Meatless Monday: Cinnamon Applesauce Banana Bread

Happy Meatless Monday on this week before Christmas! I’m sharing a variation on banana bread that I made when I discovered I was lacking some ingredients for the traditional recipe. I adapted the recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook — a favorite of mine.

Cinnamon Applesauce Banana Bread


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 beaten eggs

1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup sugar or equivalent sweetener

1/2 cup canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, bananas, applesauce, oil and sugar. Add this mixture all at once to flour mixture, and combine until just moistened (batter will be lumpy). Spoon batter into loaf pan.

3. Bake in oven at 350 degrees F for 55 to 60 minutes; during the last 15 minutes of baking time, cover the pan loosely with foil to prevent overbrowning. On a wire cooling rack, let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on the rack. For easiest slicing, wrap and refrigerate overnight before serving (I’ve never been able to wait that long!).

I like this bread with cream cheese, but it’s great with butter or even peanut butter. Hope you’ll try it.

Be well and be blessed…and Merry Christmas!


Meatless Monday: Blueberry Banana Bread

Happy Meatless Monday! My husband came up with this recipe idea, and it turned out very well. Blueberries add sweetness along with flavor to this recipe, and the whole wheat adds a rich flavor. For a low-glycemic sugar substitute, try coconut sugar; its caramel-like flavor blends well with the other ingredients, and it measures the same as cane sugar. I adapted the basic banana bread recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook Special Edition. I made this bread for the first time yesterday, and knew I had to share it. For more meatless ideas, join us at Midnight Maniac Meatless Monday.

Serve blueberry banana bread with coffee for breakfast...great with cream cheese!

Blueberry Banana Bread


2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 beaten eggs

1 cup mashed bananas (2 medium/large bananas)

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 35o degrees F. Grease and set aside one 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture.

2. In a small bowl, combine eggs, oil and bananas. Add egg mixture all at once to the dry ingredients. Combine just until moistened, and fold in the blueberries. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

3. Bake for 55 to 60 minute, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the loaf comes out clean. During the last 15 minutes, you may want to cover the loaf loosely with foil to prevent over-browning. Cool in the loaf pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, and then remove loaf from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack, and then wrap and refrigerate overnight before slicing (Yeah, right…who wants to wait?).

Done! Try this bread at breakfast with either cream cheese or peanut butter.

Till next time, be well and be blessed!

Meatless Monday: Spicy Whole Grain and Raisin Muffins

Welcome to another Meatless Monday! This week’s recipe is for Spicy Whole Grain and Raisin Muffins. These hearty muffins are delicious hot with cream cheese! This recipe is adapted from an original recipe at

Spicy Whole Wheat and Raisin Muffins


2 cups whole wheat flower

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp.ground cloves

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup honey

1 egg, beaten

1 cup buttermilk

3 tbsp. canola oil


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, salt and raisins.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together milk, honey, oil and egg.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid ingredients. Stir until dry ingredients are just moistened.

Fill greased muffin pans so that each cup is half full. Bake for 15 minutes.

Cool the muffins on a wire rack. Makes 12 to 16 muffins.

Meatless Monday: Focaccia

Welcome to this first Meatless Monday of spring 2011. This week I’m sharing one of my favorite bread recipes: focaccia. This traditional Italian flatbread makes a delicious sandwich bread, or a tasty accompaniment to a homemade spaghetti dinner. I adapted this recipe from Angeli Caffe’s original Focaccia recipe. Once a week, why not give up meat and try a hearty home baked bread?



3 cups whole wheat flour

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 package active dry yeast

2 cups warm water (115 degrees F.)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for coating bowl and pan, and drizzling over bread

topping(s) of your choice–sliced onions, black olives, diced tomatoes, or grated cheese, for example

more sea salt to taste

Suggestion: serve focaccia warm, as an accompaniment to spaghetti

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, 1 cup all-purpose flour, yeast, and 2 teaspoons sea salt. Add warm water and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir to combine and gradually add enough remaining all-purpose flour to form a dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 6 to 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

Lightly grease a bowl with olive oil and place dough in the bowl. Turn the dough over so that it is coated with the oil. Cover and let rise until doubled–about an hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ cake pan with oil. Turn dough onto the cake pan and press the dough so that it covers the bottom of the pan.  Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

After the dough has risen, remove the cover and dimple the dough with your fingertips. Drizzle olive oil onto the dough, add toppings, and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cut into squares and serve warm.

Meatless Monday: Whole Wheat White Pizza

Once again, it’s Meatless Monday…welcome!  Why not add this hearty, whole wheat “white”–or tomato-free–pizza to your once-a-week meatless menu? Cheddar and Parmesan cheese round out the veggie flavors of this lunch or dinner dish. Of course, you’re always free to substitute your own favorite toppings–maybe portobello mushrooms, olives, or artichoke hearts. You can find more meatless recipes at Midnight Maniac Meatless Monday.  Enjoy!

Cheese and veggies top this wholesome crust

Whole Wheat White Pizza


1 envelope active dry yeast

1 cup warm water (100 – 110 degrees F)

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 to 1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


1 medium onion, sliced into thin half-moons

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon capers

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

In a large mixing bowl, soften yeast in warm water. Add the 2 cups whole wheat flour, salt, and oil. Stir in enough all-purpose flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth–about 4 to 6 minutes.

Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Meanwhile, prepare toppings and set them aside while you finish preparing the pizza dough.

Punch dough down. Pat dough into large pizza pan. Top with onion and garlic, then add capers and oregano, followed by Parmesan cheese, then the cheddar cheese. Lightly drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes. That’s it!


white pizza

Meatless Monday: Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Meatless Monday

It’s Meatless Monday again, and we’re baking pita bread. This bread is so tender and tasty, you’ll want to bake it often. If you like, you may use only whole wheat flour, instead of the combination whole wheat and all-purpose flours. You needn’t be too fussy about the “lukewarm” water temperature…if the water feels lukewarm to you, then it’s lukewarm enough. This recipe is adapted from a wonderful site called The Fresh Loaf.

Be sure to visit Midnight Maniac Meatless Monday for more recipe ideas–you can share your own favorite recipes there, too!

Pita bread is a classic with veggie meals

Whole Wheat Pita Bread

makes 8 pitas


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1 packet quick-rising yeast

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cup lukewarm water

2 tablespoons olive oil

In a large mixing bowl, mix together flours, salt, and yeast. Add olive oil and 1 1/4 cups water and stir all ingredients until mixture forms a ball. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of water if needed.

Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. The dough should spring back immediately after you poke it with your finger.

Lightly coat a bowl with oil and place the dough in  the bowl. Cover with a damp towel and let the dough rise until doubled in size–about 90 minutes.

After the dough has doubled, punch it down and divide it into 8 portions. Form each portion into a ball and cover them with a damp towel. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a cookie sheet upside down in the oven (this will be your baking surface).

Place one portion of dough on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle flour on the portion androll or  pat it into a circle approximately 1/8 inch thick. Do this with each portion. Before baking, open the oven door and spray water onto the cookie sheet. Close the door for 30 seconds.

Place as many portions as you can fit on the cookie sheet and bake for 3 minutes. If the dough has not puffed up, bake for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, checking frequently. When the breads have finished baking, cool them on a rack. Continue until all breads are baked. Enjoy a fresh veggie sandwich, or dip the bread in hummus. Yum!