Issa Cooks: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread

Now that Starbucks has retired its pumpkin loaf in the Metro Area, I had to take matters into my own hands and create a sweet fall treat desirable enough to eat before my mid-morning Pumpkin Spice Latte (RIP $5.17). After my lovely friend Merritt made me a fabulous apron from fabric we'd picked out together in Nantucket, I had no choice but to go into my kitchen/living room and make her something delicious.


The recipe is vegan, one of my roommates is vegan, and I wanted to share.  Alternate version: I'm too cheap to buy eggs.



3 cups white flour 2 cups white sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 teaspoons baking soda 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 1 banana (I microwaved mine for 45 seconds, for softness) 1 can pumpkin puree (15oz) 1 cup vegetable oil 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/3 cup water chocolate chips (optional) oatmeal (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix dry ingredients together in bowl. Whisk in the wet ingredients.  Stir until all clumps are removed.  Stir in chocolate chips, if desired.  Pour into two pre-greased loaf pans (or one, if you are too poor to buy a second and want an extra large loaf) and sprinkle with oatmeal.  Put in the oven for an 60-95 minutes, checking with a toothpick every so often to see if the batter sticks.

Let cool and enjoy!

fresh out of the oven!

Issa Cooks: Green Magic Soup

Cold and flu and perpetual strep throat season is upon us, and of course I was blessed with the first round of illness.  After a day of ordering canned soup online (what a world we live in...) I felt well enough to actually stand over the stove without wanting to rest my head on a steaming pot of Progresso.  Plus, all the salt was making me feel worse than if I had just stuck to tea... this was my diet for 36 hours

So I mustered up my energy to scavenge through my pantry and fridge, and developed a recipe for healthy, tasty soup that's easy enough to make when you're dying of the plague.


3 tablespoons olive oil garlic powder and onion powder 2 small potatoes, cubed (peeling optional) 4 quarts of boiling water mixed with 2 tablespoons bouillion 1/2 a bunch of kale, chopped (I used purple kale, just for funsies) 1 zucchini, diced 2 cups of baby spinach, washed salt and paper to taste


Heat a soup pan with oil.  Add cubed potatoes and stir in with garlic and onion powder (because you're sick, you can't even tasted the aromatics anyway, they may as well be from a jar...)  After about five minutes when the potatoes start to soften, stir in the kale. As the Kale wilts, stir in the zucchini and and boiling water. Add salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The veggies will have lost a bit of their green color, but don't worry- the spinach will bring it back!

Let cool for about an hour.  Stir in raw spinach leaves and add soup to a food processor or use an immersion blender to throughly blend all ingredients. Re-heat and you're ready to eat!

magic green soup

Delicious on its own or topped with crumbly cheese or alongside a crusty bread/saltines.

You'll be feeling better before you know it!

Issa Cooks: Kale and Corn Salad

For approximately $5 at the farmers' market you can make a delicious lunch, or several! kale-corn-salad


1 bunch kale 2 tbs olive oil 2 ears of corn salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil in hot frying pan.  Cut kale into one-inch slices.  Add to pan and saute until leaves begin to wilt.  Remove from heat and slice kernels off the corn cob and add to greens. Toss and season to taste.  Yum!

Salad lasts up to three days in the fridge and is delicious cold or room temperature.