It’s back to school time for many of you I would imagine which may also mean that meal times get a little more hectic. While I don’t have to worry about feeding kiddos, I don’t get home till 8pm most nights and the last thing I want to do is think too much about what I’m going to eat. I’ll try and do some quick and easy recipes for you guys over the next few weeks as well as some make ahead meals.
We all need a good zucchini bread recipe. This one, from King Arthur Flour, is pretty straight forward. I sometimes replace some of the zucchini with a bit of grated carrot or apple as well. The nuts and the chocolate chips are optional but they really make it awesome.
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable or other mild oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, optional
1 3/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups grated or shredded zucchini, somewhere between firmly and lightly packed
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted until golden (optional)
3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
2 tablespoons brown sugar for sprinkling on top, optional
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
Whisk the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into the flour, then add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients in the bowl, stirring or beating gently until smooth.
Stir in the zucchini, walnuts, and raisins or currants.
Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it if necessary. Sprinkle with brown sugar, if desired.
Bake the bread for 55 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The top (just under the crust) may seem a bit sticky; but so long as the toothpick doesn’t reveal wet batter, it’s done.
Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely. For best results, don’t slice until it’s cool.
Store the bread at cool room temperature, well wrapped, for several days; freeze for longer storage.
From King Arthur Flour
Hot Pink Cabbage and Beet Kraut
This might be my favorite kraut, and we all really should have a favorite kraut. The red cabbage really stays crisp and the beet helps contribute to an amazing color. 😊
1 head red cabbage, shredded (about a 2 ½ lb cabbage)
1-2 whole red beets, shredded
8-16 cloves garlic (depending on your personal preference)
Hot peppers as desired. (I use habaneros if I can find them but feel free to use jalapenos or omit them altogether)
About 2 Tbsp salt, more may be needed (I use Diamond Kosher because it doesn’t have anti-caking additives, but sea salt works perfectly as well)
Mix all ingredients except salt together. Add 2 Tbsp salt to vegetables, taste the mix, if it doesn’t taste salty enough, add a bit more. It should be palatably salty in its raw state, if that makes sense. General rule is 3 Tbsp salt for every 5lbs of vegetable when krauting.
Transfer mixture to a large glass jar, press down until liquid is expelled from the vegetables and covers them. You may need to let it sit for an hour or so and press again to get enough juice to come out. If the cabbage is a little dry, don’t despair, add filtered water to the top to cover. Just be sure that all the cabbage/beet mix is covered by liquid. If you have an airlock cap you can use it here, otherwise a Ziploc bag filled with filtered water, sealed and stuffed into the stop of the jar will work perfectly. Let sit for about 2 weeks*, but you can taste as you go till it gets to the right level of krautiness. Once it has fermented to your liking, pop a cap on the top and put it in the fridge to slow the fermentation process. Enjoy on everything from burgers and sandwiches, sausages and my favorite, with scrambled eggs!
*If it stays warm out check the kraut after a few days to a week. Fermentation goes much faster in hot weather.
Crispy Cauliflower Pancakes
Everything in pancake form is great, and everything can be made better when made into a pancake. Add my favorite garlic herb yogurt to garnish and you’ll be golden. Some shredded potato in here wouldn’t be bad but would up your carb intake if that’s something you think about.
1 medium head cauliflower
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup shredded cheese, most anything would work here; cheddar, fontina, gouda, something smoked?
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 to 1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more if you’d like
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Cut cauliflower into florets and cook in boiling water until tender, about 10 minutes.
Drain and mash the cauliflower while it is still warm.
Stir in the cheese, eggs, green onions, bread crumbs, cayenne & salt. Start with the lower amount of breadcrumbs and see how well the cakes bind together adding more as needed if they are too wet still.
Coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat.
Form the cauliflower mixture into patties about 3 inches across.
Cook until golden brown & set, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Garlic Chive Yogurt
This is highly adaptable, add any herb combo you’d like. Dill, basil, lovage, sorrel anything works well here.
½ C plain greek yogurt
2 T chopped chives, green onion, or grated shallot
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Mix chives, garlic and olive oil with yogurt. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside till pancakes are done.