Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins

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Pumpkin season it is so pumpkin muffins I bake. Clara and I have been devouring these spiced pumpkin and zucchini filled muffins all week. As usual, they’re whole wheat and minimally sweetened with honey (and chocolate chips if you wish- I just tossed a few on top as a treat). And they’re easily made dairy-free by using coconut oil and almond milk (I tested them this way).

Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (I replaced 1/4 cup flour with ground flaxseed)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cloves
pinch of ginger
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed of excess moisture
1/3 cup honey
1 Tbsp. olive or coconut oil
1 egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk or unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I just sprinkled a few on top)

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 12 cup muffins pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.

3. In a separate large bowl combine pumpkin, zucchini, honey, oil, egg, and vanilla until well combined and smooth. Whisk in almond milk. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips (if using), reserving a few for sprinkling on top.

4. Bake in preheated oven for about 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for several minutes before removing muffins from the pan to the wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes 12 muffins.

(Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen)

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Chipotle Salsa

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What I love about this salsa: It uses chipotle peppers, as in smoked jalapenos that come from a can (you can freeze what you don’t use for later). Also from a can- the tomatoes (fire-roasted for the best flavor), which means you can make it any time of year. And then it requires hardly any chopping at all as you throw everything in the blender/food-processor and let it do the work for you. It’s also completely customizable as far as texture (smooth or chunky), acidity (lots of vinegar or a little), and heat (just increase the peppers). Amazing on tacos or for dipping quesadillas and chips in (our new favorite tortillas chips). It’ll keep for about a week in the fridge and would be awesome canned in little jars to give as gifts, though I’ve yet to ever do this.

Chipotle Salsa

INGREDIENTS

1 (14.5 oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 -3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo (two for medium heat, three for hot)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 -3 Tbsp. cider vinegar (I used 2 Tbsp.)

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine tomatoes and remaining ingredients in food processor or blender and pulse until well combined (pulse less for a chunky salsa, longer for a smooth salsa). Adjust seasonings (salt, pepper, and vinegar) to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

(Adapted from Food.com)

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By in Appetizer, Southwestern, Uncategorized · Comments { 0 }

Salmon Burgers with Spicy Mayo

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I doubted that a salmon burger could be better than a simply seasoned and perfectly cooked salmon fillet. Some things shouldn’t be messed with. But I’m always up for trying an old favorite in a new way. And I was pleasantly shocked when I took a bit of this burger. Absolutely delicious. And tender (I wouldn’t describe fish as juicy, but it was nowhere near dry). Flavorful (the add-ins don’t outshine, only enhance the salmon-ness). And topped with avocado, arugula, and spicy mayonnaise- perfect. I’ve picked up salmon patties from Whole Foods before, but never again. This was so much better.

My go-to quick salmon dish: Maple-Ancho Grilled (or baked) Salmon. And another favorite salmon on a bun: Blackened Salmon Sandwich.

Salmon Burgers with Spicy Mayo

INGREDIENTS

Salmon Burgers:
1/4 cup red or yellow bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
6 Tbsp. panko bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. salmon fillet, skin removed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 Tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
baby arugula, for serving
avocado, sliced for serving

Spicy Mayo:

3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 tsp. sirracha (more or less to taste)
chives, thinly sliced (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine mayonnaise and sriracha and chives (if using), set aside.

2.Place salmon, bell pepper, onion, and garlic in a food processor or chopper and pulse until well combined and only small chunks remain. In a medium bowl gently combine the salmon with the panko, egg, soy sauce, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Form mixture into 4 patties and refrigerate about an hour (to help them become firm and hold together during cooking). Note: I’ve popped them in the freezer for a few minutes instead and that seemed to do the trick.

3. Lightly coat a grill pan or skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high. Cook the patties 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Serve on a bun with arugula, avocado, and spicy mayo.

Makes 4 burgers.

(Adapted from SkinnyTaste)

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Sweet Corn Pancakes

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Another recipe we made repeatedly this summer and I’m late sharing. These pancakes (you could probably call them corn cakes, they’re pretty much the same thing) were a bit hit with Dustin and Clara. We had them for both breakfast and dinner with butter and maple syrup (or honey) and berries. I’d love to try a savory version that incorporates some cheese and chives, with a fried egg sitting on top. And in case you don’t eat them all at once, pop them in the freezer and reheat at will.

Sweet Corn Pancakes

INGREDIENTS

2 Tbsp. butter
3/4- 1 cup corn kernels (from about 1 large ear fresh corn)
1/8 tsp. salt + additional for seasoning corn
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used half white whole wheat and half all-purpose flour)
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

DIRECTIONS

1. Melt butter in a large cast iron skillet or griddle pan over medium heat. Add corn and saute for 4 to 5 minutes, until it begins to brown ever-so-slightly. Sprinkle with salt and set aside to cool. Wipe out skillet.

2. Lightly beat egg in the bottom of a large bowl, then whisk in buttermilk, corn, vanilla and sugar. In a smaller bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and 1/8 tsp. salt. Stir dry ingredients into wet, mixing until just combined but still lumpy in appearance.

3. Reheat your skillet or saute pan to medium heat. Brush the pan with butter and ladle 1/4 cup batter at a time, 2 inches apart. When the pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around the edges, flip them over and cook them until golden brown underneath. If they seem to be cooking too quickly (dark on the outside, raw centers) turn your heat down to low for the next batch and inch it up as needed. Repeat with remaining batter, and serve immediately with a pat of butter and a healthy dose of maple syrup.

Serves 3-4.

(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

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Citrus Marinated Grilled Chicken

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Today two recipes we’ve enjoyed repeatedly this summer. (I just posted the yellow rice you see pictured here.) Summer might be officially over, but grilling season never ends around here. When it turns cold we’re still grilling indoors (with what is probably my favorite kitchen item), but this dish would also work in the oven (instructions found here- note that they used bone-in thighs so adjust accordingly). This chicken (or turkey, I bet pork would as well) is bursting with citrus juice and zest and just the right balance of salty and sweet. Our new favorite.

Citrus Marinated Grilled Chicken

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs. chicken breast (I’ve also used turkey tenderloin), cut into tenders or cubed for kabobs
small bunch green onions
handful cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. lime or lemon zest
1 tsp. orange zest
1/4 cup lime or lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. canola or grapeseed oil
2 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
2 tsp. honey

DIRECTIONS

1. Pulse onions, cilantro, garlic, citrus zests, citrus juices, soy sauce, oil, salt, peppers, and honey in a food processor or blender until a coarse purée forms. Place marinade in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 20 minutes, up to 8 hours.

2. Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear (reaches an internal temperature of 165 F). Serve immediately.

Serves 6.

(Adapted from Bon Appetit)

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