How to: Make your own – Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

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This is an adapted recipe and I’ll be honest with you,  I only chose to make it in the first place because 1. I was really craving chocolate cake batter. 2. I had a wilty zucchini that needed using up.

The end game, a chocolate cake, was pure bonus.

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A really super surprisingly delicious bonus.

Not that I’m surprised a chocolate cake was delicious.  Just surprised that I adapted the original recipe quite significantly and it still turned out.  I don’t have a ton of faith in my baking adaptations just yet. Getting there, though!

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I repeated my adapted recipe juuust to make sure my changes worked and to accurately measure ingredients and bam, it was perfecto again.

I wouldn’t classify this as a recipe makeover per se. It stills calls for refined flour, sugar and a good amount of fat.  BUT it’s not so bad either in that there isn’t loads of sugar or fat,  the cake gets some of it’s moisture from zucchini, there is some added protein (walnuts/egg/yogurt) and even a dash of omega 3s (if using omega 3 eggs & walnuts).

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Semi sweet or really dark chocolate would both work well in this recipe. Both my husband and I loved it because the end result isn’t too sweet.  It’s chocolatey without feeling insanely decadent.

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The batter will be extra thick and sticky when you transfer it to the pan.  Not to worry, you’re on the right track.  Don’t forget the zucchini still needs to release all of its juices whilst baking.  Mmmm zucchini juice.

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I’m already looking forward to my next meeting with a wilty zucchini in need of some love.

Erin

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Website Adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ cup grated zucchini (approximately 1 large)
  • ½ cup chopped semi sweet chocolate chunks (or chocolate chips)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Butter and flour an 8"x4" loaf pan.
2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, butter and oil until well blended. Add egg, vanilla and yogurt. Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until just combined after each addition.
4. Stir in zucchini, chocolate chunks and walnuts and transfer mixture to loaf pan.
5. Bake until toothpick tester comes out clean, about 60-65 minutes.

 

 

 

How To: Make Your Own Bread – Aged Cheddar and Greek Yogurt Cornbread

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I think this is one of the fastest kitchen to blog posts I have ever shared. But I just couldn’t wait another single second. After just one bite, I can say with utter certainty that this is by far and away the best darn cornbread I’ve ever made.

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What makes this bread so special? Well, just like our jalepeno variety, it has a good amount of shredded aged cheddar cheese. And that spicy pepper filled version is still delicious – but I think what takes this bread over the top is the addition of Greek yogurt, corn, and good old fashioned butter…..mmmm!

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The Greek yogurt keeps it moist while also keeping the butter to a minimum – but life without butter would just not be worth living. So just a 1/4 cup gives it a nice rich flavour. And biting into a whole corn kernel leads to corn bread texture heaven.

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Eat it with a bowl of soup, dipped into chill, or just straight up. I think it would also make a darn good grilled cheese sandwich. And on that note….

Dara

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Aged Cheddar and Greek Yogurt Cornbread

Serves 8
Meal type Bread
Misc Freezable
Website Adapted from Daily Garnish

Ingredients

  • 3/4 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 Tsp kosher salt (plus a pinch)
  • 1/8 Tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup canned corn (drained)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cups aged cheddar cheese (shredded)

Note

This cornbread is great warm fresh out of the oven, but can also be made in advance. Serve with your favourite soup, stew, or chili.

Directions

1. In a large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, corn, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cayenne pepper. In a medium bowl combine eggs, yogurt, milk, and butter.
2. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese.
3. Spread batter into an 8 x 8 pyrex dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and a pinch of kosher salt. Bake in a 400 degree for about 26 minutes until browned on top and around the edges.

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How To: Snack Healthy – Pumpkin Banana Bread

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I fear that by the end of fall, I may have an orange tint to my skin.

I think this is a legitimate fear given all the winter squash I have been devouring. They are just so delicious this season I can’t help myself. I think it is an unwritten rule that they absolutely must be worked into every dish you cook this fall season.

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So then, making a banana bread? Why not throw in some squash. In this case I took a short cut and used already pureed canned pumpkin (not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling). If you are feeling adventurous, by all means roast and puree your own. But this quickie banana bread will be delicious either route you choose.

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It also freezes fantastically – I sliced mine up and then packaged them individually in the freezer so they are easy to pop in the toaster or microwave for a quick snack or breakfast. A shmear of cream cheese after warming turns it into a decadent treat. And if you just happen to need to finish off a bag of chocolate chips….this bread wouldn’t object.

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So who cares if you need to use some extra cover up this fall season? I say embrace the orange glow!

Dara

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Pumpkin Banana Bread

Serves 1 loaf
Meal type Bread, Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Closet Cooking

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp ginger
  • 1/2 Tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 2 very ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar

Note

This is one of the easiest quick breads I've ever made and it practically screams fall! It tastes great plain, crumbled into yogurt, or topped with cream cheese. It also keeps well wrapped tightly in the freezer.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl whisk together mashed bananas, pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, and yogurt. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredient and mix until combined. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour, until top is brown and loaf is cooked through.

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How To: Make Your Own – Whole Wheat Tortillas

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This recipe came about after trying to find the perfect vehicle for my husbands favourite dinner, kung pao chicken. I should say it’s not only his favourite dinner, but probably his favourite lunch, snack, and if I ever made it at 6 in the morning, breakfast.

Having purchased several varieties of tortillas from the grocery store, we were both always left disappointed with both the taste and texture. So what’s a kung pao chicken taco loving couple to do? Make your own of course.

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So as I put my daughter down for what I hoped was an extra long nap, I got ready to spend some time in my kitchen to create our ultimate taco wrap. And boy was I in for a shock – not only did my daughter take an epic 2.5 hour nap, but I had time to make tortillas, prep dinner, AND watch the last episode of OITNB. That is how easy they are!

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These whole wheat tortillas are so much tastier than the plastic wrapped grocery store variety – you will be shocked as to how easy they are to make. With just a few simple ingredients you can have fresh out of the skillet tortillas to top with the filling of your choice.

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And this household that means one thing…

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I highly suggest doubling this recipe as once you taste them fresh out of the skillet you may find yourself a tortilla or two short!

Dara

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Whole Wheat Tortillas

Serves 6
Meal type Bread
Website Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/4 Tsp baking powder
  • 8 Tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup hot water

Note

These tortillas are delicious hot out of the pan. Once they sit, they tend to stiffen up a bit so microwave them to make them to help soften before using. They are delicious filled with your favourite taco filling or simply eaten straight out of the pan with a little butter.

Directions

1. Mix together all the dry ingredients. Add the oil and mix with your fingers until oil is incorporated. Mixture should look like small balls/clumps of sand. Add the hot water and mix with your hands until a shaggy ball is formed.
2. Place dough on a floured surface and knead with your hands until a smooth ball is formed. Place back in bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let stand for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. (I let mine rest for 5 hours).
3. Divide the dough into 6 balls and roll on a floured surface using a rolling pin until it is a very thin circle. Preheat a non stick skillet over medium high heat and and cook tortillas until blistered and browned on both sides (about 2-4 minutes per side).
4. Once done, stack and cover with a clean dish towel to keep warm. If you aren't using them all right away, store in a sealed container or zip lock bag and reheat for about 30 second in the microwave prior to using.

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How To: Healthy Breakfast – Mushroom, Broccoli, and Sun Dried Tomato Strata

This recipe is my “go-to.”

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Don’t you all have your “go-to’s?” You know, your “go-to” shirt for doing out for dinner, your “go-to” pyjamas for when you want to be warm and cozy, your “go-to” Thai place for take out. Well, now you can add a “go-to” brunch dish to that list.

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This strata is just as perfect for entertaining a crowd for a Sunday brunch as it is for a quick re-heatable weekday morning option.

It is also easily made in advance – actually, you have to make this in advance as it needs to sit overnight to let the egg mixture soak into the baguette cubes.

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It’s loaded with all sorts of good for you vegetables and gets a hit of flavour from some grated parmesan and sliced sun-dried tomatoes.

I have in fact made this not once, not twice, but THREE times in the last couple months when hosting a brunch and lunch at my place and it has never failed to impress.

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And if this happens to become your new “go-to” breakfast, brunch, lunch, AND dinner recipe, well, I won’t tell!

Dara

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Broccoli, Mushroom, and Sun Dried Tomato Strata

Serves 8
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Pre-preparable
By author Adapted from Ellie Krieger

Ingredients

  • 5 Cups cubed whole wheat baguette
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 Cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 Cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 500 Gram bag frozen broccoli (defrosted and chopped)
  • 85 Gram bag sun-dried tomatoes (rehydrated in boiling water and thinly sliced)
  • 8 eggs
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 Cups skim milk
  • 1 Tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/4 Tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard

Note

This strata is an excellent make ahead weekend brunch option. It can also be portioned out for breakfast or lunches during the week.

Directions

1. Preheat a non stick skillet over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add onions and garlic and cook until onion is translucent and soft. Remove to a large bowl and set aside.
2. Add mushrooms to pan and cook until browned and liquid has evaporated. Add mushrooms to bowl with onion and let cool.
3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, milk, and dijon mustard until combined. Add onion mixture, broccoli, sun dried tomatoes, thyme, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese and mix until combined.
4. Spray a 9 x 13 pyrex with cooking spray and evenly distribute bread cubes along the bottom. Pour egg mixture over top and make sure bread cubes are all covered with this mixture. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
5. Preheat oven to 350 and bake strata for about an hour (it should be browned on top). Remove and let cool for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

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