Two Sisters, One Kitchen

Quick, healthy meals by a loving team. See what’s cooking in J & K's kitchen!

Whole Wheat Banana Flax Bread March 17, 2015

Jamie says: Whew! Last month was jam-packed! What made it so busy? I moved both my apartment and office in less than 2 weeks. It was such a blessing to have my family help with my apartment move. They’re the best. Seriously. I love my new places and am feeling settled in.

So here is my 1st post-move craziness recipe: Whole Wheat Banana Flax Bread. (I have fun baking yesterday in my new kitchen before work.)

Pre-work baking

Pre-work baking

I dug through my stack of recipes and came across one which I heavily modified. I knew I was taking a risk with so many modifications in baking, but it definitely worked to my advantage…

Recipe makeover success!

Recipe makeover success!

My Whole Wheat Banana Flax Bread was amazing! It had a sugar-sweet crunchy crust and a super moist middle. The pecans added a pleasant crunch. Mmmmmm….

Whole Wheat Banana Flax Bread

Whole Wheat Banana Flax Bread

Ready for a slice? Try it with a glass of milk for breakfast, a snack, or dessert.

Mission accomplished- My best banana bread ever!

Mission accomplished- My best banana bread ever!

Whole Wheat Banana Flax Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 medium very-ripe bananas
  • 1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/2 Tbsp skim milk
  • 1 1/2 cup 100% whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup milled flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven 325°F. Coat a 9″ x 5″ metal loaf pan with spray canola oil.
  2. Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Peel bananas and place in bowl with egg. Mash bananas into eggs.
  3. Pour white vinegar and skim milk into a small bowl. Allow to sit while preparing next ingredients.
  4. To the bowl with bananas, add whole wheat flour, milled flax seeds, honey, brown sugar, canola oil, baking soda, vanilla extract, and salt. Use a spatula to combine.
  5. Stir in chopped pecans. Bake for 1 hour. Allow to sit in pan for about 15 minutes. Slice. Enjoy!

Servings: about 10 thick slices or 20 half-slices

  • Nutrition note: Use baking substitutes to make recipes for nutritious. The original version called for all purpose flour (which was substituted with whole wheat flour and milled flax seeds) and 50% more sugar.
 

Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes with Salmon, Zucchini, Ricotta, Tomatoes, and Fresh Basil February 8, 2015

Jamie says: In less than one week, I’ll be moving to my new place! I’m having that “this is my last time” doing (insert local activity here) feeling. Like tonight, it was “this is (probably) my last time eating dinner on the patio.” And yesterday, it was “this is my last time going to this church.” (You get the picture). It’s bittersweet, but I’m certainly super excited about my move. I’ve also been squeezing in a lot of activities, and let’s be real, restaurants, that I’ve wanted to try. My sister told me by the time I leave, I will have I milked this city dry. She made me smile. I like to think I’ve had the full experience. The cool thing is is that I’m not moving too far and can come back. And as my friend at the gym said, I’m about to expand my circle even more. Let the count down begin.

Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes with Salmon, Zucchini, Ricotta, Tomatoes, and Fresh Basil

Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes with Salmon, Zucchini, Ricotta, Tomatoes, and Fresh Basil

Crispy polenta, creamy ricotta, rich salmon, golden zucchini, juicy tomatoes, and savory basil… yum!

Crispy polenta, creamy ricotta... and I'm just getting started...

Crispy polenta, creamy ricotta… and I’m just getting started…

Italian flag colors with Italian flavor.

Bam! Brilliant colors and brilliant flavors!

Bam! Brilliant colors and brilliant flavors!

Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes with Salmon, Zucchini, Ricotta, Tomatoes, and Fresh Basil

Ingredients:

  • one 17-oz roll polenta, original (Marjon)
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 zucchini, organic (Pero Family Farms, fresh wrapped)
  • 6 oz salmon filet, boneless and skinless, defrosted (Publix fresh frozen sockeye salmon, wild caught, USA)
  • 1 tomato, organic (Tasti-Lee)
  • 12 leaves fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese, low-fat

Directions:

  1. Slice polenta roll into about 12 even slices. Pour 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large sauté pan. Place polenta on top. Using a spatula, flip polenta to coat other side in olive oil. Turn heat on to medium. Cook for about 10 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown, reducing heat to medium-low if needed.
  2. Place zucchini in food processor to julienne cut. Pour 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil in a small sauté pan, and add julienne-cut zucchini. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
  3. Place salmon in a sauté pan on medium-low heat and cook for about 7 minutes, flip, and cook an additional 7 minutes or until done. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Chop tomato. Tear basil.
  5. Arrange cooked polenta cakes in a circle in the center of two plates (6 per plate). Place cooked zucchini in the middle of the cakes, and top zucchini with ricotta cheese. Arrange salmon around ricotta on top of the polenta cakes. Place chopped tomatoes in between polenta slices on the outer ring. Top with fresh basil. Enjoy!

Servings: 2

  • Nutrition note: Gluten free (always check the packages to confirm, though) for those with Celiac disease or a gluten-intolerance. No additional salt is needed as the polenta is already salted.
 

Sweet & Salty Coffee Cottage Cheese Blend January 27, 2015

Jamie says: Mom is always right. My Mom recommended blending cottage cheese and prunes. Honestly, at first I thought the idea sounded a little wierd, but sure enough, she was right, and it was great! I went a step further and added coffee, which I’m adding to everything lately, and pretzels. I liked it so much I made it a few days in a row!

Sweet & Salty Coffee Cottage Cheese Blend

Sweet & Salty Coffee Cottage Cheese Blend

Prunes add natural sweetness. We can keep this our little secret…

Hidden prune love

Hidden prune love

I’m a fan of the contrasting combinations- sweet and salty; smooth and crunchy, chilled and room-temp. Yum!

Creamy blend with a crunchy topping

Creamy blend with a crunchy topping

Sweet & Salty Coffee Cottage Cheese Blend

Ingredients

  • 2% cottage cheese with live and active cultures (Breakstone’s)
  • 4 prunes (SunSweet Naturals D’Noir)
  • 3 Tbsp coffee (Starbucks)
  • 6 ultra thin pretzel stix (H.K. Anderson)

Directions:

  1. In a mini blender, add cottage cheese, prunes, and coffee. Pulse until well-blended, using a spatula to scrape down the sides as needed. Scoop into a bowl.
  2. Break pretzels into bite- sized pieces and pour on top. Enjoy!

Servings: 1

  • Nutrition note: Prunes, calcium, and vitamin D (the latter two are from the cottage cheese) have been associated with strong bones. Yes, you read that right. Prunes may improve bone health. Cool stuff!

 

 

Beer Bread January 25, 2015

Jamie says: I feel like this is a recipe most men will love.

Beer Bread

Beer Bread

 

It’s so simple and uses beer. Can’t go wrong, right?

So simple.

So simple.

It’s got stealth health written all over it, too. Sell it by the beer and taste, but know it also is 100% whole grain and has heart-healthy nuts, seeds, and fruit. Sounds like the perfect Men’s Health month recipe to me. (I just Googled it. It’s in June.)

Wow!

Wow!

I had beer bread for the first time this Christmas at my Uncle and Aunt’s house. It was so awesome. I asked for the recipe immediately.

Dense, moist, more, please

Dense, moist, more, please

Beer bread is dense, moist, and flavorful. Oh, and it’s filling, too.

Beer Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups 100% whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup fruit and nut mix-ins of choice (e.g. sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, pistachios, thinly sliced dried apricots)
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 12 oz stout (Guinness Extra Stout- purchased in the single bottle section from Publix)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a bread pan with cooking spray.
  2. Add all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together to mix well.
  3. Pour beer on top. Use a spatula to stir until combined. Transfer dough to bread pan. Use hands to evenly distribute dough in pan.
  4. Bake 1 hour. Remove from bread pan immediately. Slice. Enjoy!

Servings: 10

  • Nutrition note: Although beer bread sounds like bar food. It’s far from it. With 100% whole grain-content, heart-healthy nuts and seeds, and dried fruit, it’s practically a super food.
 

Chocolate Berry Parfait January 15, 2015

Jamie says: I love productive and fun-filled days! It’s that awesome feeling of accomplishment combined with fun that is the hallmark of a great one. I made this Chocolate Berry Parfait this weekend on one of those days I felt like an Energizer Bunny…a 2-part workout, 4 loads of laundry, dishwasher emptied, bills paid, groceries purchased, paper work submitted, awesome phone calls with family and friends, a birthday party… all in one-day. I was ready for this killer parfait…

Chocolate Berry Parfait

Chocolate Berry Parfait

The colors are naturally vibrant; the taste, sweet; and the texture, smooth.

A cup of goodness

A cup of goodness

Parfaits make me think of TCBY and the movie Shrek (onions have layers and so do parfaits).

Layering isn't only for the winter...

Layering isn’t only for the winter…

Dig in. It’s ready in a minute.

Just waiting for a spoon...

Just waiting for a spoon…

Chocolate Berry Parfait

Ingredients:

  • 4 strawberries
  • 8 blackberries
  • 4 oz cup of 2% live active cottage cheese (Breakstone’s)
  • 12 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate premium baking chips (Ghirardelli)

Directions:

  1. Wash berries. Slice strawberries.
  2. Place 2 oz (1/2 of portioned cup) of cottage cheese in a bowl. Top with half the strawberry slices, blackberries, and chocolate chips.
  3. Scoop the remaining cottage cheese on top. Add the remaining berries and chocolate chips. Enjoy!

Servings: 1

  • Nutrition note: Blur the lines a little sometimes between a dessert and a snack to prevent over-indulging. Use a few dark chocolate chocolate chips to make a healthy snack turn into a dessert.
 

Stove-Top Bourbon Chili January 14, 2015

Jamie says: Bourbon chili. It’s been my go-to, delicious meal of 2014. It freezes perfectly and, I swear, the leftovers taste even better than the amazing original batch. I’ve modified my 2012 recipe over the years and wanted to share the latest version of the recipe with you. So cheers to Stove-Top Bourbon Chili- and an awesome and delicious 2015!

Stove-Top Bourbon Chili

Stove-Top Bourbon Chili

Bourbon chili pairs perfectly with cornbread. Check out my Two Sisters One Kitchen’s Skillet Cornbread recipe for a great side. P.S. You can freeze the cornbread, too.

Pairs perfectly with Skillet Cornbread (recipe also on TSOK)

Pairs perfectly with Skillet Cornbread (recipe also on TSOK)

I’ve enjoyed sharing this meal and recipe with friends, and I hope you’ll absolutely love it, too.

Chili explosion!

Chili explosion!

Stove-Top Bourbon Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (Publix), divided
  • 1 lb ground chicken (Perdue)
  • 26.46 oz box petite cut tomatoes in light puree (Dei Fratelli, Truly)
  • 15 oz canned low sodium dark red kidney beans (Publix GreenWise Market organic)
  • 15.8 canned reduced sodium great Northern beans (Bush’s Best)
  • 1/4 cup chili powder (Badia)
  • 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar (Publix)
  • 1/4 cup bourbon (Blanton’s The Original Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey, 93 proof)
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded 2% Mexican style four cheese (Kraft)
  • 12 oz (two 6-oz cups) fat free (0%) plain Greek yogurt (Fage or Chobani)
  • Directions
  1. Peel onion and chop. Heat a large pot on medium heat. Add chopped onion and 2 Tbsp canola oil. Cook for about 7 minutes or until soft and lightly brown, stirring frequently with a heat-proof spatula.
  2. Add ground chicken and remaining 2 Tbsp canola oil. Cook an additional 3 minutes or until cooked throughout, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Add entire package of tomatoes (including puree) to pot.
  4. Rinse and drain kidney and Northern beans. Add to pot along with chili powder, white vinegar, and bourbon. Stir well, cover with a lid, and increase heat to low/medium-low heat for a gentle simmer. Cook for about 1 hour 30 minutes. (You can really eat it right away since the meat is cooked, but the longer it cooks, the better it tastes.)
  5. Serve in bowls (or allow to cool slightly and freeze in jars) and top with a sprinkling of shredded cheese and a generous dollop of Greek yogurt. Enjoy!

Serves: 4-5

Serving suggestion: Serve with Two Sisters One Kitchen’s Skillet Cornbread.

  • Nutrition note: Recipe makeover! What makes this recipe better for you? Using ground chicken (instead of ground beef), reduced fat cheese (2%) instead of full fat cheese, fat free Greek yogurt instead of sour cream makes this recipe a better choice. Yup! The fat and sodium were cut and the probiotics, calcium, and protein amped up, while, in my opinion, the flavor was enhanced! Talk about a win-win situation!
 

Garlic Spinach Saute with Parm and Walnuts January 13, 2015

Jamie says: Quick and simply delicious. That was my mantra this week. I literally through this awesome side dish together in minutes before heading out the door. Like spinach? You’ll love Garlic Spinach Saute with Parm and Walnuts.

The perfect side. Enjoy hot or cold. At home or packed for a work or school lunch.

The perfect side. Enjoy hot or cold. At home or packed for a work or school lunch.

The gentle combination of flavors, textures, and colors made this side complete. (Completely perfect, that is.)

Not your average spinach... with crunchy walnuts, savory garlic, and salty cheese, it's worth writing home about

Not your average spinach… with crunchy walnuts, savory garlic, and salty cheese, it’s worth writing home about

Get your Mediterranean on!

Garlic Spinach Saute with Parm and Walnuts

Garlic Spinach Saute with Parm and Walnuts

Garlic Spinach Saute with Parm and Walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups spinach
  • dash sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 4 walnut halves, crushed

Directions:

  1. Peel and slice garlic. Pour olive oil in a medium pot on medium-low heat followed by sliced garlic. Heat until lightly brown, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute.
  2. Add spinach. Stir constantly until just wilted, about 45 seconds. Remove from heat. Pour into a bowl.
  3. Top with salt, Parmesan cheese, and crushed walnuts. Enjoy!
  •  Nutrition note: Olive oil, spinach, and garlic are plant-based foods on the Mediterranean Diet which is associated with multiple health benefits, including happiness.
 

 
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