You Float my Zucchini Boat

Funny thing about the food blogging world.  Recipes tend to beget more recipes.  I sent the link to the blog to my college roommie, Helen (although, now I think she goes by Eleni). The zucchini muffin recipe prompted her to send me her zucchini boat recipe, which, presumably, she cooks for her family, also including two kids.  I made some changes, using the vegetables I had on hand, and also since I wasn’t really reading the directions and ended up cooking all the vegetables together.  To keep this from being too confusing, i’ll include her recipe here, then add my comments and pictures below.

Eleni’s Zucchini Boat Recipe:

Ingredients: (2 servings, 1 if you’re Greek)

 1 large zucchini

1 small onion, chopped

1-2 garlic cloves, minced (i always go more with garlic in every dish)

1-2 tsp rice wine vinegar (if you like, not necessary)

1 cup shredded carrot

1 cup spinach, chopped

1/3 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup cheese of your liking

salt, pepper, basil to taste

 

1. Cut off ends of zuchini and halve,lengthwise

2. Scoop out the flesh leaving the shell intact

3. Spray some butter or olive oil on the shells and place in the oven at 400 degrees

4. Chop zuchini flesh, garlic and onion then add rice wine vinegar and cook over medium heat until soft

5. Add salt, pepper, basil or whatever spices please you 

6. Add shredded carrot and chopped spinach (you can pretty much use any veggie, mushrooms are good in this too) and cook for a couple minutes.

7. Remove from heat, add in breadcrumbs and cheese (feta, goat cheese, cheddar, whatever on hand)

8. Remove Zuchini shells from oven, stuff with mixture and bake for 15 min. or until slightly browned.

* I used only veggies but this is also good with ground meat or turkey sausage

 I didn’t use the rice wine vinegar, but used a little balsamic instead.  I took an onion, a garlic clove, a cup of baby carrots, and two cups of broccoli and put it in the vitamix on low -med speed, until it was pretty finely chopped.  I sauteed all the vegetables together (while the zucchini roasted in the oven).  I mixed in the breadcrumbs, and assembled the boats.
My sous chef said she wanted one sail boat and one canoe.  I wasn’t sure how to make it look like a canoe, so it because a crew shell, using little toothpick oars.
Then, I made a sailboat using a piece of velveeta cheese and a kabob skewer, which is harder than it looks.  I added the toppings afterwards, so Ali could have the velveeta on hers, and I could have pistachio pesto and goat cheese on mine.

When I went to take the picture, I had to laugh, because I had made Helen and I!  In college, she was on the crew team and I was on the sailing team, so every once in a while, we were down there on the river, side by side… on our little boats.

So, this post is dedicated to my friend Leni, who survived sleeping underneath me (on the bunk bed!), a trip to France, psych 101, countless, countless hours of dancing, and introduced me to the world of Greek food beyond gyros and baklava.

Zucchini Muffins- MY Way

I bought a couple of zucchinis at the farm stand on Baldwin Avenue (which is adorable, and another blog post topic), and since it’s been a few days since I baked anything, I had to give some zucchini muffins a go.  So, I headed over to Pinterest, my latest obsession, besides this blog I mean, and clicked on an adorable looking zucchini muffin picture. GAH! It’s a weelicious  recipe- is there nothing this lady hasn’t made?  I’ve loved everything I’ve tried off that site, but I didn’t want to just copy her muffin recipe, but as luck would have it, I was out of about half of the ingredients she listed!  HA!

Plus, I needed to add some chocolate chips.

Improvising can be scary with baking, since its an actual science.  So how did they come out?  I’d love to tell you, but they keep disappearing from off my plate.

Actually, they are moist and delicious, but I should never eat while I’m typing, because I can’t truely savor the experience and my keyboard is full of crumbs.  So, here is my recipe, adapted from the Weelicious site.

Healthy Zucchini Muffins (with Chocolate Chips!)

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp flax seed-ground
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
  • a couple of handfuls of chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Place first 7 ingredients in a bowl and whisk (flax is optional). Place remaining ingredients in another bowl and whisk to combine.  Pour wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Put into greased or papered muffin cups.  This made 12 medium sized muffins for me, generously filling each cup .  I often here the recommendation to use an ice cream scoop, but I like a measuring cup (usually 1/4 c size) and if you spray it with Pam first the batter comes right out.  The directions say to cook for 15 minutes for small ones, so in my medium sized tin (normal cupcake size) – they cooked for about 17 minutes and came out fluffy and perfectly cooked.

More info on my choice of ingredients/substitutions.  The weelicious recipe calls for agave, which I don’t have, and recommends honey as a substitute.  I don’t want to use honey since I might feed these (taking out the chocolate chips- maybe) to baby, and honey can contain botulism spores, which can apparently be ‘bad for baby’.  Even cooked or processed.  So, I just used plain old sugar.  Also, original recipe calls for vegetable oil.  OUT!  So I used coconut oil and greek yogurt instead, but feel free to play around here a little.  Also, I like to add applesauce to anything that normally calls for oil, since it keeps it moist, and has to be healthier for you.  Oh, also, I didn’t peel the zucchini.