Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Zucchini Bread/Muffins

 A few weeks ago my mother-in-law went to farmers market deal where you pay $10 and get 60 lbs of veggies. Yes, that's right. She shared a lot with us: tomatoes, green bell peppers, tomatillos, and lots of zucchini. We successfully used all our veggies, and tripled this recipe to use all the zucchini. Our freezer is well stocked with muffins!


1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup applesauce
2 cups grated zucchini
3 tsp. vanilla
3 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups flour ( I used 1 cup whole wheat & 2 cups all-purpose)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts


1. Preheat oven to 325. Butter and flour 2  9x5 or 2 muffin pans.

2. In a medium bowl, combine sugars, eggs, and applesauce. Beat well. Add vanilla and zucchini. In a separate bowl combine cinnamon, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Add optional chopped nuts.

3. Pour into prepared pans and bake loaves for 1 hour or muffins for 18-23 minutes (mine were done right at 20 min).

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

BBQ Chicken Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette

Welp, here we are with a full week in the 100s...and no relief in sight. We're trying to enjoy grilling while we can, and salads are such a good way to keep the kitchen cool. Here is a pretty basic BBQ chicken salad with a twist from a tasty vinaigrette. The funny thing is, we were already planning on having red potatoes on the side and when I found the recipe for the vinaigrette they also had the same side dish. Guess it's a good combo? Not the best picture, but I am finding I am less and less patient once it comes to dinner time :)

BBQ Chicken Salad

 chicken breasts, grilled with favorite barbeque sauce (plus a bit more to add after cutting up)
greens of choice (romaine, spinach, mixed greens, etc)
black beans, drained & rinsed
fresh corn (or frozen corn, thawed)
red onion, to taste
cucumber, diced
tomatoes, diced
cheese of choice
fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Avocado Vinaigrette

1/3 cup olive oil
1/6 cup white wine vinegar
2 scallions
1 Tbsp. peach jam
1/2 medium ripe avocado
Salt and pepper to taste
 *makes enough dressing for 4 servings

To make salad, layer greens with remaining ingredients. Add a bit of dressing and toss. Garnish with cilantro.

dressing adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

White Bean Tomatillo Tacos

This dish was inspired from a need to use a lot of tomatillos and tomatoes.  The Hatch family loves bean burros from a restaurant in Phoenix called Don Jose. There are many Hatch traditions I've come to love... unfortunately Don Jose's isn't exactly my favorite tradition. (I was relieved to find out one of my brothers-in-law isn't a huge fan either!) I do appreciate that it is a family-run place, but not quite my first choice for eating out. When going to Don Jose's most family members order a 'bean burro'- refried beans with cheese in a tortilla. I won't claim this recipe to be close to the beloved Don Jose bean burro, but it got a stamp of approval from Nick and is I'm sure significantly healthier.

Tomatillo Salsa


1 jalapeno
1 1/2 bunches of cilantro, no stems
12-15 fresh tomatillos, about 1 1/2 to 2 inch size, husked and cleaned
juice of 1 lime plus zest
1-2 tsp. of sugar, or other sweetener
1-2 cloves garlic
1/4 of large onion
salt to taste


Boil the jalapeno in water. Cut off stem and add to blender with all other ingredients (I split it in half first and removed the seeds because I'm wimpy.)  Blend until almost smooth. Chill. 

2 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed
cumin, to taste
oregano, to taste
coriander, to taste
shredded cheese
cucumbers, diced
tomatoes, diced
fresh spinach, roughly chopped
tomatillo salsa

1. In a medium saucepan, add rinsed beans with a bit of water- about 1/4 of the saucepan. Turn heat to medium-high and add cumin, oregano, coriander.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally til beans have thickened and have a texture almost like refried beans.

2. Cook or warm tortillas. Add beans, sprinkle with cheese and allow to melt. Garnish with cucumbers, tomatoes, and spinach. Add tomatillo salsa and enjoy!

adapted from the Enlightened Homemaker

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Poppy Seed Chicken Pitas, Now and Then

I made this to take for our picnic lunch at our ward activity a few weeks ago. I made this the night before and just kept finding things to add to enhance it. I think the original recipe is tasty (bottom picture), but this version offers a bit more in terms of veggies helping bulk it up without all of the bulk being meat. Nick and I were both going for the leftovers, the pregnant lady won. Thanks, Nicky Poo.


2 chicken breasts
drizzle of olive oil
1 lemon
1/2 tsp. thyme (just add it on as you like!)
kosher salt and fresh black pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt-- I used an entire 5.8 oz container
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1-2 stalk celery, chopped
1-2 red bell peppers, diced
1/4 cup onion, minced (red or white)- to taste
1/2 cup chopped pecans, almonds or walnuts, toasted (I used sliced almonds)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives (can use tops of green onions)
2-3 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
1 1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped (optional) OR dried cranberries
torn lettuce or spinach leaves, for serving
whole-wheat Pitas, halved


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Give the chicken a very light drizzle of olive oil. Squeeze half of the lemon over tops of chicken breasts in a baking pan. (To get the most lemon juice, leave at room temperature, heat for a few seconds in microwave and roll around before squeezing.) Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Cover with foil and bake until cooked through and juices run clear (170 degrees). Remove from oven and let cool.

2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the mayo, yogurt, juice of the other half of lemon, mustard, celery, bell pepper, onion, chives, parsley, poppy seeds, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Add the apricots/cranberries and nuts if desired or save the nuts for sprinkling over top.

3. Shred the chicken, discarding the bones and skin, and toss with the dressing. Stuff a few lettuce leaves and some of the chicken salad into each pita. Sprinkle with nuts.

Makes 6-8 pitas

adapted from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice