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Health Happy Round-Up: Recipes Galore

APE038Welcome to a weekly series on Traveling with Baby, Health Happy Round-Up which focuses on multiple aspects of wholesome living and optimal health for the entire family.  Each weekend, Traveling with Baby will share some insightful news, recipes, and tips to help you consider fresh new perspectives on wholesome and happy health.  If there’s a topic or recipe you’d like featured on Health Happy Round-Up, let me know!  [drgarnecki at gmail dot com].

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I’ve had a lot of recipe requests lately.  That’s mighty brave, folks.  Especially if you haven’t tried them.  I enjoy cooking, but I’m not so much a recipe following foodie.  Rather, I like to use recipes as a guide, and then launch from there.  As a result, things seldom taste exactly the same twice.  Due to popular demand, I’m sharing my beloved recipe for banana pancakes. I’m throwing in a recipe for Ratatouille since it’s summer, and I love it. I’m also sharing my twist on a couple of delicious recipes I found from Raising Conn.

BANANA PANCAKES

  • 1 c. flour (I use 1/2 c. brown rice flour and 1/2 c. spelt flour)
  • 1 T. sugar (I use turbinado or honey)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder (I use aluminum-free)
  • 1 egg (grassfed chicken)
  • 1 c. milk (if I had access to raw milk, I’d use that instead, but sadly, I don’t)
  • 1 T olive oil or coconut oil (it tastes BEST with coconut oil)
  • 1 pureed/blended banana (the riper, the better)
  • 1 tsp. butter

Mix dry ingredients.  Create a divot/hole in the dry ingredients and pour in milk, banana, and liquefied coconut oil (must be above 76 degrees F).  Seperately, beat egg, then pour in.  Mix ingredients until well blended (2-3 minutes on low speed).

In a cast iron skillet (or whatever pancake skillet you’ve got), turn to medium-low heat.  Add butter and coat pan surface.  Once warm.  Pour in pancake batter until the cake is 6″ diameter.  Once it bubbles and sets on top, and edges are a golden brown, flip and cook other side for only 1/4 of the time compared to the other side.

After I’ve made 1-2 pancakes, I reduce pan temp heat to low.  This may vary with your stove or pan.

I love to serve banana pancakes with butter, huckleberry syrup, or a banana topping.

BANANA TOPPING

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 4 T butter
  • 1-2 T sugar

Peel bananas.  Slice them in half, then again lengthwise down the middle.  Slice each length again so you have 8 long pieces of banana.

Melt butter and sugar on low heat.  Stir frequently.  FYI, brown sugar and turbinado sugar don’t work well for this recipe AT ALL.  Honey, however, is fine.  Once the sugar is dissolved and mixed with the butter, stir in and coat each banana piece.

Top a few bananas and sauce onto each stack of pancakes.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.  Volià!

RATATOUILLE

This dish is a celebration of summer’s harvest.  It’s a huge hit at our house.  We grow some of the ingredients or stock up on them when they’re on sale and abundant.  We recently tried Ratatoille at CVille’s Bizou, and Steve exclaimed that he liked mine better.  Aw shucks!

  • 4-6 yellow summer squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 eggplant
  • 3 vine ripe or hot house tomatoes
  • 3-4 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1/2 – 1 whole onion
  • 4-6T butter/olive oil/coconut oil (butter is more French and more tasty!)
  • Salt to taste
  • Terragon to taste

Dice squash, onion, and zucchini.  Peel, then dice eggplant.  Slice tomatoes in half, and scoop out seeds, then dice the rest.

Add 2T of butter to a large skillet on med-high heat.  Coat surface with butter.

IMG_6401Then, add onion, zucchini, and squash, and cook until onion is clear.  If veggies stick to bottom of pan, add more butter/oil.  You can either continue to add ingredients to the same pan, or cook the rest in a separate skillet and combine later (the two skillet method takes less time).  Cover and cook until squash is soft and no longer al dente.

In separate skillet on med-high heat, add 2 T of butter or coconut/olive oil.  Coat pan, then add crushed garlic.  Stir and cook until lightly brown.  Then, add diced tomatoes and eggplant.  If veggies stick to bottom of pan, add more butter or oil.  Once the tomatoes have cooked down so that there’s a beautiful red and buttery sauce that permeates throughout the pan, pour the contents of the tomato/garlic/eggplant skillet into the onion/squash/zucchnini skillet.

IMG_6402Allow all the flavors to simmer together on med-low heat for another 5-10 minutes.  Add dashes of sea salt and terragon to taste.  Eggplant and squash absorb a LOT of salt.  Tomatoes and onions have a naturally salty-sweet taste…so season to your desired taste level.

IMG_6406This beautiful dish is chock-full of beautiful hues as well as vitamins and nutrients.  It can be served alone as a thick and hearty veggie stew or served on top of a bed of basmati or wild grain rice.  It’s a crowd pleaser in our home.  I make this at least once a week all summer long!

MEXICAN LASAGNE

Speaking of recipes, my friend Jessica posted a couple of smashing good ones on her blog Raising Conn.  For the past two evenings, we’ve been savoring the Mexican Lasagne.  Mega yum!

My variations (because I can’t stick to a recipe, usually because I use what I HAVE in the kitchen).

Instead of Monterrey Jack, Steve bought sliced Colby Jack.  Didn’t have to grate, and it was easy to layer on!

We had just run out of cilantro, no black olives on sale, and avocados weren’t quite ripe…so none of those goodies

I used Old El Paso mild taco sauce.  It’s lasagne folks, it needs SAUCE.  I prefer Old El Paso mild because it didn’t have corn syrup or any of those mystery ingredients that’s usually a synonym for MSG (I like my brain cells and plan to keep them, thank you very much!).

This dish is EASIER to make than lasagne.  It’s uber tasty.  If you’re a vegetarian, you can easily substitute the beef for a vegetarian-based meat, or just layers of grilled or stir-fried eggplant.

It was a hit with hubby AND toddler.  There was enough ingredients that I froze a smaller loaf pan for a later date.  We’ll definitely use this again.  I think it might be my new potluck or party dish!

ROCKIN’ HAWAIIAN (CROCKPOT) CHICKEN

While you’re at Raising Conn, check out the Rockin’ Hawaiian Crockpot Chicken, too.  We served ours with a basmati rice.  I’m not a corn starch fan, so I strained the juice, added a little spelt flour and turned it into a gravy, and re-added it to the dish before serving.

Tangy and sweet.  Super easy prep.  So good!  I think next time I might toast a little shaved coconut and sprinkle it on top for garnish.

–By Dr. Dolly
Twitter me: drdolly
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