zucchini chocolate chip muffins

This marathon training is making me eat carbs. It’s either making me because I’m craving them all the time or I’m just using the training as a super good excuse to scarf down anything with flour in it. Case in point: 12 mile run on Sunday = one stack of sweet potato pancakes. 🙂 Yum.

I’ve even been told from my Sports Backers coaches that you really are supposed to eat pasta-like dishes before your long runs so really, it’s a requirement.

Because of this, I went on a carb recipe hunt on Monday. I wanted a quick snack that I could take with me when I’m out and about. That way I won’t be tempted to buy unhealthy eats when I’m grocery shopping and whatnot.

I searched my regular food blogs and found Mama’s Peas recipe for Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins. Muffins with chocolate and hidden veggies sounded awesome to me!

To make you’re life easier, I thought I’d post the recipe here instead of just the link like I usually do. I’ll try and do this from now on.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins
(source)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 1/4 c. applesauce
  • 2/3 c. organic sugar (I used half Nu Naturals Stevia Baking Blend)
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. grated zucchini
  • 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with muffin papers.
  • Combine zucchini, oil, applesauce and sugar in a medium bowl.
  • Combine remaining dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just mixed.
  • Spoon batter into muffin cups until they are about 2/3rds of the way full.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I’m shocked to say that we still have some left!  It helps that I put them on top of the fridge where we don’t usually keep snacks.

Also, it’s Thursday and they’re still super gooey and delicious! Mama Pea never steers me wrong.

I’ve already eaten these babies for breakfast, lunch, and dessert. I plan on making two batches next time! I was also thinking of substituting some of the zucchini for carrots just to try something new. That sounds like a tolerable substitute, right Elisa?? 🙂

What are you baking this week? A snack or maybe an awesome dessert?

penne with homemade marinara sauce

Here goes nothin’.

This is what I thought to myself when I started cooking on Monday.  If Chef Sam and Lauren can wing it, so can I!  I was super inspired by them after this past weekend.

I didn’t really ‘wing’ it though, I just attempted something I’ve never done before.  This is BIG for me since I’ve been sticking to leftovers and the same simple recipes for over a month.

So listen to this.

Instead of buying a jar of pasta sauce… I made my own.  I didn’t buy a can of tomatoes and then add spices, I used fresh tomatoes and made the whole dang thing.  Everything from scratch!

First I found these instructions and learned how to blanch my tomatoes for the sauce.

Blanching and braising are words I had heard on the Food Network but never really knew what they were.  This is sad yet true but now I’ve done one! I’m a little proud.

I had one big tomato leftover from the SOJ Chef Demo and a ton of cherry (?) tomatoes leftover from our CSA box.

I began the process by slicing an X on the top of each of the tomatoes.  This makes it easier to peel the skin off once they’ve been blanched.

Then I cooked them in boiling water for about 1 minute.

After that I immediately removed them from the pot and dumped them into a bowl filled with ice cold water to stop the cooking process.  Does anyone know why you need to stop the cooking?  Just wondering.

Then I peeled off the skin which took forever but I didn’t mind.  I find cooking to be quite relaxing!  And I know that next time when I use big tomatoes it won’t take me much time at all.

Once they were all peeled and very slimy, I roughly chopped them into bit size pieces.

Time to start the sauce.  I found this super simple recipe from Cooking Light.

I only had basil and garlic left to prep once the tomatoes were done.  I’m a dried herbs kinda gal but this fresh basil really made a difference!

Hi Roary!

Everything went into the pot (per the recipe) to cook for 25 minutes.  When it had about 10 minutes left, I cooked up the penne pasta for about 8 minutes.

After I was done, I ran off to yoga while Al came home to eat the dish by himself.  I came back to a positive review!  Often times he tells me a dish is good when really it’s not that great but this sauce was very tasty.  I added extra garlic and spices because we like it that way so there was a great kick to it.

So tasty, so healthy, so fresh.

Do you have a specialty that you make from scratch?

P.S. If you’re like my mom and don’t like chunky sauce, just use an immersion or regular blender to smooth it out!

SOJ chef demo

Good morning!

This past Saturday I got the chance to assist Chef Sam Baker at the South of the James Market. Lauren, the blogger over at Vegology, gave me the chance to be her substitute that day. Free food and education? Um, yes!

Chef Sam created four delicious dishes using lots of summery fruits and tomatoes. All the recipes were super quick and easy which I love. I wrote about my adventure over at her blog. Feel free to check it out! -> Guest Post! SOJ Chef Demo 07.28.12

I hope you have a lovely start to the week! Look out for a new recipe post on Wednesday.