I cook lunch and dinner on most days.

P and I take lunch to work in Thermos containers that keep the food warm for hours. A long time ago (or so it seems), I used to cook extra for dinner, and we took the leftovers for lunch the following day. Then something changed (and I don’t recall what it is). I began cooking lunch every morning. We discovered that Thermos containers are true to their word. The steaming dal blew my mind (and P’s too). We were instant converts. Now I cannot fathom eating leftovers for lunch. There is clearly something to be said for the sheer deliciousness that is freshly cooked food. There is a certain juiciness to it, an indescribable rasa that renders the food sublime and delicious and utterly satisfying.

You’d think that a kitchen as heavily used as ours would see a high turnover of ingredients and supplies. That’s certainly true for some varieties of dals and beans, fresh produce, bread, avocados, dates (we seem to consume them in crazy quantities – I jest), etc. However, there are certain ingredients that lurk on pantry and freezer shelves for a long while. So I have decided to start using those “silent actors” and clear them out.

Made a delicious Spiced Banana Loaf yesterday. Proud to say that I cleaned out the following items for this endeavor – Spelt flour, almond meal, broken cashews. I also used white whole wheat flour that has been sitting in the freezer for a while now (I bake mostly with spelt flour).

This is a vegan recipe that uses coconut oil. I use the organic, unrefined type and it is fairly flavorless. The original recipe called for 1.5 cups of chocolate chips but I used a blend of cranberries, black raisins, cashews and cocoa nibs instead. Can I say, that mix is a whole lot more interesting than plain old chocolate chips?

Spiced Banana Loaf

The end result was (or is) moist, mildly sweet (I used a third of the quantity of sugar asked for in the original recipe), perfectly spiced. I couldn’t carve out neat slices, instead ending up with little misshapen slabs.

So, if you would like to sample these little bits of deliciousness, please stop by. I am a little shy to tote them out this time. 🙂

The original recipe is at NY Times Cooking – Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake.

Ingredients

2 cups flour (I used a mix of spelt flour, white whole wheat flour and almond meal)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
A couple pinches of salt
1 cup mashed bananas
1 cup canned coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut oil (unrefined, organic)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup (cashews, dried cranberries, black raisins, cocoa nibs)

Method

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together bananas, coconut milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Fold in the dried fruit and nut and cocoa nibs mix. Stir well.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan.
  • Spread the batter evenly into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it.
  • Transfer on to a cooling rack. Carefully turn it over, so the bottom does not get too moist.
  • Cut into wedges, enjoy.