Friday, January 27, 2017

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread


I love banana bread. I love chocolate banana bread. Then I found this recipe for chocolate PEANUT BUTTER banana bread and I was in heaven! Three things that simply belong together! In this recipe, I wanted to add chocolate chips for the extra bit of chocolate in every other bite, but alas, I had no chocolate chips. I had about half a bag of butterscotch chips and well, that was the direction I went and they worked! Enjoy this with a dark cup of coffee or black tea. It’s delicious!
 
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter, slightly melted
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 - 1 C. chocolate or butterscotch chips (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the slightly melted peanut butter, sugar, mashed bananas, vegetable oil, and eggs. After mixing, stir in cocoa, baking powder & soda, salt, and vanilla. Stir in flour last. If using chips, stir in just until incorporated.
  3. Pour into loaf pan and bake for roughly 55 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.

Broccoli Avocado Tumeric Soup

Perfect healthy cold weather soup! This is dairy/grain free and vegan (for those on restricted diets use veggie broth). It’s relatively easy to make. I don’t have a food processor, but my heavy duty blender did the trick. Just be very careful and start off slow. Don’t overfill, otherwise you could have scalding hot soup everywhere.

Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp coconut or extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric powder
  • 4 cups chicken stock or bone broth (for vegan use veggie broth)
  • 1 head broccoli, trimmed and chopped (6 cups)
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 avocado, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper 
                                                                                Directions:
  1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, chili powder, and turmeric and cook, stirring, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add broccoli and cook, covered, until bright green and tender, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, stir in spinach, and let cool slightly.
  2. Transfer soup to blend and puree with avocado. I like a little texture, so I left 3 cups out and mixed in the blended portion with the reserved. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with avocado and a drizzle of olive oil.
  3. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Coconut Ginger Tumeric Stew

This delicious stew is perfect for vegetarians or meat eaters. It’s full of healthy fats and turmeric is an anti-inflammatory. Comforting and warm, it’s one the whole family can enjoy for dinner. Add in some chicken or tofu for extra protein. If you’re enjoying a bit of grains, this pairs nicely with wild rice.

Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, stemmed and cut into bite-size florets
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, chopped
  • 1 C chopped kale or spinach if you don’t like kale
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 Tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 can full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Instructions

In a medium stock pot, heat the coconut oil for 30 seconds on medium heat.
Add the cumin seeds and stir until they start to sputter. Then add the onions and cook for another minute, and then, add the tomatoes, stir and cook for a few more minutes until the tomatoes soften.
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together. Cover the pan and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to keep from burning.
Ladle the soup into 4 serving bowls and enjoy! Leftover stew can be stored in air-tight container and saved for lunch the next day.

 

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: 

calories 204 • fat 24 g • saturated fat 20 g • cholesterol 0 mg • fiber 6 g • protein 6 g • carbohydrate 18 g • sodium 588 mg

Monday, January 23, 2017

With All Due Respect...

I've avoided politics for years on my blog. Mostly because it's just too contentious. I don't like the strife and the bottom line is that those who want to argue, aren't going to change their minds and I'm not going to change mine. So, it's kind of pointless. However, this election is different. It has destroyed relationships more than Obama's ever has. It has split churches even. That is who I want to address.

With All Due Respect Church, You Are Wrong

While I think that the issues that arise with every election are important to discuss as a church, I think that declaring loyalty or favoritism to a specific candidate is wrong. I experienced the discomfort of actual fist pumping in my church with the gloating announcement that Trump is our president now. This election has been painful for me. I've had people call me horrific vile names for being skeptical of Trump. My own family has essentially questioned my loyalty to this country, for voting third party.

So to "whoop! whoop!" about a man who has been so divisive and disrespectful is kind of opposite what I think a church should encourage. I stumbled across this video and it will be my final say on the matter. I've also included some verses I think the church should seriously consider as I believe they are prophesy coming to pass right now.


Ephesians 5:6-13
"Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light."


2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 Amplified Bible (AMP)
"Let no one in any way deceive or entrap you, for that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first [that is, the great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians], and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction [the Antichrist, the one who is destined to be destroyed], who opposes and exalts himself [so proudly and so insolently] above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he [actually enters and] takes his seat in the temple of God, publicly proclaiming that he himself is God."

For my fellow Christians who are in the same uncomfortable position as I am, worried about our church, it's ability to witness and the state of faith in our country, take the following words to heart and find comfort:

"Stay the course, Christian Constitutionalists, remembering a profound truth: We don't live the lives we do, in order to achieve a particular outcome. We abide by our principles, because they are the highest order in our lives, second only to our spiritual devotion.

Those virtues properly guide and direct our every move, and are part and parcel of that very devotion. Indeed, they emanate from the very fountainhead of that devotion...our Heavenly Father.
We can no more act independently of these values, especially in matters of great import...than the rushing river can climb out from its banks. It must continue on its path...its destiny is set.

Stay your course. Let the fool say you're wrong. Let the weak and ignorant decry the very laws that govern your own morality and eternal destiny. Yours is a higher calling. Though you stand alone, your integrity will sustain you. Stand strong. You have known the Truth...and HE has set you free!"
- Duane Langenberg

Past Musings You Might Ponder

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