Loaded Banana Cookies

This recipe makes a chewy, delicious cookie that is almost more like a muffin top than a cookie. They aren't too sweet, and are very satisfying.
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (may also use shortening or butter)
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp banana extract (optional)
  • 3 mashed very ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (walnuts may also be used)
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • ~12 oz chocolate chips (optional)

  1. Heat oven to 350°F
  2. Cream coconut oil and sugar together. Add mashed bananas, vanilla extract, banana extract, and eggs, mix well. Add pecans, peanuts, coconut, chocolate chips, flour, and baking powder, stir until incorporated.
  3. Using a large cookie scoop (~1/4 cup) scoop dough onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving plenty of space between each cookie (I only put 6 on each cookie sheet) and bake for 15 minutes.

  • White chocolate chips can be used instead of chocolate
  • A small scoop makes perfect mini cookies
  • I leave out the chocolate chips and drizzle chocolate over the cookies to make them more attractive

Yields ~16 large cookies


Tofu (or insert meat here) with Broccoli

So, as of late I have been lacking meat in my apartment, but I have a lot of tofu, so that has been the protein component of main dishes... hence instead of beef with broccoli, its Tofu with broccoli.

  • 1/3 cups oyster sauce*
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs white sugar
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 14-19 oz firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 lb broccoli, in florets
  • 1 can water chestnuts (optional)
  • 1 can baby corn (optional)
  • 3 Tbs vegetable oil
  • Pepper, to taste

  1. In a small bowl whisk the oyster sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch until fully incorporated.
  2. In a large skillet, or wok heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the cubed tofu, pepper, ginger, and garlic powder.
  4. Cook the tofu 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. Add the broccoli, water chestnuts, and baby corn, cooking another 3-5 minutes, until vegetables are heated through and the broccoli is fork tender.
  6. Add sauce, and reduce heat to medium, stirring until evenly coated and heated through. Serve over brown or white rice.

  • Basically any meat can be subbed for tofu, it is traditionally cooked with beef.
  • Oyster sauce can be found at any oriental market, and frequently in the Asian section of the grocery store. Read the ingredients, often there is MSG, so shoot for one without it if you can help it.

Plum Ginger Tofu

  • 2/3 cup plum sauce (available at any asian market, and most international grocery sections)
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup (I sub half honey)
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp chicken concentrate (available in little packets at Trader Joe's, or 2 bouillon cubes will suffice)

Everything else
  • 16-19 oz firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 can bamboo shoots
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 3/4 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2-3 Tbs vegetable oil

  1. In a skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the tofu, and cook until golden brown, 7-12 minutes.
  3. Add the water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, carrots, ginger and peas, and continue cooking.
  4. In a separate container, mix the plum sauce, corn syrup, soy sauce, garlic and chicken concentrate.
  5. Add the sauce to the skillet, and cook until the sauce is heated through.
  6. Serve with rice noodles or white rice.

Everything Italian Beef Stew

  • ~1 lb stew beef
  • ~1 lb tortellini
  • 1 can white beans (great northern beans)
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 LARGE can tomato sauce, or 2 regular size cans
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 bag frozen green beans (~12 oz)
  • ~10 oz frozen spinach
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 4 Tbs Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbs onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 Tbs butter

  1. The day before, in a crock pot add stew beef, 2 Tbs Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder and enough water to cover. Cook until the beef easily shreds, 3-6 hours on high, or 5+ on low (I just leave mine overnight the day before I intend to make the stew...)
  2. Once cooked, remove the beef and shred, and strain the cooking liquid into a bowl. (I just strain the liquid into the bowl housing the beef.)
  3. Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat, add onion, carrot, zucchini, salt and pepper. Cook until onion softens.
  4. Add the beef, reserved liquid, chicken stock, tomato sauce, tomatoes, white beans (liquid drained), green beans, spinach, sugar, remainder of the Italian seasoning, and garlic powder to taste.
  5. In a separate pot, cook tortellini according to package instructions.
  6. To the stew pot add between 1-2 cups water, depending on the concentration of the tomato flavor of the stock.
  7. When ready to serve, add the tortellini to the stew.

  • Cooking the tortellini in the soup, or leaving them in it for an extended amount of time often leaves them rather sad and soggy.
  • Feel free to omit the beef, just add a bit more chicken stock to compensate.
  • This recipe can also be made vegetarian omitting the beef, and replacing chicken stock with vegetable stock.

Squapple Pizza

I realize this recipe calls for a strange ingredient (butternut squash pasta sauce...) but it's so tasty I have to post it! I am including the link so that you can get your own jar, although it is on my to-do list to develop my own recipe for a killer butternut squash sauce, till then, get your own jar here!

  • Pizza crust dough
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash sauce
  • 1/2 apple in thin slices
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste

  1. In a skillet heat the vegetable oil, and when hot add the onions.
  2. Add the sugar, and salt & pepper to taste.
  3. Cook the onions until caramelized, and set aside.
  4. Roll the crust to desired thickness, then spread with butternut squash sauce.
  5. Top with apples, caramelized onions, and both feta cheese and Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake at 375° for 18-23 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

  • You can make this pizza with a white sauce instead, but the squash really gives it a unique twist!
Yields ~5 servings

Shrimp Primavera Pizza

This is a great, quick recipe. I cut a lot of corners, and it still tastes totally gourmet!

  • Pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup Alfredo sauce*
  • 1/2 small yellow squash, in slim rounds
  • 1/2 small zucchini, in slim rounds
  • 1/2 bell pepper, in squares or strips
  • ~1/3 lb cooked shrimp
  • 1/4-1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2-3 carrots, grated

  1. Roll out the pizza dough to approximately 1/2" thick.
  2. Spread an even layer of Alfredo sauce onto the pizza, and add squash, zucchini, and bell pepper.
  3. Distribute shrimp, and layer on the mozzarella cheese.
  4. Bake in a 375° oven for 18-23 minutes, or until edges are golden.
  5. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with grated carrots.

  • I really like Classico® brand Light Alfredo sauce, it's healthier (...still not calling it healthy) than your traditional super-heavy cream sauce.
  • Shrimp can be replaced with chicken, or just taken out all together.

Yields ~5 servings, depending on the appetites.

Procrastinator's Pizza Crust

This is a great recipe because it needs no time to rise and is still absolutely tasty!
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 (.25 oz) package instant yeast, or 2.25 tsp
  • 2 Tbs vegetable or olive oil
  • i tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Corn meal (optional)
  1. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl.
  2. Add the water and vegetable oil, and mix well, I find my hands work the best.
  3. Roll out and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet sprinkled with corn meal. Top as desired and bake 18-20 minutes at 375°
  • To health it up you can use 1.5 cups wheat flour to 1.5 cups all purpose
  • Optional add-ins that are delicious include: garlic powder, Italian seasoning, rosemary, etc. Be creative!
Yields enough dough for approximately an 11x15 rectangular pizza with medium thickness crust.


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