Monday, September 21, 2009

Homemade Salsa

This is a GREAT recipe, care of my friend Carolyn. :) I modified it a bit due to what I had on hand, but I will post her exact recipe since I can't remember exactly what I did! Almost all of the ingredients came from our garden- we've made about 12 jars of salsa in the past week, and seriously, it is the best salsa I've ever had!!

Ingredients:

  • 12 cups blended tomatoes (she blanches her first and removes the peels, but I didn't do that)
  • 2 bell peppers (I used green)
  • 2 Anaheim peppers
  • 3 jalapeno peppers
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 large onions
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro
  • 2 T sugar, 2 T sea salt, 1 cup of white vinegar (I only put in about a 1/2 cup of the vinegar)

Chop peppers, garlic, onion, and cilantro in the food processor, or if you like it chunkier, by hand. Mix with your blended tomatoes.

Bring to a boil. cook down for about 1 1/2-2 hours.

Place in jars and process them in a water bath canner for 25 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

**Makes about 3 quarts of salsa!

Homemade Applesauce

Well, I love to make fresh applesauce, but we got a HUGE amount of apples from a friend's tree, so we decided to can some so it lasts longer. We just made it up as we went along, and the results were great. Here are the details:

Slice apples- I didn't take the skins off, but most people do. I have a Vitamix that completely pulverizes EVERYTHING!

Put them in a large pot with just a cup or two of water to steam them until they are soft.

Blend them until smooth. I added a bit of honey and cinnamon.


Pour into the cans, and can in a water bath canner. Applesauce takes about 20 minutes (for pints and quarts) in the canner. Cool and Store!


**Fresh applesauce is even better tasting and better for you, and will last about a week in the fridge. Just cut up the apples and process in a food processer with honey and cinnamon until it is the consistency you want (you can put it in the blender for really smooth- we use the fp so it is a bit chunky).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Spinach Artichoke Dip


Savanna and I made this yesterday- SOOO good! Not really one of my healthiest recipes, but it's seriously good!

Ingredients:
  • I package of organic frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 7-8 artichoke hearts, chopped (you can use the marinated kind or I just bought a bag of frozen hearts at Trader Joes and defrosted them)
  • 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella cheese (you can use any kind you like- if you use soy cheese, use the Follow Your Heart brand. It's the only kind that melts. We actually used goat cheese- sounds weird, but it's really good).
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 container of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
  • garlic powder and sea salt to taste

Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil on low. Add the defrosted spinach and artichoke hearts. Stir in the Tofutti cream cheese and grated cheese and whatever spices you want until well mixed. Put this mixture in a baking dish and bake at 325 degrees until hot and cheese is melted all the way through- about 15- 20 minutes. Super fast, and super delicious!

***A friend of ours has a goat farm and she was telling us all about the benefits of using goat products over cow products. Now our family doesn't eat very much cow dairy, and I'm trying to get away from using soy products a lot, so we thought we'd give it a try. Goat's milk does have some lactose, but it does not have Casein, the protein in cow's milk. Casein is a huge allergen, and two out of the three of my kids can't tolerate it at all. Savanna really liked the goat cheese, and it tasted just like regular cheese in this dish. Even James thought it was great and ate it up- and that says a lot!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sun Dried Tomatoes



Ingredients:


  • 6 lbs of Roma tomatoes

  • 4-5 minced garlic cloves (depending on the size- I like a lot of fresh garlic)

  • 1 tsp of sea salt

  • 1 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper

  • 2 1/2 tsp of dried Italian seasonings

  • 1/2 cup cold-pressed olive oil

Cut off the ends of each tomato. Slice tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Carefully cut out all of the seeds. Gently stir/mix the sliced tomatoes with all of the above ingredients. Marinate for 8 hours or overnight. Spread out on dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 115 degrees for several hours (the amount of time will depend upon the texture you are looking for- the longer you dehydrate the chewier and dryer the tomatoes will get). It takes about 8-10 hours, depending on how you like them.

I store them in glass jars. These are the best sun dried tomatoes I've ever had. They are great in salads, sandwiches, pasta dishes- my kids even like to eat them plain. Sometimes, they don't even make it to the dehydrator!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cashew "Ranch"

This dressing is SO good. For all you ranch lovers who think you could never go vegan, try this recipe! I have made this so many times that I just eyeball it now. I can't find the original recipe that I began using years ago, so just play around with it until you get what you like. The amounts will vary depending upon the consistency and spice that you enjoy in your ranch.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of cashews (soaked for four hours or overnight)
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1/2-3/4 cup water (more or less depending on the thickness desired)
  • lots of seasonings- I add garlic powder, sea salt, ground pepper, lots of dill, parsley, Italian seasonings, and a few fresh basil leaves
  • Optional- some recipes call for one small avocado. This adds the fat to the dressing and gives it a creamier taste. Warning: it does turn your pretty white "ranch" kind of a drab green (The first picture above is a batch with avo, the second, whiter batch, is without).

Blend all the ingredients in a blender, and then chill in a glass container. Will stay good in the fridge with avocado one week, without avocado up to two weeks..

Let me know if you like it!!

Counting Soup





video


We also got this recipe out of "Salad People" by Mollie Katzen. We modified it a bit, but here are the ingredients we used:
  • 2 cups of peas (we used frozen and rinsed them under water until they thawed)
  • 2 cups of corn (same thing as above- you can use fresh peas or corn and lightly steam them as well)
  • 2 cups of grated carrots
  • 1/3 pound green beans, steamed and cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups of cooked noodles (whatever kind you like- we used the pasta shells)
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth, heated (you can make your own or use the "box" kind)

    Put the peas, corn, carrots, green beans and cooked noodles in separate bowls on the counter with individual spoons in them where your child can reach. Here is where the counting comes in:

    Hand him ONE bowl. Allow him to scoop TWO spoonfuls of shredded carrot into his bowl, THREE spoonfuls of peas, FOUR spoonfuls of corn, FIVE green bean pieces, 6 spoonfuls of noodles, you pour the heated broth in the bowl and have him blow SEVEN times, and lastly, he stirs all the ingredients EIGHT times and eats! Very cute, very fun, and very nutritious!

Crunchy Fruity Granola

We make homemade granola every other week or so. We use different types of grain (from oats to rye flakes or barley flakes), different chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, walnuts, etc.) or dried fruits, and different sweeteners (usually agave nectar, honey, maple syrup or molasses). I found this great book at the library titled, "Salad People and More Real Recipes" by Mollie Katzen. It's a great book with recipes to do with your kids using fruits and veggies. This granola recipe was in here, but there are dozens online, or just create your own! Here is my little sous chef, Benjamin. Can you tell, he has been sampling???








Ingredients:

3 cups of rolled oats
2 cups of seeds or chopped nuts
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup of oil (coconut is the best!)
1/2 cup of honey
1/3 cup of brown sugar (I use agave or maple syrup or more honey)
1 Tb of vanilla extract
1 cup of assorted dried fruit (we use rasions, or dried blueberries or cranberries)
We always add a couple Tbs of cinnamon too

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl (except the dried fruit). Mix the wet in another. Combine, and spread on a greased baking tray. Bake at 325 or 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown. Mine took a bit longer. Stir every 5 minutes or so. Let cool and become crunchy, and then add the dried fruit. Yields 6-8 cups.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Nut Milk

As promised here is not only a picture of my nut milk bag (I know it sounds totally weird), but instructions on how to make any kind of nut milk. My favorites are almond milk and hazelnut milk. You can also use Brazil nuts, cashews, hemp seeds, or sesame seeds (I'm sure there are others, but these are the main ones I've tried).

Okay, so this is super simple and quick. I can make a batch and clean-up in about 5 minutes. Take 1 cup of the nuts of your choice (soaked in water for about 4 hours and then drained) and put it in the blender with 4 cups of fresh drinking water. And blend very good.


Pour the contents of the blender into your nut milk bag until fully strained. If you do not have a bag, you can put cheese cloth over a bowl and use that as strainer, but it is much harder and messier.


Next, squeeze the bag to get all the liquid out. Just keep squeezing until nothing else is coming out.


You will be left with a bowl of milk. I usually pour this back into the blender and sweeten the milk with a little raw honey or raw agave nectar and a few dashes of cinnamon. You can also add a dash or two of vanilla, if you like that. Blend for a couple of seconds and chill in the fridge.


The remaining pulp in the bag can be saved in the fridge for a couple of days. You can make garden burgers out of them or dehydrate them into flour for other recipes. I usually just save the pulp and add it to one of our green smoothies as a protein boost.


There you have it. A beautiful, delicious, nutritious, dairy-free milk!!



Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Green Smoothies

Many of us are looking to find easy, tasty ways to add not only fresh fruits and vegetables into our diet, but fresh greens.

What is a Green Smoothie? A Green Smoothie is simply a smoothie made with fresh, organic (whenever possible) greens, fruit, and water or juice.

What are greens? Here are a few of the greens that can be added to your daily smoothies:
Arugula
Asparagus
Beet Greens (the tops)
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Carrot Tops
Chard
Celery
Collard Greens
Endive
Escarole
Frisee
Kale
Green and Red Leaf Lettuce
Mustard Greens
Romaine
Green and Red Leaf Lettuce
Spinach

You can also add weeds, herbs, or sprouts such as:

Weeds:
Chickweed
Clover
Dandelion
Lambsquarters
Purslane
Stinging Nettles

Herbs:
Aloe Vera
Baby dill
Basil
Cilantro
Fennel
Mint
Parsley
Peppermint Leaves
Spearmint

Sprouts:
Alfalfa
Broccoli
Clover
Fenugreek
Radish
Sunflower

Why do we need greens? A few of the many great benefits greens provide include:

*An abundance of protein in the form of readily available essential amino acids (as opposed to long molecules of protein found in other sources that the body has to break down and then reassemble).

*An abundance of insoluble fiber, a *sponge* that can absorb large amounts of toxins and take them out of the body.

*An abundance of Chlorophyll which counteracts toxins, provides iron to organs, helps purify the liver, cleanses the bowels, and eliminates body odors, to name a few.

*They can raise or maintain an appropriate level of stomach acid. (Stomach acid is responsible for the proper absorption and assimilation of vital nutrients, the destruction of harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, and the digestion of large protein molecules which can prevent allergies from forming).

*They make the body more alkaline. (Most diseases, including cancer, thrive in an acidic environment, sokeeping the body alkaline is essential for health).

Why is blending our greens so great? Greens are full of nutrients, but most people don't receive them because of two main reasons: 1) People cook them, destroying up to 80% of their nutrients and enzymes; and 2) People eat them raw but don't chew them well enough. Greens have a tough cellular wall that must be completely ruptured to release the vital nutrients inside. Blending your greens is the perfect solution.

* I received the bulk of this information from *Green for Life,* written by Victoria Boutenko.*

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Weekly Menu

It occurred to me that it would fun to occasionally post my weekly menu plan- just to give you an insight as to what we are eating. Today Savanna and I spent about 3 hours in the kitchen preparing foods for the week. I will try to post the recipes in the next few days, but in the meantime here is what we made today, and what we will be serving the rest of the week! (We learned many of these from our recent trip to the Raw Spirit Festival in Santa Barbara.)

Today we made Banana Quinoa Muffins, "Ranch" Dressing (cashew/avocado based), Buckwheat Crispies cereal with Hazelnut milk, Pistachio-Lime Hummus, Cashew Mock Chicken Salad, and Sun dried Tomatoes!


Banana Quinoa Muffins

Cashew "Mock Chicken" Salad

Cashew "Ranch"

Buckwheat Crispies with Hazelnut Milk

Marinated tomatoes (they will go into the dehydrator tomorrow and voila! Sun dried Tomatoes- Mmmm!)

As for the rest of the week, besides the above, we will make:

Monday: Nori Rolls filled with avocado, cucumber, cauliflower rice, and sprouts with Tamari dipping sauce
Tuesday: Spring Rolls filled with shredded carrot, jicama, sprouts, and sun dried tomatoes with a Chinese dipping sauce
Wednesday: Whole Wheat Blueberry pancakes and fruit salad
Thursday: Veggie burgers wrapped in lettuce leaves
Friday: Veggie sandwiches and salad

In addition to this we've been making some killer Green Smoothies lately. James and I started a 30 day green smoothie challenge 4 days ago. We are each going to drink a quart (32 oz) of green smoothie daily for one month- good stuff!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Breakfast Burritos


These are so good and replace any craving I ever have for scrambled egg burritos!

Ingredients (Makes about 6 burritos):
  • 1 package of firm organic tofu (the "eggs")

  • 1 diced bell pepper

  • 1/2-1 diced small red onion

  • 2-3 diced Roma tomatoes

  • 1/2 can of mild green chilies

  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced

  • Margarine or olive oil to coat the pan

  • 6-7 pieces of Smart Bacon, fried in oil or margarine until crispy, and then crumbled into small pieces

  • Spices to taste- I used a bit more garlic, sea salt, ground pepper, and a pinch of Turmeric to color the tofu yellow like eggs
*(And anything else you like in your breakfast burritos- diced mushrooms, hot sauce, the sky is the limit!)

I fry up the Smart Bacon first, crumble it, and put it to the side. The trick to making this fake bacon taste JUST like the real deal, is to fry it in oil or margarine. It will get crispy and greasy like real bacon. We figured this out by accident one time!

I learned another little trick when using tofu as an egg substitute. You don't want your eggs liquidy, so take the block of tofu out of the package and place on a plate. Put another plate on top and place a heavy item, like a large book, on top of the top plate. Leave it for about 10 minutes and it will squeeze out most of the liquid in the tofu. Drain the liquid in the bottom plate and you are good to go!

I like to put the oil or margarine in the pan and saute the onions, garlic, and bell pepper first for a few minutes. I learned something new about bell peppers. Green bell peppers are actually just unripe bell peppers and are really not good for people to eat. Since they aren't fully ripe, they are very hard to digest and do not contain the full nutrient content of the ripe yellow, red, and orange peppers! So, I used green because that's all I had on hand, but in the future, I will use yellow, red, or orange.

Next, crumble the tofu into the pan, and add the rest of the ingredients, stirring frequently. Turmeric is the key to making the tofu turn that egg-yellow color. Cook until heated through and veggies are as soft as you like them. Pour into a tortilla and top with avocado, fresh salsa, hot sauce, whatever. SO good!

*Let me just add that some of my recipes with processed "fake" soy meats or cheese, I consider to be more in the "splurging" or "occassional eating" category. We definitely don't use these products on a daily or even weekly basis. I believe that they are healthier than dairy or real meat, however, whenever a whole food is altered to look and taste like something else, be wary not to make it a staple!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries


Savanna belongs to a book club and she was asked to bring these to their next meeting. She and I were not feeling well, so James actually made these beauties. I watched him, and it only took him about 15 minutes! Seriously easy and seriously good.

How He Did It:

We get the 1 pound bars of chocolate from Trader Joes (there are two kinds that are vegan: the dark chocolate and the bittersweet chocolate). Just break off a good size piece of the bar and chop it into small pieces. Microwave the chocolate pieces on high in a glass bowl for about 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds. Dip the strawberries the melted chocolate and place on wax paper. Place in the fridge for about 10 seconds and then serve! (You can also refrigerate these for about day, covered).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Vegan Quesadillas


Basically we just make these like a regular quesadilla, with vegan cheese. It's easy, and really good. Most people probably know how to make a quesadilla, but since this is a food blog, I will post instructions!

Ingredients:
  • 1 package of flour tortillas (we used the brown rice tortillas here... those work fine, but they are little more dense)
  • 1 block of "Follow Your Heart" vegan monterey jack cheese, grated (this brand is the only truly vegan cheese that I've found that will actually melt like real cheese and has a very convincing cheese taste)
  • 1 small can of diced mild chili peppers
  • olive oil to coat the pan
  • red and green salsa for toppings

Just heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet and place one tortilla in there. Mix the diced chili peppers and grated cheese and cover the tortilla with a layer of this cheese mixture. Top with another tortilla. Cook until the bottom tortilla is crispy. Flip and cook until the cheese is melted and the other tortilla is crispy. Cut into fours and top with red and green salsa!

**You can pretty much "veganize" any dish you want if you have access to a health food store and some creativity. Whenever I am craving anything, I can figure out a way to make it vegan or at the bare minimum vegetarian. If you have any dishes you need help with, just drop me a line!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Easy Freezer Strawberry Jam

True to my word, here are the pictures and recipe for my easy freezer strawberry jam...well, it's not really mine. I just followed the instructions in the Pectin box! But, if you are a visual person, I will give you two sites that have recipes for this same freezer jam. Way easier than the cooked jams and SO good!



I made three batches: two with the normal Pectin and a ridiculous amount of sugar, and one with the no or low-sugar pectin, and about 3/4th of the amount of sugar. Both were great. Next time I will probably use the low-sugar pectin, about 1/2 of the amount of sugar, and I'll add a little bit of honey or agave nectar, if needed.

This is all you need to make great jam!

Our Crushed Strawberry "Juice"

Strawberries and LOTS of sugar!

Strawberries, Sugar, and Pectin

I like the glass mason jars, but these little plastic freezer jars are great because of size, and are pretty inexpensive.

The End Result!

These will last about 3 weeks in the fridge, and up to year in your freezer! To make all three batches, it took us (including clean-up) about an hour and an half- sweet deal (literally)!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Kale Chips



I don't ever remember eating Kale as a child. I personally don't like the taste of Kale, but have been putting it my green smoothies for awhile now because of its nutritional content.

Diana Dyer, a dietitian and author on the subject of cancer survival, has this to say about kale on her blog http://www.365daysofkale.com/: "The standouts are the high content of calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin K, potassium, manganese, copper, and even the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid). In addition to the carotenoid beta-carotene, kale contains other very important carotenoid molecules called lutein and zeaxanthin (both necessary for eye health) and numerous others (probably too many to count, and maybe even yet identified)."

In other words, Kale is REALLY good for you. And, I finally found a way to eat kale that I like- Kale chips! My kids also love these Kale chips and best of all, it's another super simple, quick recipe! We make big batches of these every other week.

Kale Chips:

  • 2 bunches of kale (I like the Dino Kale- the Kale with the huge leaves. Savanna likes the curled types of kale- those are the ones you often see as garnish on your plate at restaurants- she says they make crunchier chips)

  • Olive Oil (approx 3 Tb, depending on the amount of Kale used)

  • Sea Salt (approx 2 Tb)

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (optional- a dash or two)
I usually just eyeball this recipe, so you'll have to bear with me. First, cut the leaves off of the stalks. Set the stalks aside (you can save the stalks for soups or smoothies). Cut the leaves into chip-sized pieces. In a large bowl mix the leaf pieces with a fair amount of olive oil and sea salt and just a dash or two of acv. I like to massage the leaves to make sure that each chip is covered in the marinade. They taste better if you allow them to marinate for about 20 minutes. Spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer and bake on the lowest setting of your oven. Check after about 30-40 minutes. They will wilt at first, and then crisp up.

I usually don't bake them in the oven, so they I'm not positive how long that will take- on the lowest setting, it could be a while. I bake my chips in my dehydrator at 105 degrees for several hours until they reach the desired crispiness. They store really well in the gallon-sized Ziploc bags and do not need to be refrigerated. You can play around with the amount of oil and different types of seasonings.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ben's Strawberry-Banana Birthday Pie


Okay, well this may look/sound strange to some of you, but I've been making pies like this for years. They are quick, simple, VERY delicious, and, best of all, made with whole raw food ingredients (no additives), so it's safe for the whole family to enjoy.

This recipe comes from Alissa Cohen, and is in her book "Living on Live Food." Alissa is a raw food chef and consultant. With Brad's allergies, I am so grateful for raw, vegan cookbooks! I can make him wonderful desserts, snacks, and meals using just a few ingredients. It takes little time and has HUGE health benefits, even for those of us without allergy issues.

Forgive me as I digress, but I think nutrition and how the body works is fascinating. Matt Amsden, another raw food chef, has this posted on his website. It's a VERY basic explanation of why everyone should incorporate more fresh fruits and veggies in their diet. I could go on and on (And I might at a later date. Hey, it's my blog. I can say what I want!), but this should suffice for now. :)

The top 3 things that are sapping your energy & compromising your health:
  1. DEHYDRATION: Our body is over seventy percent water, shouldn't your food choices mirror this? A great way to get a head start on becoming hydrated is to consume food that has not had the natural water removed from it through cooking. Cooked food does nothing to provide your body with much-needed water and dehydrates you further in your bodies attempt to digest it. Everything you put in your stomach needs to be turned into liquid to be digested. How easily is your current diet liquefied?
  2. MALNUTRITION: Recent data shows that nutritional deficiencies are most often caused by what we eat rather than by what we do not eat. Your current diet may be robbing you of precious vitamins and minerals. A well balanced diet of consciously prepared raw plant foods contains the full compliment of essential vitamins and minerals, while food prepared using conventional methods destroys over 80% of that foods nutrition. Can you afford 80% less nutrition than is naturally found in your food?
  3. LACK OF ENZYMES: Enzymes are responsible for every metabolic process that takes place in your body from digestion to healing. Most prepared food is served with up to 100% of the natural enzymes destroyed. One hundred percent! When the lipase and amylase enzymes are destroyed, the body cannot digest fats or carbohydrates and they are stored in the body, causing you to gain weight. When you consume living, enzyme rich food, it practically digests itself. This leaves you with a surplus of energy to play harder, work more efficiently and do more of what you love! To learn more from Matt visit www.rawvolution.com.

Okay, onto the recipe!

Strawberry Pie

CRUST:

2 cups of almonds (I used pecans and walnuts work great too)

1 1/2 cups of dates, pitted and soaked until soft

1 cup of strawberries, diced

FILLING:

2 1/2 cups of strawberries

3 very ripe bananas

FOR CRUST:

  1. In a food processor, blend nuts until fine
  2. Add dates and blend until smooth
  3. Place in a bowl and mix in the diced strawberries
  4. Mold into a pie plate

FOR FILLING:

  1. Dice 1/2 cup of the strawberries and set aside
  2. In a food processor blend the remaining 2 cups of strawberries
  3. Place in a bowl and stir in the diced strawberries
  4. Pour into crust
  5. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight and serve!

(I made his name out of blueberries.)

This is seriously so good. It tastes like Yoplait yogurt with a nut crust underneath- total hit and guilt-free!

**For more info or recipes from Alissa Cohen, go to http://www.alissacohen.com/!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Artichoke Hummus


Okay, well after the last post I felt like I had to redeem myself. This recipe was posted on our family blog, but I thought I'd put it here too!

Here is another one of our favorite homemade hummus recipes. Hummus is a staple in our home. We have tried all kinds, but usually they are garbanzo bean (chick pea) based. Well, Brad is allergic to these now, so I have found several great no-bean hummus recipes. I tried this one out and it was a huge hit. After his salad, Brad sat with a spoon and just at this hummus out of a bowl like it was pudding or something! Here it is:


Artichoke Hummus



  • 1 artichoke heart

  • 1 zucchini, peeled but keep the skins

  • 1 cup tahini

  • ½ of a lemon, juiced

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • ½ tablespoon paprika

  • 1/3 cup olive oil


I used a fresh artichoke and took out the heart so there isn’t a lot of artichoke in here. You can use more if you want (and ones from a can or jar would work too).



  1. Peel zucchini and chop up and put in blender with HALF of the skins you peeled off. (the peels seemed to add a different flavor but they are strong so if you have a big zucchini don’t add them all unless you want it very green). If your zucchinis are very small, then you can use two.

  2. Add rest of ingredients in blender and blend until thick and creamy. Add water as needed to help with blending.

  3. TIP: the olive oil lends to the richness so add more if you need too.

*I added some dill and parsley flakes which Brad loves.


Enjoy!

3 Minute Micro Cake

I have to preface this post by saying that I am not really a fan of the microwave and rarely use it (and have even suggested several times that we get rid of it altogether), and this is not the healthiest of recipes....BUT, when I got this email, I had to try it! I am a big fan of quick, easy, affordable, and delicious food, AND I love chocolate cake! This recipe took me all of about 15 minutes, including clean-up, and I had a very nice piece of chocolate cake perfect for one person!




Ingredients:
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 egg (or egg substitute- I mixed 2 1/2 Tbs of ground flax seeds with 3 Tbs of water)
  • 3 tablespoons milk (I used soy)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
  • A small splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool. You can put it on a plate or just eat right out of the mug!

My only complaint is that I didn't have any chocolate chips, and it definitely could have used them- but overall, a worthwhile experiment for those nights when you just want to have a piece of chocolate cake!