Category Archives: zucchini

We are spending the weekend in NJ, and there won’t be a fridge, so I made a couple things in preparation, just in case Marcy gets hungry and/or won’t eat what we have at our meals. Basically, I wanted something that didn’t need refrigeration (at least for the weekend) and that had some kind of substantial nutrition.  First, were zucchini muffins, which I think were more for me in the case that I get hungry, too. 🙂 And then my friend sent me the recipes she uses to make homemade Lara bars for her child. I chose the pineapple (sunshine) version.

The muffins have the perfect sweetness, and could maybe even use a bit more, but it doesn’t matter, because they have the most excellent crumb (I think, because I added some whole wheat flour).

Zucchini muffins
(makes 12 large muffins)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 apple peeled, cored and grated

Stir first 8 ingredients into large bowl. In another bowl, mix wet ingredients. Stir into flour mixture until batter is just combined. Stir in zucchini and apples. Spoon into well greased muffin cups, filling to the top. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes.

Pineapple “sunshine” lara bars

  • 1 c. (160g) dried, unsweetened pineapple
  • 1/3 c. warm water
  • 1 c. (120g) cashews
  • 1/4 c. (20g) unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • dash salt

Soak the dried fruit in warm water for 5-10 minutes.  Meanwhile, gather remaining ingredients and pour into a food processor.  Drain the fruit and add to the food processor.  Process for 30 – 60 seconds or until the mixture sticks together when pinched with your fingers.  Pour into a loaf pan and press firmly into bars with a spatula.  Chill for 10 minutes and then cut into 6 bars.  Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.


I loved Moroccan food when I was in college (still do, but just never have opportunities to eat it). And suddenly, last week I found myself longing for beautifully spiced, tender chicken and veggies over a bed of couscous. This recipe, did not disappoint!

Moroccan Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 3 chicken legs
  • 1 (16 ounce) can garbanzo beans
  • 1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 30 oz chicken broth
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare the couscous according to package directions.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, and cook onion and garlic  until tender. Mix in bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Place chicken in the pot, and cook until well browned. Pour garbanzo beans, tomatoes, carrots and broth into the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 25 minutes.
  3. Mix zucchini into pot. Season with salt. Continue cooking 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Serve stew over cooked couscous.

Last Friday, I found myself with a bell pepper, an eggplant and no ideas for dinner. Using my ingredients as a starting point, I came across recipes for ratatouille, which I could make with ingredients we had on hand plus the addition of a small zucchini and some diced tomatoes. The one time I tried ratatouille, I was not that impressed; but the emotions and drama in the Disney movie were so convincing, I decided that there must be something wintery and comforting about such a dish.

I followed this Epicurious recipe, almost to a T, except that I used diced tomatoes from a can and dried basil instead of fresh. Oh, and I added some garbanzo beans for protein. I served this ratatouille over a bed of couscous.

Ratatouille


  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • a 3/4-pound eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 small zucchini, scrubbed, quartered lengthwise, and cut into thin slices
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  •  

    Directions:
    To remove the bitter taste from the eggplant, peel (I like to leave some of the skin on, so you end up with a striped eggplant) and chop your eggplant first, then sprinkle it with salt and set aside in a colander or bowl while you chop the rest of the vegetables. Before cooking the eggplant, drain and pat dry with a paper towel.
    In a large skillet cook the onion and the garlic in 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and heat it over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the eggplant and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the eggplant is softened. Stir in the zucchini and the bell pepper and cook the mixture over the moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook the mixture, stirring occassionaly, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the oregano, the thyme, the coriander, the fennel seeds, the salt, and pepper to taste and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the basil and combine the mixture well. The ratatouille may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated before serving.
    Result: Yum! Very soothing on a cold winter night, I especially liked the softness and tenderness of this meal, especially with the couscous.

    I’m not entirely sure,  but I think the tomatoes we received this week are HEIRLOOM tomatoes! For lunch yesterday I made a Panzanella salad and I combined 3 different recipes I found off of epicurious and allrecipes. Panzanella salad is an Italian salad where instead of greens, there is crispy, seasoned pieces of Italian bread. I first had it when my principal made it for one of our lunch meetings and it was pret-ty amazing.

    I walked over to Chelsea Market and laid down $4.75 for an organic rustic Italian loaf, but I think a regular ciabatta loaf or baguette would work just fine too. But, that bread was really yummy! This salad was a bit more work than a regular salad, since you grill (or in my case brown in a pan) the squash and bake the bread pieces, but it was so tasty, it was worth waiting until 4 PM to eat my lunch! I also quickly sauteed some chicken in the blackened squash pan and added it to the salad for some extra protein in my lunch.

    Ingredients:
    2 medium summer squash, sliced into 1.5 inch strips
    1/2 walla walla onion, sliced
    3 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
    3 sweet peppers, sliced
    1 rustic Italian loaf or Ciabatta loaf, cut into bite-size pieces
    1/3 cup olive oil
    3 tsp minced garlic
    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    salt and pepper to taste

    1. Drizzle squash strips with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill on each side. Set aside on paper-toweled plate.

    2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl,  toss bread pieces with 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Lay bread pieces on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

    3. Cut grilled squash strips into 1 inch pieces. Toss onions, tomatoes and peppers together in bowl. Add the grilled squash pieces and the bread pieces.*

    4. Mix the 1/4 cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette.

    *If you aren’t going to eat the entire salad right away, I would keep the grilled squash and bread pieces separate until just before serving, and also wait to dress the salad.


    We’ll be out of town for a little over a week, so today I did my very best to use up all the leftover veggies that were in the fridge. Thanks to the Martha Stewart Living magazine that Erin happened to give me, I found the perfect recipe for the rest of the basil and tomatoes from this week’s CSA share:

    Tomato & Basil Pasta (I halved all the ingredients for a smaller batch)

    Combine 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper in a large bowl. Toss in 1 pound cooked and drained short pasta. Tear 4 medium tomatoes and 1 pound burrata or mozzarella cheese; scatter over pasta. Garnish with small basil leaves, and sprinkle with pepper.

    We didn’t have mozzarella or whatever burrata is, so I tossed my pasta with goat cheese, used regular sea salt and spaghetti pasta, and didn’t understand what it meant to tear tomatoes, so I just diced mine instead. The pasta was the perfectly salty and cooked perfectly al dente. And, since I looove goat cheese, I really loved this dish.

    And then after lunch, I contemplated what to do with the last 1/2 of a zucchini and decided upon baked zucchini chips! And now we have a snack for our flight back to Seattle.

    These taste… healthy. 🙂 It is a little bland, I think next time I would maybe add some spice (cayenne?) to give it a little kick. And also use the entire egg instead of just the whites for a little more heartiness or depth to these. But, I do like that when you take a bite you can still actually taste the zucchini, and that’s yummy.