Friday, July 26, 2013

Zucchini Fritters

It is like Christmas in July!!!
I have been the lucky recipient of my families' garden rejects/over-stock and I love it.   
I have produce coming out of my ears and I have spent way too much time on Pinterest trying to find new recipes that the whole family will like.  

One of my "pinned" items stuck out when I was searching for a zucchini recipe and most likely it was because it contained the word "fritter".  The recipe is from Bonappetit and the fritters were super easy to prepare. 

I loved them, Dan loved them and drum roll.... so did the girls!   

More zucchini recipes herehere and here!

Soy Dipping Sauce
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 3 medium), grated
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
1 large egg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup vegetable oil

PreparationSoy Dipping Sauce
Mix vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and a pinch of red pepper flakes in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Place zucchini in a colander set in the sink and toss with 1/2 teaspoons salt. Let stand 10 minutes, then wring zucchini dry in a clean kitchen towel. Place zucchini in a large bowl and gently mix in egg, flour, chives, and cornstarch; season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in 2 batches, drop 1/4-cupfuls zucchini mixture into skillet, flattening slightly; cook until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer fritters to a paper towel–lined plate; season with salt. Serve with soy dipping sauce.

Friday, July 19, 2013

quinoa & oat granola

My good friend Kori forwarded me this recipe for granola and now I cannot  stop making/eating it.  The addition of quinoa makes it crunchy and this hearty cereal keeps me satisfied all morning. I added Chia seeds to the original recipe because they are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein.  Substitute in any dried fruit and or nuts to make your favorite combination.

3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
1 cup slivered or chopped almonds
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup almond butter (optional)
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup shaved coconut
6 oz dried pomegranates
6 oz dried apricots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Start by mixing oats, quinoa, almonds in a large bowl. Pour honey and oil over the mixture, adding the salt and cinnamon. Spread mixture evenly on prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes stirring half way through. Remove granola and sprinkle coconut on top and baking for an additional 3-5 minutes or until coconut is lightly toasted. Remove from oven and let cool. Stir in dried fruit and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

healthy zucchini & banana muffins

Summer in the Midwest is in full swing and I had high hopes that my garden would be too. Unfortunately, I have a family of chipmunks that does not share my gardening philosophy. Thankfully, my father-in-law has an amazing critter-free garden, that is producing freakishly large zucchini.

I have been on a muffin kick lately, largely due to the fact that my kids love them and I can stuff them with fruits/veggies etc, so when I was gifted two very large zucchini, we made these delicious low fat zucchini banana muffins.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1 banana, mashed
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 12 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners.
Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Mix egg, oil, milk, applesauce, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in another bowl; stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in zucchini, banana, chocolate chips, and walnuts. Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full.

Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes

3 year-old fingers cannot resist the choco chips

Friday, July 12, 2013

blueberry & yogurt muffins

I am really making an effort to use all of my produce without having any spoilage/waste.  I have found my favorite vendors at the Farmers' Market and I try to buy only what I think that our family of 4 can eat in one week.  With that being said, it is berry season and I have a hard time resisting the tempting pints of delicious looking blueberries, strawberries and cherries.   Thankfully, I found this recipe from and not only is my extra pint of  blueberries gone, but so are these awesome muffins.

The Awesome-est Blueberry Muffins

3 cups minus 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
Heavy pinch of salt
Dash of Nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 generous cup plain, unflavored yogurt (throw in extra if you want)
2 cups fresh blueberries
Vanilla Extract
Softened Butter, for muffin tins
Turbinado sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 385 degrees.  In a large bowl sift flour, baking soda, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In another large bowl whisk together sugar, oil, cap-ful of vanilla, egg, and yogurt. Add the dry ingredients and stir to a count of 10.  Add blueberries, reserving 1/2 cup, to mixture and stir 3 times.

Add mixture to well-buttered muffin pans. Sprinkle remaining berries on top and press down lightly. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over top. (Brown sugar can be used instead.)

Bake 20 to 25 minutes and allow to cool completely.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mixed Berry Pie

Well, I did it. I managed to eat and drink enough over this past holiday weekend to offset all of my exercise and healthy eating in 2013. The only good thing to come of this is that now I am at square one again - which means that I can have my 3rd slice of this amazing pie.

I started off making a blueberry pie, but I ended up running out of blueberries (of course), so I added in some raspberries and strawberries making it a mixed berry treat.

All-purpose flour for dusting
Pate Brisee
8 cups (about 4 pints) blueberries,strawberries and raspberries picked over
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream

On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out one disk of dough to a 12-inch round. With a dry pastry brush, sweep off excess flour; fit dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate, pressing it into edges. Roll out remaining dough and transfer (on parchment) to a baking sheet. Chill pie shell and dough until firm, about 30 minutes.

Place berries in a large bowl; with your hands, crush about 1/2 cup of berries, letting them fall into the bowl as you work. Add sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice; stir to combine. Spoon mixture into chilled pie shell, mounding berries slightly in the center. Dot with butter. Remove dough from refrigerator, and place over blueberry filling. I used a lattice design, but you can do whatever you want. Gently press both layers of dough along the edge to seal, and crimp as desired.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and cream. Brush surface with egg wash, being careful not to let it pool. Freeze or refrigerate pie until firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in lower third.

Place pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until crust begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking, rotating sheet halfway through, until crust is deep golden brown and juices are bubbling and have thickened, 40 to 50 minutes more. Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool completely. The pie is best eaten the day it is baked, but it can be kept at room temperature, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.