The Kitchen Sink

For the love of food, life and everything in between.

Category: Food

Mashed Rutabaga

If someone told me a year ago that one day I’d be running, by choice, on a wind driven, bone-chilling fourteen degree morning, side stepping icy patches, with the crunch beneath my feet no longer of decaying leaves but rather snow and ice accumulations leftover from the weekend storm, I would likely have given said person a disgraceful look of disbelief.

I’ve always wanted to be “a runner” and I use the term with quotations because I’m not sure what actually makes someone a designated “runner.”

I don’t do marathons.

I don’t do half marathons.

I can count the number of 5K’s I have done on one hand.

But yet, my collection of spandex and moisture-wicking tops and ear warmers has nearly quadrupled since this time last year as I find myself incorporating running into my regular routine come rain or snow, wind or fog. Or even, that one time when I had to dodge an oncoming sheep. You just can’t make this stuff up.

And there I was, running along the river this morning, because I wanted to. Because it made me feel good. 

This time of year can certainly be challenging. Mile long to-do lists, stressful family gatherings, road rage from holiday travels, unpredictable frightful weather, more cookies and sweets and butter-laden dishes than one really knows what to do with.

I am a firm believer that the best way to make it through the holiday season is to make it a priority to lace up those sneakers or pop in that workout DVD or roll out that yoga mat and remind yourself of the vitality of your own body and the incredible stress-reducing effects of physical activity.

When we can feel good about ourselves – we are more likely to feel good about others – more likely to take better care of others and most importantly, when we feel good about ourselves, we can enjoy the many gifts that the holiday season provides aside, all glittery and sparkly and sugary things aside.

 It would have been really easy for me to share a sweet treat with you today. Like I’ve said before – cookies are just so easy to photograph. But this holiday I’ve chosen to focus on things other than all of the unhealthy, sometimes guilt-inducing desserts/dishes that I’m choosing not to make.

Instead, I’m going on morning runs – as mentioned above – late night walks under crisp skies with lights that twinkle better than any holiday light display, finding warmth in gingerbread tea and roasting up every kind of vegetable imaginable.

I couldn’t be happier about it.

I wrap presents with care. I spend entire afternoons surrounded by tissue paper, glue and glitter, producing some of the most thoughtful gifts, unlike anything Macy’s or Target could ever provide.

I’m rereading a favorite book of mine – The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin – and one of my favorite messages in this book is the author’s reminder to her self to “be Gretchen.”

 Someone could argue that by choosing not to indulge in all of the holiday sweets, filling this space with gingerbread and icing and sugar cookies I am somehow missing out. But really, I am choosing to “be Brooke” which has lead to an overwhelming feeling that I am really making the most of this holiday season, soaking it all in, drinking it up, feeling good about who I am.

 You can see, when I fall silent on here I tend to come back with a lot to say. Now on to the recipe.

 This simple side dish packs flavor and fiber. I can see it pairing nicely with roast beef or prime rib come Christmas Eve.

Mashed Rutabaga

1 Lb. Rutabaga, peeled and cubed into 1 1/2 inch chunks

1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 clove garlic, minced

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

Place cubed rutabaga in a medium pot and fill with water until it is 1 inch higher than the rutabaga. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until rutabaga is fork tender.

Meanwhile, mince garlic and chop fresh rosemary, set aside.

Once rutabaga is fork tender, drain and place in a medium bowl. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a handheld mixer, mix for about 5 minutes. Add in chicken broth, garlic and rosemary and mix another minute or so. The rutabaga should be mostly mashed, with just a few larger chunks left for added texture. Mix longer if you desire a smoother consistency.

Transfer to a prepared baking dish and place under the broiler until the top is golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Advertisements

Basic Vegetable Soup

Being the planner that I am, I have already begun to think about the things I will create using the leftovers from the big Thanksgiving meal.

Undoubtedly, a turkey sandwich (with all the fixin’s) will soon follow the big day. 

In our household, traditional stuffing (made with real butter and fiber-lacking, sodium-rich prepackaged bread stuffs) and cranberry sauce (yes, white sugar, I am looking at you) have their place at the table for certain. This year I wanted to challenge myself to come up with a few post-Thanksgiving dishes that could easily translate to weekday lunches and  be one that I could feel good about eating. 

First one up: Turkey Soup

This soup base is so simple it’s almost comical. But the beauty in this one pot dish is that it can play host to a variety of ingredients and could even be beefed up (quite literally) to make for a hearty dinner time meal. It could also be paired with a crusty, hearty slice of bread or alongside that infamous leftover-inspired turkey sandwich. 

I make this base – or some variation of it – quite often, as a way to fit in my vegetables on days when a salad just won’t cut it. The add-ins are nearly endless.

For protein sources think:

  • Left over turkey
  • Chicken
  • Ground turkey
  • Any variety of beans

For a thicker, more stew like consistency add in:

  • Pumpkin puree
  • Low sodium canned crushed tomatoes

 For additional vegetables try: 

  • Chopped kale or spinach leaves
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Sauteed leeks
  • Corn
  • Roasted potatoes – I like red the best

Other miscellaneous add-ins:

  • Cooked pasta noodles or shells

 

Very basic vegetable soup

 1 bunch of celery, about 10 stalks, trimmed and diced, reserve leaves from 1 or 2 of the stalks and chop, setting aside.

7-8 medium-large carrots, peeled and diced

1/2 medium yellow onion, diced

1 large clove of garlic, diced

1/3 cup water

48 oz fat free, low sodium chicken broth

1 tsp olive oil

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

Prepare all vegetables as directed. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once oil is shimmering hot, add garlic and onions and a dash of salt and saute about 3 minutes. Add celery, carrots and water and cook about 5 minutes from the time the water starts to boil. Add in broth and stir well. Add in celery leaves and sprigs of rosemary. Bring to a rolling boil and then turn heat down to a simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, until vegetables are fork tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper as desired.

Add in any combination of the suggested add-in’s or create your own! I’d love to hear any other ideas.

Roasted Pumpkin

I’m going to admit a blunder of sorts. You see, I had every intention of bringing you, my readers, a fall full of pumpkin-y goodness. So much so that by now you’d be thinking can she cook with something over than that giant orange so-quintessentially-fall staple?

And although I’ve eaten my weight in pumpkin over the past two months, very minimal accounts of this have actually made their way onto this space. Maybe it’s because I was too busy popping roasted pumpkin into my mouth like candy.

       

       

Or maybe it’s because I was so fearful of overdosing on pumpkin I actually ended up appearing as though I’ve been living a pumpkin-less fall. And that, is one heck of a lie.

So before I dive into a season of molasses and ginger and peppermint and yule tide I’d better get my favorite – and coincidentally, most simple – pumpkin recipe up for sharing.

And just in time for T-day! T-day? Really? I just went there. And it is 100% Alton Brown’s fault as I’ve spent the past few nights watching his turkey themed Good Eats re-runs, for reference, there are about four. Who knew a guy could talk turkey so many different ways?

I digress.

If you are looking for one more side dish to dress up the table for this Thursday, I’m highly recommending this dish.

Roasted Pumpkin

Ingredients

1 sugar pumpkin, scooped clean (seeds+guts removed) and cut into (approximate) 1-inch cubes*

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

dash of salt

non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450F and line a baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper. Place cubed pumpkin, skin side down onto baking sheet and spray with a light coat of non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and bake for 30-35 minutes until pieces are easily pierced with a fork. Remove skin prior to eating.

*All the more power to Martha Stewart and her ability to peel the pumpkin prior to baking. I had very poor luck with this on my initial attempt and so I opted for skin on. Once baked, the skin peels of pretty seamlessly. Though it does make for a bit of messy eating!

Peanut Butter Granola Yogurt Bowl with Peanut Butter Banana Frosting {for one}

Granola has been sending me subliminal messages lately.

It’s popping up on my instagram feed. Daily.

It’s filling up jars on pinterest in all its DIY gifting glory.

The crunchy leaves and twigs and berries of the forest tell me to go home and make granola. Or at least that’s what I’m choosing to hear as I bound over rocks and moss following the blue blazen trail on yet another weekend hike.

You’re probably thinking, this girl should really hit the cereal aisle and get herself a box of granola. And you’re probably right. I probably should. And I absolutely could.

But I don’t want granola from a box. Not when I could be in the good company of toasted oats in my very own kitchen.

I’m also slightly fearful of the short time it would likely last in my cupboard. You see, granola is just one of those foods I cannot seem to handle. I don’t want a serving. I don’t want a handful. I want more. And so it goes, I usually go without. It’s just one of those foods for me. And with every handful comes a hefty amount of calories from fat and sugar, particularly if we are indulging the in the store-bought variety.

The idea for today’s breakfast is two-fold.

Last week I was doing a bit of research for an upcoming trip I’ll be making into the city and decided I would finally venture to Chobani SoHo. I was amused as their take on something as commonplace as the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. With all the fixings already in my cupboards, I made a mental note to do a little experimenting of my own.

Come Sunday morning, I scrolled through a few of my favorite blogs before emerging from the covers and starting my day. Is it incredibly bizarre that it still amazes me that by sleeping until 7AM on the weekend means I’ve slept in for 3 whole hours longer than my average work day?

Anyways, I was over at Best Friends For Frosting and I came across this recipe for peanut butter granola with grape jelly frosting.

With the seed already planted for PB&J, and my desire for granola still lurking I scuffed into the kitchen.

Because this recipe only serves one, once the granola is gone, it’s gone! No temptation for stealing a second (or third, or fourth) handful but with all of the warmth and sweetness I had ever desired. Why had the idea of granola for one escaped me until now?

Peanut Butter Granola Yogurt Bowl with Peanut Butter Banana Frosting {for one}

 Serves 1

Ingredients:

For the peanut butter granola:

1/3 cup old fashioned oats

1 tsp honey

1 TBSP smooth (or chunky) peanut butter

pinch of salt

1 TBSP chopped, dried, cranberries

For the yogurt:

1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt of your choice

2 tsp grape jelly

For the peanut butter banana frosting:

1/2 of a small banana, mashed

1 TBSP smooth peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a small round ramekin with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix all ingredients for the peanut butter granola in a small bowl until combined and mold into the ramekin. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

While granola is baking, prepare yogurt by mixing jelly into plain yogurt in the serving bowl and set aside.

With a fork, vigorously mix mashed banana and peanut butter together and set aside.

Once granola is done baking, pour over yogurt and top mixture with peanut butter banana frosting.

Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower & Broccoli Bites

As the forecasted high seems to dip a bit lower each day, I find myself less inclined to snack on fresh veggies. Though all summer long I crunched away on red pepper sticks and carrot slices (with the occasional side of blue cheese dressing to make things real exciting); now I find myself returning home from work in what feels like the early evening with a rumbling stomach, chilly bones and an appetite seeking warmth.

 

Of course. most times it is not early evening, only late afternoon, but smokey grey shadows of wood stoves drift lazily out of chimneys against skies as black as cast iron. The sweet and thick aroma of colder days settles over the town and my mind remains confused, swearing I should be well on my way to making dinner already.

 

But I recall sunnier afternoons after work, riddled with humidity, spent jogging along the pastures overlooking the river where raspberries grew wild and the horses white tails flicked the pesky flies away in what seemed to be in perfect harmony with the tunes that filled my headphones.

 

Priorities of this seasonal change have included winter running gear, warmer blankets, woolen sweaters, many cups of hot tea and now, roasted vegetables.

Winter squashes serve as the shining stars to many dinners, but it’s their less starchy counterparts that really make my heart sing. Some days it’s as simple as a bag of steamed mixed vegetables, other days it’s a heaping pile of steamed broccoli seasoned with smoked paprika or covered in a light blanket of parmesan cheese. But today, after a long walk through the woods an idea filled my mind without warning.

 

Dark charcoal clouds piled high in the sky and remaining leaves seemed to tremble, there must be a storm coming, I thought to myself. I ducked inside with a recipe brewing in my head, the bag of baby carrots stared at me bleakly from the crisper. I fired up the stove filling the house with scents of roasted garlic chasing away the blustery day that had so quickly descended upon on us.

  

Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower & Broccoli Bites

Serves 2

1 head of cauliflower, stems removed with florets chopped into bite-sized pieces

1/2 medium head of broccoli, stems removed with florets chopped into bite-sized pieces.

1 clove garlic, minced

2 TBSP Buffalo Wing Sauce

salt and pepper as desired

 Preheat oven to 400F and line a a baking sheet with non-stick spray or tin foil and set aside. Wash and trim florets of broccoli and cauliflower and spread in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle minced garlic over the florets.

Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, stirring the florets around and then drizzle with buffalo sauce. Return to oven for 2 minutes. Remove and serve immediately. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Apple Ricotta Breakfast Pizza

This daylight savings time change business is doing funny things to me.

 

For one, thank you to the weather channel for saving me from the confusion of why the microwave and my phone were telling me two different times. Despite numerous reminders at work, in the paper, on TV (ahem, weather channel) and my best efforts, Saturday night I collapsed in to bed without managing to set a single clock back.

Being the planner that I am, this act of negligence could very well surprise you.

 

With clocks reset and my appetite adjusting to a slightly later dinner hour, I felt that I was taking all this change in stride.

I think I recall once hearing that daylight savings time was correlated with an increase in the number of heart attacks. Now that’s a scary thought.

Anyways, without rhyme or reason, I awoke at midnight last night, a solid 3 hours after I’d settled under the covers, and I was wide awake. I thought for sure it was my usual waking time of about 4 AM. I got a drink of water and thought I’d drift back to sleep. I tossed and turned and finally decided to check instagram. Here’s where things went awry.

 

My stomach began to grumble and my mind raced with dinner ideas and breakfast ideas and get this, Christmas gift ideas. I pushed the thoughts out of my head but they persevered.

 I finally broke out my iPad and started making notes for myself to review at a later date.

With light pouring in through frosty windows this morning, I awoke, slightly less rested than I would have liked, but energized with ideas to fill my day. The main motivating factor? Putting thought to practice with this breakfast pizza.

 The apples lend a sweet flavor, cinnamon brings warmth and the pita crisps up making the perfect foundation for melted ricotta. I can’t think of a more welcome scent to chase out chilly mornings than sweet, baked apple.

Apple Ricotta Breakfast Pizza

Serves 1

1 pita pocket

1/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese

2 tsp raspberry preserves

1/2 of a medium apple, sliced to 1/4 inch thickness with a mandoline

a dash of ground cinnamon

Preheat oven 400 F and line a baking sheet with tinfoil or parchment paper. Top pita with ricotta cheese and jelly, mixing together and spread a thin, even layer over the surface of the pita, leaving a 1/4 inch crust around the edges.

Layer with apple slices, starting with the largest slices, slightly overlapping in a circular pattern until a layer covers the entire pita. Dust with cinnamon and bake for 8 minutes. Allow to cool for about 1 minute before cutting and serving.

Sunrise Pizza

“Gee Darrell, sure is chilly out there today, isn’t it?”

“You bet, Frank. Next thing you know we’ll have snow.”

 “Sure are right about that one.”

 I stood in line this morning waiting for my coffee, surrounded by pumpkin bowls filled with sugar packets, orange glazed apple scones in the bakery case, pumpkin spice and apple crisp coffee brewing. These two men couldn’t possibly be serious. The word snow shall not pass my lips for at least another month I silently huffed. Then suddenly, all wrapped up in halloween spirit I realized Friday would be the beginning of November. It couldn’t be true, I dismissed the notion and hovered over my dark roast pumpkin spice a moment longer before I departed.

I walked out of the coffee shop with a list of errands as long as, well as long as a child’s wish list to Santa. Yes, these men have got me using Christmas metaphors. Damn you, Frank.

 I couldn’t help but think of my one of my favorite sayings from author, Gretchen Rubin.

The days are long but the years are short. 

How many times do I find my self wishing the days by in anticipation of the next big milestone, the first snow day, the next calendar event only to find myself wondering where those little in between moments fell to.

I often need this reminder to slow down and immerse myself in the present.

Winter will inevitably come. Bone chilling nights will warrant hot cocoa and toasted marshmallows. Standstills on a snowy I-95 will plague my commute.

 

 But today is the most beautifully brisk fall day and for that I am eternally grateful. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where the seasons are in transition, take a moment to notice the autumn leaves as they now dim themselves from burning orange to gold and then finally to brown and beige, taking cover in the crevices of buildings and sidewalks as Old Man Winter sits waiting to pounce.

 Though this dish was actually my lunch today I think I’ll find myself making these for a savory Sunday breakfast sometime soon.

Sunrise Pizza

Serves 1

1 pita pocket

1 oz silken goat cheese

1 egg

2 tsp pesto (prepared or fresh)

4 or 5 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

salt and pepper as desired

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Place the pita on the tin foil and spread a thin, even layer of goat cheese across it. Layer on pesto and then place tomato halves in a circle around the outer edge of the pita. Crack an egg in the middle. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until egg is cooked through to your liking. Plate and season with salt and/or pepper as desired.

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal with Peanut Butter Frosting

I should warn you this post is a bit long winded.

Have you ever gotten stuck in a food rut? I am heading in a few directions with this one, so bear with me and the recipe will follow. Or scroll on by my rambling for a ramekin of goodness.

 

For starters, I am feeling a bit bored with my meals. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that this occurred out an attempt to solve my original food rut issue. I sought to simplify my meals so that I wouldn’t feel like I was constantly thinking about food.

I know I can’t be the only one.

However, it’s particularly troublesome when you’re a dietitian.

 

Some days (and lately it’s felt like most days) I can’t help but feel like I eat, sleep, breath and live food. And while the first is a given, sometimes it becomes too much of a good thing.

I once heard a coworker of mine say “when I go home I don’t even think about food.”

I couldn’t imagine.

Lately, I feel like I am always planning meals, cooking meals, talking food, teaching food, experimenting with food, writing about food and the list goes on. Turn to my pinterest boards, instagram feed and website search history and you can guess which theme seems to take center stage.

While I’m fortunate that my job allows me to indulge in my passion for healthy eating and living, I can’t help but feel like it’s too much at times. It seems as though most of my “outlets” away from work have become too closely related to work.

And so, I’ve made a few goals for myself.

  • Number one: find a new hobby and/or revisit an abandoned one (think knitting, photographing nature, jewelry making etc.)
  •  Number two: embrace the fact that caramel dipped apples, cider donuts and pumpkin pie blizzards are not the keys to my happiness and stop thinking they are going to resolve any issue, sour mood or quip I may be having.
  • Number three: plan meals and grocery shopping in a way that allows for some ease and simplicity but also still embraces the delicious tastes, textures and aromas of fall without the feelings of guilt, remorse or an upset belly.

So by now , if you’ve chosen to read this far down, you may be asking how does the aforementioned relate to today’s recipe. The common thread here is that my breakfast on my days off and weekends has pretty much flip flopped between pumpkin egg white oats and PB banana pumpkin stuffed french toast. So much so, I had almost forgotten what I ate one those days before I started buying canned pumpkin in bulk.

I woke up this morning with every intention of having eggs and toast, a smear of jelly and apple slices, after all we’ve got two giant bowls and seven varieties of apples adorning our countertop at the moment, it only seemed like the right thing to do. I also have this little “food rule” if you will, which really isn’t a rule at all, but I like to try and have something for breakfast on my days off that I can’t necessarily have at work. Think: runny eggs, stovetop oat meal, smoothies, etc. It just makes my time away from work seem that much more special.

So with an attitude of “I will not dirty a million dishes, bother with a recipe or open yet another container of pumpkin puree” I shuffled with chilled feet into the kitchen and opened the cabinet to pull out the bread. I then had a thought, a fellow blogger’s recipe for pumpkin pie baked oatmeal had been lingering in my head for days and while this would completely go against my efforts to simplify my meals and save my time to spend pursuing activities mentioned in goal number one, this breakfast sounded way better than any pre-packaged pumpkin product and would technically be a variation on my two breakfast meals that have been on repeat for several weeks now. And by variation I actually mean combination.

If the pictures don’t sell themselves let me convince you to make this breakfast.

You can bake it while you take your shower – I don’t know about you but multitasking is a big bonus in my book.

 It’s pumpkin and spice and everything nice, without sugar, processed junk or consequential belly aches.

It’s got that stick-to-your-ribs, warm you up and get you going thing going on which also means I haven’t had to turn the heat on at the house just yet.

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal with Peanut Butter Frosting

Serves 1

Only slightly modified from Kylie’s original recipe found here.

What you’ll need for the oatmeal:

1/3 cup old fashioned oats

1/4 tsp EACH ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg

1/4 tsp baking powder

a pinch of salt

1/3 pumpkin puree

1 egg white

1/4 of a banana, mashed

1/4 cup skim milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

What you’ll need for the frosting:

The other 3/4 of the banana, mashed

1 TBSP peanut butter

1 tsp pure maple syrup

What to do:

 Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a 16 ounce ramekin lightly with non-stick cooking spray. {You might notice I didn’t use a ramekin but rather my go-to single serving casserole dish, which seemed to work just fine. The 16 ounce ramekin suggestion was provided by the original recipe}

In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients {oats, spices, baking powder and salt}. In a small bowl whisk the wet ingredients {pumpkin, egg white, mashed banana, milk and vanilla extract} together. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Pour into prepared ramekin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges begin to pull away from the sides of the dish and the center has set.

While the oatmeal is baking mash remaining 3/4 banana in a small bowl and vigorously mix in maple syrup and peanut butter. When oatmeal is finished, spread frosting over top of oatmeal and allow to cool for about 5 minutes, if you can wait that long.

 

 

End of the Season: Zucchini Pasta with Gorgonzola, Walnuts and Cherry Tomatoes

Perhaps this recipe title is a bit misleading.

 

It’s October. Columbus Day is right around the corner and it’s not the end of any season.

 

In fact, autumn in New England is in full swing.

 

And from the number of empty pumpkin puree cans in my recycling bin and the plethora of vests that hang at attention in my closet, I have proof that I’ve fully embraced the season as well.

But as the landscape changes, a few pints of cherry tomatoes linger at the farmer’s market a little while longer.  Like the drowsy bumble bees that dance from each little Mum flower, the candy-like tomatoes flirt with fall in the most wonderful way.

 

With burning orange and butter yellow hues, these tomatoes seem to fit right in among their fall produce counterparts that have since replaced the peaches and raspberries.

 

This dish is so simple I was hesitant to share it. However, these tomatoes have been a staple in my diet all summer long and in order to show my gratitude for their quirky shapes and sweet, sweet flavors I’ve snapped a few photos of just one of the many uses I’ve found for them over the past few months.

 

End of the Season: Zucchini Pasta with Gorgonzola, Walnuts and Cherry Tomatoes

Serves 1

Here’s what you will need:

1 medium zucchini, julienned {I used a mandoline}

1 oz gorgonzola

1 TBSP chopped walnuts

6 or 7 cherry tomatoes, halved

1-2 tsp pesto (homemade or store bought) – optional

Here’s what to do:

Heat zucchini noodles in a skillet over medium heat about 3 minutes, drain off any excess liquid and plate the noodles. Toss with pesto and top with gorgonzola, walnuts and cherry tomatoes.

Peanut Butter Banana Stuffed Pumpkin French Toast

I’ve been partaking in risky behavior over the past couple of weeks.

And while I haven’t exactly been committing any crimes, dancing with tigers or jumping out of air planes, I have been watching Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” on my iPad right before going to sleep.

 

This leaves my mouth watering and my mind racing with thoughts of how can I make that entree/dessert/appetizer appear in my kitchen in the next five minutes??

 

I resist temptation to scurry into the kitchen and start concocting whatever Alton Brown was just raving about. But it’s not easy because I swear, if there ever was a show that could qualify as food porn (and let me tell you I hate that term – food porn) I think this show takes the cake.

 

Just when I was ready to break the habit, switch back to watching something a little more low key like Modern Family, Selling New York or Gilmore Girls I watched some woman in some diner in some Idaho town create peanut butter banana french toast. And for the next two Saturday’s I created my own version – sans Rum and butter – and felt as though I was in absolute breakfast heaven.

 

Then fall came and I was ears deep in spaghetti squash and gourds and I started buying all things orange and yellow and pumpkin puree was going into like everything I was making. I wasn’t even sure peanut butter and bananas would let some pumpkin in on that great thing they’ve got going but the aroma that was coming off the griddle assured me I had done a good job playing match maker.

Peanut Butter Banana Stuffed Pumpkin French Toast

 Serves 1

You will need:

2 slices of your favorite whole grain bread

1/2 medium ripe banana, sliced into thin strips

1 TBSP peanut butter

1 egg

1/4 cup pureed pumpkin

ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Toppings such as (but not limited to):

Maple Syrup

Brown Sugar

Honey

Walnuts or Pecans

More Peanut Butter

Powdered Sugar

Fruit

Here’s what you do:

In a medium bowl or shallow pan whisk egg, vanilla extract and a dash of each spice (cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg). Whisk in pumpkin puree and a splash of low fat milk or water. Set aside.

Divide peanut butter between the two slices of bread and lay banana slices diagonally across one slice. Top with the other slice and dip sandwich into egg-pumpkin mixture, evenly coating all sides.

Prepare griddle or skillet over medium heat with non-stick cooking spray.

Cook sandwich over medium heat for about 5 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time so that each side is browned and just slightly crispy.

Plate and slice diagonally (all things taste better when they’re cut on the diagonal, yes?)

Top as desired.