Peanut Butter-Banana Bread, Clean Water & The “Farm to Fork” Dinner

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My friend Liz makes the best banana bread. It is moist, nutty with just the right amount of spices & banana flavor. Every Christmas a few lucky friends are gifted a loaf or two of her bread. Due to her acumen in this field of baking I am always a bit hesitant to make my own banana bread fearing the results will be disappointing.

Last week 4 very, very ripe bananas were either going to be tossed or turned into a loaf….I chose the latter. Not trying to copy Liz’s bread, but to try something different, I made this loaf without nuts and with the addition of peanut butter powder. Have you used this yet? We add a shake or two to our smoothies each morning. It has all the yummy peanut butter flavor without the calories.

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Brown sugar, Greek yogurt & vanilla bean paste…all part of the batter….

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….resulting in this lovely loaf of goodness using over ripe bananas that could have been tossed, but were saved for better things!

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Speaking of “better things”….You may now be curious about the heading for this post…”I get the banana bread part, but what is the reference to this “Farm to Fork” dinner?”

Coming up very soon, October 27th to be exact, is a celebration dinner and fundraiser here in Nashville. The Cumberland River Compact’s 5th Annual “Farm to Fork” Dinner once again brings together local chefs, farmers, artists & musicians to celebrate the fall harvest and keeping our waters clean. This is a very important fundraiser for us all.

The job of the Cumberland River Compact is to work to create awareness of the need to keep the waters of our beloved Cumberland River and it’s tributaries clean and safe. This takes the time of many dedicated folks and money to keep the public aware. For more information on this fun and delicious night next Thursday, October 27th click here.

Just imagine trying to cook and run a kitchen without clean water? Imagine and be thankful.

Peanut Butter-Banana Bread

  • Servings: 12slices
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Ingredients:

  • 4 to 5 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter powder
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup raw brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a regular size loaf pan.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment mash the bananas. I leave them a little bit chunky.
  4. Sprinkle in the peanut butter powder and mix.
  5. Add in the softened butter, egg, vanilla bean paste & sugar. Mix well.
  6. With mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the banana mixture, along with the yogurt,  and mix just until blended.
  7. Scrape batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the top of is a dark golden brown. Test with a cake tester to make sure the inside is baked. The tester should come out clean with just a few crumbs. Let loaf cool in pan on a wire rack before slicing.

This bread is yummy for a few days and is sublime toasted and smeared with butter.

Teresa Blackburn      www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

All-Things-Green Salad Drizzled with Red Wine-Honey Vinaigrette

IMG_8920Light olive-green Baby Lima Beans, grass Green (English) Peas, the palest yellow-green Lady Peas tossed together with emerald mint leaves, brownish-green pistachios and  lime-green pea shoots lightly coated with an easy honey vinaigrette dressing.

Third Thursday Community Potluck was once again upon us and I had to make something good and fast. Digging through my freezer I found a bag each of fresh frozen baby limas, lady peas and green peas. All from the Nashville Downtown Farmer’s Market this past summer and all grown right here in middle Tennessee at local farms.

Which brings me to fundraisers and good deeds and all kinds of things like that. My friend and neighbor, Harriet Warner, sent me some information about a gathering that addresses all of the above. It is the Cumberland River Compact’s 4th Annual “Farm to Fork” dinner which brings top chefs together to celebrate local food, drink and clean water. If you would like to attend this fabulous evening of cool people who are interested in good food and keeping our beautiful Cumberland River clean and fresh go here for lots more information including menu, chefs…who, what, when and where. Or just go right here to buy tickets to be part of this great dinner party.

Now, back to my own little farm to fork dish,….peas and beans thawed, rinsed and drained…blanched in boiling water for a few minutes and again drained.

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Ah ha! A jar of salt preserved lemons hiding in the back of my pantry! I know they are yellow, but might add just the right saltiness to the salad…slivered and chopped.

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Mint from the backyard.

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Red wine honey vinaigrette drizzled on top.

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Tender pea shoots waiting to top off the salad along with some dusty green pistachios to add a bit of crunch.

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All-Things-Green Salad with a Simple Red Wine-Honey Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 12
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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups each fresh or frozen Baby Lima Beans, Lady Peas, and Green(English) Peas
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint
  • 2 TBSP’s thin slivers of preserved lemon
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • 2 cups loosely packed green pea shoots
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 2 tsps Dijon mustard
  • sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a bit of salt.  Toss in the baby lime beans, lady peas & green peas. Cook for about 5 minutes. Pour peas and beans into a colander to drain. Rinse with cool running water. Leave to drain and cool down for 20 minutes. Place in a large serving bowl.
  2. Pour the olive oil, vinegar, honey and mustard in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to emulsify. Season with a bit of salt and black pepper to suit your taste. Set aside.
  3. Roughly chop the mint leaves and add to the bowl of beans and peas along with the preserved lemon slivers. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  4. When ready to serve drizzle the vinaigrette over all and toss gently. Top with the tender pea shoots and pistachios.

Note: This is a perfect salad for a crowd. I made it for the September Third Thursday Community Potluck dinner. You could also cut it in half for a family dinner. There was a little bit left so I ate it the next day for lunch and it was even better!

You can use edamame if you cannot find lady peas. I used summer beans and peas that I had frozen, but store-bought frozen product works great too.

Teresa Blackburn     http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com     http://www.foodonfifth.com