Nutella Banana Bread

Nutella Banana Bread

Nutella Banana Bread

Nutella Banana Bread

Having mistakenly foreseen myself having a banana before work everyday this week, I found an entire bunch of almost-too-ripe bananas mocking me over my first cup of weekend coffee.  They were clearly calling out to be baked into bread form and join the coffee as a weekend breakfast.   Be warned, ripened bananas have the power to communicate in pre-caffienated weekend hours.

I’m trying to control the bulge (as usual) so I fired up the iPad and set out to find a Weight Watchers recipe for banana bread.  What I discovered over at The Slender Kitchen was not just banana bread, oh no; what I found there was NUTELLA banana bread and claiming to be diet food to boot.  Worried that this might be some kind of mirage, I quickly finished my coffee and poured myself another cup.  Nope, it was true.  One slice, just 4 points.  Make it for breakfast so you have the rest of the day to work off the points, because I guarantee you’re going to want more than one piece.

Weight Watchers Nutella Banana Bread
Points: 4 weight watchers points plus
Servings: 13 slices
Serving Size: 1 slice
Nutritional Info: 138.1 calories, 3.8g of fat, 24.8g of carbohydrates, 2.5g of fiber, 1.7g of protein

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe medium bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Nutella (I used Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, which I highly recommend if you can find it)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg whites. Add the banana, vanilla, and apple sauce and mix together. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Gently mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  5. Warm the Nutella up in the microwave for 30-60 seconds until it is softer and melted.
  6. Pour the banana bread batter into a bread pan. Spoon the nutella on top and swirl into the bread using a knife until all of the Nutella has been worked in.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes until cooked through.

World Series Chicken Chili in Sourdough Bread Bowl

Chicken Chili in Sourdough Bread Bowl

Let’s go Giants!!!!

I’ll admit I came to professional sports fandom a bit late in my life and for some reason, it’s come with a heaping helping of superstition.  I discovered well into the playoffs this year that I cannot watch the game if I want the San Francisco Giants to win.  Believe me, I realize how ridiculous that sounds, but so far it’s working for me (and them), so far be it for me to mess with a streak.  When the Giants won the World Series in 2010, we made this chicken chili that I discovered via The Bitten Word for one of the games (back during a season when I could actually watch).  With game one being hosted in The City tonight and traffic on the Bay Bridge unexpectedly light as I was returning from a meeting in Walnut Creek, I found myself at Safeway with time to spare, so it seemed only right that I should make it again.

If you visit The Bitten Word post about this recipe, you’ll see that Zach and Clay have added an update, which is really more of a warning.  They mention that when they originally posted the recipe, a number of people commented that they had included two CANS of chipotle chilies in the recipe as opposed to the two CANNED chipotle chiles the recipe calls for.  While Brian, Monica and I cleansed our souls with hellfire and brimstone that I was too embarrassed to mention in the comments section of The Bitten Word, let me just say that this is a warning that should be heeded, unless you’re looking to find religion or change the one you already have.  Just thinking about it makes my head sweat.

Because we live in San Francisco and have an innate penchant for shamelessly promoting everything good about our City, we, of course, serve this delicious chili in sourdough bread bowls.  They’re easy to hollow out:  you just cut a hole in the top and start digging  (make sure to save the remnants and coerce them into a delicious bread pudding later in the week).  Then, just for good measure, we cover the top of the bread bowls with cheddar cheese and put them under the broiler until we have a browned, scrumptious deliciousness that works a witchy pre-Halloween magic powerful enough to win World Series games.

Total time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

•    10 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
•    1 jalapeno chile, halved (seeded if desired)
•    1 white onion, peeled and halved
•    4 garlic cloves, peeled
•    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
•    2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
•    1/4 cup chili powder
•    Salt
•    2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped (see note above)
•    1 3/4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
•    1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained

Directions

1.    Preheat broiler, with rack 3 inches from heat source. Arrange tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, and garlic, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until starting to char, about 5 minutes. Pulse tomatoes and jalapeno in a blender or a food processor until chunky. Chop onion and mince garlic.

2.    Heat a large heavy skillet (preferably enamel cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Add oil. Working in batches, brown chicken in a single layer, allowing to sear before stirring, 5 to 6 minutes; transfer to a plate.

3.    Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and garlic to skillet. Cook until soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Add chili powder and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in chipotles, and add chicken. Raise heat to high. Add tomato-jalapeno mixture. Cook, scraping up browned bits, until fully incorporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in stock; simmer for 20 minutes. Add beans; simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with desired toppings.