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Summer Zucchini Cakes with Cilantro Lime Crema

Summer Zucchini Cakes with Cilantro Lime Crema // karista's kitchen

It’s zucchini week in my kitchen.  This delectable Summer Zucchini Cake recipe is just one of many zucchini recipes I’ve been preparing lately.

You could say I’m extremely well stocked with zucchini this summer.  I have to admit, it wasn’t my intention to plant four zucchini plants.  My plan was to plant two zucchini this summer.  Because you know how zucchini plants grow in the warm weather and last year they took over my garden.

So this year I decided to plant two zucchini and four cucumber plants – because I wanted to put up pickles this summer.

Instead, I unknowingly purchased four zucchini and two cucumber plants.  Obviously my pickling plans are on hold. 🙁

When zucchini and cucumber plants are starts, they look similar.  At least they look similar to me.  I’m also guessing one of the high school garden area workers at my local garden store thought the same and mis-labeled the zucchini as cucumber.

Summer Zucchini Cakes with Cilantro Lime Crema // Karista's Kitchen

I suppose I could say “lucky you!” because I’ve got a few more zucchini recipes to post before the summer is over.  Despite my little rant, I do adore zucchini.  It’s my go to veggie in the summer because it pairs deliciously with just about anything.  It’s also fabulous diced raw and tossed into a summer corn and tomato salad with a balsamic vinaigrette.  It’s delicious in stir fry’s and just simply roasted, which is what I do with it most the time.

These summer zucchini cakes are simple to make and can be served as a starter, snack or even light entrée.  Enjoy!

Summer Zucchini Cakes

8-10 large cakes 10-15 small cakes

Summer Zucchini Cakes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups shredded zucchini, squeezed
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (or sub with bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup or handful of sliced green onion
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Ghee or oil for pan frying
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • Juice of one lime
  • Splash of Sriracha or hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl mix together the sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, hot sauce and honey until thoroughly combined. Hold in the fridge.
  • In a large bowl mix together the grated zucchini, almond flour, green onions, Dijon mustard, pepper jack cheese and egg. Just before making the cakes, stir in the salt and pepper.
  • Heat over medium heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a heavy bottom skillet. Once the oil is hot and almost smoking, for tablespoon sized zucchini balls and then drop onto the skillet pressing the top to make a little cake. You can also use muffin scoops to portion out the zucchini cake mix.
  • Brown the cake on both sides about 3-5 minutes each side depending on the thickness. Transfer the cakes to a paper towel lined plate or baking sheet. Sprinkle with just a bit more salt or parmesan cheese.
  • Garnish with additional green onion and serve warm with the Cilantro Lime Crema
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    http://karistaskitchen.com/2016/07/29/summer-zucchini-cakes-with-cilantro-lime-crema/

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sweets

    Confetti Muffins (Zucchini, Carrot and Pineapple Muffins)

    Zucchini, Carrot and Pineapple Muffins

    There comes a moment in time when Mother’s must do what must be done.  Tell a fiblet.

    Not a fib or a lie or even a white lie.  A fiblet.  My youngest gal’s favorite word for a “slight truth”.  You might think me a completely terrible parent for telling a fiblet.  But alas, it’s been necessary a time or two.

    Especially when my youngest gal announced she no longer ate vegetables. I was horrified. How could my child not eat her vegetables?  I’m a chef for Pete’s sake. Aren’t my children supposed to have advanced palates and eat absolutely anything I cook?  Apparently not.

    Confetti Muffins

    So,  I did what any good Mother would do.  I hid veggies in the food.   Mashed potatoes included mashed cauliflower, steamed and finely diced broccoli went into the meatballs and roasted zucchini went into our favorite grilled hamburgers.

    I was on a role.  I was feeling so proud of my ingenuity and cleverness.  And not once did I have to tell a fiblet.  Until the muffins.

    Zucchini, carrot and pineapple muffins.  Yep, I thought to myself, this was going to be great. I’d get my little gal eating veggies for breakfast and dinner.

    As soon as the muffins came out of the oven my little gal was sitting at the counter, ready and waiting for her muffin.  She kept telling me how delicious they smelled, and that these were absolutely going to be her favorite muffins ever!

    My Little Suzie Q

    Then she broke one open and adamantly stated  “What’s all this stuff in my muffin?”  And here’s where that fiblet flew right out of my mouth.  “It’s called a confetti muffin”.  “You know, like those yummy confetti sprinkles we put on cupcakes”.

    Ok, so I know what you’re thinking.  If she’d ask me what the “confetti” was made of I would have come clean and told her. I promise.  But she never asked. (Phew!)

    My little Suzie Q… almost grown up.

     

    Wishing all you Mom’s loads of love, lots of laughs and giggles, quiet time for yourselves, and true joy.

    Karista

    Confetti Muffins (Zucchini, Carrot and Pineapple Muffins)

    When I created these muffins I wanted them to be as delicious and health friendly as possible.  So I made lots of substitutions that I believe are all in good health.  Most of the ingredients can now be found at any major grocery store chain.  However, if you have a local natural market or a Whole Foods close by, you’ll definitely find a good selection of these ingredients.  I’ve also included a gluten-free recipe following the whole grain recipe.  Happy Baking!

    Makes 12 muffins

    Ingredients

    ½ cup coconut oil (softened) or grapeseed oil

    ½ cup brown sugar or Agave syrup

    2 eggs

    1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

    ½ cup grated fresh zucchini

    ½ cup grated fresh carrot

    ½ cup diced pineapple (fresh or organic canned with no added sugars)

    1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I like King Aruthur)

    ½ cup all-purpose flour

    1 tablespoon cinnamon

    1 teaspoon baking soda

    ½ teaspoon baking powder

    ½ teaspoon salt

    Directions

    Pre heat the oven to 350F.

    Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

    Whisk together the softened coconut oil and brown sugar until nicely combined.  Add one egg at a time and whisk until creamy.  Then mix in the vanilla.

    Fold in the zucchini, carrot and pineapple.

    In a separate bowl mix together the wheat and all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

    Gently stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture and try (really hard) not to over mix. (I’ve been known to over mix a time or two)  All you want is for both mixtures to be nicely combined.

    Fill the muffin cups about ¾ full.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the muffins are firm to the touch.

    Let the muffins cool on a wire rack before serving.  Enjoy!

    Gluten Free Confetti Muffins

    If you are looking for a simple gluten-free muffin mix, I love Pamela’s gluten-free baking mix.  Follow the basic muffin recipe,  adding in the same amount of veggies and pineapple as the recipe above.  If the muffin batter seems too thin, add a bit more of the gluten-free baking mix.  Bake as directed.

    I prepare these muffins with Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour.  I get a lot of my almond flour recipes from the brilliant gluten-free and paleo blogger, Elana’s Pantry.  She has a delicious selection of gluten-free and paleo friendly recipes on her site.  Here are some blanched almond flour confetti muffins I whipped up… adapted from Elana’s Pantry.

    Ingredients

    Makes about 8-10 muffins

    2 cups Honeyville blanched almond flour

    1 tablespoon cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    1/2 teaspoon baking powder

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    2 eggs

    1 teaspoon vanilla

    1/4 cup grapeseed oil

    1/2 cup agave syrup

    1/2 cup shredded zucchini

    1/2 cup shredded carrots

    1/2 cup diced pineapple

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350F.

    Line a muffin tin with 8-10 muffin cups.

    Whisk together the dry ingredients.  Then whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Fold in the veggies and pineapple.

    Bake for about 20 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and firm to the touch.  Enjoy!

    Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Roasted Ratatouille with Fresh Herbs served over Toasted Baguette Slices

    It was a busy first day of the work week and once again I arrived home late with all my grocery bags in hand, only to realize it was 5pm.  Great.  I knew I had something in mind for dinner but I couldn’t remember what it was.

    I checked my frig and thanked myself for thinking ahead (by one day!) and purchasing a beautiful piece of Alaskan Halibut the day before.  I know what you’re thinking.  It’s what I was thinking.  What am I going to do with that beautiful piece of Halibut?  Ha!  The million dollar question, right?  

    Well, I’m feeling oh so very smug right about now.  No, actually I feel a little bit brilliant.  Because not only did I use my beautiful piece of halibut, I also used my sad-looking eggplant (that didn’t get used for eggplant parmesan), 4 bright green organic zucchini that have been waiting to be used in my whole grain zucchini muffins (that obviously is not going to happen now),  and one brilliant shade of yellow pepper that I bought because frankly, it was so beautiful.  Add in my Walla Walla sweet onion, organic garlic, fresh rosemary and sage, 5 or 6 juicy red tomatoes and I had a sweet and distinctly rich ratatouille to serve with my halibut. 

    My secret surprise?  A toasted garlicky baguette slice under the flavorful ratatouille!  Ahhh… life is good. (for tonight anyway 🙂 )

    Roasted Ratatouille with Fresh Herbs

    This little dish does have quite a few “steps”, however, if you prep all your veggies first and then follow the steps the dish will come together beautifully.  Once you’ve prepared this dish a few times (hopefully you’ll like it that much!) it will become easier to pull all the steps together more quickly.  This is such a great way to use all that spring, summer and fall produce. Feel free to substitute with different types of squash, but always add the eggplant… it gives this dish its signature sweet flavor. 

    Ingredients

    1 large eggplant, thick sliced (or 2 smallish eggplant)

    4 small zucchini (or 2 very large zucchini), thick sliced

    1 sweet onion, halved and sliced

    4 cloves garlic, chopped

    1 yellow or orange bell pepper, roasted and diced

    4 large summer tomatoes, or use 5-6 canned organic whole tomatoes, chopped

    1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

    1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage (or more if you like sage)

    2 tablespoons butter

    Olive oil

    salt and pepper

    1 baguette, sliced (either multi grain or French)

    Directions

    Pre-heat the oven to 400F.  I use my convection oven option when roasting veggies.  If you don’t have convection oven options, roast the veggies at 425F.  Layer the sliced eggplant on a cooling rack or platter and sprinkle liberally with salt.  Let them sit for about 15 minutes or so to eliminate excess liquid. 

    While the eggplant are resting, place the sliced zucchini on a parchment lined cookie sheet and drizzle with a little oil, salt and pepper.  Roast the zucchini until they look toasty but not too soft, about 8-10 minutes. (I’ve tried roasting the eggplant and zucchini together to save time, however, the two veggies don’t cook evenly for the same amount of time)

    While the zucchini are in the oven, heat a large skillet on medium and add the butter and a drizzle of olive oil.  Once the butter is frothy, add the sliced onions and saute until nicely wilted and a little golden about 5-8 minutes.  Next add the garlic and saute for an additional minute or two. 

    When the zucchini are done, add them to the onions and garlic.  Fold in the diced roasted yellow pepper and the chopped tomatoes and any juices that accumulated.  Let this sit over low heat while you put the eggplant in the oven. 

    Next, rinse the eggplant and quarter the slices.  Season the eggplant once again with salt and little black pepper and drizzle with a bit of oil.  Place in the oven and roast for about 8-10 minutes or until a little toasty and soft to the touch. 

    When the eggplant is done, add them to the veggies in the skillet.  If using canned tomatoes I like to add about 1/4 cup of the tomato juice to the skillet. 

    Toss in the rosemary and sage and then taste for salt and pepper.  Turn off the heat and let the veggies sit so the flavors can meld together while you prepare the baguette slices.

    Place the baguette slices on a parchment lined cookie sheet and brush with a little olive oil.  Toast in the 400F oven until lightly golden brown.  When they are done remove them from the oven.  Slice a clove of garlic in half and rub the garlic on each of the baguette slices.  The bread will be hot so be careful.

    To serve, place a baguette slice in the bottom of a bowl or on a plate and top with the ratatouille.  Serve with grilled fish, chicken, pork or beef or all by itself as a hearty lunch or light dinner.