Friday, November 10, 2017

"Healthy" Zucchini Bread

A misleading title for any recipe, but this is the one I found here when searching for a recipe that didn't contain sugar.
Because I'd been given a huge zucchini, and found I had no sugar.

"Healthy" Zucchini Bread!

INGREDIENTS

¾ cup roughly chopped raw walnuts or pecans (optional)
⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil* (I made one batch with butter, and it was lovely)
½ cup honey or maple syrup
2 eggs
½ cup milk of choice or water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + more to swirl on top
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ½ cups grated zucchini (you’ll need 1 small-to-medium zucchini, about 7 ounces—if your grated zucchini is very wet, squeeze out the excess moisture over the sink before stirring it into the batter)
1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a small, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, and grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan to prevent the bread from sticking.
Once the oven has finished preheating, pour the chopped nuts onto your prepared baking sheet. Bake until the nuts are fragrant and toasted, about 5 minutes, stirring halfway.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil and honey. Beat them with a whisk until they are combined. Add the eggs and beat well. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 20 seconds in the microwave.)

Add the milk, baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and nutmeg, and whisk to blend. Switch to a big spoon and stir in the zucchini, then add the flour and stir just until combined. Some lumps are ok! Gently fold in the toasted nuts now.

Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with additional cinnamon. If you’d like a pretty swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing it with a sharp, serrated knife.

This bread is moist, so it will keep for just 2 to 3 days at room temperature. Store it in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months or so. I like to slice the bread before freezing and defrost individual slices, either by lightly toasting them or defrosting them in the microwave.


*A NOTE ON OILS: I love coconut oil here. I used unrefined coconut oil and can hardly taste it in the final product. Olive oil will lend an herbal note to the bread, if you’re into that. Vegetable oil has a neutral flavor, but the average vegetable/canola oil is highly processed, so I recommend using cold-pressed sunflower oil or grapeseed oil if possible.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Slow-cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Original recipe here.

Slow-cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs, as I used)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 cups chicken stock (I used water, reduced to 7 cups, and added 7 boullion cubes)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
8 ounces spaghetti, broken into thirds
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


DIRECTIONS:

Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Place chicken into a 6-qt slow cooker.

Stir in chicken stock, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours.

Remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred, using two forks.

Stir pasta and chicken into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for an additional 30-40 minutes, or until pasta is tender.

Stir in lemon juice and parsley.
Serve immediately.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

17 Bean Soup (with modifications)

I was inspired by my kids' love of beans (and thriftiness!) to make a large pot of bean soup.
I found the original recipe here, and made my own adjustments.

17 Bean Soup

1 lb. of beans ( I used 17 Bean Soup mix)
64 oz of vegetable or chicken stock (I used water ((which I reduced)) & chicken bouillon cubes)
1 large onion – chopped
4 stalks of celery – chopped
4 carrots – chopped
1 green or red bell pepper – chopped (instead I used a whole bag of frozen pepper & onion blend)
1 tsp. dried basil
4 cloves garlic – crushed or chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning (I just threw in a bunch of dried oregano & parsley)
1 can/jar of chopped tomatoes (diced, Italian-spiced - garlic & basil)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

I also chopped and added a huge hunk of boneless pork shoulder.
One could also add barley to this mix, as the original suggests.

Directions: Here's where I really improvised.
Soak beans overnight (or a couple days - just remember to rinse each day).
Throw everything in the slow cooker! Add ham halfway through.
Serve topped with shredded cheddar. Or with cornbread.

Result?  A meal where both my girls kept saying, "Yum! Mmm!"


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Rhubarb Crisp

Original recipe here!


Rhubarb Crisp

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 15 min. Bake: 45 min. MAKES: 8 servings

Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups sliced fresh rhubarb or frozen rhubarb, thawed
2 cups sliced peeled apples or sliced strawberries
1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Vanilla ice cream, optional

Directions

In a large bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add rhubarb and apples or strawberries; toss to coat. Spoon into an 8-in. square baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, butter, flour and cinnamon until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over fruit. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until bubbly and fruit is tender. Serve warm with ice cream if desired. Yield: 8 servings.

Editor's Note: If using frozen rhubarb, measure rhubarb while still frozen, then thaw completely. Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.

Originally published as Rhubarb Crisp in Reminisce Extra June 1993, p51

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tangy Mashed Potato Casserole

I grew up with my mom making this dish as a side for special occasions.

TANGY MASHED POTATO CASSEROLE

12 med. potatoes (about 4 lbs.) peeled and halved
1/2 c. butter
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into sm. pieces at room temp.
1 c. sour cream
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika

Cook potatoes; drain and leave in colander. Melt butter in the same pot over medium heat. Add cream cheese; remove from heat. Beat with a wooden spoon until cheese is melted and the mixture smooth. Force potatoes through a ricer or food mill into butter mixture. Add sour cream, salt and pepper; beat until smooth. Spread evenly in a 9x13 inch pan or shallow 2 1/2 quart casserole greased; sprinkle with paprika. Cover and refrigerate until baking time (can be overnight).

Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before baking. Uncover and bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 35 minutes or until heated through and a slight golden crust forms on top. Cut into squares.
Serves 12.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Slow-cooker Shepherd's Pie

Original recipe here.

Serves 6
Hands-On Time 20 min
Total Time 5 hrs 20 min


INGREDIENTS

1½pounds beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 cup dark beer (such as Guinness)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 large russet potatoes, peeled
2 cups frozen peas
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

DIRECTIONS

Combine the beef, carrots, onion, broth, beer, Worcestershire, tomato paste, flour, 1½ teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Nestle the potatoes in the liquid.

Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

Transfer the potatoes to a medium bowl. Stir the peas into the stew, cover, and warm until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Mash the potatoes with the milk, butter, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
Serve the stew topped with the mashed potatoes.

Chicken Tagine With Apricots and Pistachios

Original recipe here.

Makes 8
Hands-On Time 15 min
Total Time 40 min

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ tablespoon kosher salt
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-in. pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups cherry tomatoes
8 halved apricots, or 3 cups halved dried apricots
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Cooked quinoa, chopped fresh parsley, and roasted, salted pistachios, for serving

DIRECTIONS

Mix the cumin, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium high. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onions to the pot along with 2 tablespoons of water. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot along with the canned tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, apricots, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve over the quinoa, topped with the parsley and pistachios.

How to Freeze and Reheat:
Cool the stew completely. Pour it into gallon-size freezer bags (separate from the quinoa), filling each halfway. Stack the bags in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. Reheat in a pot over medium until warmed through, 8 to 10 minutes.