Monday, June 9, 2008

Zucchini Bread

Our garden is producing zucchini at a very rapid pace. We have had roasted zucchini and sauteed zucchini so the logical next step was zucchini bread. I used a recipe from Cooking Light. I cut the recipe in half because I only wanted one loaf to make sure I liked it (and because I only have one loaf pan). It was quite good for being somewhat healthy. I am probably going to keep trying recipes just to use up more zucchini.
Zucchini Bread
2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini (can also use bananas for Banana Bread)
3 cups all-purpose flour (I used half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour)
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Vegetable cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place zucchini on several layers of paper towels, and cover with additional paper towel. Let stand 5 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Set aside.
Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through baking powder) in a large bowl, and stir well; make a well in center of mixture. Combine zucchini, applesauce, egg substitute, oil, and vanilla; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Divide batter evenly between 2 (7 1/2 x 3-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes (I only cooked mine for 1 hour and it was done) or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack.
2 loaves, 28 servings (serving size: 1 slice)
Nutritional Information
CALORIES 128(20% from fat); FAT 2.8g (sat 0.5g,mono 0.8g,poly 1.3g); PROTEIN 1.9g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 9mg; SODIUM 136mg; FIBER 0.5g; IRON 0.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 23.9g
Cooking Light, APRIL 1996

The Garden Continues to Grow

Look at all of these zucchini! They seem to grow overnight. Those are two differnt sets that were picked in addition to the others that I have already posted. The tomatoes are also really starting to turn red quickly. I am going to have to start giving these away to people because we can't eat them fast enough. I have a feeling I will be posting a lot of zucchini recipes until the plants are gone.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Chicken with Fruit Salsa and a Side of Sweet Potatoes

I bought a bunch of fruit and wanted to do something with it. I have had mango salsa with chicken before and loved it. I had some fresh peaches, pineapple, and mango so I threw them together with some sweet onion and orange bell pepper. I even added a few dashes of tabasco sauce. It tasted really good and went great with the chicken I cooked up in the pan. We also had some sweet potatoes so I cooked them, mashed them, added some Smart Balance Light, nonfat milk and brown sugar Splenda. They were so good. Sweet potatoes are becoming one of our favorite vegetables. I am looking forward to finding new ways to cook with all the delicious summer fruit.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Chinese Takeout Orange Chicken

I got this recipe from the Nest's What Cooking board. The blog I got it from was My husband and I both really like orange chicken but we don't like how bad it is for you. When I found this recipe I knew I had to try it. This was second time making it and I think it is now almost perfect with the changes I made. We put it over brown rice to make it a little healthier. Here is the original recipe with my changes.

Chinese Take-Out Style Orange Chicken
Modified mostly from A Baker's Dozen
1.5 Lbs. Stir-Fry Cut Chicken (or breasts cut into very thin, long strips) I used 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
3 Tbsp. Flour
Salt & Pepper
1/4 tsp. Orange Zest
2-4 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 Large Garlic Clove, minced
2 Green Onion Stalks, chopped (I used 3 stalks)
Juice from 3/4 Orange (I used the whole orange)
2-3 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar (I only put in about 1 1/2 T)
2-3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil (I omitted this time because I did not like it last time)
1/4 tsp. Grated Fresh Ginger (we don't like ginger so I omitted)
1/8 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes (I put in about 1/2 tsp)
1/2 C. Brown Sugar (This is a nice amount. I halved the original amount, and if you want, you could bring it down to 1/3, maybe even 1/4.) I used 1/3 cup (after trying 1/2 cup last time) but will probably try 1/4 cup next time.
1/2-1 C. plus 1/3 C. Water
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
Sesame Seeds (didn't use)

In a large ziplock bag, mix together flour, salt, pepper, and orange zest. Add in chicken and shake to coat all the meat.
In a large saute pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-low heat. When it is hot, add in as much chicken as will comfortably fit and brown on all sides. I had to cook the chicken in 2 batches.
When the chicken is cooked, remove to a plate with a papertowel to drain. Keep warm. (I only did this with one batch as my sauce was ready when the second batch was finished.)
While the chicken pan is heating and the chicken is cooking, get a medium saucepan going over medium heat with a dash of olive/ veggie oil.
Saute the garlic and green onions for a minute or two until the garlic is soft, but not browned.
Add in the ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, OJ, and red pepper, 1/2 C. water. Stir and bring to a gentle boil.
Stir in the brown sugar until it melts. Continue letting the sauce simmer, thickening up.
Mix together the remaining 1/3 C. of water and the cornstarch. Stir into the sauce to make it a nice thick consistency.
Taste the sauce and add more water as you see fit to get the flavor and texture you desire. I put in enough water so that the consistency was thick enough to coat, but thin enough that it flows and that it wasn't overly sweet.
With the sauce and chicken both done, put the chicken back in the large saute pan over low heat. Pour in the sauce and stir to coat the chicken.
Plate the chicken and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies

I got this recipe from the Nestle website. My husband had requested them because he remembers his mom making these for him as a child. I made these cookies for my him to take to work. They were flatter than I thought they would be but tasted good.

Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:PREHEAT oven to 375° F.COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat brown sugar, butter and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats, morsels and nuts; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.BAKE for 9 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies or 12 to 13 minutes for crispy cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 1 minute; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Vegetable Garden Goodies

These are the most recent pictures of the goodies from our garden. The zucchini are really starting to come fast and we got our first beans.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Strawberry Cupcakes

I kept hearing about these cupcakes on the Nest's What's Cooking board. I love cupcakes. I knew the friends I would be seeing tonight also love cupcakes, especially strawberry cupcakes. I was so excited when I tasted them. They are so good. I got raves from the six other people who got to try them as well. Here is the blog that I got the recipe from:

Angie's Famous Strawberry Cupcakes
Ingredients:2 1/2 c. cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter1
1/2 c. sugar (or a little less)
2 eggs
1/3 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c. chopped strawberries
For the frosting:
1/4 c. strawberries
1 Tbsp. strawberry liquor (I couldn't find it so I used extra strawberry puree)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 3/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 Tbsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 2 cupcake pans. (my batch made about 20 cupcakes)
Sift flour, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl.
In bowl of mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time until combined.
Add buttermilk, oil and vanilla until combined.
Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Fold in berries.
Fill cupcake pans 3/4 way.
Bake for 20 minutes.

For frosting, put berries, liquor, and juice in saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce to a simmer for 5 mins.
Let cool then blend until smooth.
In bowl of mixer mix cream cheese and butter until creamy.
Add sugar, then vanilla.
Add berry puree until smooth.
Frost cupcakes when they are completely cooled.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Pizza Turned Calzone

I really wanted to make pizza with the pizza stone I had gotten as a shower gift. So I used a whole wheat pizza crust from Trader Joe's, jarred pizza sauce (I didn't have the time or the energy to make sauce), a fat free cheese mix of Cheddar and Mozzarella, and some toppings (onions, olives, mushrooms and turkey sausage). It looked so good but I knew I had made too many toppings. I tried to move it to the pizza stone in the oven and I could not get it to move. I eventually got it to the stone but at that point it was ruined. We made a decision to turn it into a calzone. The crust cooked well and the cheese melted. It tasted good and that was all that mattered. Next time I will put on less toppings and put it on a surface where it will not stick so I can make actual pizza.