Chef Yolanda Banks

Epicurean, Culinary Instructor & Cookbook Author

Acquire a taste for Fresh Fabulous

Bringing seasonal, healthy, global cuisine to your kitchen.

Fresh is Fabulous

I make delicious food that happens to be healthy... moderation over deprivation!

Brunch, Breads & Pastries

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Streussel Topping

cooking spray
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1  cup all purpose white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, room temperature
1 cup natural applesauce
1 large apple, grated
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose white flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place muffin cups into a 12-cup muffin tin.  Spray with cooking spray; set aside.
2.  Combine both flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large Ziplock bag; shake until well mixed.
3.  Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer, beat together butter and sugar for 4 minutes on medium speed or until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing until just combined.  Add buttermilk, applesauce, apples, and vanilla; beat until combined.
4.  Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until just combined.  Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into muffin cups.
5.  In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour and butter using a fork until it resembles coarse crumbles.  Sprinkle topping evenly over muffins.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6.  Let muffins cool for 5 minutes in the tin.  Remove them from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool.


The muffins may be prepared up to a day in advance.  Refrigerate muffins in the muffin tins with the topping.  When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator, and preheat the oven.  Once the oven is preheated, bake the muffins.  (It may take 3-5 minutes longer for the muffins to bake.)  Begin checking them with a toothpick after 12 minutes.  Once muffins have cooled completely, they can be frozen in a Ziploc bag for up to 2 months.  Re-heat desired amount in a 350 degree oven on a piece of foil.

Yolanda Banks

Ingredientscooking spray
1 1/4 cups all purpose white flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg, beatenMethod

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat pie plate with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients; mix well.
2.  Add buttermilk, oil, and egg to dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.
3.  Pour into pie plate and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Servings 8Source
Yolanda Banks


Homemade Flour Tortillas
I like to use white whole wheat flour, but unbleached all-purpose flour can be substituted.Ingredients

2 cups white whole wheat flour
unbleached all-purpose flour, for kneading
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup Organic shortening, cold, diced
2/3 cup warm water, about 100 degrees


1. In a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse a couple times to mix. Add shortening, pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add water and pulse just until dough begins to form a ball.
2. Turn dough out onto a well-floured board and knead until dough is elastic and smooth and is no longer sticky, about 3 minutes. Wrap tightly in plastic and allow dough to rest at room temperature for about an hour.
3. Cut dough into 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, (about the size of a golf ball) and lightly dust with flour; repeat with the rest of the pieces.
4. Place balls, one at a time, into a well-floured tortilla press, press down and remove. Or use a rolling pin to form balls into tortillas. Each disk should be thin and about 6-8 inches in diameter. Stack tortillas between parchment/wax paper and continue until all the dough has been rolled out.
5. Heat a dry griddle or skillet over medium heat. Add tortillas, one at a time, cook for about 30 seconds or just until it puffs up, flip and repeat. Keep cooked tortillas wrapped in a towel.
6. Tortillas are best served right away, but can be made up to 1 day in advance. Wrap tortillas in foil and reheat in a 350 degree oven until warm.

Yolanda Banks

Open-Faced Egg and Prosciutto Sandwich
Ingredients2 whole-wheat English muffins, split and toasted
4 slices of tomato
4 thin slices of Prosciutto
4 leaves basil
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 large eggs
4 slices fontina cheese
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to tasteMethod

1. Top each muffin with tomato, Prosciutto, and basil; set aside.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add oil.
3. Gently crack eggs into the skillet; cook until whites are almost set, 2 minutes.
4. Top each egg with a slice of cheese; cover skillet and let cook another minute.
5. Slide one egg onto each muffin; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Servings 4Source
Yolanda Banks

Spinach, Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Frittata
The Italian word frittata derives from the word fritto, meaning to fry. It was originally a term for cooking eggs in a skillet. A frittata is basically an open-faced omelette.Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 pounds baby spinach
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups 2 % milk
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
2/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
2/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 2 12-cup muffin tins with cooking spray; set aside.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add oil and garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add spinach, season with a pinch of salt and cook until the spinach has wilted, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer spinach to a sieve set over a bowl and press to extract as much liquid as possible.
3. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Stir in milk, salt, pepper, roasted peppers, both cheeses, parsley, and drained spinach; mix well. Pour into prepared muffin tins. Place pans onto baking sheets to catch any drips. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
4. The frittata can be assembled up to one day in advance. Allow to sit at room temperature while the oven heats up.


You can vary this recipe by adding whatever vegetables, meats or any combination of cheeses you like.

Servings 12Source
Yolanda Banks

Sweet Potato Salmon Hash with Parsley Pesto
The hash can be made up to a day in advance. In fact, it tastes better the next day! Place hash into a baking dish and re-heat, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until warm. The pesto can be made up to 5 days in advance. Store in a plastic container, covering the surface with saran wrap, then cover with the lid; refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium poblano chile, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cumin
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 ounces wild smoked salmon, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley, rinsed and dried
1 serrano chile, seeded, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup pistachios
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oilkosher salt, to taste


1.  For the hash:  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss olive oil, sweet potatoes, onions, bell pepper, poblano, thyme, cumin, cinnamon, and salt and pepper together in a large bowl.  Place onto a large rimmed baking sheet; roast for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned.
2.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Fold salmon, parsley, and lemon into the hash.  Return to the oven for 10 minutes or until salmon is heated through.  If using the next day, let cool completely, then store, in the refrigerator, in a covered container.
3.  For the pesto:  Place parsley, serrano, garlic, pistachios and salt into a blender or food processor; blend.  Add olive oil and blend until well combined.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.


If I’m serving this hash for brunch I top it with a poached or fried egg.  It is absolutely delicious, especially when you top it with a little of the pesto!

Servings 6

Yolanda Banks



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