Recipes

Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini bread is great, and recently I made two loaves for my girlfriend’s mother’s birthday. Blueberry Lemon, and Chocolate chip – and they came out marvelous. This week we got extra zucchini in our farm share bag, and Alexa had a recipe in mind for Zucchini Muffins. They are so tasty! To make them a little more healthy I added whole oats, ground flax and chia seeds. The muffins provide a nice crunch – from the walnuts and shredded zucchini (Seriously thank god for my food processor).

It has been awhile since I last posted, because things have been crazy for the last week and a half because we just moved into our new apartment. Just when you think you have everything, you end up realizing you missed something. Finally, I was able to take some time this morning to find my happy baking place.

Last night, Alexa treated me to a wonderful dinner – and I wanted to return the favor and make a tasty snack/breakfast for the rest of the week.

What you need:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup whole oats

1 -2 tsp ground flax & chia (Mine is pre-ground and mixed)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

2 large eggs  or **Flax EGG**

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup unpeeled, shredded zucchini

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 – grease muffin pan with cooking spray and a little bit of butter around the edges of each muffin hole (I used soyfree earth balance)

  2. Combine all dry ingredients, and then add in the wet ingredients. Fold in the zucchini last.

  3. Mix, but don’t overmix. Batter should be somewhat bumpy, with some bubbles.

  4. Place batter filling halfway to three quarters of the way up.

  5. Place in oven and bake 20 minutes to 22 minutes or until fork comes out of the center clean. Enjoy!

 

IMG_2742IMG_2747IMG_2748IMG_2749I adapted this recipe for my muffins!IMG_2755

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Eggplant Caponata

In my days working at the Spanish tapas restaurant, this is what I lived off of. You know how pasta sauce tastes better the next day? This is basically like an eggplant relish – good warm, but even better, served cold.

I like to put a heaping of the caponata onto a fresh, crusty piece of Italian bread.

Lately, things have been crazy around here, because Alexa and I are in the process of moving. (You really don’t know how much stuff you have until you move.) We have been surprised at how difficult it has been to use all of the items in our CSA before they go bad, so yesterday when we picked it up, I said I wanted to make one meal, that would use up half of our farm share, for the week.

Because we both work on the weekends, meal prep is key – so not only is this dinner one day and the next but maybe a lunch or two as well – and its soooo good. Trust me you’ll want to eat it until every bite is gone.

In the past when making this beloved summer dish, I have spent countless time roasting the eggplant- while it may make the eggplant a tad softer, after putting together Ikea furniture I wanted something easy, simple, and quick.

I used this caponata recipe as a base, but we definitely added our own flair to it.

What you need:

  1. 1 large or 2 small eggplants,  cut into 3′ cubes – skin left on.

  2. 1 green or red pepper, seeds removed, roughly chopped.

  3. 1/2 a yellow onion, chopped.

  4. 2 Celery Stalks (I used hearts) chopped.
  5. 3 Juicy Tomatoes cut into large chunks.

  6. 1 teaspoon of honey.

  7. 1 teaspoon of salt.

  8. 1/4 cup of red wine vinn.

  9. red chili flake, to taste.

  10. 1 teaspoon dry oregano.

  11. Ground black pepper to taste.

  12. 305 Fresh basil leaves – Some roughly chopped and a couple left whole – for Garnish.

Steps:

  1. On a large frying pan or skillet, add oil on medium-high heat, and then celery. Cook until celery starts to crisp up, about two minutes. Add the onion, and cook for two more minutes, before adding the eggplant. Cook for three minutes, and then add the green pepper. Cook for two more minutes and add the tomatoes. Cook for two to three more minutes. Add the salt, oregano and chili flake, while sautéing for another minute or two.

  2. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about ten minutes until vegetables (especially the eggplant) is tender.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in the red wine vinegar, honey, the chopped basil, and the black pepper. Caponata can be eaten now, or tomorrow – hot or cold.

I am really kicking myself for not taking more pictures, but we were super hangry after putting together ikea furniture for a few hours! Anyways, we were so happy to use over 7 of our farmshare vegetables for this meal! Delicious.

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The Perfect Side to any BBQ

Avocado Potato Salad (Mayoless / Vegan)

Growing up, people always loved potato salad, but for me – I hated mayo – so I never got to indulge in the infamous side dish to everyone’s BBQ. My recipe is Vegan, but don’t let that fool you because it’s a thousand times better then regular potato salad. I recently made it for my meat eating family and they loved it!

You will be amazed at how simple this is, and quick, especially if you have a food processor. If not, it still takes little to no time to mix it up the old school way!

Serves 4-6 people.

What you need:

10-12 Red Potatoes

2.5 Avocados

Bunch of Fresh Dill

Bunch of Cilantro

2 Tablespoons Dijon Grain Mustard

Juice from 1 Lime

What makes this potato salad is the Dill, so it is the one ingredient that I would not omit. If you don’t like cilantro, there is no need to use it but I enjoy the Earthy kick it gives this salad. Also, the same with the mustard- if you don’t like it don’t use it.

I also use the red potatoes because I like the sweet and spicy flavor, but also because I’m lazy and hate peeling potatoes. The skin on the red potatoes not only tastes good but is also good for you!

Steps:

  1. Put a pot of water on the stove to boil, salt and cover.
  2. Rinse your potatoes, and cut into quarters. Cut as evenly as possible as this helps with the cooking process.
  3. Once the water is boiling add in your potatoes. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are just soft enough to put a fork through them. You don’t want them as soft as when making mashed potatoes.
  4. While your potatoes are cooking, roughly chop your dill and cilantro. Set half of these herbs aside.
  5. Cut your avocado and put in the food processor along with half of your herbs. Pulse a few times, scrape the sides and put 1 table spoon of mustard and half the lime juice and then pulse again.
  6. Drain your potatoes in a colander, and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process.
  7. Combine the avocado mixture and potatoes in a bowl or pot. Mix together thoroughly and add the rest of the dill that you set aside.
  8. Garnish with cilantro, and lime juice.
  9. Set in fridge until ready to serve. I prefer a cold potato salad, but if you don’t serve right away!
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Our home-made veggie dogs with my potato avocado salad. #SummerGrilling #BBQsides

Use it up!

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For the summer, Alexa and I have enrolled in a half share CSA program in a nearby local farm in Woodbridge, CT. It has definitely been challenging to use everything we get – and to refrain from buying other things before we use what we have. To be honest- we have given some family and friends chives, and greens as we have too much to use in one week before getting our next share.

This meal was to use up everything we had leftover, before our next share and was super easy to make. I have to say that stir-fry’s are our go to when we don’t know what to make and we usually change up the grain – sometimes using couscous, rice, or udon noodles. This is an awesome way to pack in the greens for an awesome dinner for two!

Ingredients:

1 full head of bok choy

3-4 chives roughly chopped

1/2 package of mushrooms (your choice)

1 pound of sugar snap peas

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Pre-Marinated Cremini Mushrooms

 

1/4 cup of soy sauce

1 -2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine

1 clove of garlic, minced

grains of your choice (we used 1 package of cous-cous)

salt + pepper + siracha to taste

 

Steps:

  1. Add the soy sauce, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and 2 chopped chives into a bowl. After wiping the mushrooms off with a damp paper towel, roughly chop and put them in the bowl, making sure to give them all a coating of the sauce. Let marinate for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Boil water and add your grains, cover when done.
  3. Add olive oil to a wok, or large pan, and then add the marinated mushrooms and wine. Stir a few times, but let the wine reduce.
  4. Add the sugar snaps, and saute for 3 minutes before adding the bok choy. Once the bok choy is added, saute until the bok choy is just wilting, and then get ready to plate.
  5. Plate your finished couscous, and add the sautéed greens and mushrooms. Top with siracha! Enjoy!

Pictured from left to right: Soy Sauce & Garlic Marinade, Chopped Bok Choy and Chives. (Pro-Tip: Store Chives upright in a glass filled with water, with a bag over it for best results)

***This recipe can be adapted to whatever you have in your fridge! Any Greens, protein and grain. Super easy, Vegan, and Tasty***

Below you can see we topped ours with sesame seeds that I bought awhile back to make my own Tahini. We have had them forever, and add them to basically everything for a smoky, nutty flavor and also a boost of protein!

 

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Finished Meal! Yum.

Strawberry Oat Bars

nommmmmm! Nothing like fresh, local strawberries from Jones Family Farm! I couldn’t believe how good these tasted…. I mean REALLY the ones in the store taste so bland, and watery. These were tart, and melted as you popped them in your mouth. It took me a lot of self control tIMG_2122o not just eat them as is.

I wanted to make something healthy, that would be an easy breakfast or a mid-day snack. But honestly these could even be a dessert!

I stalked Pinterest and ended up using fellow food blogger Erin’s delicious recipe which can also be found here: http://www.wellplated.com/strawberry-oatmeal-bars/

What You Need:

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (gluten free if needed)

  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or substitute all purpose flour or 1:1 baking flour to make gluten free)
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (or substitute melted coconut oil to make vegan/dairy-free)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1/2 small lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 cups, small-diced strawberries (10 ounces)

From here the recipe is super easy!

  1. Grease an 8 x 8 or 8x 10 pan with cooking spray! or feel free to use the parchment paper… I didn’t have any so use what you have!!!
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, 3/4 cup flour, brown sugar, ginger, and salt. Pour in the melted butter and stir until it forms clumps and the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumble mixture, then press the rest into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Scatter half of the strawberries over the crust. Sprinkle the cornstarch evenly over the top, then sprinkle on the lemon juice, and 1/2 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Scatter on the remaining berries, then the remaining 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs evenly over the top. You will have some fruit showing through.
  4. Bake the bars for 35 to 40 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and the crumb topping smells toasty and looks golden. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely (you can speed this process along in the refrigerator).
  5. While the bars cool, prepare the glaze: in a medium bowl, briskly whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth. Feel free to add more milk if a thinner consistency is desired. Using the parchment paper handles, lift the bars from the pan. Drizzle with glaze, slice, and serve.

 

*Erin’s recipe also contains a section for a vanilla glaze…. I didn’t use it but check hers out for the recipe*

 

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The Best Pancakes EVER!

Alexa woke me up this morning filled with energy, and wanted to make pancakes. We both have been trying to eat a little healthier, in order to feel good, and be able to drink as much beer as we do (haha).

Yesterday, we spent about three hours weeding, turning and tilling the soil to our garden, and finally planted some seeds. All we need is to put up a fence around it, and then we can plant our pumpkins, kale, collard greens, and tomatoes. Needless to say, after working on the community farm and gardening yesterday, I woke up sore as hell. Pancakes sounded like an excellent idea.

Friday mornings are one of the only mornings we get together, during our hectic work week. With her at the coffee shop, and me bartending and farming, it’s nice to have that one morning where you don’t have much to do besides make and enjoy breakfast.

The recipe she used we took from: http://www.oneingredientchef.com/vegan-pancakes/

and added a few things to it, to make it more our speed.

These pancakes were so good, I have to say they make your average thin, flat, and sugary pancake look and taste like Sh**

These were decadent, doughy and filling pancakes that make breakfast worth waiting a little longer for.

Ingredients:steps

  • 1 cup flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • five sliced strawberries or fruit of your choice

We followed the recipe from one ingredient chef and added oats as well as strawberries that we just freshly picked. The results were marvelous!

Steps:

  1. Make the flax egg by mixing the 1 tablespoon of flax seed (we used flax/chia blend because that’s what we had) with 2.5 tablespoons of water.

2.  Mix the dry ingredients together, and then mix the almond milk and apple cider vinegar together. Once this is mixed, add the melted coconut oil, and flax egg last. As the recipe states carefully mix the ingredients together and slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Be careful not to over stir.

3. Take a smaller ladle and ladle your batter into an already hot pan. Let sit for 2 minutes, and then flip. Repeat as many times as you wish. Add warmed syrup, more fruit, and maybe a dollop of earth balance butter. DELISH!

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Spring Tortellini Salad

A warm weather favorite, this spring or summer salad will please everyone when entertaining, and is even good the next day. It’s super easy to make, and amazingly delicious!

What you need:

1 package of tortellini (I use three cheese)

1 celery stalk

10 cherry tomatoes – halved

15 slices of radish

15 slices of cucumber

1 handful of spinach

olives – whatever kind you like

balsamic + red wine vinegar to taste

oil to taste

salt + pepper to taste

  1. Boil water in medium sized pot, add tortellini (It cooks in 5 minutes so keep an eye on it!)
  2. While water is boiling, chop your choice of veggies (My ingredients are what I had in my fridge, if you have others, pretty much anything is good in this salad!)
  3. Transfer tortellini to colander, and run cold water over it to stop the cooking process, transfer back to the pot
  4. Add your veggies, salt and pepper and mix in the oil and vinegar
  5. Put in a bowl, cover and chill for one hour, (If your in a pinch, half hour works)

Enjoy!

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Coffee and Banana Bread

Being the coffee nerd that I am, I figured my first post would be about coffee and breakfast! (The best part of the day)

Alright, so my all time favorite coffee is New Harvest- based out of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. This picture shows the Winter Blend, which was awesome, but my favorite is the Café Marika, a bolder roast with notes of caramel, cocoa, and honey. Recently, I ordered the “SojoMojoe Blend” which celebrates Sojourner House’s legacy, and donates a percentage of proceeds goes to ending domestic violence. (Ummm hell yeah!)

Anyways, so this amazing vegan banana bread is super easy to make, and will definitely last you the week, if your more of a light breakfast kind of person.

Recipe:

  • ¼ c plain, unsweetened vegan milk (I use cashew milk b/c its what I have on hand)
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ c vegan butter (I use original Earth Balance)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (I use 1/2 cup of brown 1/2 cup of regular)
  • 3 very ripe medium bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ c flour
  • ½ c whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ c walnuts, toasted and chopped (If wanted, or other nuts of your choice)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease and flour a 9″ loaf pan.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together vegan milk and vinegar. Set aside for a few minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together vegan butter and sugar.
  5. Add bananas, vanilla, and milk mixture and beat.
  6. In a medium bowl, sift together flours, powder and soda, nutmeg, and salt.
  7. Add dry mixture to wet and beat just until all of the flour is moistened.
  8. Fold in walnuts.
  9. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the loaf comes out mostly clean.
  10. Slide a knife around the outer edge of the loaf to ensure nothing is stuck.
  11. Cool 5-10 minutes in loaf pan, then flip loaf out onto a wire rack and cool fully

ENJOY! (Honestly, this is better then any other recipe – even with real butter/milk etc. It just tastes fresh and honest.