Monday, May 31, 2010

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread & Quinoa with Grilled Zucchini and Chickpeas

I had a great time yesterday in the kitchen making some delicious dishes. This is one great tasting bread…it has a beautiful deep chocolate color.

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  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 cup grated zucchini (about 4 medium sized)
  • 3/4 cup mini or regular chocolate chips
  • optional: zest from one orange

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 loaf pans and set aside.

Place flours, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

With a stand or hand mixer beat oil, apple sauce, white sugar, brown sugar, and eggs until combined and slightly fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add vanilla and yogurt and mix until combined. Gently stir in the grated zucchini.

Take a spoonful of the flour mixture and stir in with the chocolate chips (that will help keep them evenly distributed).

Add the remaining flour mixture to the batter and stir just until combined. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine. Divide the batter between the two pans. (I made one large loaf and four minis to share.)

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Bake in your preheated 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes. It’s ready when a cake tester comes out clean and the top is golden brown and slightly cracked.

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Recipe slightly adapted from Our Best Bites

Quinoa with Grilled Zucchini and Chickpeas

Fantastic summer grain salad, serve it at room temperature which allows all the spices to really pop. I added roasted red peppers to the mix.

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  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, divided
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika,* divided
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa (about 6 ounces),** rinsed well, drained
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium zucchini (about 5), trimmed, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 cup roasted red pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Combine garbanzo beans and lemon juice in large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons oil; press in garlic and stir to combine. Let marinate at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups water, quinoa, and coarse salt; bring to simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 16 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare barbecue (medium high heat). Place zucchini on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Toss to coat evenly.

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Place zucchini on grill; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Grill until tender and browned on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to work surface. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Add zucchini, red bell peppers, green onions, and parsley, then garbanzo bean mixture to quinoa. Toss to blend. Season with salt and pepper.

Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of Epicurious

After my cooking adventures we headed over to Kristin & Laurence’s home for a fun evening of dinner and games.

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Andy had a great idea to bring over a pitcher of these with us…

Frozen Strawberry-Lime Daiquiri's

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Serves 4

  • 3/4 cup light rum
  • 3/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar (or make simple syrup w/ lime zest and 1/4 cup water, chill)
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen whole strawberries
  • 1/2 cup ice, if needed

Pour rum and lime juice into blender container. Add sugar and whirl to dissolve. Drop frozen berries into blender container, a few at a time, blending until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses.

Our cocktails were enjoyed with a delicious chilled dip that included Beans, Peppers, Corn, and Salsa and topped with cheese and sour cream.

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Little Ellie had her 2nd birthday last week; after finishing her snack she broke into the gift we brought her. I loved watching her peak inside of the tall package as she unwrapped it.

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Kristin had previously ordered her butterfly flower garden and the two of them spend time tending to it and watching the plants grow. We got Ellie her own little garden kit (shovel, spade, and water bottle)…she had fun outside spritzing all the plants.

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In the meantime, the food prep was underway…grilled corn on the cob

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Memphis Ribs (with a dry rub spice blend and sauce)

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Corn, Quinoa and Zucchini, RIBS!!

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I tried a Purple Haze tonight, wheat ale with a hint of raspberry, I’m a sucker for wheat brews and thought it was really nice.

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The rest of the evening was filled with PB Brownie Cups, Catch Phrase and Trivial Pursuit :D

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Oh, I went back to the last daiquiri too and that led to more tortilla chips…sprinkled with shredded cheese and microwaved for 30 seconds…an old childhood favorite snack of mine.


Danko Family said...

It all looks delicious!!!! I want to try the zucchini bread!!!!

Tifani says... said...

How fun to see pictures of so many things that are on our menu this week! How were your ribs?