Saturday, January 28, 2012

Banana-jam muffins

We don't typically eat a lot of cold cereal, but lately both Mahesh and I have been on a frosted mini-wheats kick. One downside to this is the bottom of the bag has so many crumbs. I hate wasting food, but I also do not want to eat them as cold cereal. So I found this muffin recipe that uses up the crumbs. It is incredibly variable, and tastes great! Here are the modifications I would like to use next time we have extra mini-wheats crumbs to use up:

Banana-jam Muffins (or Banana fruit muffins)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12


1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar (can use less than this because those crumbs are sugary! maybe 1/4 cup)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups Frosted Mini-Wheats (crushed to 3/4 cup)
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 small bananas)
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons Jam or preserves (or 3/4 cup frozen blueberries or other chopped fruit)


1. Butter or spray one 12-cup muffin pan, or use liners.

2. In medium bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In large bowl stir together Frosted Mini-Wheats crumbs, banana and milk. Let stand about 5 minutes or until cereal softens. Add egg, oil and vanilla. Beat well. Add flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Here is where you add in the fruit if you are using it, and fill the muffin pans evenly.

IF you are using jam, portion half of the batter evenly into muffin pan. Top each muffin with scant teaspoon preserves. Portion remaining batter evenly on top of preserves.

4. Bake at 375°F about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Serve warm.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

African Peanut Soup

This is one of those recipes that I don't make very often, but wish I made more because it is so delicious and satisfying. It is an extremely variable recipe, in addition to the ingredients below you could throw in pretty much whatever extra veggies you like or happen to have on hand: carrots, cauliflower, fennel, whatever. For a vegan soup, it offers that strong flavor that usually only meaty soups provide. Delicious!


African Peanut Soup


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 large red bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, with liquid (I prefer to use 1 14-oz can tomatoes, and 1 1/2 cups salsa)
  • 8 cups vegetable broth or stock (or water)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 2/3 cup extra crunchy peanut butter (I use smooth too if it is all I have)
  • 2/3 cup uncooked brown rice or barley


  1. Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat. Cook onions and bell peppers until lightly browned and tender, stirring in garlic when almost done to prevent burning. Stir in tomatoes (or tomatoes and salsa) vegetable stock, pepper, and chili powder. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  2. Stir in rice, cover, and simmer another fifteen minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in peanut butter until well blended, and serve.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bread Machine Wheaty Flax Bread

For a while there I was making all our bread at home. I have lapsed on this a bit, but still make a lot of bread. Here is the recipe I use most often:

Wheaty Flax Bread

  • 1 1/3 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour or white flour
  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat bread flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon vital wheat gluten, optional, if you want fluffier bread (I usually do not use this)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ or oatmeal or sunflower seeds

  1. Measure warm water into bowl, add in butter, honey, molasses and stir well to combine. Sprinkle yeast on top and set aside to bloom for a bit.
  2. Add dry ingredients to bread pan.
  3. Stir up water mixture and dump into bread pan
  4. Select basic wheat cycle; press start. 
  5. Once it is mixed up CHECK DOUGH FOR CONSISTENCY -- on different days, different flours can produce different results. You want a nice dough that cleans the sides of the bowl. If it is too wet, add more flour. If it is too dry, add a little more water.
  6. If using, you can add the sunflower seeds when the alert sounds during the knead cycle so they don't get pulverized, if you want.
  7. Makes 1 1/2 lb loaf