Vegan (but you wouldn’t know it) Banana Bread

As I’ve mentioned before, I am not a vegan but I seem to attract people who are to some degree or another. Many of my friends are devoted vegans, others just until dinner, or on mondays, or until they travel to Argentina, or vegan because that’s how they justify their french fry consumption, in other words vaguely vegan….Vague-An. Regardless of how flexible my friends are in their commitment to eliminate all animal products from their diets, I still really enjoy having a recipe in my arsenal that I can offer them when they come over or when I’m invited to their homes.

This banana bread is vegan but you wouldn’t know it. It’s so easy to make, it’s moist, chocolatey, and even the non-vegans in the group will love it. It’s free of animal products but contains (are you sitting down?) WHITE all purpose flour because whole wheat, gluten free, and sawdust flour really alter the magical texture of this recipe. Also, just how annoyingly healthy do you want to be? The secret to this banana bread’s texture: coconut oil. Oh and the (vegan) chocolate chips don’t hurt one bit.  Continue reading (2014)

About Flycakes Kitchen

I was born in Argentina, spent the first ten years of my life moving around South America, and then arrived in Manhattan in the winter of 1975 to an East River that was frozen solid. Quite a shock from the balminess of Punta Del Este. I speak Spanish fluently and have a deep attachment to the foods of my childhood. Time spent sitting across my Abuela’s kitchen table watching her make apple strudel with dough so thin I could see her fingernail color, influences my cooking to this day.

I’m a wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt and consider myself a loyal, empathetic, thoughtful and attentive friend. I smile a lot, laugh loudly and never forget a birthday. I love my birthday, your birthday, everyone’s birthday and expect others to celebrate their birthday and my own like we’re all still six years old. I exercise every day and consider it a non-negotiable appointment I make with myself. Thankfully, I’m married to a man who feels exactly the same way and we rely on each other to get our asses to the gym on those days when the excess of the previous night (probably mezcal) is weighing us down.

My diet is far from perfect (I have a profound love affair with m&m’s and Nestle Crunch) but I try every day to take a long term view on my life, health, diet and the choices I make. I think the recipes I share reflect that balance: healthy, nutritious and simple meals followed by a little indulgence. Until recently, I considered myself a free lance pastry chef and I still very much enjoy that work but what I’ve come to understand is that desserts and sweets are a small part of my life and more importantly mine and my family’s diet. I’ve always felt very strongly that if we’re going to eat that dessert it better be the best tasting, explode-in-your-mouth-with-flavor sweet and it should be made with the purest and wholest ingredients. Ingredients that our bodies will recognize. Bring on the butter, sugar, eggs, and flour but deliver it  in such a way that ONE serving will scratch that itch.

Our son understands the importance of being active and when you live in a city with limited access to the outdooors, encouraging your kid to move can be a challenge. Our decision to spend our summers in Vail, CO is how we compensate for a school year in the city. Does he still play video games and eat crap every once in a while? Of course! But he spends the bulk of his time running, biking swimming, hiking, and playing sports and he is very aware that crap doesn’t count as food.  I strive for balance in my life and I’m trying to teach our son to self-regulate so that he can begin to make good choices in all aspects of his life starting with understanding the difference between ice cream truck ‘ice cream’ and an artisanal batch of gelato.

Flycakes Kitchen is about living life in balance. Finding it, mantaining it, and coming back to it when we’ve lost it.

Enjoy and always let your taste buds soar.

Hugs, Maria (1579)

Lemony Roast Chicken On the Fly

If your family is anything like mine, when you roast a whole chicken, everyone eats the breasts, drumsticks and thighs but you’re always left with this unappealing carcass of wings and skin. Nope, I’m not going to tell you to ‘simply make chicken stock’ out of the leftovers because mine is not that kind of blog. You know, that blog that is so smug it makes you feel like a failure in the kitchen if you use (gasp) store bought broth.

My advice is simple: don’t roast a whole chicken and save yourself both the messy hassle of carving it and a lot of cooking time.

Serves 4 (three in my household)
Preheat oven to 400

4 bone in, skin on organic chicken breasts (they really are more tender and moist)
Juice of one lemon, remove pits
3 tbs EVOO or basil infused olive oil or lemon infused olive oil
3 chopped or crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp dijon mustard (if you have it on hand. If not, disregard)
Herbs de provence, salt and pepper to taste

In the bottom of a roasting pan whisk together all of the ingredients and coat both sides of the chicken well. Leave the skin on, it gives the chicken so much more flavor and you can remove it before eating if you’re watching your cholesterol.

Roast until juices run clear when you pierce the breast. 35-45 minutes.

Serve with my kale salad or raw cauliflower couscous salad and you have just made a simple and delicious dinner. Be proud!

Enjoy and always let your taste buds soar
Hugs,
Maria (1256)