Monday, September 22, 2014

Zucchini Muffins

 The first year I planted a garden, I planted six zucchini plants.  Yes, six!  Luckily I followed emphatic advice to thin my crop, and reduced it to two.  But that was still far too much for my husband and I to consume.  Thus began my search for recipes to use zucchini.  Here is one of our current favorites.

Zucchini Muffins

·         12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
·         4 cups wheat flour
·         1-1/2 cups Sucanat
·         1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
·         1 teaspoon sea salt
·         1-1/2 cups chocolate chips
·         4 large eggs
·         3 heaping cups of grated zucchini (I did mine in the food processor – took about fifteen seconds!)
·         1/2 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
·         2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line two standard muffin pans with papers.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.  Whisk well.  Add in chocolate and stir well to coat.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, zucchini and vanilla extract.  Mix in melted butter.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring until just combined, then divide batter into 24 muffin papers.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until the top is rounded and  a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean of batter.

*My apologies to the originator of this recipe, as I lost that information.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Having a Plan

For many years, I have had a basic plan that helps make meal planning a bit easier.  The key is to base your meals on starches, carbohydrates, the things that give you energy to go about your business.  I will write more on this later, but for now, I wanted to share the plan we are working off of right now.

Most of these are easy enough that my older kids (14 and 11.5) can make them without much help.  And they are all flexible, allowing us to add whatever and as many vegetables as we want.

For example, Monday night is pasta.  So pasta is the base of the meal.  Last week we used spaghetti, an organic pasta sauce, onions, carrots, and our own garden-fresh zucchini.  Tuesday's dinner was my favorite slow cooker curry, served with rice and naan bread.  On Wednesday, it was minestrone with sourdough bread.

Slow Cooker Veg Curry

Slow Cooker Veg Curry

1 Tbs coconut oil
2 large carrots, sliced on a diagonal
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs curry powder (I love Spice Hunter’s!)
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
8 oz green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 ½ cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed if using canned
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups vegetable stock
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
½ cup coconut milk
1 ½ tsp salt

Heat the oil in the slow cooker on high.  Add carrots and onion.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes while prepping rest of ingredients.  Add the garlic, curry, coriander, and cayenne, stir to coat.

Add potatoes, green beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, and stock.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Just before serving, stir in the peas, coconut milk and salt.  Taste to adjust the seasonings.

Serve over rice or with naan bread.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Foreign Food Experiment

I love trying new things.  I am hoping to get my children to love it, too.  

Years ago I read a book called Hungry Planet.  It was amazing, to see what food for a week for the whole family looked like in different parts of the world.  
What the World Eats, Time Magazine
The Ayme Family of Tingo, Equador

A few years ago, I read the book French Kids Eat Everything, which talked about the preschool lunch in France.  Four courses of real food.  I was inspired!  We had our own four course meal the next day.

I really enjoyed the experience and have been talking up the idea of trying more cuisines with my family.  Another goal is to teach my children to cook.  In France, even the three-year-olds learn to bake cakes. 

After years of searching and experimenting, I have come back to what I knew before, that a whole-foods, plant-based diet, is the optimal diet for humans.  This blog will focus on how to raise a family on wholesome, nourishing foods, and yet equip them for living in the real world.