|October 16, 2012|
I love bananas. Let’s just put that out there. Well I happen to have a bunch of overripe baby bananas. As any baker knows, NEVER throw away those spotted nanas. What do you do with them? You bake!
Now let’s talk about baby bananas. Yes, there is such a thing. You can find them at your regular super market (or at least I find them at my regular super market). They are so adorable and have a slightly creamier texture. They look like regular bananas, only snack size. Perfect for lunches or for a quick snack. Or in my case, what kind of baby cake recipe would this be without baby bananas?
My Gluten Free Banana Bread Baby Cakes are made with almond flour to mimic bread. I am not a xanthan gum fan so I often use other flour alternatives. Because of this, these cakes don’t keep as long. If you wait more than a day to eat, they will start to have a mushy texture so plan to bake last minute for a party or event. And did I mention, if you skip the frosting and caramel, these are completely Paleo Diet friendly!
Gluten Free Banana Bread Baby Cakes
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup walnut oil
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 5 mashed baby bananas (or 2 regular bananas)
- 1 1/4 cup almond flour
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 6 tbsp of unsalted butter
- 16 oz cream cheese
- 3/4 cup agave nectar
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
**Optional caramel to drizzle on top. I used store bought caramel but you can make yours from scratch if you like.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Whisk all the ingredients together in order adding each one by one as you whisk to prevent clumping. You should be adding the banana and almond flour last. Line a baby cupcake tin with cupcake liners and spray lightly with a non stick cooking spray. I used the walnut oil in an oil mister because the non-stick I normally use has gluten. Who knew, right?
Fill each liner to the top with the batter. (Because there’s no flour or baking powder, these won’t rise much.) Bake for 13 minutes. Time may vary depending on the type of pan you use. Use a wooden toothpick to poke a baby cake or two. If the stick comes out clean then your cakes are done. If it doesn’t, then you either need more time or you didn’t mash your bananas all the way.
Now for the frosting, let the butter and cream cheese stand until room temperature. Mix all the ingredients together. I used an electric mixer for this part, no hand mixing for me. If you want a sweeter frosting, feel free to add sugar rather than agave, but I like to keep things a little more natural. Use a piping bag or cut a hole in the end of a ziplock and pipe the desired amount of frosting on the baby cake. Drizzle with caramel and enjoy!
|October 1, 2012|
Everyone has a weak spot. Mine is burgers. I can’t seem to get enough. Well I thought maybe I’d send some love out to one of my favorite burger places and give you some dining out tips.
Customization is everything! Whether you’re at a place liked Stacked where the whole concept is about customized burgers or you’re at another joint that is a standard order-from-the-menu type place. Always think about what goes into the dish. Did you know that you can cut out an average of 100 calories (depending on the location and type of cheese) by opting for hamburger over the cheeseburger?
Now let’s talk about Stacked (one of my favorite burger places). First things first, you place your order on an iPad! Being an Apple loyalist, I was sold before I walked in. But where they get their tagline “Food Well Built” comes from this iPad ordering system. It’s a build-your-own type concept that as you add things to your burger, you see a visual of what toppings are on your burger…pretty cool.
Now for the food. I didn’t really order that healthy this time around but I think I can enjoy a binge every here and there. What I ordered: Whole Wheat Bun, Angus Beef Patty, Pepperjack Cheese, Iceberg Lettuce, Chipotle Mayo, Roma Tomatoes, Pickles, Bacon, Avocado, Caramelized Onions and Roasted Poblano Peppers. Came to a pricy $10ish dollars but you get what you pay for. It was worth every penny.
Their gluten free bun is probably the best I’ve ever had at a restaurant. It doesn’t fall apart or mush like many other places. One of the tricks to a filling burger is making sure you top it with plenty of veggies (or fruit if it floats your boat). I always add extra lettuce for a good (nom nom) crunch and always get extra tomatoes on the side. The more veggies you get onto your place, the more full you will feel. If you finish off a well stacked burger here, you really don’t even need to order a side of fries. (But if you do, I highly suggest the sweet potato fries. Yum yum!) Anything creamy you should stay away from if you are looking for healthier options…Or do what I did and run a 10k the next day so you can enjoy the aioli with minimal guilt. But seriously, the best thing to do is stick to a mustard and maybe ketchup. Mayo, Thousand Island, or any special sauces should be avoided if you are eating light.
Stacked isn’t just burgers. You can also build your own salads, pizzas, and if you want to be really bad, try a build-your-own milkshake! Sorry non-SoCal fans, Stacked is still growing but for now there are only 3 locations. For more info on Stacked, visit their website.
**This post contains my own opinions. I was not compensated in any way by Stacked. (Yup, I paid for that $10 burger and I liked it.)
|September 20, 2012|
Running has never been my thing. When I was in middle school, I used to fail every mile we ran (if you took more than 13 minutes to run the mile, you got an F). When my gym decided to get together to run in a 5k, I was skeptical. I hate running. But then again I did, for whatever reason, sign up for the Disneyland Half Marathon. So I joined in on this 5k. Mentally preparing myself, I decided that my goal was to not stop. If I stopped, I was worried it would be that much harder to start back up again. My only stop was for a sip of water because at the 1.5 mile mark, I failed at drinking water because I was running and ended up pouring it all over my face. But I had so much fun running with everyone, I am now addicted.
I’m not going to lie and say that I miraculously now like running. I still hate it. But I loved the feeling I had after the race, the natural high and feeling of accomplishment. AND it is so much easier to run when you are running with a bunch of people that do like running. If you haven’t tried a 5k yet, I suggest you do so. You might just surprise yourself. I’ll post about my Disneyland Half Marathon weekend as soon as I get my photos in the mail, so sit tight.
My First 5k Time: 39:28
My Second 5k Time: 39:10
My Third 5k Time: 36:38
|September 11, 2012|
Welcome to Nom Nom Crunch! For my first recipe, I thought I’d share something that represents me a little bit. Being Mexican, there is never a lack of salsas or hot sauces in the house. Tangent: When I moved into my first apartment in college, my mom told me she stocked my pantry with food. Later, when I went to the pantry for a snack, low and behold Costco-size tortilla chips, hominy, and refried beans filling my pantry shelves top to bottom. My room mate laughed it off and said I’d have to teach her how to cook, but I was thinking she probably hoped beans didn’t give me gas. HA! Back to my recipe, I love salsas and hot sauce. I put it on basically everything, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Now to the recipe. I subscribed to a local organic farming delivery service called Farm Fresh To You and got my sample box in. I came across these chili-like vegetables and decided to make salsa. After they ripened I could definitely see they were normal bell peppers, so let me introduce – Yellow Bell Pepper Salsa.
Yellow Bell Pepper Salsa
- 1 White Onion
- 2 Large Tomatoes (or 3 Roma)
- 2 Yellow Bell Peppers
- 1 Bunch of Cilantro
- 1/4 cup of Chopped Jalapeño (one small can)
- 1 Lime
- 2 tsp Chopped Garlic
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 2 tsp Sea Salt
Finely chop all produce (excluding the lime). Add all ingredients into a bowl, squeezing the lime over the top. Don’t be afraid to get a little pulp in there. Toss until all ingredients are evenly mixed together. Optional: I like my salsa pico de gallo style. If you like yours more liquid-y, instead of chopping, throw it all into a food processor (it’s actually easier that way).
Adding more colors and flavors to any topping is great! Ever hear people say “eat the rainbow?” I like to follow that rule. Don’t limit your salsa recipe to just tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Yellow bell pepper has vitamin A and C and even fiber, which many articles say help fill you up. So experiment chopping up your favorite veggies and add to your salsa. One last thing about salsa: flavor without the guilt! Zero Weight Watcher points and unlimited on the Jenny Craig plan! So add it to anything that you think needs a bit of flavor.
|August 13, 2012|
Welcome to Nom Nom Crunch! I have a bunch of recipes I can’t wait to share. First, let me tell you a little about myself and Nom Nom Crunch:
I have tried nearly all the diets out there. Everything from Lindora, Jenny Craig, The Cabbage Soup Diet…and the list goes on. I have had some successes and many failures. But every time I would gain weight back and the whole process would start all over.
It was in college that I started My Light 2 The Lighter Side. I started this blog to share my story and help keep me on track. I had just begun Jenny Craig and I wanted to join a community of people that would help motivate me and I could help motivate in return. But the communities I found weren’t up to par, so I started my own community by meeting people through my blog.
Initially, it was more of my thoughts and ideas about eating, dieting and other health issues that were going on like my position on high fructose corn syrup and even posted an embarrassing old photo of my fat self. But as time went on, I posted less and less and eventually stopped. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to share, because I did. I felt like it was becoming something I didn’t want it to be.
I’m not here to push my opinions about food politics on you (unless you want that…because I would love to). All viewpoints aside, I just want to share my recipes and some things that I find helpful in the crazy world of fab food that is costly to your waistline. My tips and tricks during the holidays and when I finish my first half marathon in September, I want to tell you all about it.
Welcome to Nom Nom Crunch!
This is my new blog, written by a new me. I am eating healthy and exercising and never turning back. While I may have an occasional cheat day, there are some motivations that can’t be broken. I hope you enjoy all that I have to offer.