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a balanced plate with room for dessert


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Bananas Foster Bread

How do you make banana bread better? Add booze, of course! This recipe is a “lightened up” version, but the bananas cooked in brown sugar, butter, and rum will make you forget that it’s a bit healthier than your typical banana bread.

Heather at Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks hosted this month’s What’s Baking Challenge: Bread! I can’t wait to see what the other ladies have baked up!

Whip up a batch of this goodness for breakfast or brunch and win over the heart of everyone who takes a bite. Valentine’s Day is coming up (nudge nudge nudge)!

Bananas Foster Bread | doughseedough.net

Bananas Foster Bread

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
1 cup packed brown sugar, divided
6 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
1/4 cup dark rum, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
cooking spray
1/3 cup powdered sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lighting coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine banana, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 5 tablespoons butter, and 3 tablespoons rum in a nonstick pot. Cook over medium heat until bubbly; remove from heat and let cool. Stir in vanilla extract, yogurt, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, and eggs. Beat until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, flaxseed, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Whisk together until blended. Carefully pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Plan pan on a wire rack until cool enough to handle. Remove bread from pan and place on wire rack.
  4. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1 tablespoon rum, and powdered sugar; whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the bread. Serve warm or at room temperature.

slightly adapted from Cooking Light

 


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Slow Cooker Beef & Veggie Chili

Is it cold where you live? Do you have mountains of snow outside your window? Are you short on time? Do you hate doing dishes? Do you love comfort food that warms you up? If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, this chili is for you. Tossing everything into the slow cooker means you don’t have to spend hours standing over the stovetop, stirring and tending to your chili. Plus, who doesn’t love coming home after a long day to a house that smells amazing?

Slow Cooker Beef & Veggie Chili | doughseedough.net

Slow Cooker Beef & Veggie Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound 93% lean ground beef
2 medium onions, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 bell peppers, diced
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
16 ounces tomato sauce
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and minced (optional)

for serving (optional):
cooked macaroni noodles
fat free Greek yogurt or sour cream
shredded cheese
thinly sliced green onions
jalapeno slices
hot sauce
diced onions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onions, and garlic and cook until beef is no longer pink, about 7 minutes; stir with a spoon to break beef up into smaller pieces. Add chili powder and cumin and stir to coat. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring frequently. Transfer mixture to a slow cooker.
  2. Stir in bell peppers, mushrooms, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and kidney beans. Cover slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving  toppings of your choice.


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Lightened-Up Spinach Artichoke Dip

I love chips and dip. Taco dip, guacamole, salsa, French onion, hummus… I’m the weirdo hovering by your dip bowl at the party. Hovering? More like hoovering. I really want to host a chips and dip dinner party. I don’t know if anyone would come, but I could probably eat the entire spread myself. Just sayin’.

Lightened Up Spinach Artichoke Dip | doughseedough.net

Spinach artichoke dip is one of my favorites to dip in, but all that cheese – oh goodness. I did my best to lighten it up while still keeping that to-die-for richness. I opt for fresh spinach, but feel free to sub in a package of frozen chopped spinach; just make sure to thaw and drain it before stirring it in.

Lightened Up Spinach Artichoke Dip | doughseedough.net

Lightened-Up Spinach Artichoke Dip

8 ounce bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained chopped
8 ounce package reduced-fat or fat-free cream cheese
1 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt
2 tablespoon light mayonnaise
8 ounces part-skim mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
tortilla chips

  1. In a medium pot, combine, spinach, garlic and artichoke hearts. Cook over medium heat until spinach is just wilted. Stir in cream cheese, yogurt, mozzarella, Parmesan, and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted and ingredients are blended.
  2. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
  3. Slow cooker instructions: place ingredients into a slow cooker and heat on low for 3-4 hours or high for 2 hours. Stir well before serving.


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Easy Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Sandwiches

Football season is over this weekend. I don’t know what I’m going to do with all my extra time. What am I going to eat now that game foods are out? I’m assuming that eating spinach artichoke dip for lunch isn’t acceptable unless you’re watching football. On second thought, it’s probably not acceptable during football season either.

Once in a while, I will eat real food during a football game. You know, something that isn’t 99% cheese. Like this super easy slow cooker Italian chicken sandwich. Holy bucket of yum, I tell ya. If you don’t have your Superbowl menu set yet (shame on you!), make sure you get this delicious sandwich on there! Your friends and family will thank you.

Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Sandwiches |doughseedough.net

Easy Slow Cooker Italian Chicken Sandwiches

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 envelope Good Seasons Zesty Italian salad dressing mix
8 ounces pepperoncini slices, drained + 2 tablespoons liquid
8 ounces hot giardiniera, drained
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

for serving
whole wheat buns
provolone cheese slices
giardiniera
pepperoncini

  1. Place chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker and sprinkle with dressing mix. Top with pepperoncini, giardiniera, and chicken broth. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
  2. Remove meat from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Alternatively, place the chicken into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater. Beat on low for 30 or so seconds or until chicken is shredded. Return shredded chicken to slow cooker for 5 minutes.
  3. Scoop chicken onto buns and top with provolone cheese, giardiniera, and pepperoncini. Serve immediately.


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Lightened-Up Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole

When I hear the word casserole, images of cheesy, fatty, not-so-great-for-you comfort food comes to mind. What if I told you that you could have all the comfort food flavor without all the bad stuff? This dish is loaded to the top with veggies and whole grains. It’s a dish you can feel great about eating.

Lightened Up Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole

Lightened-Up Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole

3 cups cooked brown rice
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional)
1 head broccoli, cut into florets and steamed (about 4 cups)
10.75 ounce can fat-free cream of mushroom soup
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons light mayo
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread cooked rice in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add chicken and cook until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle. Remove chicken from pan to a separate bowl.
  3. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, and jalapeno to pan. Cook until vegetables just begin to soften. Stir in soup, broth, mayo, and mustard until well combined. Mix in broccoli, 3/4 cup of the cheese, and the cooked chicken. Scoop mixture on top of rice in baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.


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Easy Spicy Turkey Chili Mac

Easy Spicy Turkey Chili Mac | doughseedough.net

Chili is one of my favorite winter comfort foods. We just got out of a mega deep-freeze up here in Wisconsin (“feels like -35°F” is something I would be OK with never seeing and feeling again) and this spicy turkey chili mac hit the spot. I made this on one of the nights that Mike and I were apart, so having to wash only one pot was a huge bonus. Doing dishes is the least exciting part of cooking.

Easy Spicy Turkey Chili Mac | doughseedough.net

Easy Spicy Turkey Chili Mac

1 1/4 pound 93% lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes*
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup dried whole wheat elbow macaroni or pasta of choice
1 – 2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
optional toppings: shredded cheese, fat free Greek yogurt or sour cream, jalapenos

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook turkey, onion and garlic until meat is browned and cooked through and onion is tender.
  2. Stir in beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pasta, jalapenos, chili powder, and cumin. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low and allow mixture to simmer. Cook, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until macaroni is soft, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Top with optional toppings before serving.

*I used a pint of quartered tomatoes I canned over the summer.


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Mini Cranberry Swirl Cheesecakes

Cranberries are one of my favorite parts about winter. So many cranberries, so little time. These cheesecakes were the perfect way to showcase a bit of the tart fruit. Mini Cranberry Swirl Cheesecakes | doughseedough.net I think these mini cheesecakes are my new go-to party dessert. They’re super quick and easy and they are the perfect amount of pretty. These baby cheesecakes won’t crack and won’t brown before they’re cooked through. They’re pretty much impossible to mess up. So, if you’re looking for an easy, stress-free dessert, your search is over! These mini cranberry swirl cheesecakes are the dessert for you. Enjoy! Mini Cranberry Swirl Cheesecakes | doughseedough.net Mini Cranberry Swirl Cheesecakes makes 3 dozen for the cranberry swirl: 1/2 cup cranberries 1/8 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest 1/2 cup water for the crust: 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 6 whole graham cracker sheets) 3 tablespoons butter for the filling: 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature 3/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 large eggs, room temperature

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a mini cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Prepare the cranberry sauce: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cranberries, sugar, lemon zest, and water. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Prepare the crust: In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Stir together until well combined. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of each liner. Press down to pack into a crust; I found a shot glass worked really well for this step. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
  4. Prepare the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed or until smooth and fluffy. Mix in the sugar, vanilla, and salt until well combined. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. To assemble the cheescakes: Fill each liner 3/4 of the way with cheesecake filling. Carefully place 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of cranberry sauce on top of the cheescake filling. Swirl the cranberry sauce using a toothpick to create a marbled effect.
  6. Bake cheesecakes in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until cheesecake is set.
  7. Allow cheesecakes to cool in pan on a wire rack. Once cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

adapted from The Baker Chick, originally from Martha Stewart

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