brunch

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins (GF)

Note: 

I usually don't bake, but I found this recipe on an old friend's blog, and the moment I saw it, I've been itching to make it!  My friend's version is gluten-free, but I didn't have all the right ingredients, so I altered the recipe a bit  to make them for myself, but I'm including the gluten-free exchanges in the ingredients.

I loved the idea of combining chocolate and one of the most underated, but prolific vegetables together, in one, delicious muffin!  I made them this morning, and I was not disappointed - not too sweet, but not too 'veggie', either!  If you like chocolate, and like me, know that you can never eat too many veggies, this is the treat for you!  And your kids, too, a la Jessica Seinfeld, huh?

Read about Erika's amazing life and family here.

Tools needed: 
hand mixer, muffin tin(s), muffin cups, whisk, rubber spatula, 2 mixing bowls
Time: 
1.5 - 2 hours
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
Ingredients: 
2 cups flour (for gluten free, use GF flour and 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (I left out, used a little extra regular sugar)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup applesauce
3 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place paper cups in muffin tins, or spray two 8in. loaf pans.
  3. Place flour (and xantham gum, if GF version), salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder in medium bowl.  Use wire whisk to combine.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, place oil, sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Mix with hand mixer until fluffy.  Stir in applesauce and shredded zucchini.  Stir in flour mixture until just combines.  Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Divide batter and bake for 50 minutes for loaves or 25-30 minutes for muffins or until a toothpick comes out clean.

TIP: Don't have any applesauce, but have an apple? Cut up 1 large apple into chunks, remove core/seeds, blend with some water until consistency you like, simmer on the stove for a few minutes...voila!  1/2 cup applesauce!  Or make more and save some for later - I like to put mine on pancakes or waffles in lieu of syrup. (Got that from Boyfriend's sister-in-law - thanks, Isabel!)

Serves: 
Many! Makes 18 muffins

Mushroom & Green Onion Frittata

Note: 

This simple recipe is tasty and hearty, an appropriate meal as we head into the cooler months of fall and winter.  Boyfriend and I made it for dinner this evening in under an hour and plan to have the leftover portion for breakfast in the morning with one of our fabulous fruit and green smoothies!  This recipe can easily be made dairy-free with milk and cheese alternatives - we used almond milk and soy cheese.

Tools needed: 
10" oven-safe skillet or baking dish
Time: 
45 minutes
First Fab Frittata!
Ingredients: 
4 cups cubed baby red potatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
6 eggs
1 cup milk (we used almond milk for non-dairy, soy would work, too)
1/2 cup cheese (we used soy cheese for non-dairy)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp dried, crushed oregano leaves
1 tsp dried, crushed sage leaves
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil and cook about 10 minutes, until tender but firm.  Drain.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat, add mushrooms, cook about 5 minutes or until mushrooms start to brown.
  4. Add a bit more oil and garlic, cook until garlic becomes fragrant, stirring into the mushrooms.  Remove from heat - set aside in a bowl.
  5. Layer the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish or oven-safe skillet.  Evenly layer the other ingredients: mushroom and garlic mixture, then cheese, then green onions.  Add a little salt and pepper in each layer (or as desired).
  6. In a small bowl, whisk the milk and eggs until fluffy.  Mix oregano and sage into mixture at the end.
  7. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet over the other ingredients.
  8. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until eggs are no longer runny and top is lightly browned.
Serves: 
4

Cornmeal Flapjacks

Note: 

These breakfast treats are sweet enough to eat without syrup.  They can also be frozen and reheated by popping in the toaster.  I like to top them with homemade applesauce: Just cut up an apple or two, removing the seeds, stem and core.  Put in the blender with a little bit of water, and blend until it's the consistency you like.  Pour the raw applesauce into a saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Yummy!

Tools needed: 
non-stick skillet
Time: 
40 minutes
Cornmeal Flapjacks with Applesauce
Ingredients: 
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons agave
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup milk (soy or almond milk works, too)
1/8 teaspon salt
1 1/4 cups plain yogurt (soy yogurt works, too)
2 large eggs
1/2 stick butter or soy margarine, melted
1/2 cup applesauce, optional
Directions: 
  1. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Stir in agave and milk when all dry ingredients are mixed.
  2. Mix yogurt and eggs together with a fork in another bowl.   Stir into flour mixture with melted soy margarine just until incorporated.
  3. If using blueberries, stir gently into batter.
  4. Heat a lightly greased large nonstick skillet over moderately low heat until hot.
  5. Pour 1/4 cup measures of batter into skillet in batches, forming approximately 3 inch cakes, and cook about 3 minutes, or until undersides are golden.  Turn and cook 1 minute more, or until golden.
  6. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a 250-degree oven while cooking remaining cakes.
  7. Optional: Top with applesauce just before serving.

 

Serves: 
4

Blueberry Mint Smoothie

Note: 

It's summer (woo-hoo!), and the time is ripe for taking full advantage of what's in season, and making the most of fruity, antioxidant-rich flavor combinations!  This smoothie is a tasty tribute to what's available at the farmer's markets right now.  Now that I've got herbs growing in my garden, I love adding them to my fruit smoothies, and mint makes this one extra-refreshing!

Check out the pineapple-cilantro combination in this previously-featured smoothie recipe.

 

Tools needed: 
blender
Time: 
10 minutes
Blueberry Mint Smoothie
Ingredients: 
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 orange, peeled and quartered
1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks
1/4 cup milk of choice (I like almond milk!)
1/4 cup of ice (if desired)
1 tbs fresh mint leaves, chopped
Directions: 

Put all ingredients into blender. Blend until smooth. Drink up!

Serves: 
1

Chilaquiles

Note: 

We actually made this meal so many times at one point, we became dangerously close to growing tired of it.  Chilaquiles for breakfast?  Chilaquiles for lunch?  Dinner?

This is our version of this delicious Mexican dish, which we love and is terribly simple to make.  You will find recipes all over the internet that are far more complicated and more like what you might sample in your favorite Mexican cafe, but we opted for simple.  My goal is to offer enjoyable recipes for which real people can find the ingredients and make.  Why make eggs, tortilla chips, enchilada sauce and cheese any more complicated than it needs to be?

Tools needed: 
non-stick pan
Time: 
35 minutes
Chilaquiles
Ingredients: 
4 eggs
2 breakfast sausage patties (we use the meatless variety)
4 tsp milk (soy milk works, too)
2 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
1/2 cup enchilada sauce (or amount to your taste)
approximately 20 tortilla chips, depending on size
1/3 cup of shredded or crumbled cheese of your choice, Mexican blend, monterey-jack, cheddar, mozzarella, feta, queso fresco
1 can black or pinto beans, heated
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs butter for frying
Directions: 
  1. Warm the enchilada sauce.  Prepare beans according to can instructions.
  2. Beat eggs and milk together vigorously for two minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat or cook the sausages according to package instructions.  Crumble into bite size pieces and set aside.
  4. Heat a non-stick frying pan until just above medium heat, but not smoking hot.  Melt butter in the pan.
  5.  As the very last of the butter is liquefying, add the egg mixture.
  6. Do not stir immediately. Wait until the first hint of setting begins. Use a spatula or a flat wooden spoon to push the eggs toward center while tilting skillet to distribute runny parts.  Add sausage crumbles and green onions.
  7. Continue this motion as the eggs continue to set. Crumble the chips into the eggs when they are halfway done.  Break apart large pieces as they form with your spoon or spatula. You will come to a point where the push-to-center technique is no longer cooking runny parts of the egg. Flip over all the egg and chips and allow the eggs to cook 15 to 25 seconds longer. 
  8. Move eggs to a plate.  Spoon as much of the beans as desired on top of the eggs and chips.  Lace with warm enchilada sauce.  Sprinkle with cheese.
  9. Serve with guacamole, if desired.
Serves: 
2

Broccoli Quiche

Note: 

This is the first quiche I ever made, and it was surprisingly easy, not to mention delicious.

Tools needed: 
whisk
Time: 
50 minutes
Broccoli Quiche
Ingredients: 
4 eggs
1 cup cream
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/8 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl whisk eggs and cream together.  Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  3. Place the broccoli evenly in the pie shell.  Sprinkle evenly with shredded cheese.
  4. Pour egg mixture over broccoli and cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 25 minutes, or until crust is golden and filling is set.  Allow to set 5-10 minutes before serving.
Serves: 
4

Chile Relleno Casserole

Note: 

Add some ethnic flair to your next breakfast or brunch!  Or have eggs for dinner or lunch!  This simple vegetarian recipe proves that there are more ways with eggs than you can count, so why not try them all?

Tools needed: 
9 X 12 Baking Dish
Time: 
1 hour
Finished Chile Relleno Casserole
Ingredients: 
5-6 large pasilla, poblano or anaheim chile peppers or 6 small cans
1/2 lb. shredded cheddar, monterey jack or Mexican blend cheese
5 large eggs
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
paprika
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse chiles, pat dry.  If using fresh chiles, cut into large, flat 2-3" pieces.
  3. Layer the bottom of the baking dish with 1/2 of chiles.  Sprinkle 3/4 of cheese on top.  Layer remaining chiles on top of cheese.
  4. Beat eggs, gradually add flour and salt until thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Pour egg mixture over everything in baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese, then paprika.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes or until knife comes clean. 

Easily make this dairy-free: works just as well with soy milk and cheese.  Enjoy!

Serves: 
6-8
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