Marbled Cocoa-Banana Bread

Chocolate and banana are like peanut butter and jam to me: simply perfect for one another. And, while chocolate chip banana bread is pretty common (and totally delicious), when I realized I had a few overripe bananas to use, I wanted to do something a bit different with them…

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Vegetable Lasagna

I have posted about lasagna before, but this recipe merits its own post.

I really like lasagna because it’s a great way to maximize your returns in the kitchen. I tend to make a lasagna every couple of weekends, because I can afford to spend a bit longer cooking and I get 5 to 6 meals out of it (of course, if you’re cooking for more than one person this may not apply to you). And, with Fall firmly setting in here, there’s nothing like a piping hot pasta dish to warm up my soul.

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Mung Bean Kitchari

I have been interested in trying kitchari for a long time. Kitchari is a traditional Indian food, often used in Ayurvedic practices and fasts.

Now, let me be clear about one thing: I do not believe in fasting or any other crash diet type of program for weight loss purposes. These are unhealthy and unsustainable, and you do more damage to your body with them than anything else. However, I do believe in the healing and cleansing properties of foods, and don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to give your digestive system a cleansing meal once in a while — as long as you’re still eating a regular and healthy amount of food.

Now that that’s out of the way…

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Nectarine Lemon Shortbread Crumble

My mother came to visit me recently and left me with two mottled, overripe nectarines upon her departure. I didn’t want to throw them out, but they were definitely past their prime, so I decided to bake them. That’s the nice thing about fruit — when it goes brown, you can still enjoy it by cooking it.

I also happened to have some extra shortbread dough chilling in my fridge, left over from a rather interesting attempt at lemon meringue pie bars (a birthday cake substitute for my boyfriend). I had used a shortbread base for the bars as opposed to graham cracker crumbs, and I saved the leftover dough thinking it would come in handy eventually. And it did!

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Seasonal Vegetable Quiche

Quiche is a wonderful dish that can easily be adapted to the season at hand. In the winter, it’s a piping hot slice of comfort, while in the summer it acts as a light meal. It’s hearty, filling, and reasonably healthy as well — as long as you make a few key modifications to traditional recipes that call for crème fraiche and lots of butter.

I made this particular quiche back in early September using fresh tomatoes, yellow beans, mushrooms, and onions. The pie shell was packed to the brim with veggies, layered with grated cheese and covered in eggs. I would be lying if I said I went easy on the cheese in this recipe, since it is one of my weaknesses, but even so it was definitely a healthy quiche.

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Dressed Up Mac and Cheese

I think that most, if not all university students will agree that macaroni and cheese is a student kitchen staple. While a lot of my friends go for the good ol’ KD, I grew up on President’s Choice White Cheddar Mac and Cheese (amazingly the box design hasn’t changed in 20+ years), and I’ve never really been able to fully get behind the orangey stuff (although I do eat it and enjoy it once in a while).

When I was a kid, my mom used to add green peas and little bits of hot dog or ham to our macaroni, in an attempt to make it a bit healthier and heartier while staying kid-friendly. When I got to university, I started up the habit again, replacing the meat with canned tuna. It’s a good way to integrate protein and a bit of vegetables into the dish without increasing the prep or cleanup time.

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Grilled Zucchini

When I’m not baking with zucchini, I like to grill or roast it. I find that stir frying them makes them watery and mushy, but grilling zucchini makes it sweet and chewy. Yummm!

I mentioned these grilled zucchini briefly in my dijon grilled tomatoes post a few days back, and thought I may as well share this recipe too! It is just as simple and tasty as the tomatoes, and makes for a lovely side vegetable.

Beautiful roasted yellow zucchini.

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