Spiced Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Leftover bananas can sneak up on you.  It seems like one day they are firm, yellow and delightful and the next day they are dark brown and overripe.  Thankfully bananas are very versatile.  They are fantastic for baking, making smoothies and drinks and even in savory dishes.  I enjoy making banana bread with my overripe bananas and have posted my favorite version here. This time I wanted to make some muffins that were healthy AND delicious with some chocolate thrown in to make it special.  I used mini chocolate chips because 1/2 cup goes a long way and feels like there is a lot more than there is!  They turned out moist, flavorful and delicious.  This recipe makes one batch of 12 muffins.  If you get up early, you can throw the ingredients together stick it in the oven and go for a 22 minute run and come back to incredible warm muffins for breakfast.  It’ll improve your performance (guaranteed) when you know such deliciousness is waiting for you!

Mix bananas with melted butter, yogurt, egg and milk until well blended
Add dry mixture to liquid mixture and blend until just mixed (do not over mix)
Scoop into muffin pans and bake at 350 for 30 minutes
Let cool and enjoy!
Moist, flavorful and delicious!

Spiced Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I used Atta, or Indian WW flour)

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp salt

2 large bananas, mashed

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 large egg

1/4 cup 1% milk

1/4 cup non fat greek  yogurt

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl mix the flours, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt.  In a separate mixing bowl, combine the mashed bananas, baking soda, egg, melted butter, milk and yogurt until well incorporated. Stir the banana mixture into the dry ingredients until just blended (don’t over mix).  Stir in the mini chocolate chips.  Line a muffin pan with paper liners and using an ice cream scooper fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake the muffins for 30 minutes until golden brown.  Transfer the muffins to rack to cool for 15 minutes.

Mediterranean style chicken and artichoke whole wheat pasta

Sometimes the best dishes are those that I’ve cooked quickly.  I came home kind of late last night and needed to make a fast and healthy meal.  I was pretty much throwing ingredients together that I thought would make tasty combinations.  It came together in less than 30 minutes and the whole family along with a friend who happened to be hanging out all enjoyed dinner together.  I love that.  There’s nothing like eating a meal together and chatting and talking on a cool summer evening when the sun takes a long time to set.   The tangy taste of the feta and artichokes with the hint of rosemary really makes this dish taste like summer….all bright and sunny!

Saute the boneless, skinless chicken thighs with some fresh garlic
Added in marinated artichoke hearts, tomatoes, flat leafed parsley and fresh dill to the chicken
Add some dried rosemary and feta cheese to the sauce
Few handfuls of fresh spinach tossed in at the very end
Add whole wheat pasta and serve

Mediterranean style chicken and artichoke whole wheat pasta

3 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces

3 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 bunch flat leafed parsley, coarsely chopped

1 cup of marinated artichokes, rough chopped

1/2 cup feta cheese

1 tbsp fresh dill

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp salt

1 can italian style stewed tomatoes or 2 Roma tomatoes chopped

2 big handfuls of fresh baby spinach

1/2 pound of whole wheat pasta (linguine, fettuccine or egg noodles)

Cook whole wheat pasta to al dente.  In a large skillet or wok heat olive oil, add chicken,salt and garlic and saute for a few minutes until chicken is no longer pink.  Add in tomatoes, artichoke hearts, dill and parsley.  Let simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add in dried rosemary and feta cheese and cook for about 1 minute.  Add in spinach and let it wilt into the sauce.  Turn off heat.  Toss in cooked pasta and serve immediately.

Chappati – Indian whole wheat flat bread

Chappatis are a traditional Indian flat bread made out of whole wheat flour.  Whole wheat flour is known as “Atta”.   Atta  is different than whole wheat flour commonly found in U.S. groceries.  The protein content is higher and the grind of the flour is finer in “Atta”.  This makes the chapatis softer, pliable and delicious tasting.  If you get a chance to make chapatis with Atta from the Indian store, you have to try it.  Regular whole wheat flour also works, I usually use whole wheat pastry flour to compensate.  There’s nothing like fresh hot chappatis with a tiny bit of ghee added to it for flavor.  You really don’t even need anything else!

Make a well in the middle of the flour
Add water a little at a time to incorporate into the dough
Add yogurt to the dough and continue to knead
Make dough and let it rest for 15 minutes
Make seven equal portions and roll out in a circular shape

Cook over medium high heat, using a paper towel press down on the chapati so it cooks evenly.
Add a little ghee at the very end to enhance the flavor

Chapatis

Chappati – Indian whole wheat flat bread

2 cups Atta (whole wheat) flour

Approximately 1 – 1 1/4 cup water (depending on humidity)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp greek yogurt

little canola oil

Ghee (optional)

In a large bowl place flour and salt and mix together. Add water a little at a time along with yogurt, mix until a soft dough forms.  Knead for several minutes until smooth but still slightly sticky.  Put a few drops of canola oil and pat the surface of the dough.  Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.  Make 7 equal balls and dip in additional flour and roll into 1/8 inch thick circles.  Heat a non stick skillet and cook chappati approximately 1-2 minutes on each side, using a paper towel to press down so it cooks evenly.  Put a 1/4 tsp or less of ghee (clarified butter) on the each side of the chappati and take off the heat, this step is optional but I think the flavor is fantastic.  Serve warm with any daal or curried dish.