Friday, August 17, 2012

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Originally the idea behind this muffin was to broaden the breakfast horizon.  I'm a sucker for a baked good, and if that baked good happens to have a smidge of chocolate in it, move outta my way.  I'm goin' in.  So it shouldn't surprise anyone that we plowed through these muffins so quickly that they only made it to one breakfast. 

We had a bunch of zucchini on hand from making veggie pizza, so zucchini bread or muffins seemed the natural next step.  No different than using carrots in a cake, right?  Pretty much. 

This recipe makes six muffins, so if you're anything like me you may want to double it so you have plenty on hand for midnight snacks, pinterest surfing snacks, no wait!  I mean...  while dinner is cooking snacks, No really - breakfast.  Yeah, that's it.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins
|Yields: 6 muffins | Prep time: 5 mins. | Bake time: 20-22 mins.|
3/4 c AP flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c agave (a bit less if you're adding chocolate chips)
1 egg
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
1 c grated zucchini, extra water squeezed out
1/3 c slivered almonds or walnuts
1/4 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a muffin tin with cooking spray, or line with baking cups.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In a slightly larger bowl, whisk together agave, egg, coconut oil and zucchini.  Stor the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, careful not to over-mix. 

Fold in nuts and chocolate chips until just incorporated.  Fill cups about 2/3 full (I use an ice cream scoop for perfect measuring) and bake 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely if you have the willpower.
Adapted from taste of home


Friday, August 10, 2012

White Pizza with Pesto and Veggies

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This is another perfect recipe for Meatless Mondays - and one that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.  Who doesn't love pizza?  Crispy, crunchy crust with ooey gooey melted cheese... mmmmm...

I think I may be hungry.  It's really a shame that we devoured this entire pizza and dashed any hopes of leftovers.

Produce stands everywhere are overflowing with amazing summer goodies right now.  For the moment I've gotten the stone fruit obsession calmed, so now I'm on to things like summer squash.  There may or may not be another zucchini recipe lurking on the horizon...  You're on the edge of your seats now, aren't you? 

Hubby declared this pizza "really yummy" and I've got to say I agree with him.  This will definitely be joining our weekly rotation.  One of the great things about pizza is that you can top it with pretty much whatever your little heart desires.  It's a great way to use up some of the random unused veggies that tend to accumulate over the week. 

Happy Friday!

White Pizza with Pesto and Veggies
1 prepared pizza dough, at room temp
1/2 c (or so) of homemade or store bought pesto
1 1/2 c shredded mozzarella
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 c chopped asparagus
Garlic oil (recipe below)

Turn on your oven to the highest it will go (ours is 550) and preheat (with the pizza stone in) for about an hour.  In the meantime, let the dough come to room temperature and chop the veggies.

Lightly dust a sheet of parchment with flour.  Roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin until it's about 1/4" thick.  Spread pesto evenly across the dough.  Top with shredded cheese, chopped veggies and a couple turns of fresh cracked black pepper.  Drizzle whole pizza with a couple spoonfuls of garlic oil.  Bake for approx 8 minutes, or until cheese is brown and bubbly and crust is crisp.  Drizzle a tad more garlic oil over the top and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!

For the garlic oil...
Pour about a cup of extra virgin olive oil into a jar and toss in several peeled garlic cloves.  Let sit for a couple days so the garlic flavor infuses the oil.  Use on pastas, pizzas, sandwiches, etc.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Stone Fruit Frozen Yogurt in Coconut Crisp Cups

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You all know that I'm a sucker for the fall and winter months, but I have to admit that summer has some pretty great characteristics as well.  Summer fruit is at the top of that list.  Peaches, cherries, nectarines and avocados are some of my favorite things in the world, and I kinda go stone fruit crazy when they are in season.  

Every summer for the past several years, we have tromped through carefully stepped over smooshed fruit on the walkway, never bothering to take a few seconds to figure out what kind of fruit tree we were dealing with.  Here's the funny/embarrassing truth: we have had a beautiful peach tree outside our door and never realized it!  What a bunch of goofs!  Now that we've figured out that useful little tidbit of info, I'm in a peach frenzy.

I've been looking for excuses to use our new ice cream maker since last month when mom & dad brought us those gorgeous cherries.  Instead of your typical sugary ice cream, this time I went for a much healthier frozen yogurt.  Oh, and did I mention it involves only three ingredients??  Okay, well, five if you include the two needed for the coconut crisp cups.  Fruit, yogurt and agave nectar are all you need to make this delish frozen yogurt, and if you're feeling fancy you can go the extra step (and the extra two ingredients) and make the coconut crisp cups.  Deceptively simple and delish?!  I'm in.

Everything you need for this recipe can be found at Trader Joe's.  Their Toasted Coconut Cookie Thins are so darn yummy, and make the perfect crumb for the coconut crisp cups.  The light coconut flavor is a great compliment to the tart and sweet peaches.

Stone Fruit Frozen Yogurt
2 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and diced
2 ripe nectarines, peeled, pitted and diced
1/3 - 1/2 c agave nectar (sweeten to taste)
2 c plain greek yogurt*

*Note: for a more ice-creamy/less tangy flavor, try making this with vanilla yogurt.  

Once you have the fruit diced, put about half of it in a food processor and process briefly, so that some of the fruit remains in tact and some is pureed smooth.  Transfer to a medium bowl.  Add in diced fruit, yogurt and agave nectar.  Stir until thoroughly combined.  Adjust the amount of agave to your taste.  Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

This is fabulous at the soft-serve consistency.  If you'd like it a bit more firm, place in a freezer-safe container and freeze in 30 minute increments.  Careful, cuz it will freeze solid pretty quickly.  If storing in the freezer, transfer to the fridge to soften for about two hours prior to serving.  

Coconut Crisp Cups
1 sleeve Trader Joe's Toasted Coconut Cookie Thins
1 1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.

Pulse cookies to a fine crumb in a food processor.  Alternately you can place in a resealable bag and crush with a rolling pin.  Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the coconut oil.  Press crumb mixture into muffin tins, forming little cups.  Bake 5-7 minutes.  Cook completely before removing from tin.  (The best way to do this is to turn the tin over and lightly tap the back.)