Friday, April 16, 2010

A night in with Jamie.

After a long working week there is nothing better than downing - yes I know I should be savouring not downing but ho-hum - a quiet vino or three on a Friday night. Well, actually there is and that’s a quiet vino or three partnered with Jamie and a bit of cooking! If only it was Jamie in the flesh and not just book cover Jamie.

After sitting on the deck and enjoying the usually non-existent peace and quiet (‘house sharers’ downstairs), I decided to venture in and make use of the four black bananas sitting in my fruit bowl. I think I subconsciously buy bananas and don’t eat them so I can make banana bread or banana cake or anything that requires very ripe bananas. The lovely Joy supplied this recipe. The recipe says to use three bananas but I used four and instead of canola or walnut oil, I used organic coconut oil as that’s what was in the cupboard.

[ Low Fat Oatmeal Banana Bread }

1 1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 tsp canola or walnut oil

1 large egg, beaten

2 medium egg whites, beaten

3 large bananas, ripe

1 cup uncooked oats

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and flour a loaf tin and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients including the oats and cinnamon. In a smaller bowl, mash bananas with a potato masher or fork. Add oil and whole egg and mix thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well. Batter will be fairly thick. In a medium sized bowl, with an electric hand mixer, beat the egg whites until medium stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter in three additions. Pour batter into tin and bake until top of loaf is firm to touch, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Flip out and cool on a wire rack for another 10 minutes.

PS. I served this toasted with butter and honey – does that defeat the purpose of low fat?

With Saturday brekkie sorted, Jamie and I decided it was time to put something in my pinot-lined tummy for dinner. It had to be something quick, easy and absorbent ... pizza. My lovely housemate and I usually have this pizza for Sunday lunch or dinner, depending on our energy levels. And, without fail, it’s made and eaten whilst watching Sex and The City episodes and discussing the previous evening’s adventures which is usually broken down into a minute by minute account so the pizza takes a while to get through.

Anyway, this pizza is all about what’s in your fridge. The must-have ingredients I suppose are the base, the tomato paste/pesto and the cheese. The rest is whatever you want or have. Tonight I have chicken, onion, capsicum, zucchini, mushroom and sweet potato. Excellent.

Preheat oven to 200C. We always use Lebanese bread as our ready made base. On that we spread a bit of tomato paste or pesto or a bit of both. Sprinkle with a little cheese. Set aside. Chop up whatever meat and vegetables you have. In a frying pan, heat about 1tsp of oil. If you have meat, cook that first and then set aside.

Do the same again with your vegetables but don’t cook till soft. Leave them a little hard. While the vegetables are cooking, season with salt and pepper and herbs you prefer, if any. I added some pine nuts into the mix. Turn off the heat and add your meat to the vegetables and mix. Leave mixture to cool for 5 minutes before putting on the base – this stops the base becoming soggy later down the track. Sprinkle a bit of cheese over the top and put in the oven for about 5-10mins or until cheese has melted and the base crispy. Once done, drizzle with sweet chilli sauce, cut, serve and devour.

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