Zucchini Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

I would have never combined chocolate and zucchini together, in a muffin no less, but THANK YOU to elena’s pantry for putting it together for me, with coconut flour!!! Icing on the cake!

Here’s the original recipe. My mods in [xxx]

These are wonderful treats. Really, easy and GOOD. And I cut down on the sugar so don’t feel bad about eating more than one. 🙂

Mini muffins are perfect snacks for kids as well as adults! Oh, and my grandbaby helped me cook them. You’ll see him in the slideshow.

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Zucchini Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
ÂĽ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
¼ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup agave nectar [1/8 cup honey]
1 ½ cups grated zucchini (do not pack down when measuring) [I used my mini food processor to ‘grind’ this up]
½ cup dark chocolate chips [I had half a dark chocolate almond bar I grated – amazing]

  1. In a medium bowl, combine coconut flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon
  2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, oil, agave [honey] and zucchini
  3. Mix dry ingredients into wet thoroughly
  4. Stir in chocolate chips [bar]
  5. Grease a mini muffin tin with grapeseed oil and lightly dust with coconut flour [do the dusting. I did not and my muffins stuck even with Pam]
  6. Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon of batter into each muffin tin
  7. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes [I did 22 minutes]
  8. Cool and serve
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Quinoa Chicken

This was a FABULOUS dish. Earlier in the week, Kelsey and Connor came over for dinner. I decided to try to “spice up” my plain old normal quinoa/rice mix that is my standard issue side dish. It’s good on its own, don’t get me wrong – but I’ve made it for them before and I wanted to try out something new.

So, made the grains according to the package directions (cooked in beef broth) and about five minutes before it was done, added one can of TJ’s chopped artichokes and a cup of sun dried tomatoes. It was great – and we had NONE left.

Using that as my inspiration, I decided to add meat, some additional veggies, and make this a full weeknight meal. Check it out – it was delicious, and will continue to be one of my weeknight staples. Dale also had it for lunch two days in a row – and it just kept getting better.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped to bite size – you’ll see in my pics that I poached my breasts in grapeseed oil and broth. Did this while grains were cooking.
  • 1 cup (uncooked) TruRoots quinoa/rice blend, cooked in chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 chopped portabella mushroom
  • 1 -2 cups loose packed chopped swiss chard – I did not de-rib them. It was fine, just chop up well.
  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes; rinsed of oil
  • 1 can of Trader Joe’s artichoke hearts, chopped – like these because they are packed in water
  • 3/4 cup kalamata olives
  • 1 lemon, squeezed direct into dish at end
  • salt and pepper to taste

How To:

  1. Cook grain according to package directions. Used chicken broth instead of water. Just better flavor!
  2. While grain is cooking, cook your meat. You’ll see in my pics that I poached my breasts in grapeseed oil and broth. Did this while grains were cooking.
  3. Once the chicken is done, I took them out and let cool on my chopping board.
  4. In the same pan, threw in broccoli and shroom, let cook for a few minutes, then added artichokes, let that cook a few minutes.
  5. Stirred in some salt and pepper, sun dried tomatoes and olives.
  6. By now, the grains should be done. Turn them off.
  7. Add in the chard, stir well.
  8. Toss the grains into the pan, mix well.
  9. Squeeze your lemon in  and add salt and pepper to taste.

Turkey-Veggie-Bacon Soup

Why, oh WHY am I still making soup? Well, on a day like today, I just feel like soup. Plus, I can toss in a bunch of stuff that I need to use up. Satisfying, healthy and incredibly warming on this icky day.

Fuzz and I just had some and it was PERFECT for today. Play with the veggies – this is just what I had on hand. I had originally wanted to make a  sausage/chard/white bean soup…but had none of it like I thought I had!

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Ingredients:

  • One Onion, chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, chopped (used my mini food processor)
  • 4-6 chopped carrots
  • 4-6 chopped celery stalks
  • 1 yam, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 portabella mushroom, chopped
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1-2 cups cooked, chopped bacon – optional. Made bacon for breakfast and had some left over. Thought to add it!
  • 1.5 cartons of chicken broth
  • Salt, pepper, oregano, cayenne pepper
  1. I started out by cooking the meat in my favorite green pot, once that was 3/4 of the way done, added onions, garlic, some salt and pepper, cook meat until it’s done.
  2. Added broth, tossed in carrots and celery. Let cook on medium to high until a boil, turned down to medium, cooked for 5 minutes.
  3. Add yam, cook for 5.
  4. Added shroom and zucchini, bacon, more pepper, oregano, let cook until zucchini was good. Add cayenne to taste…I added about 1 tsp – 2 tsp. Fuzz is not a ‘hot’ kind of guy. This amount is PERFECT. Let low-simmer for at least 15 minutes so that cayenne has some time to meld into everything.
  5. I stir regularly through the cooking process, especially after I add the yam. I do this so the yam breaks down a bit and makes the broth a bit thicker. It’s very yummy.

 

 

Spinach Cake Redeux

Hello! Well, I decided to make the spinach cake recipe again just to try it, and, to modify it once again with a bit of  “Shazzy Magic.” Both versions are excellent – it’s personal preference for you on what you like.

Here’s the original recipe, it’s also below w/my second set of modifications in [xxx].

Again, this turned out FABULOUS. Such a treat!

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Spinach Cake

  • 1 ½ pounds spinach, thoroughly washed, leave stems on if they are not tough [I used one full bag of  organic girl ‘super greens’ you find at Haggen.]
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup pine nuts [I used half a cup – just Dale and I]
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced [use four cloves – if you like garlic, do this, otherwise, stick with two. It was GARLICY!]
  • 2 eggs, whisked [used one]
  • ½ cup currants [Did NOT use]
  • 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of grated parm cheese

 

  1. Wilt spinach in a large covered saucepan, over low heat (do not add water) 5 minutes, until tender
  2. Drain and cool, then gently squeeze moisture out of spinach
  3. Place spinach in food processor and pulse until coarsely blended, then set aside [i just used two knives and cut up on a cutting board]
  4. In a small skillet, warm 3 tablespoons oil, add pine nuts and saute until golden brown
  5. Add garlic to pan of pine nuts and saute together an additional minute
  6. In a large bowl, combine pine nuts mixture, blended spinach, eggs, currants and salt
  7. Spread mixture into a greased 7×11 inch Pyrex baking dish
  8. Sprinkle cheese on top
  9. Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes
  10. Serve

Sunshine and 80!

What a great last two weekends-ain’t tasting for a friends 50th birthday and a wedding in Shiner, Texas.

Both weekends I have been inspired by the location, the people and of course, the food!

The standout dishes in Walla Walla were the lamb rissoto, scallops and buffalo filet; in Shiner, it was the father of the bride’s very own brisket. He is a competition winning bbq’er who knows his stuff!

Can’t wait to get back in my own kitchen and start cranking out some new recipes and start gearing up for summer. Yes, I just said summer-I am in Texas and have been inspired by the colorful, flavorful meals I’ve had! As well as the warmth!

I will bring y’all back some sun and warmth! And yes, I just said y’all! Giddy up!

Spinach Cake

Hmmm…what do you think of when you read, “spinach cake”? When I was looking for something different to cook on Sunday when we had some friends over, this is what I found on elana’s pantry. I love her stuff – I go there for inspiration a lot.

Anyhoo, this recipe was easy, and FANTASTIC. Seriously, I cannot stop thinking about it. And, everyone enjoyed it at dinner as well – as Nick would say, it was the “bomb dot com.”

Here’s the original recipe, it’s also below w/my modifications in [xxx].

You must make this one  – you will seriously enjoy. Next time I plan on adding prosciutto.

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Spinach Cake
1 ½ pounds spinach, thoroughly washed, leave stems on if they are not tough [I used fresh spinach I got in my CSA, plus a bit of those bagged ‘super greens’ you find at Haggen. Total, it was about 2.5-3 lbs]
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 cup pine nuts [next time I will try almonds or pecans…but I have to say, the pine nuts were freaking amazing]
2 cloves garlic, minced [used a shallot, didn’t have garlic left!]
2 eggs, whisked [used three since I upped the amount of spinach]
½ cup currants [used raisins]
1 teaspoon celtic sea salt

 

  1. Wilt spinach in a large covered saucepan, over low heat (do not add water) 5 minutes, until tender
  2. Drain and cool, then gently squeeze moisture out of spinach
  3. Place spinach in food processor and pulse until coarsely blended, then set aside
  4. In a small skillet, warm 3 tablespoons oil, add pine nuts and saute until golden brown
  5. Add garlic to pan of pine nuts and saute together an additional minute
  6. In a large bowl, combine pine nuts mixture, blended spinach, eggs, currants and salt
  7. Spread mixture into a greased 7×11 inch Pyrex baking dish
  8. Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes
  9. Serve

Sweet Potato Hash-Scramble

I felt like breakie for dinner tonight, so looked up a new recipe to try. I found this one, from paleoplan.com. This is a great site – free info and tons of recipes. Check it out.

Here’s the original sweet potato hash recipe. I’ve also put below, however, with my modifications in [xxx]. I call this more of a scramble for me because I like it when the eggs are mixed in the dish – the original calls for eggs as a topper. Either way, it will be good.

ENJOY!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs coconut oil, divided [this is for the fried egg portion – I didn’t use]
  • 1 medium sweet potato or yam, diced into 1/2″ cubes [mine was small, so added 2 small yellow taters I had]
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced [one white onion]
  • [6 slices of bacon i had left over]
  • 2 nitrite/nitrate free sausages, sliced [used one lb of ground italian style chicken sausage – spices in this ROCK]
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced [I don’t do bell peppers much, makes me burp. So, instead, I used the following:
  • 1/2 c of chopped shrooms, 1 c chopped zucchini, 1 c chopped kale. I LOVE veggies]
  • 4 eggs [upped this to 8]
  • freshly ground black pepper [and salt, to taste]

How to:

  1. I started out cooking the bacon. Got that done, set aside to cool, poured out the grease, and used the bacon grease that was coated on the pan to start my ground chicken in.
  2. The ground chicken is going, almost done and added my taters and onions. Stir often, cover in between stirrings.
  3. When those veggies are getting soft (not all the way, you don’t want them over done and too mushy) then add your other veggies of choice. Chop your bacon.
  4. After about 10 minutes, with stirring, your veggies should be almost cooked – this is when you add your eggs IF YOU ARE CHOOSING to do a scramble. If not, fry those eggs up in your coconut oil in a separate pan. You’ll top your veggie-meat-hash with that.
  5. So, add your eggs, and keep heat on med-low…you want to mix your eggs in with the veggies, stirring often…you’ll notice when your eggs are getting there . Add your chopped bacon, add some salt and pepper.
  6. When complete, dump on a plate and ENJOY.