Zucchini Pancakes

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Directions

2 medium zucchini, shredded (about 5 cups)

2 tsp sea salt

¼ cup coconut flour

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp black pepper

¼ tsp cayenne pepper, optional

Coconut oil or ghee for cooking

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Instructions

Shred the zucchini using a box grater or a food processor fitted with a shredding blade. Put the shredded zucchini in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and toss well. Walk away for 10 minutes.

Now it’s time to squeeze all the moisture out of the zucchini because nobody likes soggy fritters. Note: If you’re really salt sensitive, you may want to rinse the zucchiniwith water, then squeeze it out. Scoop up a generous handful of the zucchini and squeeze the living daylights out of them into a sink or bowl. You want them dry. Place in a different bowl.

Add the coconut flour, egg and pepper. Stir to combine.

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Melt a large spoonful of ghee or coconut oil in the pan. Pack a ¼ cup measuring cup with the zucchini mixture, pressing it down inside the cup. Turn the cup out onto the pan and flatten the zucchini until you get a patty. You can also use a disher or just eyeball it. I fit about 4 or 5 in a large skillet at one time.

Cook each side for 3 to 5 minutes or until nicely browned. Repeat until you‘ve used up all the zucchini mixture. Be sure to add more ghee or coconut oil to the pan each time you start a new batch.

Cool on a cooling rack so they don’t get soggy.

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Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

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* – from Compassion Explorer

Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is a popular food in Bolivia. It’s a plant from the Andean highlands. The plant’s seeds are the edible, tasty part. They contain protein, which helps children grow.
 
Ingredients
 1 tsp vegetable oil
 1 onion, chopped
 3 cloves garlic, chopped
 1 cup dry quinoa
 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
 1 tsp ground cumin
 ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, optional for a spicier dish
 salt and pepper to taste
 1 cup frozen corn kernels
 2 (15-oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
 ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cooking until light brown, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the quinoa to the pan and pour the broth over it. Season with the cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all the broth, about 20 minutes.

4. Stir in the frozen corn and simmer about 5 minutes. Stir in the black beans and cilantro and remove from heat. Let sit for a few minutes before fluffing with a fork. Serve hot or cold.

Spicy Black-Bean Soup

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 fresh jalapeño (2 inches), seeded and minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 (19-ounces) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • Accompaniments: chopped cilantro; lime wedges; chopped white onion

    1. Heat oil in a 4-to 5-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté onion, garlic, and jalapeño with chili powder, cumin, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until onion is beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beans, water, and bay leaf and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until soup has thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.
    2. Transfer about 2 cups soup to a blender and purée (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return to pot and reheat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Discard bay leaf. Season with salt.

Poblano Cream Soup

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* – from Gourmet Magazine

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 1/2 pounds fresh poblano chiles (8 large)
    • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
    • 1 whole clove or 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 4 whole allspice or 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/4 cup mild olive oil
    • 1 medium white onion, chopped (1 cup)
    • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
    • 3 to 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
    • 1 cup heavy cream

PREPARATION

  1. Roast chiles:
    1. Roast chiles on their sides on racks of gas burners, 1 or 2 per burner, on medium-high (or on rack of a broiler pan about 2 inches from heat), turning with tongs, until skins are blackened all over, 4 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, then cover and let stand 20 minutes. Peel chiles, then stem, seed, devein, and coarsely chop.
  2. Make soup:
    1. Heat spices in oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant and oil begins to simmer, 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add roasted chiles and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
    2. Purée chile mixture with cilantro and 3 cups broth (total) in 2 or 3 batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), about 2 minutes per batch.
    3. Return mixture to cleaned saucepan and add cream. Bring to a simmer, adding more broth to thin if necessary, and season with salt.

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Bacon ‘n’ Egg Quesadillas

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* – from Rachael Ray

Ingredients

  • 8 medium flour tortillas
  • 2 hass avocados
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 8 large eggs
  • 8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1 15 1/2 ounce can black beans, rinsed

Preparation

Place the tortillas in the oven in two stacks; heat to 200 degrees . In a bowl, mash the avocados with the lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

Working in batches, in a nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp; drain on paper towels. Leave about 2 tablespoons bacon fat in the skillet, reserving the rest of the fat. Cut the bacon strips in half.

Working in 2 batches, in the skillet, cook the eggs over easy; transfer to a platter. Reserve the skillet.

Lay the tortillas on a work surface. Sprinkle each with 1/4 cup cheese; top with beans, 1 egg and bacon strips, then fold to enclose.

In the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat over medium heat, add 4 quesadillas and cook, turning once, until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Repeat with more bacon fat and the remaining quesadillas; serve with the avocado mash.

Avocado Toast

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Avocado Toast is becoming a popular thing these days. I love avocados and I try to incorporate them into as many meals as possible. Here is a recipe I found for avocado toast. I added a few things for my own spin on it.

Ingredients

  • One 8-ounce ripe avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
  • Fine salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices whole grain or whole wheat bread
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or unsalted butter, softened
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Directions

Mash the avocado with a fork in a shallow bowl until chunky. Season with fine salt and black pepper. * – I also added lemon zest 

Toast the bread until browned and crisp. Lightly rub 1 side of each slice with the cut side of the garlic until fragrant; discard the garlic. Lightly brush the toasts with oil, and season with fine salt and pepper. Divide the mashed avocado evenly among the toasts, and top with more flaky sea salt, more black pepper and red pepper flakes if using. * – I added a layer of sliced radishes for more crunch and topped it with scrambles eggs and chives.

Spring Peas with Mint

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* – from Food & Wine

I love peas and found this simple recipe from Mario Batali in Food & Wine magazine of his spring version of a side of peas.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds peas in the pod, shelled, or 2 cups fresh peas
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into dice about the same size as the peas
  • 1/2 bunch fresh mint, leaves removed and torn into 2-3 pieces each
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinaigrette
  • Maldon or other flaky sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

Cooking Directions

Combine the peas, onion, and mint in a medium bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and serve, or let stand at room temperature for 1 hour to bring out the flavors. (The peas can be refrigerated for up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before serving.)