Healthy, toasted love

22 Oct

I think cooking is the most fun when you can do it with someone or for someone. I mean, trying new recipes is all fine and dandy for a solo night in, but I get so much more satisfaction when I see friends devour my peanut butter chocolate chip cookies or when The Bf and I tag-team it in the kitchen with prepping Amatriciana. So I felt surprisingly less groggy and cranky one Saturday and had the Boyfriend come over for a homemade breakfast, kind of as a treat for always making breakfast for me (he’s definitely more of a morning person than I).

We do enjoy decadent breakfasts, like chocolate chip pancakes with a side of bacon, but I think it says more when you prepare for your loved ones something healthy. You care about them AND their health!  I figured this healthier version of French toast would be a yummy, least guilt-inducing treat for a lazy morning. I already had all the ingredients in my kitchen (except strawberries, but I just replaced that with raspberries instead). Prep was not difficult at all, however this was only the second time I had attempted to make French toast (the first was a big, sad fail), so my first toast didn’t brown all the way. I probably should’ve let the pan heat for a little longer and I should’ve kept the toast on maybe another minute or so.

I didn’t expect this to taste like regular French toast – it was much less sweet and sugary alone, so we ate this with both powdered sugar and maple syrup. I might add more cinnamon when I try this again; I put in a few shakes but I think I would’ve liked a more pronounced cinnamon flavor. And I would definitely try this with cinnamon raisin bread, which I think would make it sweeter and probably nix the need for syrup or powdered sugar. Plus, I’m obsessed with cinnamon raisin bread.

And what did the Boyfriend think? He liked the subtle banana and cinnamon flavors, which together is a great combo. His only critique was the texture. He said he would’ve liked it crispier. But that’s my fault; I inadvertently gave him the first toast, which was the least toasted one (I was photographing the second one, which was toastier and of course better-looking). Whoops. But he was very understanding about it. He knows I’m a novice (nosher…har har). At least I can now say I’ve successfully tackled a French toast breakfast for a loved one.

Baked Banana-stuffed French toast (from Bon Apetit, via epicurious.com)

Adapted for 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana, peeled, cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 thin slices light (reduced-fat) mixed-grain bread (whole-grain or multi-grain, which is what I usually have, works just as well)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • Powdered sugar
  • Berries
  • Pure maple syrup (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 2 pieces of banana on each of 2 bread slices; mash banana on bread. Top with remaining 2 bread slices. Whisk milk, eggs, vanilla extract and cinnamon in a pie dish. Working in batches, dip bread in egg mixture; let soak 45 seconds on each side.

Spray large nonstick skillet with vegetable oil spray. Heat over medium heat. Working in batches, add French toast to skillet and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to baking sheet; bake 8 minutes. Transfer to plates. Dust with powdered sugar. Garnish with berries. Serve with maple syrup, if desired.

NosherNote: This is my segue into a line of posts that highlight healthy dishes that I’ve discovered and tried and am now incorporating into both my diet and my culinary repertoire. I’m looking forward to sharing with you more recipes that are tasty and good for you in the next posts!

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