My Mother’s Mother’s Famous Banana Nut Bread

Best Banana Nut Bread Recipe

… as seen in!

This was one of those special recipes I grew up on… every time the bananas overripened my mom would throw these ingredients together and fill the house with a decadent smell of roasted nuts and fresh baked bread. Her memories parallel mine in sentiment because this is what her mother (my grandmother) also used to do during her upbringing.

Well, that time came around today, I stared at those sad aging bananas… not wanting to eat any but not wanting them to go to waste. “Time for another loaf!” I thought to myself, but I’ve been on such a health kick lately… I needed to at least try to make it my own kind of healthy. So I followed my grandmother’s recipe and substituted healthy alternatives accordingly. Any diet forum will semi-appreciate my work, however I’m no pastry chef, I just pretend to be one by writing a food blog. Oh and also because apparently bread isn’t healthy anymore, at least for any raw, gluten, or vegans. Sorry folks. For the rest of you food lovers, just follow the recipe(s) below!

Ingredients (my alternative/healthy substitutions in italics)stevia

  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 1 2/3 cup Flour (or Whole Wheat)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Sugar (or Stevia)
  • 1 cup Walnuts (or Almonds)
  • 1 Egg, beaten (or 2 Egg Whites)
  • 1/4 Vegetable Oil (or 1/3 cup Coconut Oil)
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • (a handful of dark chocolate chunks)
  • (1/4 cup flax)


Directions: Sift together the dry ingredients. Add 3/4 cup of the nuts and chocolate. Combine the remaining ingredients and add to the dry ingredients. Stir only until the flour is moistened. Pour into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the top of the loaf. Bake in a 350 oven for 1 hour. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Enjoy!




If you liked this recipe, be sure to check out more of my Mother’s Famous Creations on her BigOven account: or connect with me, her daughter, 😉 here: @itsa_Lisa on Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

healthy banana nut bread

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Cooking a Victory Garden. $5, 5 Ingredients.


The simplicity of these 5 vegetables gives the term Victory Garden a whole new meaning! Grow one in your yard and never buy vegetables again! Or save time and effort because these vitamin packed plants are dirt cheap, generally ranging from $0.50 to $2 in price.Victory Garden

  • Onions
  • Mushroom
  • Mini Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Tomato

Go to your local grocery store, farmers market, Trader Joes, whatever, and buy one of each of the above! Your total will be under $5 and you will chop them up and throw them in a frying pan with a blob of oil and a dash of salt and pepper. They will heat and caramelize, and you will eat them once the colors are vibrant and the onions are the same consistency as a worm. This entire process should take no longer than 10-20 minutes, depending on preference and speed of chopping.

These 5 ingredients mixed together make enough to serve 2-3 people, or serves just you for 2-3 days!

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Grilling is Easy

Labor day just passed, but I’m still going to wear white.

I’m also still going to use my grill! SCREW THE RULES!!

I’ve been grilling all summer, on and off. It’s so easy, and it brings people together. You could say the same about cooking anything – anywhere. But since the grill is outside, makes everything smell amazing, and reminds people of happy times, I am going to continue endorsing grilling as my favorite method of cooking.

Here is an assortment of instagram photos I have taken while grilling this summer.

The beauty of grilling is the ability to be as creative or plain as you want – and (as long as it isn’t too burned) it tastes great!

some of my favorite things to grill include:

  • onions
  • corn (husk or no husk)
  • pineapple
  • peaches
  • meat (duh.)

My only additional advice is: Salt and pepper goes a long way, and serve anything with a cold beer. Cheers!

For more cooking fun and daily creative updates you can follow me on… . . .

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Healthy Mac!

easy mac1

Everyone LOVES mac n cheese.

Problem: mac n cheese is NOT healthy.

Solution: MAKE mac n cheese healthy.

How? Substitute the empty calories with nutritional ones and add veggies! As with any comfort food, the healthy alternative is just as easy the original. The most significant change is being aware of the ingredients you choose.

Ingredients: A box of WHOLE WHEAT* macaroni shells, 1/2 cup MOZZARELLA*, 2 broccoli trees, a cup of cherry tomatoes, 1/2lb ground TURKEY*

*the most nutritional option for each of their food groups

To make: Fill a pot with water and set to boil. Start cooking turkey in skillet. Add pasta to pot, follow instructions on box. Add broccoli and cherry tomatoes to skillet. Stir. When pasta is done make sure the turkey is cooked through and combine all ingredients . Toss in cheese. Stir. Add your favorite hot sauce if desired.

healthy mac healthy mac1

Call me a nerd, but I plugged in the nutritional facts to’s My Plate so you can truly see the impact of this healthy dish versus its not-so-comforting-anymore alternative. (I included meat in both dishes, we need our protein!)

KRAFT MAC AND CHEESE: Serving Size 1 cup cooked

Screen shot 2013-09-03 at 9.29.27 PM

MY HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE: Serving Size: 1 cup cooked.Screen shot 2013-09-03 at 9.29.34 PM

It is easy to observe the 100 calories difference, but beyond that you also consume less fat, way less sodium, less carbs, more fiber, more protein, and less sugar. The protein you consume is lean and full of energy from meat and the fiber comes from the whole wheat. Kraft’s Mac calls for cream, packaged and processed cheese powder, and empty carbs from the basic noodles.

You can also go gluten free, vegan, etc. I’m not hear to preach about animal rights or argue the evolution of how our internal organs digest food. I’m just stating a very basic way to take one dish and make it healthier. You can substitute whatever ingredients to meet your needs according to dietary restrictions and choices. But always choose healthy! A comfort food doesn’t have to set you back. A comfort food can be healthy and just as satisfying.

For more healthy recipes follow my FOOD COLUMN

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Zucchini Chips with Sriracha

    zucchini chips 2This treat is extremeley basic, nutritious, and incredibly tasty. The only downside is it needs to bake for a few hours make them early, go on with your day, and when it’s time for a snack these will be in the oven waiting for you!  I based this recipe on the zucchini chips from, and added a few of my own tricks, like Sriracha for a kick of flavor. Table for Two has tons more delicious and healthy recipes, check them out here.

What you need:

  • Zucchini (1 zuc serves 1 person, add zucs accordingly)
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt



  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
  • Slice zucchini into thin chips, approx 1/8″ to 1/4″ apart (up to you)
  • Place slices on papertowl and press to blot out moisture.
  • Line cookie sheet with parchment paper, place chips on top.
  • Lightly coat with olive oil using pastry brush.
  • Sprinkle with a small splash of salt
  • Bake for 2+ hours until they are brown and crisp, not soggy!
  • Allow to cool
  • Serve with Sriracha! 

Besides the delicious sweet chili flavor, I also love Sriracha’s easy pour nozel. It makes garnishing food even more fun! I decorated this plate of zucchini chips with a zig-zag sun pattern to give it flair, you can doodle whatever you want! Presentation is always important, if you don’t believe me you haven not watched enough Food Network.

For more fun recipes keep checking back to my food column. You can also follow me @itsa_Lisa on twitter, instagram, and Pinterest.

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zucchini chips 1zucchini chips 3

zucchini chips 2zucchini chips

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Crepe that’s good!

My mouth is watering just looking at these delicious crepes.  For your convenience I will begin with the WHAT and HOW to make them for immediate Crepe Action! I will follow-up with the WHO WHERE and WHY.


What’s in a Crepe?

Crepes, with Savory Veggie Filling. Makes 10.
Prep Time, 10 minutes
Cook Time, 10 minutes
Eat Time, Priceless



  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup whole grain flour (see organic section)
  • 2 tbsp stevia
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • a dash of sea salt


  • 1 onion
  • 6 mini peppers or 2 bell peppers
  • 2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup spinach
  • a dash of sea salt
  • 2 tbsp blue cheese

HOW It’s Done:

Crepes: Combine liquid ingredients, whisk until smooth. Combine dry ingredients. Mix together, stir until batter is smooth. It should be thin like cake batter. Prepare to make crepes with large spoon and hot griddle or frying pan. Lay a spoonful of batter onto center of pan. With the back side of the spoon immediately spread batter outward in a circular motion to create flat circle, approx 7″ diameter. Wait for entire surface to bubble and flip.

Filling: Chop all vegetables into chunky bite size pieces. Toss into hot griddle with 1 tbsp oil. Add salt. Stir until onions are transparent. Stir in blue cheese before serving.

To serve, place a large spoonful of filling across center of crepe. Roll. Repeat.

crepestir frycrepe

The Story:

It was a Saturday morning, I was rather hungry from last night’s festivities… but the typical greasy breakfast would not do my body any good. There is no excuse to eat greasy food when you can avoid it, and I’ve been doing so well sticking to my hearty & nutritious diet!

So I opted to making healthy crepes. This enabled me to have ALL the joys of cooking breakfast, AND the joys of eating it, WITHOUT feeling guilty afterwards.

But crepes aren’t healthy!? OH CREPE! At least not when you use pounds of sugar and flour and butter and milk…

I swapped flour for a whole wheat option, used stevia instead of sugar, and unsweetened almond milk.

The rest was simple, I tried to follow a recipe but let’s be realistic, that’s not gonna happen. Instead I just eye-balled the ingredients like a mad man and mixed it all together until I had a creamy batter.

Most people making crepes will tell you to follow all the ingredients and set it aside so the batter has time to settle and the bubbles time to pop… I say whatever. I’ve made crepes the “right way” and I’ve made them “my way” and they look the same and they have the same texture. They also both get gobbled up in a matter of minutes.

The only real trick I’ve learned when crepe making is the technique in ladling the batter onto the griddle or frying pan. You must work quickly and intentionally. You cannot ignore the crepes at this point. Use a large round  spoon to scoop up the batter and lay it onto the griddle. I already told you how to spread it out in a circle. Be sure you fill in any little gaps, and remember thin is key. If your batter is too thick it will not spread well and you will have pancakes (which is fine if you love pancakes!) A thick batter has a simple fix: add more liquid (almond milk or water).

This is just my way of cooking crepes. I am also excited about all the other savory variables I can add to the center, next time I make this recipe. Ham and cheese are the most common, but adding veggies never hurt nobody! Just think: what would you like in a sandwich? And work from there. The French might hate me for straying from the original plan, but this is America – I do what I want! To make this recipe as healthy as possible, eat less crepes but fill the one or two you are having with more filling and eat them like tacos. The healthier you get, the less crepe you get – but the less crepey you’ll feel! *ba-dum-CH!*

For more healthy recipes check out my health food column here. Click the images above to repin!  Share this recipe with your friends with the buttons below. But most importantly, MAKE IT for them!

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California Tacos

California Tacos

Tacos, one of the most delicious, healthy, and easy recipes out there.

You’re probably pretty stoked that this is a California recipe, keyword: AVOCADO!!!

What you need: (makes 8 tacos)

  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 20 oz lean ground turkey
  • 1 lime
  • 1 avocado
  • arugula
  • blue corn/ flax tortillas
  • corona (optional)


To cook:

  • Heat griddle to medium high and begin cooking turkey
  • While turkey cooks dice your bell pepper and onion
  • Add ingredients together.  Toss in various spices from cupboard: chili pepper, salt, pepper, cayenne… to taste
  • Squeeze 1/2 lime over griddle
  • Cook until turkey is DONE – NO PINK (15-20 minutes)

Begin preparing your tortillas and avocado 5 minutes till finishing

  • Heat tortillas in microwave underneath damp paper towel (keeps them moist)
  • Open avocado, scoop out 1 or 2 tbsp per taco and spread over tortilla

Add cooked taco meat to warm taco shells and top with arugula.  For an extra kick add taco sauce. (I prefer tabasco, or la victoria – but any local taco bell packets will do)

Now put the other wedges of the lime in your Coronas and enjoy! Viva California!

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