Zucchini Bread

April 30, 2008 at 8:25 pm | Posted in breakfast, zucchini | 15 Comments
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We all have our favorite Zucchini Bread recipes…and this one’s mine. It has been in my family for years and comes from our family friend, Lydia. I just love it.

Zucchini Bread From Lydia

  • 3 eggs well beaten
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (I use heaping cup-fulls)
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare 2 loaf pans with Pam for Baking.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the eggs. Next add the oil. sugar, zucchini and vanilla, mix well.

In a separate bowl whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Turn mixer to medium until well combined. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool on wire racks. Each loaf serves 16, in theory.

A little extra…

Saw this on A Fridge Full of Food, What Kind of Cereal Are You?

You Are Corn Flakes

You are traditional and easy going.
If something is high quality, you’re satisfied with it.

You don’t need much variety or novelty in your life.
You’re happy with what you have. You’re quite loyal.

You’re the type of person who eats the same breakfast every day…
And likely at the exact same time each day!

Take the What Kind of Cereal Are You Quiz

Yoda’s Ice Cream

April 26, 2008 at 1:45 pm | Posted in avocado puree, Dessert | 15 Comments

What do you call Coconut Avocado Ice Cream when you are trying to sell it to 5 year olds? Yoda’s Ice Cream, of course.

I know, my poor kids, their mom has succumbed to the Dark Side. Muw-ha-ha-ha! I can hear Darth Vador laughing. Veggies in your ice cream!

And I’ll admit, it’s no Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. But for some reason the coconut and avocado actually work together. The ice cream is smooth and creamy. The flavors aren’t too intense. And my kids ate it! “Tastes like Yoda“, said my son. But he thought that maybe it should be called Jabba the Hut Ice Cream because of how it slimmed Darth Vador.

Coconut Avocado Ice Cream (aka Yoda’s Ice Cream)

(from All Recipes)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup coconut cream (I used a can labelled coconut milk)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 (1/2 pound) avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

  1. Puree milk, coconut cream, sugar, avocados, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth.
  2. Strain into a bowl. Cover, and refrigerate for several hours until cold. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions, then freeze overnight.
  3. Allow ice cream to soften in refrigerator for 10 minutes before serving.

And I have to dedicate Yoda’s Ice Cream to Jen, who commented, “Today at Costco I was very tempted to get an ice cream and I thought to myself, “would Karen?” and then I thought, “No, she’d probably make some from scratch and throw in some carrots or spinach to make it healthy.” Then I got grossed out and just kept walking past it.” I thought this was hilarious! And took it as a challenge!

Scooping out this Coconut Avocado Ice Cream For Vindicate the Vegetable! Week 3 Event: Avocados

Oatmeal Parfait

April 25, 2008 at 11:00 am | Posted in breakfast, flaxseed meal | 10 Comments
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I knew that the gray clouds were lifting when I envisioned this for breakfast…

Layers of oatmeal, pumpkin, fage and flaxseed meal with hints of pumpkin pie and cloves. Yum!

Oatmeal Pumpkin Parfait

2/3 cup oatmeal, (measured dry then cooked in water)

3/4 cup fage, divided (I use Fage Total 0%)

1/4 cup canned pumpkin

4 T honey, divided

1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp ground cloves

4 T flaxseed meal

Combine the cooked oatmeal and cloves, set aside.

Combine 1/4 cup fage with canned pumpkin, 2 Tbsp honey and pumpkin pie spice, set aside.

Combine 1/2 cup fage with 2 Tbsp honey, set aside.

To assemble, start with two heaping spoon fulls of the oatmeal mixture, then layer in the pumpkin mixture, next sprinkle 1 Tbsp of the flaxseed meal, and then the fage. Do it all again. Makes enough for two servings.

Inspired by Kath, I am serving this up for this month’s Think Spice…Think Cloves event.

Asparagus Tart

April 16, 2008 at 11:50 am | Posted in veggie side | 6 Comments
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When I saw this I knew I had to try it for my family. It’s an Asparagus Gruyere Tart. And it’s good.

My son was willing to smell, lick and even kiss the asparagus. In the end he said he didn’t like it. I tried to entice him by saying that his “pee” would smell funny if he ate it. Potty talk by mom at the dinner table, shocking, I know! But in the end he said no. Okay, no pressure.

My dear daughter also tried it with hesitation. At first she said she didn’t like it, but then, with out another word of encouragement from her mother, she ate a bit. Then another. Then another. Pretty soon she was peeling the asparagus off of her tart and eating it straight. Rounds of applause! She was declared “the winner”! A little healthy competition never hurt, right?

I think it helped that I used very thin/young asparagus. Also I started them first on my indoor grill and then put them on my tart to finish cooking.

The recipe is from Under the High Chair. Kudos to her for coming up with a veggie side dish that my 5 year old daughter enjoyed (along with her parents).

Asparagus Gruyère Tart

Flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry

5 1/2 ounces (2 cups) Gruyère cheese, shredded

1 1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyère. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyère, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

We Got the Beet

April 10, 2008 at 8:15 pm | Posted in beet puree | 16 Comments

My childhood introduced me to canned beets, disgusting! I remember my father eating them…all slimy with that weird taste and texture. I didn’t even like the smell.

But in my efforts to do better, I have returned to the beet. First was the Beet Pancakes. Since then I’ve been uninspired to try again. That is until I borrowed my sister’s copy of Bon Appetit’s 50th anniversary issue from October 2006. Within was a recipe by Evan Kleiman for Beet Gnocchi with Rosemary.

Beet Gnocchi with Rosemary

  • 3/4 cup roasted beet puree
  • 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, divided
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 fresh rosemary sprigs

Place beets in a large bowl. Stir in ricotta, eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. Mix in 1 cup of the flour. (Dough can be made one day ahead, cover and refrigerate).

Place remaining 1/2 cup flour in a bowl. Lightly dust baking sheet with flour. Using a teaspoon measure, scoop dough into rounds and transfer to bowl with flour. Then with the tinges of a fork, press down into the dough and then transfer to baking sheet. Do this in batches. (Gnocchi can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate).

Melt butter with rosemary in a large skillet over medium heat.

Working in batches, cook gnocchi in large pot of simmering salted water until gnocchi float to the surface, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook 1 1/2 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to skillet with butter and rosemary.

At this point you can transfer the gnocchi to a plate and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. I wanted a firmer gnocchi so after I finished all of the gnocchi in the butter, I put them on a plain hot skillet. The butter made a great crispy exterior.

And the verdict? My family loved them! Hubby, daughter and son! I could have easily cut this recipe in half, it makes a lot of gnocchi!

Along with our Beet Gnocchi, I wanted my family to see beets in a more natural state. So I also did a simple plate of roasted beets and carrots, some whole wheat pita bread, and a bowl of chickpea puree.

What did we think? My daughter was willing to try the beets, but did not like them. My son, no. As for my hubby and I (both non-beet eaters) were pleasantly surprised. Fresh roasted beets are good. I will be doing this again.

To roast fresh beets: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wrap beets in foil and roast until tender, about 1 hour. Cool and then slip skins off the beets.

Orzo with Yellow Squash

April 9, 2008 at 8:45 pm | Posted in veggie side | 7 Comments

In an effort to get more veggies into my kids and to acquaint them with different tastes and forms, I’m always on the look out for good recipes. This one scored high with my “I only eat white foods” son. He picked around the mushrooms, but happily ate the rest!

Orzo with Yellow Squash and Mushrooms

(from Bon Appetit’s 50th Anniversary Issue)

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 pound yellow crookneck squash, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups orzo
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp parsley

Melt butter with oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute 2 minutes. Add squash, increase the heat to medium-high, saute until soft. Add mushrooms, saute until tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and stir. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook orzo in boiling water until just tender, about 9 minutes.

Mix orzo, cheese, cream, and parsley into vegetables in skillet. Stir over low heat until creamy. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with parsley.

Happily serving up this Orzo with Yellow Squash to Vindicate the Vegetable‘s first event: Yellow Summer Squash!

Ramon’s Mango Salsa

April 1, 2008 at 10:30 pm | Posted in veggie side | 12 Comments

When my sister married Ramon, I had no idea a major foodie and exciting sushi chef had joined the family. To me, he was just Ramon. Faithful Ramon. Adoring Ramon. Kind Ramon.

But over the years he has shared with me a thing or two about preparing good food. This Mango Salsa is so simple to make, uses fresh ingredients, and tastes AMAZING! I actually eat this by the spoonful. Of course, it works beautifully over a piece of fish, chicken or a plate of chips.

The cast of characters (never mind the corn, I lost my mind momentarily)

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Here’s my mango up close: (if you look closely at the sticker you will see my wink and smile to Gretchen).

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And my mango in the process of being sliced:

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Ramon’s Mango Salsa

  • 1 ripe mango
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 2-3 tomatoes
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tsp honey
  • season with salt and pepper

Chop all of the ingredients to roughly the same size. Stir. Drizzle in vinegar and honey. Stir again. Store covered in the refrigerator about an hour. Stir. Taste. Need salt and pepper? Add a little and taste again. Taste again. And again. Stop eating directly out of the container momentarily. Grab a fresh spoon. Eat again.

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A bite:

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And another bite:

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No chips required:

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Hemp-a-licious Breakfast

March 3, 2008 at 2:25 pm | Posted in breakfast | 7 Comments
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I found it! Living Harvest Vanilla Hempmilk! And I’m sold. This stuff is good. Really good. Here’s how I applied it to breakfast this morning:

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Berry-Hemp Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup vanilla hempmilk
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 3 T frozen blueberries
  • 1 fresh banana

Layer in the strawberries, blueberries and banana in a blender. Pour hempmilk over the top and blend until smooth. This was very thick and creamy. My daughter and I split and enjoyed it this morning for breakfast.

Omega Oatmeal

  • 1/4 cup cooked steel cut oats
  • 2 T flaxseed meal (2400 mg of omega-3)
  • 1/4 cup vanilla hempmilk (225 mg of omega-3)
  • 1 T walnuts (1.3 grams of omega-3)

Combine cooked steel cut oats and flaxseed meal in a bowl. Stir in hempmilk. Garnish with walnuts.

Taste: I could still taste the regular hempmilk, but it was slight. The aftertaste was a nice vanilla flavor. I enjoyed this straight from the carton.

My 5 year-old son who drinks about 1.5 gallons of non-fat milk a week…”It tastes like ice cream”.

Where to buy: I (finally) found Living Harvest Hempmilk at Whole Foods for $3.79. Beware, not all hempmilk is created equal.

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Cravin’ Oatmeal

February 28, 2008 at 8:17 am | Posted in breakfast, flaxseed meal | 5 Comments
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Oatmeal is not one of those foods I ever thought I would love, let alone crave. And I never thought it would be worthy of a post. But it has become a necessary part of my day. And this mix was is good, so good in fact that I wanted it for dinner last night. Inspired by Kath, here is my favorite way to enjoy my morning meal.

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Cravin’ Oatmeal

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 banana
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal
  • 1 T walnuts, chopped
  • 1 T golden raisins
  • 1 T mini chocolate chips

Cook the oats in water for 5 minutes. While they are cooking, whip banana with handheld mixer. Stir in ground flaxseed. Then the cooked oats. Top with walnuts, raisins and chocolate chips.

This breakfast has 404 calories and 12.5 grams of fiber.

Edamame Salad

February 25, 2008 at 6:39 pm | Posted in veggie side | 6 Comments
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When I am in the mood for some asian inspired flavors, this is my go-to salad. It is easy and has all of the flavors that my mouth is wanting.

Edamame Salad

  • 16 oz shelled edamame (can be fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 t salt (optional)
  • 1 T evoo
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Toss the edamame, vinegar, evoo, salt, pepper, red onion and cilantro in a bowl. Cover and put in the refrigerator for a minimum of 15 minutes. Stir and enjoy!

Adapted from The South Beach Diet

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