Tag Archives: vegetarian

Zucchini Pancakes

One of my best friends went home to visit her family last weekend which is good news for me because every time she takes a trip home, she brings me a load of fresh vegetables from her dad’s garden! 🙂

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Check out that huge haul of veggies! I actually knew it was going to be a challenge for me to eat them all myself. Luckily, my mom is coming into town for Labor Day weekend and I know her and I will eat up a ton of them! My friend also brought me some zucchini bread which I had never had before and is absolutely delicious. It takes like dessert to me! In addition to the zucchini bread, she also gave me two of the biggest zucchinis I have ever seen! I hope the picture does them justice – they were each literally the size of my forearm.

So one of my first challenges was to decide what to do with all this zucchini! I already had zucchini bread – so I was looking for other ideas. I decided on zucchini pancakes, or latkes or zucchini fritters – whatever you want to call them. I’ve seen them called a bunch of different names on the internet. Basically, they’re very similar to potato pancakes.

First thing, I shredded up about a zucchini and a half (I saved half and diced it up to use in a frittata). I was a little wary of the task of shredding up that much zucchini, but it actually went pretty easily – probably because the zucchini has such a high water content. Because of that, I didn’t want soggy pancakes so I put the shredded zucchini in a strainer with a little salt and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then, I squeezed it out in a water towel. I’m glad I did because a ton of water came out!

Next, I mixed the shredded zucchini up in a bowl with granulated onion, granulated garlic, eggs, and a little flour.

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I heated up a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet and dropped in small, silver-dollar sized pancakes of batter and cooked over medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides.

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I drained the pancakes on paper towels to soak up the excess oil.

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Ta da! These are delicious. They really remind me of potato pancakes, and a little bit of hashbrowns. They would be great served up with ketchup, or sour cream, or even apple sauce (which is traditional for potato latkes). I definitely saved up the leftovers for my mom and I to enjoy for brunch on Friday!

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Zucchini Pancakes
Makes approximately 12 pancakes, depending on size.

    – 2 cups shredded zucchini
    – 2 eggs
    – 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
    – 2 teaspoons granulated onion
    – 1 tablespoon flour
    – 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and sauté a few tablespoons of batter (small pancake size) in hot oil until golden brown on both sides, approximately 5 minutes per side. Serve for breakfast or brunch.

Peachy Green Smoothie

This morning I changed up my usual green smoothie a bit. Yesterday, I tweeted out an article about various ways to eat Greek yogurt. One of them was to use it as the base for a smoothie with juice – what a great idea! While I usually use a tablespoon or so of Greek yogurt in my smoothie, I have never used it as more of a main ingredient. So this morning I whipped up this tasty peach smoothie.

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I’ve also started using a new technique for incorporating Greek yogurt into my smoothies. It may just be in my head, but it seems like the kale blends smoother when I wait and add the Greek yogurt to the blender once the smoothie is already pretty well blended. It doesn’t take much to incorporate the yogurt so it works well (hence no yogurt in the picture). This smoothie turned out to be so creamy (thanks to the yogurt) and had a great peach flavor. It would also blend to a nice peach color, if it weren’t for all the kale I add to every smoothie. Feel free to leave the greens out if you prefer!

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Peachy Green Smoothie
Serves one.

    – 3 cups kale, loosely packed (or spinach, or omit)
    – 1 1/2 cups apple juice or green tea
    – 1/2 cup frozen peaches (if you use fresh, add some ice cubes to get the smoothie to the right consistency)
    – 1 frozen banana
    – 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy!

My other smoothie recipes:
Tropical Mango Green Smoothie
“Chocolate Milkshake” Workout Recovery Smoothie
Berry Green Smoothie

Other links that might interest you:

~13 Biggest Fitness Myths(Women’s Health)
~Strength Training Cheat Sheet(Women’s Health)

Freezer Cooking: Mixed Grains and Veggies Side Dish

Last night for dinner I pulled one of my all-time favorite side dishes out of the freezer – my ‘Mixed Grains and Veggies.’ I developed this recipe about a year ago based on a side dish I had purchased from Let’s Dish. I fell in love with the combination of couscous, rice and veggies and it’s such a quick side dish to pull out of the freezer and whip up for dinner. The thing that makes this recipe hard to blog about is that I never just cook up a batch and eat it for dinner. I cook one huge batch, split it into dinner-sized portions and then freeze them for later dinners. So the recipe as-is makes a ton of food, and I’m not sure it’s the most dinner-friendly on it’s own since it requires cooking up couscous and rice. But – on a positive note – it’s great for using up leftover rice/couscous/even quinoa! And if you’re like me, and you like to have a “freezer cooking” day where you make a bunch of food for later dinners – this is the recipe for you.

The original side from Let’s Dish had red rice in it. I had never had red rice before, but I instantly fell for it! It’s got such a nutty flavor, and chewy texture – there really is nothing like it. Unfortunately, the only red rice I found in my supermarket is this mixed rice packet with red, black, and wild rice.

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I do really love this mixed variety – but if you find red rice in your grocery store definitely feel free to substitute that!

Mixed Grains and Veggies Side Dish
Makes approximately 9 (large) servings, I split it into three freezer bags of approximately 3 servings each.

    – 1 1/2 cup couscous, cooked (I’ve used both regular and pearl for this recipe – I prefer pearl but they’re both delicious)
    – 1 1/2 cup rice, cooked (red rice, wild rice, or some mixture)
    – 1 red bell pepper, diced
    – 1 shallot, diced
    – 2 teaspoons dried thyme
    – 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (or dried basil or parsley)
    – 1/2 cup frozen peas
    – 1/2 cup frozen carrots
    – salt and pepper, to taste

Sauté the red bell pepper and shallot over medium heat in a little olive oil with the thyme and Italian seasoning until tender, approximately 3 minutes.

To cook this dish for immediate consumption:
Add the couscous, rice, peas and carrots to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Add olive oil as necessary and let the mixture cook over medium heat for approximately 8 minutes until parts of the rice/couscous get toasted and crunchy (think paella).

To prep for freezer storage:
Set out three freezer bags (I use a medium size – about half the size of a gallon bag). Divide the rice, couscous, and frozen vegetables evenly in between the bags. Do the same with the red bell pepper/shallot mixture. Seal and freeze. To re-heat, add the entire contents of the bag to a sauté pan over medium heat and cook until heated through and crunchy on some parts, approximately 8 minutes.

This is a great side dish for a variety of foods, but my favorite way to eat it is as a side to chicken sausage. I’m in love with this spinach and feta chicken sausage from the grocery store – and it makes for a quick and easy heat-and-eat, and healthy, dinner! 🙂

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Today’s Healthy Living Articles…

~ Best Drink to Recover from Post-Workout Soreness (Women’s Health> I know Monica from Run Eat Repeat is excited about this one!

~ How to Run Your Fastest Race (Women’s Health)

~ 8 Foods You Should Always Buy at the Farmer’s Market (Rodale News)

Workout Recovery Smoothie – Dessert Style!

After posting my fitness bucket list yesterday, my Body Pump teacher saw it and was all about me tackling 10 push-ups last night in class. Conveniently, there were exactly 10 push-ups in our shoulder track. I’m proud to say I stayed up on my toes for all 10, but they were mostly little half push-ups like I tend to do. I’m looking to get down to full-on 90 degree badass push-ups. It’s going to take some practice! My friend Jennifer at Wine to Weightlifting also recommended this 100 push ups training program that I think I’m going to give a shot. The website isn’t the best but the training plan looks do-able. 100 pushups? Definitely my personal great white whale. Heck, 10 is going to be a challenge. But I’m going to try it out and report back!

After class last night I wanted a post-workout snack but wasn’t feeling any of my usual choices. I have blogged in the past about post work-out snacks if you want to check it out. Last night, I decided a smoothie was in order. And I was feeling indulgent so I decided to go for a “dessert”-style smoothie. Meaning it ended up tasting like a chocolate milkshake. Yum.

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And it was packed with protein, and relatively healthy. Not to mention seriously easy to throw together.

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Healthy “Chocolate Milkshake” Smoothie
Serves one.

    – 1 frozen banana
    – 1 cup soy milk (or milk of your choice)
    – 2 tablespoons chocolate hazelnut spread (I used one single serving packet of Justin’s)
    – 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
    – 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy! I loved the frothy, smooth consistency of this smoothie. And it really did taste like a chocolate milkshake. It was the perfect way to end the evening!

Some articles you might enjoy…

~ 25 Best Nutrition Secrets (Women’s Health)

~ Tips for Making an Exercise Comeback (Women’s Health)

~ 12 New Workout Songs (Shape) – I’m seriously always on the lookout for new music!

~ Quick Breakfast Ideas (Inspired RD)

Naan Bread Pizza

This week for Meatless Monday I made a dinner I was a little too excited about…Naan bread pizza!

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First, I have a well documented love, well let’s say obsession, with Naan bread. It’s just so pillowy and tangy and delicious. I always buy some to eat with my tandoori chicken, but it worked out that I finished eating the chicken and hummus and tabbouleh before I ran out of Naan bread. Now this is a crisis I can deal with! 🙂

I’ve seen a handful of pins floating around Pinterest about using Naan bread to make pizza. It seemed like the perfect way to finish off my leftover Naan while using up other foods that I had around the house!

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I heated the oven to 450 (my standard Naan-warming temperature) and cooked the Naan for 4 minutes on the first side. Then, I removed it from the oven and topped it with some leftover garlic scape pesto, sliced tomato, and mozzarella cheese and cooked it in the oven for another 4 minutes just to heat it through and melt the cheese. So simple and delicious! The Naan was a unique crust – with all the tangy, chewy flavor that I love – and the garlic scape pesto was nice and garlicky without overpowering the sweet tomatoes.

I’m in love with this recipe! It’s so easy to throw together and it gives me yet another excuse to buy Naan bread – which may be a bad thing! 🙂

Question of the Day
There are so many options for pizza styles/toppings out there! 🙂 What are your favorite combinations?

Weekend Update & Granola Recipe

I hope everyone had a great weekend! The weekends just seem to go by faster and faster every week. This weekend was really calm and relaxing for me. In true introvert fashion, I spent the entire weekend by myself (other than the workout classes I took at the gym). It was so refreshing!

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On Saturday morning I went to Body Pump. I’m loving the new releases! The tricep track is really hard, but it’s exactly what I need since I feel like the triceps are the weakest part of my arms. Saturday afternoon, I took myself to see ‘The Way Way Back’ in theaters (another very introvert-y thing to do). The movie was excellent! I’m a huge Sam Rockwell fan and the movie was very charming. There’s just no other word for it. Saturday night dinner was one of my favorites – tandoori chicken, naan bread, tabbouleh and hummus. Yum.

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Sunday was one of those productive days where I got a bunch of little things done that I’ve been meaning to do for a while. A few months ago, I got an old drawing of mine from art class framed and I’ve been meaning to hang it up but I discovered that Michael’s had put the bracket on the back on upside-down. I finally took the picture back to Michael’s to have the hanger fixed and ‘ta-da!’, hung it on the wall.

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This literally took me 5 minutes. I can’t believe I put it off for so long. I also hung up a hook from West Elm that I’ve also been meaning to hang up for like 6 months. I’m using it to hold my gym/yoga bags by the door. Isn’t it cute? It’s an elephant!

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While I was grocery shopping on Saturday (it was a very small, quick trip in accordance with my August goal of eating the food that’s already in my house) I spotted some granola that looked absolutely delicious! But I know that store-bought granola can be really high in sugar (plus I’m not supposed to be buying extra grocery items) so I resisted the urge. Later that night, I did some Google-ing/Pinterest-ing and discovered that granola is super easy to make! So I decided to make my own.

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Turns out it’s as easy as mixing together some oats,

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Some nuts,

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Cinnamon (optional), vanilla, salt (gotta love salty-sweet!), coconut oil, and maple syrup.

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Spread the whole mixture on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

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Let it cool and store in an airtight container. I stored mine in this awesome glass jar I picked up at IKEA (really cheap!). It’s delicious, so easy, and along with some Greek yogurt will definitely be my go-to snack this week!

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This recipe is super easy to customize with your favorite nuts/seeds/flavors. Change out the walnuts for any nuts you like (if you want to use seeds add them in for the last few minutes of roasting or they could burn). You can also use honey instead of the maple syrup but I wanted that maple-y flavor! 🙂

Maple Walnut Granola
Makes 5 cups.

    – 4 cups oats
    – 1 cup walnuts, chopped
    – 1 tablespoon cinnamon
    – 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    – 1 teaspoon salt
    – ½ cup coconut oil, melted
    – ½ cup maple syrup

Combine all ingredients and spread on a sheet pan. Roast in a 325 degree oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Keep an eye on the granola during the last 5 minutes or so – it browns quickly! I ended up pulling mine after about 17 minutes.

I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start!

“Greek-Style” Tabbouleh Salad

This weekend I had some cucumbers and other veggie odds and ends to use up in my fridge so I decided to make a tabbouleh salad. Based on some of the items I needed to use up, I decided to make a Greek version. Plus, making tabbouleh salad means I have a great excuse to buy naan bread (yum!) and make my favorite – tandoori chicken! I also whipped up a batch of my classic hummus because I feel like all these foods go together in my mind. I love spreading a little hummus on some warm naan bread, adding some tabbouleh and chicken and eating it all together.

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This version was 100% based on the items I had available to use up in my fridge – but it turned out great!

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”Greek-style” Tabbouleh Salad
Serves six to eight.

    – 1 cup bulgur wheat
    – 2 cucumbers, chopped
    – 1 lemon
    – 1 tablespoon grated shallot or onion (or you can substitute a tablespoon of granulated onion)
    – 1 clove garlic, minced or pasted
    – 2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used about 5 Roma tomatoes)
    – 3 green onions, chopped
    – ½ red bell pepper, chopped
    – 1, 6 ounce container feta cheese
    – ½ cup olive oil (or less, just enough to coat the salad)

First, start by preparing your bulgur wheat. Combine a cup of bulgur wheat with one cup boiling water in a heat-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until the bulgur wheat has absorbed the water.

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While the wheat is working, chop the ingredients for the salad. Peel and seed the cucumbers. The way I do this is to peel the cucumbers, then slice them in half and scoop the seeds out with a spoon. They will look like this:

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Then chop them into bite-sized pieces and mix into the wheat.

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Next, add the grated garlic, grated shallot or onion, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

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Core, seed, and chop the tomatoes and add to the bowl. Do the same with the red bell pepper. Finally slice the green onion (greens and whites) and add to the bowl. Add the feta cheese and olive oil and stir to combine. At this point I was almost overflowing the bowl so I had to stir carefully! 🙂

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Delicious! I love the addition of the salty feta! Cheese isn’t usually an ingredient in tabbouleh but I had some in my fridge that I wanted to use up, and I’m glad I did. 🙂

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As I mentioned at the beginning on this post, this salad is great as an accompaniment to tandoori chicken – but it’s also great served on top of some lettuce leaves as a salad (that was my Meatless Monday lunch this week! :-)) I’m sure it would also be delicious stuffed into a pita with some hummus and chickpeas. Yum 🙂 I might have to make that next!

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If you like this recipe, you might also like my recipes for:
~ Classic Hummus
~ Tabbouleh Salad
~ Tabbouleh Salad, Remix