’t the worst result in the world because most of us were exhausted from the night before and benefited from a couple additional hours of sleep.

Once everyone was up, we ate a late brunch at the house, and played some more games. We were supposed to wear our matching tank tops and sunglasses on the barge, so instead just wore them in the Airbnb that afternoon.

That night, we had an early dinner reservation at Urban Grub. I opted to share a couple of dishes with my friend Emily, which was definitely a good choice because the portions were big! We were seated at a large outdoor booth with a GIANT Lazy Susan in the middle. It made sharing appetizers among a large group and passing drinks around the table much easier. I want one in my future home!

After dinner most of us ended up at The Stage on Broadway and listened to The Matte Gray Band, who was FANTASTIC!! They performed a mix of current country hits and older classics, and the entire audience was singing along and dancing to every song. It was such a perfect way to end our weekend in Nashville!

Sunday

Most people had early morning flights on Sunday, so I set my alarm for 7AM to make sure I was able to say goodbye to all of my friends. I can’t wait to see them again in September at our wedding!

My flight wasn’t until 3PM, so my friend Liz and I swung by EIO and The Hive for a quick brunch before heading to the airport. It was recommended to us by my friend and Nashville native, Laura Lea from LL Balanced. A healthy meal was just what we needed after an indulgent weekend.

Luckily, my trip home went smoothly and I was back in my apartment in Los Angeles by 6:30PM. It felt so nice to be back home with Trav and Bessie!

If you’re planning a bachelor/bachelorette party (or just a weekend) in Nashville and have any questions, feel free to reach out! I am definitely not an expert, but I’m happy to share more information about our itinerary and what we loved.

Thank you again to my friends who traveled to Nashville to celebrate with me! I love you all so much!

Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Hey guys! Happy belated 4th of July! Hopefully you had Monday off and enjoyed an extra long weekend with family and friends. July is going to be a jam-packed, SUPER fun month for me. I am heading to Boston on Friday for some wedding-related appointments, and the following weekend is my bachelorette party in Nashville! I am SO excited!

Recently, I’ve been working on updating the photos for some of my old recipes. A couple of weeks ago I was remaking my healthy whole wheat banana bread, and I decided to not just update the photos, but also make a few tweaks to the recipe.

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I couldn’t wait to share this updated recipe with you all because I think this one is even better (and healthier!) than before.

My previous recipe contained butter and milk, but since I try to avoid dairy these days, I decided to make this new banana bread dairy-free. For a vegan version, you can use an egg substitute (like a flax egg) and maple syrup instead of honey. It’s important to use really ripe bananas for this recipe because they provide a lot of natural sweetness to the bread, and that way you don’t have to add as much sugar.

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Travis and I (okay, mostly me) gobbled up the whole loaf in only three days. So for a larger family, you may want to double the batter and make two loaves because this whole wheat banana bread is bound to go quickly!

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I love it slathered with crunchy peanut butter, and it’s also delicious with a little drizzle of honey. Yum!

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I hope you guys love this healthy banana bread as much as we do!

 

Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup canola or avocado oil
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 VERY RIPE mashed bananas (about 1.5 cups)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Lightly grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl beat the oil and coconut sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, baking soda, salt, bananas and almond milk. Beat until well combined. Next, beat in the honey and eggs. Then add the flour. Stir until smooth.
  3. Spoon the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes and then lay a piece of aluminum foil across the top to prevent it from further browning. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove it and place directly on a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
* can substitute brown sugar, but recipe will not be refined sugar free.
 

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Healthier Challah French Toast with Caramelized Bananas

I am a self-proclaimed carboholic, mainly due to my love of bread. As you guys should know by now, my healthy outlook is all about balance, and so even though I eat bread on a regular basis, I only eat healthy, whole-grain varieties.  Challah is my favorite bread of all time. When made correctly, challah is fluffy, light, and slightly sweet. In recent years, I’ve seen some grocery stores and bakeries start to sell whole wheat challah, and that’s exactly what I used in this Challah French Toast recipe.

Day-old bread is always best for challah french toast because it does a better job of soaking up the egg and milk mixture that you dip the slices in before cooking. Whole wheat challah and unrefined coconut sugar make this typically indulgent breakfast treat a little bit healthier than the traditional version.

The caramelized bananas add a key element of natural sweetness, so don’t skip this step!

Challah French Toast with Caramelized Bananas! Such a delicious weekend brunch recipe! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I’m sharing the full recipe for this Challah French Toast over on The Nosher today, so head over to their site to see it!

Challah French Toast with Caramelized Bananas! Such a delicious weekend brunch recipe! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Happy brunching!

 

What I’m Loving Lately – June 2017

Hey guys! Who’s ready for the weekend!? Hopefully you have fun plans on the agenda, whether it’s enjoying the sun or relaxing inside in front of Netflix. I think we’ll be doing a little bit of both!

Today I’m sharing my June edition of What I’m Loving Lately. In these posts I discuss five items from my daily life (not necessarily food related!) that I am loving lately.

Here we go!

Acai Roots Frozen Acai

You guys know that I am on a serious homemade Acai Bowl kick these days. In case you missed it, I shared my favorite acai bowl recipe in this post. I prefer to buy frozen acai that doesn’t have any extra sugars or additives, but you’d be surprised how hard it is to find! Even some brands that claim the product is pure acai include small amounts of soy lecithin, but since I recently found out I am intolerant to soy, I try to avoid it whenever I can. The one brand that I’ve been buying consistently and LOVE is Acai Roots. They sell pre-portioned frozen packages of pure acai with nothing else added. Honestly, once you blend it with frozen bananas and other fruits,  you really don’t miss the added sweeteners! I love eating real, whole foods as much as possible and this product fits the bill.

 

Lemonade Cookbook

If you live in Southern California, you’ve likely been to a Lemonade restaurant location. Lemonade is known for their delicious, healthy food that’s served in a “cafeteria” style. The salads, proteins, and braises are freshly prepared in advance and displayed behind clear class, similar to a school cafeteria. Only this food is MUCH healthier (and more attractive!) than your standard school cafeteria food.

My friend gifted me with the Lemonade cookbook over the holidays, and I’ve been cooking my way through it over the last few months. We particularly love their braises. They’re healthy, but taste so rich, and leftovers are always delicious throughout the week. If you’re looking for a new healthy cookbook with easy to follow recipes, look no further!

 

Kamikoto 7 inch Chef’s Knife

Kamikoto 7-Inch Santoku Chef's Knife

When chopping, mincing, or cutting anything in the kitchen, it’s crucial to have a good-quality SHARP knife. It may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s actually safer to cut with a sharp knife than it is a dull one. When using a dull kitchen knife, you put more pressure on it as you cut, making it more likely that the blade will slip and cut your hand.

The Kamikoto Japanese 7 inch Santoku knife is extremely sharp and easy to cut with. The handle is slim and coated with a non-slip surface, providing a very comfortable grip. This is now the only knife I use when I cook. If you’re interested, it looks like Kamikoto is running a BIG sale on this knife on their website right now!

 

Sizzlefish

A couple of months ago, Sizzlefish reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in trying their fish delivery service. After doing a bit of research, I immediately said yes. Sizzlefish ships individual portions of top-quality fish (mostly wild-caught) direct to consumer. The fish is flash-frozen and vacuum sealed within days of being caught, so once it’s defrosted it tastes just as fresh as non-frozen fish.

Frozen fish can get a bad reputation, but this fish is REALLY good. Travis and I regularly purchase a few different frozen wild-caught fish varieties from Whole Foods, and we both agree that the Sizzlefish fish tastes better! We had the Sizzlefish Atlantic Cod for dinner last night, and we couldn’t believe how juicy and flakey it was compared to some very rubbery cod we’ve had in the past. I also love that the Sizzlefish portions are individually packaged, so you can defrost just as much as you need for one meal.

 

ThredUp

ThredUp

I’ve mentioned ThredUp on the blog before, but it’s definitely worth a second shoutout! If you haven’t heard of it, ThredUp is an online consignment platform for women’s clothing, kids clothing, and accessories. You can sell your own used clothes (that are still in good condition) by ordering a “Clean Out Kit”. The clean out bags are really big, and can fit everything from a large handbag, a pair of winter boots, and a large pile of clothing. I love ThredUp because they tend to accept brands that other local “designer” consignment shops won’t (e.g. Banana Republic and Zara).

I always feel great cleaning out my closet each season, and I use the cash I earn from selling on ThredUp to order new-to-me clothes from their site. They have a wide range of sizes, including petite, tall, plus, and maternity, and the prices are awesome. The best part is that there are always new things to find on the site since people are constantly sending in their Clean Out Kits. I don’t think I’ve ever left the website without buying something. Check it out for yourself!

 

 

 

Meatless Meals That Will Fill You Up

I’ve always considered myself a carnivore, but lately I’ve been craving veggie-packed meals. I used to think that protein sources such as chicken, steak and turkey were the only things that would keep me full for a long period of time, but I recently realized how wrong I was. I love the way I feel after I eat a hearty vegetarian meal, so I’ve been on a quest to find more yummy protein-packed vegetarian recipes. While I don’t plan to become a vegetarian any time soon, right now I am really enjoying trying different vegan and vegetarian recipes.

I know lots of you are also trying to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, so I’ve put together a list of meatless meals that will fill you up! These recipes, created by an awesome group of healthy food bloggers, all contain short, simple ingredient lists because who has the time to search through grocery store aisles for unusual ingredients!?

Enjoy!

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Grilled Green Goddess Wraps from Strength and Sunshine

 

Vegetarian Eggplant Meatballs from Byte Sized Nutrition

 

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers from Joy Food Sunshine

 

Spicy Barbecue Lentils from Scones and Patron

 

Moroccan Crockpot Lentil Stew from Lenses and Lentils

 

Pumpkin Curry Buddha Bowl from Emily Ruth Weir

One Pan Ratatouille from I Heart Vegetables

 

Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad from Hungry By Nature

 

Summer Farro Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella from Little Chef Big Appetite

 

9 Meatless Meals that Will Actually Fill You Up! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

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