So the weather has been off/on really nice lately, and like every other human on the east coast, I fled work early on Friday. The call for lets-go-booze-on-a-trendy-bar-restaurant-patio did tempt me, but I decided I was poor/fat/lazy and should go for a run instead.
As I trudged past U Street, towards downtown, through Lafayette Square behind the White House (oh btw I live in DC and am not the usual contributor to this blog), past my favorite sports bar, through Dupont Circle up to Adams Morgan and back to my front step, I was happy about my decision to forego the boozing. WHAAAAT WHY???
Because everywhere I slogged my fat ass, I saw miserable people waiting in line for a prestigious outside table. And everyone sitting at the aforementioned cheap patio furniture with a drink in their hand did not look like they were budging for hours. Those assholes all probably faked sick and got there at 2 pm.”Good luck suckas,” I whispered (panted?) as I moved on to judge the crowd amassing on the next block.
[Had I had my camera with me I would have inserted several photos of angry patrons waiting outside various venues watching enviously as people in front of them sit and drink their third margarita at 4:45 pm]
Although I love restaurants and contribute much of my disposable income to them, if you are really just looking for a nice day and some nice beverages/food, you can do it without the wait, the waiter/waitress trying to turn the table, the debate over where to go, the PRICES. The happiest people I passed on my run were the ones that were just chilling in the park, not about to deal with making fancy plans. It’s the way to be. Fuck lines.
So next time you want to haul ass to brunch, maybe consider making this delightfully cheap AND healthy spin on banana bread, load up your picnic basket with some Andre and fresh squeezed orange/tangerine/mango/anything juice and find a TREE. Enjoy nature before we all destroy it. After all, the restaurants aren’t going anywhere, but the sunshine and pleasant temperature is. And you can still get wasted if you are stealth enough about it.
Onto the recipe (FINALLY OMG. actually almost not quite yet…) Most work places pride themselves on providing food to their workers, most often fruit in the morning. Oftentimes at my office, there are several leftover bananas that are just thrown out at the end of the day, abandoned over their monotony. They have cupcake trucks to compete with, etc. So last Monday I crammed a bunch in my gym bag and hauled them home, waited a week and then baked some BA READ.
I fondly remember the banana bread that permeated the air of the infamous Fridge, the former residence of the Headline Foods creators before we were Headline Foods, and harkened for the comforting baked item. And instead of tarnishing the Fridge legacy by eating the 400 calorie brick from Starbucks, I decided to make a reasonably low fat version so that I can fit into my new dress. I eliminate the “nana” from the name because no self-respecting Nana would ever make anything this healthy.
This recipe has literally two steps of directions and takes only about 20 minutes to prep. Basically a monkey could do it, or a very hungover weight conscious 20-something on a Sunday.
Here are the ingredients that I used:
Preheat that oven to 325 degrees and get out your mixing bowl/apparatus. Instead of sugar, I took a 1/2 cup honey and mixed it with 1/3 cup apple sauce in place of where the recipe called for oil. Then, instead of 2 eggs I mixed in 1/2 cup egg substitute. Whoa, this is getting a little intensely healthy for a baked good, I agree. But really, egg substitute is just easier to carry rather than the dozen of eggs that I would just end up dropping or throwing at the elementary school on my way home. After the eggs, then I stirred in the 2 very ripe stolen work bananas (=1 cup of mashed banaynays) as well as 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Then, you simply add 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the same mixture. Take 1 teaspoon of baking soda, mix with 1/4 cup hot water, and add to it all. Fold in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and save some extra for the top. Spread the bready batter into a 9×5/whatever-size-you-have greased loaf pan and POP THAT BABY IN. I baked it for 60 minutes, of which I filled watching Patriot Games on HBO. Then I took it out of the oven, let it cool for 30 minutes and then had the moment of truth taste test: definitely not fooling anyone as a health food, but still damn good enough to eat three slices.
Additionally, I would note that it gives the house a very homey domesticated scent that lingers…in a good way.
And boom, ba read and only 249 elliptical sessions away from bathing suit season!