Archive for August, 2013

Chocolate Almond Zucchini Cookies

I can’t decide if I like cooking or baking better.

With cooking, I can usually be as creative as I want. Just a little of this and that and “oh look, there’s eggplant. Let’s throw that in as well.”

Baking, as I have come to unfortunately discover, is not so tolerant of my whims. That being said, I still pretend to be in science class and attempt to mess with the flours, oils, sugars, and leavening agents. Just usually in baby steps though.

A while ago now, I came across a recipe for zucchini cookies. It wasn’t the most “sinless” recipe ever, but since I had an abundance of zucchini, I decided to give it ago. However, I wanted to halve the recipe, in case I didn’t like the end result.

So, I followed that recipe to the T only to come up with the thinnest batter consistency possible. Totally confused, I added more flour.

Like over a cup more.

At this point, I was grumbling that the taste was going to be completely screwed up. And then couldn’t remember if I added any sugar or not. And if I did, did I halve the amount? My brother was pretty amused as I debated on what to do. He thought it was justice that I might add too much sugar after all the times I reduced the amount of sugar in my treats.

After this dilemma, I put the cookies in the oven at the standard 350 and just randomly punched in 10 minutes, fully prepared to dump the cookies in the trash. When I went to check in on them though, they were HUGE.

Now I was just totally baffled.

Looking back at the recipe (again), I realized that I had only halved some of the ingredients while keeping some the same (including the baking soda). Being me, I still had to at least taste my train wreck. And oh my god. It tasted sooo good! And the texture was AMAZING. Soft and thick with a crunch.

My mom demanded that I write up the “edited” recipe only… I couldn’t remember the amounts of ingredients I had put in. So the next day, I went back to recreate it.

And forgot to add the coconut oil.

Surprisingly, this did not alter the taste or texture at all. I then said screw it and totally changed up everything.

After all, if it’s going to be a recipe I was going to use frequently, I wanted it as good-for-you as possible. And as lazy as possible- meaning using no parchment paper and only one bowl.

And this, I am proud to say, is the result. The only downside is they don’t puff up as much 😦 Oh well, I’m still experimenting, so I’ll edit if I can get it back.

Since I made so many of these at one time, I put a bunch in the freezer. And then tried one right out of the freezer. TOTALLY RECOMMENDED! They are still soft, thick, and crunchy. But I don’t know, they take on a whole new level of goodness 🙂

Chocolate Almond Zucchini Cookies

Chocolate Almond Zucchini Cookies

(Makes 36 cookies)

Ingredients:

1 cup zucchini pulp, packed (This is NOT the same as shredded zucchini! You need to puree the zucchini in a food processor until it is a liquidly mush. Otherwise, the results will be different. This requires about 1 medium zucchini)

1 organic egg

2 tbsp organic molasses

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar

3 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup chopped almonds (cashews also taste awesome!)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking pans with cooking oil and set aside. Whisk pulp, egg, molasses, and vanilla together. Dissolve in sugar. Add in cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Slowly stir in flour. Add in chocolate chips and almonds. Scoop into tbsp sized-balls and plop on the pans (don’t press down on them). Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Store in a container or freeze.

Summer Squash Salad

Summer is once again coming to a close. I’m going to miss the beach weather and the bonfires, but I’m actually really excited for the fall. Just thinking about apple cider, pumpkins, and Halloween gets me all excited! Before I fully leap into autumn mode, I wanted to post a few more summer-ish recipes. After all, there’s still a week left before Labor Day Weekend. Since this one uses summer squash, I figured this took top priority.

Summer Squash Salad

Summer Squash Salad

Ingredients:

2 cups brussels sprouts, sliced in half

1/2 large onion, sliced into half circles

2 garlic cloves, sliced into coins

1 tbsp sesame seed oil

1 ear of corn

2 tbsp pine nuts

1 small zucchini

1 small yellow squash

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half

garlic powder

salt and pepper, to taste

goat cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, combine brussels sprouts, onions, and garlic cloves. Add sesame seed oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and toss together. Spread out on a roasting pan. Rub sesame oil on ear of corn, season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Also place in the roasting pan. Transfer to oven and let roast for 25 minutes, STIRRING EVERY SO OFTEN.

In a separate pan, place pine nuts and let roast in the oven for 3 minutes. Set aside.

While vegetables are roasting, use a peeler to peel zucchini and squash into thin strips. Place on serving platter and season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Top with halved tomatoes. Once vegetables are finished roasting, let cool for 5 minutes. Remove corn from ear. Scatter brussels sprouts, onions, garlic, corn, and pine nuts onto top of squash peels. Top with clumps of goat cheese, if desired.

Zucchini Rollups

I’m back from vacation! I feel rejuvenated just in time for school to suck the energy out again! Oh well.

This year, I rented a bike to ride on the Ocean City boardwalk and streets. And oh my goodness, I think I love riding more than laying out on the beach. Of course I won’t say this to my family. They would think I’m weird. And again ask my mother if I’m adopted. I mean, I even woke up at 6 every morning just to ride before everyone got up. I NEED to get my own bike now.

So, these rollups. I wanted to make them at the beach, but my family was all zucchini-ed out with zucchini bread, zucchini cookies, and zucchini chocolate mousse (recipes to come!). Whatever, they’re the weird ones. Or maybe I am adopted… Anyway these rollups are easy to make, regardless of being at home or on the beach, and are packed with GGG (Gooey Goat (cheese) Goodness). Need I say more?

Zucchini Rollups

Zucchini Rollups

Ingredients: 

Zucchini, peeled

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Pine nuts

Goat cheese

Dried thyme

Garlic powder

Pine nuts

Fresh spinach leaves

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking oil. Lie zucchini on a cutting board and cut in half vertically. Next, make 1/4 in thick slices by cutting horizontally. Lie long zucchini slices on baking sheet. Rub each slice with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. In another pan, spread out pine nuts. Place zucchini and nuts in oven. Take nuts out after 6 minutes and zucchini after 10 minutes. On a zucchini slice, sprinkle/spread on goat cheese. Next, add thyme and garlic powder, to taste, and pine nuts. Top with 1 or 2 spinach leaves. Carefully, roll up zucchini and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with all slices. Top with more pepper.

You can eat this right away. Or, allow slices to cool and take out toothpicks.

Avocado Lime Dip

This week has been crazy. I’ve literally been living out of a suitcase with going between my mom’s, dad’s, the house I’ve been housesitting at. And now, I’m packing for the beach! Yay! Beach week is usually junk food mania for my family. Luckily, I bring a small supply of food to snack on. It helps that nobody in my family likes raisins 🙂 One of the things I’ve made this week to snack on is this dip:

Avocado Lime Dip

Avocado Lime Dip

Ingredients: 

1 avocado

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp dried cilantro

2 tsp hot sauce (more or less depending on heat preference)

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: 

In a food processor, blend until smooth and serve!

Dairy-Free Spicy Cucumber Sauce

Since I’m constantly experimenting in the kitchen, my family is forced to be my guinea pigs.

I have no problem figuring out if my brother likes something cause he’s not one to hide his opinions. My mom, however, is harder to figure out as I always think she’s trying to spare my feelings. Really though, it annoys me cause I want to make sure my recipes taste good to other people before posting.

When I first served this over rice, my mom had her usual response and said “this is a keeper!”

But I don’t know… I just thought she was on auto record.

Since I didn’t feel like carrying home a huge bowl of sauce, I left it at my mom’s house. A few days later though, I saw her and she told me excitingly that she had thought of a bunch of ideas for the sauce: mixing it with tuna fish, putting it in a sandwich, putting it on top of crackers, serving it over pasta, eating it with a spoon… So I guess she did like it. I actually like the idea of mixing it with tuna, so I think I’m going to try that next time!

Spicy Cucumber Sauce

Spicy Cucumber Sauce 

Ingredients: 

2 large cucumbers

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves

1 cup canned coconut milk

3 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp wasabi

1 tbsp curry powder

2 tsp parsley

1/2 tsp paprika

1 tsp red pepper flakes

pepper, to taste

Directions: 

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. For a stronger flavor, chill for at least 2 hours.