Increase In Productivity

September 21, 2008

Turns out we didn’t end up going to Meredith’s lake house :( They decided to head back home early. But it was OK with me because I did have some studying to do and got a lot of small assignments complete. I feel on top of my work now. The whole day was very productive: lawn’s mowed, house is clean + vacuumed, the laundry basket is nearly empty, and banana bread is out of the oven!

After some studying and mowing the lawn, I came in for my usual late lunch around 2pm.

I made two pitas topped with smoked salmon, capers , some pan-seared eggplant and peppers , and goat cheese crumbles . This salmon was Trader Joe’s brand and I didn’t like it. It was wild sockeye, I believe, and it was greasy and too smoked. It was also half the price of my normal Harris Teeter kind :(



And on on the side I had about 3/4 a cup of greek yogurt with GoLean crunch and a meh mango .


Plus a rose from our garden!


For a mid-afternoon snack (around 5:00) I got to lick the banana bread bowl! I also had a cup of green tea around 4:30.


For dinner we made a pot of chili with our leftover taco sirloin. It was nothing spectacular, but tasted great.


Into a pot:

  • About 12 oz lean ground beef
  • 3 cups fresh cut okra
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ~1 cup diced various peppers
  • 1 tsp olive oil (to cook veggies)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped oregano
  • Kosher salt + pepper

You know the deal: Brown meat + veggies in oil and garlic. Add remaining stuff. Add seasonings. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or 2 hours – however long you want to wait!

It made about 11 ladles’ worth in our standard soup ladle. I did the nutritional math to come out at about 125 kcal per ladle. We’ve got leftovers!!

With greek yogurt and hot sauce stirred in –


Crunchy side –


Forgot to grab a drink! I knew something was missing when I took this.


And finally………the long awaited banana nut bread . We actually had to bike to the store for another ripe banana because we ate most of them and only had 2 small ones left!!


I looked a all of your recipes and came up with a mixture of my own:

  • The Dry
    • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • The Wet
    • 3 medium overripe bananas
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/3 cup honey
    • 1/2 cup 1% milk
    • 1 tbsp bourbon (!!)
  • The Fold-Ins
    • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
    • 3 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips

Again, you know the deal! Mix wet. Mix dry. Mix wet into dry. Fold in chunks. Pour into loaf pan. Bake at 350* for about 45 minutes.

It’s pretty good! Definitely on the healthy side and not that sweet. Almost more like bread than a dessert, which is how I wanted it for snacks and all.


Nutritional math comes out to about 2.5 kcal per gram, which is about 150 kcal for a half inch thick slice. I like to get an approximation in my head before digging in to a new recipe.

But clearly that didn’t stop me from having seconds!

Round I


And then I decided it needed almond butter on a second small piece –


It’s been a loooong day, but I feel organized and on top of my to-do list. Just have some reading on nutrition during pregnancy and I’m off to bed.


I just totally picked at the banana bread while slicing it up to be frozen – i probably had a whole third piece in the process!! You know, all the "crumbs" that fall off when you cut carelessly?

This is why I don’t bake!!!!!!!!!!!

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 magpie September 21, 2008 at 7:42 pm

Looks like a great recipe :) I love making banana bread, it’s so simple but so delicious.

Enjoy your night!


2 Brittany September 21, 2008 at 7:56 pm

I love banana bread and yours looks so delicious. I searched online all day looking for a pumpkin bread recipe but didn’t find anything I wanted. I should have just used my frozen bananas to make banana bread!


3 Fleur September 21, 2008 at 8:03 pm

Your banana bread looks great. And good call on having some with almond butter – it had never occurred to me to put anything on my banana bread, but my housemate made me try it with peanut butter a couple of years ago and I loved it! It feels so much more decadent.


4 Becca A September 21, 2008 at 8:07 pm

Picking at crumbs that fall off is my worst habit with baking! Your bread looks great and moist though.


5 Meg September 21, 2008 at 8:08 pm

Brittany, look back in the archives and find the recipe for pumpkin bread that Kath made a while back. It’s a real simple recipe, uses hemp milk, and is so delicious. I think it might have been from VeggieGirl??


6 Meg September 21, 2008 at 8:09 pm

Here it is actually.

It’s wonderful!


7 VeggieGirl September 21, 2008 at 8:16 pm

Sorry about not going to the lake house; but hooray for still having a great Sunday (especially with BANANA BREAD!!! Yum).


8 molly September 21, 2008 at 8:18 pm

could you taste the bourbon in it? wouldn’t want to waste perfectly good bourbon…


9 Rachel September 21, 2008 at 8:21 pm

The banana bread looks delicious! YUM!


10 Jessica September 21, 2008 at 8:26 pm

Exact reason why I try not to bake too, I have no will power over sweets! When I do make something I always freeze it in individual portions, but then another recipe comes along and I eventually give in to making something else…and I wind up with a lot of frozen sweets.

The okra in the chili makes me crave green olives – I bet that would be good in a tex-mex style chili with sirlion strips, balck beans, and corn. Hmmm.


11 Andrea September 21, 2008 at 8:48 pm

mmmmmmmm looks so good. haha i agree with you on the not baking aspect… i have NO self-control with crumbs/licking utensils!! haha


12 Meghann September 21, 2008 at 8:59 pm

I’m such a sucker for the ‘crumbs’ as well


13 Megan September 21, 2008 at 9:08 pm

I have never had okra in my chili. I will have to try that!


14 Grounded Fitness September 21, 2008 at 9:42 pm

haha, I do the same thing when I bake. I swear half of it disappears as i put it away because its either misshapen, falls off, etc.

Kelly Turner


15 Kristie September 21, 2008 at 11:14 pm

I am the guiltiest of the guilty when it comes to crumb picking. And uneven edges. And pieces that are too small to be worth putting away… and using any other excuse possible to nibble where it “doesn’t count”. It’s a brutal habit. Which is why, I too, keep my baking to a minimum. It’s dangerous territory for my crumb-y obsession.


16 Amyswim September 22, 2008 at 5:00 am

Good morning Kath! Yesterday sounds delightful, especially the banana bread part of it :)

I have a question about exercise–I seem to have somehow done something to my shoulder while going from the ‘plank’ position to the hover (top of a push-up to the ‘bottom’ of it–I’m sure you already knew that) during a short spurt of yoga, and now moving that arm above my head/up to the side hurts like cah-razy.

Any exercise suggestions since it feels like swimming/lifting/yoga is out of the question?



17 Christie I. September 22, 2008 at 5:38 am

Glad you were able to catch up on your work.

That banana bread looks great!


18 Bev September 22, 2008 at 5:48 am

Would the banana bread work with egg whites ?


19 Jo September 22, 2008 at 9:55 am

the bowl is the best bit…. its what baking is all about. By the time whatever I’m baking (cake, brownies etc…) is ready, I usually feel so sick from eating all the raw mixture/icing that I don’t want any of the finished product!! Its never as good as the raw stuff anyway. Whenever i bake, I add extra of the ingredients as so much of it “disappears” during the mixing process! Hence its a good thing I don’t bake very often or I would be the size of a house.


20 runjess September 22, 2008 at 9:55 am

I love licking the banana bread bowl :)


21 Kath September 22, 2008 at 10:03 am

molly ,
I think there is a slight bourbon twinge :)

Amyswim ,
Whatever doesn’t bother your shoulder?? Running, stairmaster, elliptical without arms, stationary bike?



22 Kath September 22, 2008 at 10:36 am

Bev ,
I don’t see why not? Should work fine.



23 Tropical Lady September 22, 2008 at 11:23 am

The mango is meh b/c you ate it unripe! I can tell just from the photo- the color is so light. The deal with tropical fruits (papaya, avocado, mango, more) is that you need to wait to cut them until they appear almost rotten; the softer, brown spott-ier the better. I had a decilious mango this weekend that was sugary and bright orange- that’s because I waited a week after I bought it to have it. It was so squishy I was afraid as always that it’d be rotten when I cut it open- but as always, it was simply perfect!


24 Kath September 22, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Tropical Lady,
Thanks for the info – I suspected that was what was wrong because it was pretty firm too. How long does it take to ripen at home if you buy it underripe?



25 haya September 22, 2008 at 12:29 pm

i think you’re supposed to wait until the mango yields to gentle pressure (same as avocados and pears and other fruits). you can’t really say how it should look or how many days it will take because different mangoes are different.


26 Kath September 22, 2008 at 1:14 pm

haya ,
It yielded to my pressure, which is why I was surprised it wasn’t ripe. Guess it just needed a few more days.


27 yadi September 22, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Kath, it’s true, with mango, papaya and avocados, you need to just watch them and when they are softer to touch they are riper and sweeter. But to speed up process you can put them in a small paper bag…, helps ripen faster as it traps the ethylene they release.


28 Tropical Lady September 22, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Hi Kath,
Glad you liked my comment :). Yadi’s paper bag suggestion works great- I use it to speed up avocados & bananas. But regarding how much the mango should yield to pressure: basically, it should be *really* squishy. Not just being able to press your finger in a little. Basically you should be afraid it’s already gone rotten (but then you cut in and see it’s perfect!). I’ve learned from trial and error (with avocados too), so I suggest buying a mango and monitoring its development. The day the mango feels like this one you just had did- wait another 5 days (seriously!). Then squeeze wait another 2-3 days. Wait until you think you’re totally ruining it… The photo shows your mango was way too hard (it’s in blocks). A ripe mango is slimy and slippery and falling off the knife. In terms of “yielding to pressure” the only thing I can think of is it that should feel like a really soft water ballon.


29 Kath September 22, 2008 at 3:12 pm

Tropical Lady,
Lesson learned! Thanks for the info. Next time I’ll just let it sit and sit in the fruit bowl.



30 Amyswim September 22, 2008 at 7:09 pm

Thanks Kath! My brain somehow blockaded what should have been obvious options :)


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