Easy Homemade Naan Bread

Once upon a time, I made homemade naan bread, and it turned out terrible.

This is not that naan bread.  This is awesome.

This has become my go-to homemade naan bread recipe

I have no idea what went wrong with the first recipe I tried, probably a year or more ago.  But it did put me off trying it again for quite a while.  However, when I decided to try my hand for the first time at Indian cooking with this chicken tikka masala over winter break this year, I knew that naan had to be in the cards for me again.

My go-to homemade naan recipe

This recipe comes together super easily and doesn’t require any special handling.  It’s not finicky at all.  Just proof your yeast, add the ingredients all at once and knead in the machine for a couple minutes, let it rise, and then roll out and fry up.  Very hands-off.

Homemade naan bread recipe...easy and yummy

I tend to use half white whole wheat and half regular flour.  To me, when I use all whole wheat it tends to be a bit too dense and loses a bit of that chewiness that makes naan so satisfying.  But you can use all of one, or mix it up however you want.

The other important thing is that you use ghee, not just regular butter.  You can buy ghee fairly easily these days (Trader Joe’s, Amazon, or a well-stocked grocery store), but if you can’t get it for whatever reason I’d recommend making a batch of your own and storing it.  The water in regular butter will keep it from frying up right.
[Read more…]

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Mom’s Sweet Potato Casserole: A Thanksgiving Staple

Pretty much anyone you talk to will tell you what their non-negotiable Thanksgiving dish is.  For some it’s pumpkin pie or mashed potatoes.  For me it’s Stovetop stuffing (original recipe).

And for my mom it’s this sweet potato pudding.

Mom's Sweet Potato Casserole, her must-have for Thanksgiving. None of that marshmallow nonsense here.

And I have to admit, it’s pretty doggone good.  None of those nasty marshmallows here.  No, sir.  This is creamy and warm but not too sweet—the only really sweet part is the topping, which has a great crunch to it.  It’s really easy to put together and is always a crowd pleaser. [Read more…]

Clean Eating Banana Muffins (gluten-free)

*womp womp*  After the last couple months of travel gluttony, it’s time to get back on track, and these muffins at least have the consolation of being delicious as well as super healthy.

Clean Eating Banana Oat Muffins

In the interest of full transparency, to be truly clean eating you’ll need to omit the chocolate chips from the recipe and use one of the other mix-ins instead (nuts, dried fruit, etc.).  But unless you’re completely following a clean eating diet, the mini chocolate chips do really add something to the muffins so I’d recommend leaving them in.  Because, duh.

clean-eating-banana-oatmeal-muffins-chocolate-chips

I made these on a Sunday night on a whim, and brought them to work the next day.  They were scarfed by my co-workers within a few hours, and got rave reviews.  They’re moist, flavorful, and—best part—insanely fast and easy to make.

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They’re the kind of healthy breakfast that gives you the fiber and protein you need, but still makes you feel like you’re getting a bit of a treat to start the day.  That’s a win in my book.  Add a couple strong espressos and you’re all set.  Bring it on, Monday. [Read more…]

My Favorite Unleavened Bread Recipes

With the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread coming up, I thought it would be fun to go back through and gather all of my favorite unleavened recipes into one place.  It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, and I totally forgot about some of these that were favorites a mere three or four years ago!

Some of the best unleavened bread recipes for Passover

Slightly Sweet Unleavened Bread

Slightly Sweet Unleavened Bread sliced

I just found this recipe last year, thanks to my sis.  I fell totally in love with it as a super easy, fast, all-purpose unleavened bread to keep on hand.  It’s dense but not dry, satiating, has a hint of sweet from the brown sugar and honey, and is ready in a half hour from start to finish. It was also just as good leftover as fresh out of the oven (which is NOT always true of unleavened bread recipes).  Plus, you can mix it up by hand and pat it out on the baking sheet, so very low-maintenance.

Cottage Cheese Rolls

cottage cheese rolls finished

This has always been my family’s go-to recipe during the Days of Unleavened Bread. I never could understand why people would want to eat matzo, because it’s like eating cardboard. These, on the other hand, are moist and buttery and chewy and flavorful and FULL OF AWESOME.  They are a little more time consuming though, but highly recommend for something like Night to Be.

Jam Diagonals

Jam Diagonals

I was OBSESSED with these as a kid, I would try to sneak as many as I could without my mom seeing.  Problem was, they were gone so fast.  Not only are these desserts perfect for any spring brunch, Mother’s Day, bridal shower, etc., they’re unleavened to boot.  And basically the most delicious thing ever. [Read more…]

Gluten-Free Rosemary Cheddar Biscuits

Oh my goodness, this has got to stop. It has been way too long. I literally made these for our Fitzco #fitzgiving back in November, but haven’t had a chance to post until now. And that’s not fair, because these are pretty darn good.

Gluten-Free Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

I offered to make a bread, so threw together my whole wheat olive oil rosemary bread, which is the bomb. But at the last minute I asked if we had any gluten-free folks and since they weren’t sure, I went searching for a good, easy GF biscuit or roll recipe.

As I’ve mentioned several times before, I don’t like using all sorts of weird ingredients that the average person wouldn’t recognize or be able to find. Don’t be alarmed by how many ingredients are listed in this particular recipe either, most of them are ones you already have on-hand. I did make my own gluten-free flour mix (I used an easy 1-1-1 mix of corn flour, brown rice flour, and cornstarch), but even if you want to leave that out you can just substitute more almond meal.

gluten-free garlic cheddar biscuits rosemary chopped

Because they’re made largely (or entirely) with almond meal, their texture definitely isn’t like a fluffy dinner roll. It’s a little grainier, denser. But I inhaled a few just the same (though be warned, because of the almond meal, they’re higher-calorie than you might think). The garlic is intense but awesome, and the cheddar great—I went light on the butter wash at the end. They were also still really moist and delicious several hours later when I actually reheated and served them. [Read more…]

Almond Cake with Fruit Compote (gluten-free)

I’ve amassed a fairly impressive arsenal of gluten-free dessert recipes over the past few years, since my friends John & Bridgette went GF.  And one of the biggest things I usually look for in these recipes is that they’re naturally free of gluten, rather than using weird ingredients to try and approximate the texture and taste of wheat recipes.

Almond Cake with Fruit Compote done

That’s why I’ve developed quite an affinity for almond meal.  It’s super yummy, plus it has an awesome grainy texture—not perfect for every type of recipe, but helps provide a “crumb” to certain cakes and pastries.  It’s also pretty easy to work with and really forgiving.  I’ve kind of been on an almond cake kick lately for myself, because the flavor is perfect for this summer-to-fall transition time we’ve been in.

Almond Cake with Fruit Compote

Which brings us to the uber-moist flavor bomb we’re talking about today…

Almond Cake with Fruit Compote sliced

This recipe is from Cookie + Kate, and as soon as she posted it, I was dying to give it a try.  The almond cake is the star, and is taken up a level by the combination of orange zest and cinnamon in the batter, and the maple syrup makes it super moist.  It’s also literally the easiest batter to throw together.  Then the slightly-sticky cake is stopped with a roasted fruit compote, which provides additional juice dripping down into the cake.  I went with pears and raspberries, which in hindsight was way too much juice to deal with.  But you can use whatever strikes your fancy.  This is awesome as leftovers, particularly for breakfast.

Don’t judge. [Read more…]

Strawberry Chia Jam (no pectin)

It’s really only been three weeks, but it feels like it’s been a year since I posted! It’s not that I don’t have anything TO post…on the contrary, I have quite the backlog. But crazy workload plus travel has kept me away.

Strawberry Chia Jam

I’m easing back in with this no-fuss strawberry jam recipe. Why jam, you ask?

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Well, I just got back from spending a week and a half in the Scottish highlands and a number of the islands, plus a day in Edinburgh, which meant tons of pub food, breakfast fry-ups, and sticky toffee pudding. But one of my absolute favorite things when traveling in the U.K. is a plain scone with butter and strawberry jam. Their scones have an unreal crumb…my mission in life is to somehow recreate it. And it’s perfect with just some simple butter and jam. Boy, I ate a ton of these!

strawberry chia jam strawberries

This jam isn’t quite the same (for that, you can use my super easy balsamic strawberry jam recipe, also no pectin). But it’s got the interesting addition of chia seeds for texture and thickening, it’s a little less sweet (I barely put any sweetener in), and it’s super easy. You can get it started and then focus on making dinner or baking something, just stopping to give the jam a quick stir every so often. [Read more…]

Balsamic & Honey Grilled Chicken

You just can’t go wrong with a well-grilled marinated chicken breast. It is endlessly versatile—eat it fresh off the grill, re-heat with some veggies, throw it in a stir fry, make chicken salad.

Grilled Honey Balsamic Chicken

This marinade is one of perfect simplicity…the balsamic vinegar helps slightly break down the meat, allowing the spices and garlic to really soak in, and the honey to make it super moist. But none of it overwhelms.

Grilled Honey Balsamic Chicken cut

These suckers are so juicy and flavorful, but can go with just about anything! [Read more…]

Whole-Grain Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Yeah, I went on something of a muffin-baking bender a couple months back. In a couple of weeks I made these double chocolate banana muffins and these healthy apple muffins with cinnamon-sugar topping, and somehow these guys fell off the radar.

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Yeah, you’ll notice that there are two whole wheat, apple-y, cinnamon-y muffin recipes.

Funny story…

caramel glazed apple bread apples sliced

I made the first recipe for work, the one with the crunchy topping. It got rave reviews, but the pictures I took were terrible so I knew I’d need to make it again to get better shots.

So I pulled the ingredients together, started stirring everything together, and was like, “Wow, I must have been really out it when I made this the first time, because I don’t remember some of these steps!”.  Then I got the batter together and started to spoon it into the muffin tins, and was worried about how much more liquidy it was than the last time I made it.

Some of you can see where this is going…

healthy apple cinnamon streusel muffins batter tins 2

Yeah, not the same recipe.

So this is the second recipe, the one I made on accident. I loved the streusel topping, and the muffins were SO moist. Definitely recommend this one! [Read more…]

Easy, Awesome Challah Bread

ISN’T IT PRETTY?!?!

Easy, Awesome Challah Bread

Seriously, this bread is just beautiful. And it’s not just beautiful, it’s amazingly soft and flavorful and perfect.

Easy, Awesome Challah Bread cut

I’d never had challah bread before this, but basically it’s a yeast-leavened, lightly-sweet braided dough made with eggs, then brushed with an egg wash before baking. It can be soft or dense, made with many different grains, created into other shapes (spirals, circles, birds, etc.), but at its heart it’s just a slighly sweet eggy bread.

Easy, Awesome Challah Bread with Honey

And I can’t imagine that it gets much better than this recipe! First-try bread recipes can be tricky sometimes, and rarely are they absolutely perfect the first time. But this recipe was super forgiving (I let it rise quite a bit longer than the recipe called for), the braiding was super easy, and the final product made me want to eat ALL THE BREAD. And I’m not even a bread person…

Easy, Awesome Challah Bread done

Let’s just look at it again, shall we???

Okay, moving on… [Read more…]

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