Category Archives: Breads/Muffins

What to do with all that summer zucchini…

If you are anything like me, you find yourself with an over abundance of zucchini somewhere in the middle of summer.  It’s high in fiber and low in calories.  It’s mild taste lends itself well to almost anything from stirfrys to sweets.  Along with zucchini’s antioxidant properties, you will find folate, potassium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C among the health benefits.

Here are a few ways we enjoyed our zucchini last week:

Deli Macaroni Salad

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By far our favorite pasta salad for picnics or potlucks.  Read my original post about this delicious vegan macaroni salad here.   I change it up a little every time I make it to incorporate the veggies I already have on hand.  This time I omitted the peas and added shredded zucchini instead.  And I always double the amount of veggies.  Yum!

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Summer Veggie Tart

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I admit I melted a tiny bit of mozzarella on one half for the hubby and kids.  My half was cheese free.  This was great.  I served it with a big salad made of green leaf lettuce, spinach, red pepper strips, fresh from the garden cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and a balsamic vinaigrette.

Zucchini Bread

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Who doesn’t love zucchini bread?  This one did not disappoint.  Sweetened only with dates, it’s super healthy.  I love the addition of the nutmeg.

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Roasted Zucchini with Thyme

We also enjoyed zucchini simply roasted with a touch of olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. I didn’t take a photo of this, but you know what roasted veggies look like, right?  Hubby and I probably enjoy them best this way. Easy and flavorful.

  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix all ingredients together and place on baking sheet in one even layer.  Bake for 20-30 minutes or until zucchini is just tender.  We like it best with a little bit of bite left.  Enjoy!

All About Cantaloupe!

This week’s plant based ingredient is: Cantaloupe!

Cantaloupe is really nutritious, high in Vitamins C, A, several of the Bs and K.  It is also high in potassium, magnesium and fiber.

We eat a lot of cantaloupe in this house.  It’s a favorite of the kids and they like to eat it in bite-size cubes.  The beginning of the week almost always finds a container of cantaloupe cubes in the fridge.  A mere 2-3 days later and the kids have licked it clean.  While we did enjoy a good amount of plain cantaloupe cubes this week, I decided to see just what else this juicy orange fruit might be good for.  As it turns out, it’s pretty good in pasta, smoothies, salsa and even bread!

 

Orechiette w/ Cantaloupe and Avocado

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I left out the mozzerella and used walnuts in place of the pine nuts.  I loved it.  A perfect light summer meal.

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Cantaloupe Smoothie

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  • 1/2 medium cantaloupe
  • 2 frozen bananas

Blend.  Enjoy.

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Cantaloupe Quick Bread

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I was intrigued by a recipe I found on Pinterest, but it contained eggs, oil, white flour and 2 full cups of white sugar.  Yikes!  I didn’t think it would be too hard to veganize and I was right.  I replaced the oil with smashed banana and because of the sweetness of the banana, I was able to cut down the added sugar to only 1/2 cup of maple syrup.  I replaced the eggs with “flax eggs” and swapped out the white flour for whole wheat pastry flour.  Here is the new, healthier version.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp flaxmeal (ground flax seeds)
  • 6 tbsp warm water
  • 1 cup smashed ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pureed cantaloupe
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Directions:

  1. Mix the flaxmeal and warm water and set aside for a few minutes to thicken.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Lightly grease 2 9×5 loaf pans.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flax eggs, smashed banana, maple syrup, vanilla and cantaloupe puree.  In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger.  Stir flour mixture into cantaloupe mixture and combine, but do not overmix.  Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool in pans on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.  Remove bread from loaf pans and enjoy.

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This bread is delicious and just sweet enough.  It has gone great with my morning coffee as well as acting as dessert.  The kids all love it too!  You can’t really taste any cantaloupe flavor, however.  This quick bread would be a great use for that overripe cantaloupe you let sit on your counter for one too many days.

 

 

Cantaloupe Salsa

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I’m a huge fan of peach salsa, so when I came across this recipe for cantaloupe salsa, I knew I just had to try it.  It’s light and refreshing…perfect for a summer appetizer.  We ate it with tortilla chips, but if you are an omnivore, check out the link to see how the original recipe was paired.

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And now for an exceprt from my girls’ favorite book (for the moment anyway), What Color Is Your Apple?:

“Fruits and vegetables come in many colors.

Each one a yummy treat!

Red, orange, yellow, purple, green.

Crispy, crunchy, sweet!

What is your favorite color food to eat?”

Carrot Pineapple Muffins

I was going to post another delicious soup recipe in honor of yet another snowstorm coming through, but then I thought I better of it.  Instead, I’m going to give you a wonderful sunny muffin recipe that will have you dreaming of spring in the midst of this crazy winter (not that you probably need any help dreaming of spring these days…I’m already on the countdown til spring break!)

Carrot Pineapple Sunshine Muffins

Click above link for recipe.

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I swapped out the raisins for dried cranberries.  I also have been having much luck using applesauce in place of oil in sweet recipes and this was no exception.  A great way to skip some calories and fat.  Give it a try!

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These would also make a great lunchbox addition for kids.  I sent one with my son to school today for snack.

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Enjoy!!

I’ll be back soon with some of those yummy soup recipes I was referring to.  I have a GREAT one I can’t wait to share!

Butternut Squash Corn Chowder and Coconut Banana Bread

I absolutely love soup and when the temperature outside is -14 (not including windchill) there is nothing I would rather eat.  I was craving soup so badly the other day around lunch time that I happily waited until about 2p to eat lunch just so I could whip up at batch. This soup satisfied all of my cravings; it was so good!!  I purposely made a big batch so I could enjoy it for several days.  I think I might have enough for one serving left and I can’t wait for lunchtime today!

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Please excuse the poor photo.  It was an afterthought after I’d already eaten half of the bowl.  I promise it tastes so much better than it looks!

Butternut Squash Corn Chowder

  • 16oz bag of organic frozen corn (I’m sure fresh corn would be even more amazing in this!)
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 small potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can navy beans (or other white bean), drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

In large stockpot over medium high heat, saute diced onion in olive oil until translucent.  Add diced squash, potatoes and corn and saute 3-4 minutes.  Add vegetable stock and seasonings and increase heat to high.  Once mixture comes to a boil, lower heat to medium and cook uncovered for about 12-15 minutes until squash and potatoes are tender.  Add half of the can of beans and simmer a few more minutes.  Turn off heat and with a handheld immersion blender, puree soup until about 3/4 of the pot is pureed (or to the consistency of your liking…I wanted it fairly smooth).  Add in the remaining half can of beans and stir to heat through.  I wanted some whole beans left in the end, thus why I added these at the end, but you can certainly add them all at once if you want it smoother.

Enjoy!

On to the next yummy recipe!

I had some bananas sitting on the counter that were brown and spotty yesterday.  I usually slice these up and freeze them for smoothies or “ice cream,” but  I already have some of those in my freezer, so decided to bake something instead.  I found this delicious looking recipe on Pinterest and it sounded so good!

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The batter was quite thick and I thought this bread was going to turn out really dense, but it is surprisingly moist and light.  Neither the banana nor the coconut overwhelm and it was the perfect after dinner treat with a cup of green tea once the kiddos were all asleep!

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On tap for dinner tonight are Pumpkin Enchiladas, a recipe from My Whole Food Life.  They sound so yummy.  I hope they turn out  great.  I’ll be sure to let you know.

Happy New Year! A lucky meal of Black Eyed Peas, Greens and Cornbread!

I love ringing in the new year with some of the foods considered to be lucky if eaten on this day.  See THIS article for 10 different lucky foods and the reasoning behind them.  We had two lucky food for lunch as I made fettucine (long noodles for longevity) with lentil bolognese (lentils for wealth because they resemble coins).  I’ll post this recipe tomorrow as I forgot to take a picture this afternoon.  Luckily, I made a HUGE batch and have tons of leftovers, so I’ll try to remember to snap a pic tomorrow because it was really good!

Tonight’s meal was Creole Black Eyed Peas courtesy of Susan Voisin at Fat Free Vegan, Sauteed Garlic Greens courtesy of Clean Food by Terry Walters and Maple Cornbread courtesy of The Kind Life by Alicia Silverstone.

I  couldn’t find a link to the Sauteed Garlic Greens, so here it is.  But definitely go check out Terry Walters website/blog or her cookbooks…she and her recipes are AWESOME!  Greens are considered lucky because their color and texture resemble paper money.  Who couldn’t use a little more wealth, right?

Sauteed Garlic Greens from Clean Food by Terry Walters

2 bunches dark leafy greens (kale, collards, mustard greens, dandelion greens or chard…or a combo of any of these)

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tbsp mirin

Sea salt or ume plum vinegar

Remove dry stalk ends from greens and chop leaves into bite-sized pieces.  In Dutch oven or skillet over medium-low heat, saute garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil for 2-3 minutes until soft.  Add greens and mirin and saute 1 minute.  Increase heat to medium, add water as needed to prevent sticking, cover and cook until greens break down.  Remove from heat and toss with remaining tbsp olive oil.  Season to taste with salt or a few dashes of vinegar and serve.  Serves 6.

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I had planned to use a mixture of kale and red swiss chard, but ended up using collard greens because I found a huge bag of pre-washed and chopped collards at Walmart and I just couldn’t resist the convenience of that.  I finished my greens with a few dashes of balsamic vinegar instead of salt or ume plum vinegar.

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I have posted about Alicia Silverstone’s cornbread recipe before and I’m telling you it’s the best I’ve ever eaten.  You must try this recipe.  Cornbread’s golden color resembles gold and therefore considered lucky.

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This is the second time I’ve made this Black Eye Pea recipe from Fat Free Vegan.  This could be served over rice, which is how the rest of my family ate it.  I opted for the straight up version.  It was a hit the first time and it did not disappoint this time around either.  We all cleaned our plates.  Black eyed peas are considered good luck because of their penny-like appearance and abundance.

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Thanks to everyone who has stopped by to read my little blog in the last 6 months!  I hope you all had a fun New Year’s Eve and a great start to your New Year.  Here’s to health, wealth and good times in 2014!

Whole Wheat Banana Berry Muffins

I was tired of sending M to school with a sandwich or tortilla roll ups and wanted something a little different to send, but still filling.  Along come these delicious muffins.  Of course, they are perfect for breakfast as well.  They were a huge hit with the whole family, are so easy to make and have no white sugar.   I think we will be enjoying these muffins quite a lot!

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Whole Wheat Banana Berry Muffins

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or non dairy milk of choice)
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana
  • 1/2 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (or berry of choice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, use a fork to vigorously mix together the almond milk, flaxseeds and vinegar.  Mix for about a minute, until it appears foamy.  Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the milk mixture.  Add the mashed banana, maple syrup and vanilla and stir together the wet ingredients in the well.  Combine the dry into the wet until the dry ingredients are moistened, but do not overmix.  Fold in the berries.

In a nonstick muffin pan, fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way and bake for 22-26 minutes or until a knife inserted through the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Let the muffins cool, take out of muffin pan and ENJOY!

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YUM!