Breaded Zucchini Sticks

CSA’s are the best. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, a small farm or a portion of a farm that is supported by members. You purchase a ‘share’, which enables you to pick up a variety of in season fruits and vegetables every single week. These fruits and vegetables are usually treated far nicer than the ones you find in your grocery store, and you can tell because the foods are always GORGEOUS. The zucchini that I’ve been receiving from my (super awesome) CSA have been out of this world. The flavor and textures have been spot on, not to mention stunning to look at. This is what I threw together with one of my zucchinis :) 

Check out www.justfood.org for more information on CSA’s and CSA’s near you! I highly recommend it. Seeing where your foods comes from and knowing who is growing it is a freaking awesome and cool experience. It gives a larger dimension to your food and your cooking.

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CSA share
CSA share

Breaded Zucchini Sticks

Sorry for the god awful picture :/   I didn't expect to write a post about them, but they were SO good. My boyfriend and I couldn't stop eating them until they were all gone *whoops*. Aka we couldn't stop eating them long enough to take a decent picture... and also I was running out to a baseball game- GO SOX! ;)  

Sorry for the god awful picture :/ I didn't expect to write a post about them, but they were SO good. My boyfriend and I couldn't stop eating them until they were all gone *whoops*. Aka we couldn't stop eating them long enough to take a decent picture... and also I was running out to a baseball game- GO SOX! ;)  

Serving: 3 people, makes about 1 baking tray
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 24-30 minutes

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1-2 large egg(s)
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup cashew meal
  • ¼ teaspoon (himalayan) salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon mix seasoning (I used a mixed seasoning that I bought at the market in Israel when I was there a couple weeks back, it has some paprika, tumeric (which is why they are slightly yellowy)… not sure what else- sorry! This would be great with cayenne and chili or dried oregano, dried basil, and lemon!)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

1. Cut zucchini into small sticks
2. Whisk 1 egg in a bowl (reserve the second egg, only use if the first egg runs out before all of your zucchini's are breaded)
3. In another bowl, mix together the dry ingredients
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush the bottom with 2 teaspoons of olive oil- just enough to thinly coat the bottom so the breaded zucchini doesn’t stick and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
5. Bread sticks one at a time, coat with egg then coat with the 'flour' mixture.
6. Once coated place them on the parchment lined baking sheet. Be sure not to crowd them so they can brown on all sides.
7. Place the filled tray into the oven and turn the timer on 12 minutes.
8. At 12 minutes check to see that the tops are browning slightly. Once the bottoms are dark brown but not burnt, flip the zucchini over and bake for another 12-15 minutes. 


MANGIA!

beats

Music on the menu for
Zucchini Bread Sticks:
 

Recap: Cooking Demo

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Something pretty awesome happened last week. This rad friend of mine who is a super awesome radio DJ in New York City (check it) runs summer camps in the city. I ran into her a couple weeks ago in the subway (fate) and she asked me to speak and do a Paleo-centric cooking demo for a high school cooking summer program she was running.

I did, it went well. The end.

---

Just kidding. That’s not the whole story. So she asked me to do this demo and seminar for 40 high school kids. I couldn’t incorporate nuts, they didn’t have a fully functioning kitchen, and hardly any cooking tools. I really wanted so badly to have the kids make their own flavors of Healthy Chewy Bars, but alas both nuts and lugging my large food processor were out. I thought about making my Swoon Worthy  Bacon Caramel Chocolates, but they didn’t have a freezer.. sooo that was also out. After loads and loads of thinking, I decided to have the kids make my Bacon Wrapped Butternut Squash Spears with Sage recipe. It is a simple and the preperation and time allows for plenty of  discussion and questions (and apparently small grease fires, nbd). I also wanted to show how simple making mayonnaise is and how versatile it can be with different flavors. It’s da simple switches in your diet doe. ;) But really, little swaps go a long way! Oh! And I pre-made a version of my Bacon Caramel Chocolates to pass around, because bacon+caramel+chocolate. Nuff said.

Anyway, I talked to the kiddies about Paleo, what Paleo is, Paleo misconceptions, and basic points of Paleo (good fats/bad fats, bad sugars/OK sugars, gluten and grain, and dairy). A handful of kids had actually heard of Paleo and two had even tried it. I was so very impressed! One even said it made him have more energy and feel better *high five*!

We chatted a bunch, I asked questions, they asked questions, and we cooked. The points that I hope were taken from the demo actually aren’t necessarily Paleo specific.

-What foods make YOU feel good? Eat those!
-What foods don’t make you feel good? Avoid those! Eliminate grains and dairy for a few weeks and then slowly incorporate them. You might have felt good before, but maybe you’ll feel even better after!
-If you’re cooking anyway, you may as well cook food that makes your mind and body happy!
-Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t let eating a certain ‘diet’ define you or your social life. If you do decide to eat Paleo, you don’t need to feel guilty for occasionally splurging and eating something ‘non-Paleo’ as a treat. But treat it as a treat and exception ;)


As this awesome Paleo superstar says, paleYOU!

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Garlic Scape Pesto!

Garlic Scape Pesto <333

Garlic Scape Pesto <333

Garlic scape garlic scape garlic scape... Oh.my.goodess! I have never ever had a garlic scape (or even knew they existed) until my awesome CSA Hellgate Farm introduced me to them this Summer and man oh man do I wish that I knew about them earlier!

OK, so garlic scape… Garlic is a bulbous plant and as it grows it the ground it creates leaves that look like super big blades of grass. In the middle of the grass-like leaves grows one single garlic scape per bulb. They are like garlic scallions- such a winning combination. Once they have fully grown you harvest the scapes and then the energy from the plant can focus on the garlic bulb. I am learning so much as an apprentice at this farm and it’s AWESOME.

So what to do with garlic scapes?

>Make this pesto of course! Dip things into it, use it on zucchini noodles, on grilled or roasted chicken, with your eggs in the morning, or my favorite- with a spoon :)
>Chop it up and use it as you would scallions

>With sautéed vegetables
>In cauliflower rice

 

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup olive oil*
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 1 garlic scape chopped up (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons rough chop fresh basil
  • ¼ cup soaked cashews (rinsed)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • juice ½ lemon
     
  1. Soak the cashews for minimum 2 hours, maximum overnight. Then rinse them.

  2. Mix all ingredients together in a food processor. Talk about easy!
     

*Add more oil if you would like a thinner consistency, you could also add a bit of water. If you’re adding more liquids, start with a drizzle and add until you’re pleased with the results. Don’t add too much too quickly for fear of ending up with the wrong consistency.

Chicken Salad with&nbsp;Garlic Scape Pesto Mayo!!

Chicken Salad with Garlic Scape Pesto Mayo!!


Na-Cho average Kale Chips ;)

Nacho Kale Chips

Nacho Average Kale Chips

Yes, I’m super cheesey ( :D ) I’ve been told that I have some of the greatest Dad jokes around town, no need to be jealous. HA.

Anyway, I’ve been curious about the whole cashew-as-cheese replacement thing. I mean, they're cashews, how can it fool your palate into thinking it's cheese?? Well, let your mind be blown.....

Ingredients:

1 large head of kale, torn up into bite size pieces
1 cup of soaked cashews, 2 hours minimum
about ⅓ cup water
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast

  • To soak your cashews, make sure to submerge them in water and leave them out on the counter.
  • After at least 2 hours of soaking your cashews, dump the water out and rinse the cashews.
  • Put your oven on 200 degrees (or the lowest setting, the lowest setting on my oven is 200)
  • Add the cashews in your food processor (or magic bullet in my case!- I only use my food processor for big jobs since it's quite large) and cover them with water, I used about ⅓ cup. I’d suggest adding less than you anticipate needing as you can always add more. The consistency you are going for is a thick smoothie, pourable but not soup.
  • In a large bowl pour the cashew “smoothie” and mix in the nutritional yeast.
  • Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper (my kale took up 4 baking sheets, but I only have 2, so I had to make 2 batches of chips. If you have 4 sheets and want to make 1 quick batch, then I’d advise rotating the pans halfway through and probably upping the time in the oven, but keep an eye on them!)
  • Tear the kale into pieces and rinse.
  • Toss a handful of kale at a time into the bowl. Using your spatula, evenly distribute the cream on each kale piece, but don’t drown them! As I evenly coated each piece, I then put them on a baking sheet, filling one pan at a time. Repeat until all kale has been cheesified!
  • Pop in the oven for 200 degrees for about 50 minutes, until the kale pieces are crisp but not burnt.

I kept mine stored in a tupperware container on the counter, however the 4 trays only took me 3 days to devour. Next time I’m making half nacho flavored and half salt and garlic in hopes of slowing down my kale chip intake.*

*Ok, I fibbed... I made them again yesterday (not my fault my CSA handed me kale again :D ) and I made them all cheesy. I couldn't bare to make some just salt or salt and garlic... one you go cheesy you never go back! HA!

 

Healthy Chewy Snack Bars

Fig and Chocolate Chewy Bars!

Fig and Chocolate Chewy Bars!

Why hello there! I made this recipe a couple months ago and then got swamped with homework on top of work. But today I emerge from that chaos with a brand spankin' new recipe that several people have been nagging me about. Healthy Grain-Free Chewy Bars! My deepest apologies to those that have been waiting patiently. 

I don't know about you, but those Quaker Oat Chewy Bars with literally 4 soy ingredients, 2 corn ingredients, several types of sugar, and several types of wheat (but only 100 calories- whoop dedoo), used to be a staple in my adolescent diet. Well screw those, there is a new bar in town and it's far superior. (And so stupid easy to make).

These bars are AWESOME because you can really add whatever you have in your pantry. Just get it to a wet but crumbly consistency so when you pat it down and pack it into a brownie pan and stick it in the freezer, it firms up and holds together.

I have made several versions of these since the first one; sunbutter & chocolate fig, fig & almonds, and unsweetened cranberry fig chocolate. I've even added 1/4 teaspoon of maca powder and tumeric to batches for added nutrients, or cocoa powder. If you're someone that doesn't get enough protein in your diet, you could even add a scoop or too of your favorite protein powder, just be mindful that you might need to add more wet ingredients like coconut oil and almond/sun/peanut/cashew butter. Let your imagination run wild! 

Healthy Chewy Fig Snack Bar


Makes: 12-14 bars
Serves: 12-14 people
Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

5 dates
8 dried figs

1 cup almonds

½ cup cashews

¼ cup flax seed

¼ cup walnuts

¼ cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup almond butter (I used crunchy)

⅓ cup chocolate chips

2 tablespoons coconut oil

pinch salt

1. In a food processor, add all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Pulse until crumbly yet wet consistency is reached. 
2. Add in chocolate chips. Pulse briefly.
3. In a parchment lined brownie pan, add the mixture. Spread out evenly and place them in the freezer to set, about 60-90 minutes.

Once solid, remove from the freezer and let sit on the counter for 10 minutes. Then, use a sharp knife to cut the square into bars. Place bars in storage containers or zip lock bags for easy access. I prefer to keep them in the freezer and grab one when I'm on the go, but you could also keep them in the fridge. They just will be a lot softer.

Let me know what combos you come up with!