This is a versatile, delicious recipe to make right now when summer produce is fresh and abundant! You can vary the squashes and the herbs: I’m loving fresh basil and thyme mixed together. My recipe is gluten and dairy free, but you can top it with grated cheese or breadcrumbs for the final 10 minutes if you like.
2 medium zucchini, sliced about 1/8 inch thick
1 yellow zucchini or squash, sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 Japanese eggplant, sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste (I like lemon pepper)
3 T fresh basil, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
Add the onions, thyme, lemon pepper and salt, and saute until the onions are soft and caramelized, about 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, basil and garlic and steep 15 minutes.
Put a little of the basil oil on the bottom of a large deep dish pie plate or casserole dish.
Spread the onions in a layer on the bottom of the dish. Arrange a row of zucchini over the top, overlapping edges slightly. Lay a layer of squash on top, and then a layer of eggplant. Repeat the sequence with remaining ingredients, drizzling a little olive oil mixture between the layers.
Cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on thickness, until veggies are cooked through. If you’re adding cheese or crumbs, leave the foil off and bake until golden brown. Enjoy!
I was craving some zucchini muffins and found a recipe for chocolate pecan muffins that inspired me to try these chocolate zucchini muffins. I love these! They are rich, and cake like but not sweet. If you want sweet, you can frost them or add chocolate chips, or add more sugar, but try them like this first as muffins. What a great way to use up some of that extra zucchini! They freeze well too.
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup sugar (brown, coconut or a mix)
2 large eggs
scant ¾ cup coconut oil, softened
1 1/2 cups finely grated zucchini
1/4-1/3 cup coconut milk (use almond milk for more Ca)
Preheat over to 350. Line 12 cupcake tins with papers, or grease well.
In a large bowl, combine flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs and oil.
Add liquids to dry ingredients and mix well.
Fold in grated zucchini until evenly distributed.
Put into prepared baking cups.
Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean.
Let cool 10 minutes in tins; remove and cool completely.
Dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired.
These are not sweet, but very chocolaty. If you want them to be more like cupcakes, then add more sugar, but they really are good muffins like this!
Note: Each muffin has about 20 mg Ca if you use almond milk and about 18 mg of Mg.
Kuku Sabzi is traditionally served at Persian New Year feasts, jammed with herbs which symbolize rebirth. One version adds dried cranberries and cinnamon, and there are many versions, but they all have at least 6 cups of greens! Debra, from Debra’s Natural Gourmet, added romaine lettuce and fenugreek to hers and recommends using 8-9 cups of greens. So far, I like using spinach, dill, parsley, cilantro, chives, and scallions to total 6-8 cups. I process them in 2 batches in my food processor with some olive oil until they’re finely ground. Sometimes I’ve added a little baking powder, but it’s not really necessary. I love it with cardamom, cumin, and lemon black pepper. My first version used cashews because I was out of walnuts and it was delicious, but walnuts are traditionally used. Try them both, experiment with herbs, and see which one becomes your favorite!
I use a 9 inch deep pie dish but you can use a 9×9 square or 9″ round pan.
5 T olive oil
2 cups lightly packed parsley leaves
2 cups lightly packed cilantro leaves with tender stems
1 large bunch dill, about 1-1 ½ cups, coarsely chopped
1 bunch scallions, coarsely chopped with greens
3-4 cups packed spinach, or 1 5 oz. package
1 tsp salt
½ tsp lemon black pepper (from Trader Joe’s)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric (optional)
¾ tsp cardamom
½ cups toasted walnuts (or cashews)
8 large eggs
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat the bottom of the pan with 2 T olive oil and swirl to coat the sides; it should pool in the bottom.
In a food processor, combine the parsley, cilantro, and dill with 3 T olive oil. Process until finely ground. Do this a little at a time, and scrape down. Remove and put mixture in a large bowl.
Add spinach, scallions, and toasted walnuts to the food processor bowl, and process until finely ground. Transfer to the herb bowl. In another large bowl, beat 2 of the eggs and whisk in the salt and pepper, cumin, turmeric, and cardamom. Add 6 more eggs and beat well. Fold in the herb nut mixture and mix well. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, depending on how many cups of herbs you used, until the center is firm. It will puff up like a soufflé!
Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges, and cut into wedges. Serve warm or room temperature, even cold…I like it plain, but you could add a dollop of yogurt. It’s also good with tahini sauce.
Notes: You can use 6 or 7 eggs- just lower the baking time to 35-40 minutes, until the center is firm.
If you want to add 1 tsp of baking powder, add it with the spices and watch the bake time.
This omelet freezes well, and keeps in the refrigerator for 3 days, wrapped or covered.
Strawberries are in season which usually inspires me to make strawberry rhubarb crisp or strawberry shortcake, but I had a request for cupcakes for a special occasion so I decided to try something different- vanilla cupcakes with strawberry frosting. After doing a little research, I discovered that using freeze dried strawberries would produce a really intensely flavored strawberry frosting and while I could have made a buttercream, I decided to make strawberry cream cheese frosting. The results were amazing! And the strawberry flavor really came through!
Simply Vanilla Cupcakes
I had some coconut milk leftover and wanted to try it in vanilla cupcakes so I found this recipe and adapted it to be gluten free. It called for cake flour which was a bit of a challenge, plus sour cream and milk…but I sifted my gluten free flour mix, added a tad more tapioca flour and substituted coconut milk for the sour cream and milk…the results? Simply yummy! The first time I just glazed them with a little honey lemon mix; the second time I made an easy chocolate frosting- both were delicious! And now, they’re paired with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting!
I’m not a cauliflower fan, but this recipe from Once Upon a Chef charmed me into trying it by saying that it tastes remarkably like mashed potatoes…and so it does! Creamy, comfort food- for the holidays or not, it’s delicious anytime!
I used water instead of chicken broth, and Carrington organic ghee and coconut oil instead of butter (easier to digest). I’m sure the broth and butter are yummy too…your choice. I also added a couple of potatoes because I wanted the mix and had potatoes to use. Organic ingredients of course…
1 head cauliflower cut into 2 inch pieces (no need to keep florets intact)
3 fist size potatoes (golden are good)
1 cup chicken broth or water
1 tsp salt
3T butter (Carrington ghee and coconut oil spread)
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
Freshly ground lemon pepper and additional salt to taste
In a large pot, bring the water/broth and salt to a boil. Add the potatoes and cauliflower; bring to a boil again. Cover, reduce the heat to low and steam for 20 minutes, until tender. Drain in a colander but save 3 T of the water/broth and transfer to a food processor. Add 3 T of water/broth and butter/ghee. Process until smooth. Add thyme. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper.
This is one of my favorite dishes! I first tasted it at Nashoba Brook Café in West Concord, and decided I had to make it at home! My version is adapted from Saveur magazine and I think it’s the best! You can make it with scallops, swordfish, and mix it up with shrimp, but it’s traditionally made with firm white fish like cod, catfish, or halibut. You can spice it up with more cayenne, and you can use light or regular coconut milk. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, use canned. You can also use fresh, raw shrimp but I always have large frozen shrimp, wild caught, on hand which speeds things up. And organic veggies of course!
1 ½ lb. cod or any firm white fish, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
8 oz large shrimp, cooked, fresh or frozen
¼ cup lime juice
8 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
3 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red pepper (orange or yellow)
1 T. sweet paprika (not smoked)
4 plum tomatoes (or small tomatoes), chopped
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 can coconut milk, 14 oz
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup chopped Thai basil (if you can’t find Thai basil, use regular basil)
Pinch cayenne pepper
Toss the cod, shrimp, lime juice and 4 cloves of garlic in a bowl; set aside.
Heat olive oil in large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion, pepper, and cook until soft, 5-6 minutes. Add paprika and tomatoes, and stock; cook until broken down, about 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and cayenne pepper. Add fish and shrimp and cook through about 7 minutes. Add cilantro and Thai basil; season with salt and pepper.
Serve over rice. (I use brown rice, but traditionally, white rice is used.)
Time to try something new! I have felt rumblings of change or flux for some time now but haven’t had a clear sign as to how that might manifest. One of my visions has been to write a cookbook, but I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen cooking than typing recipes! And while many suggested I blog my recipes, I resisted, thinking that it would take too long, be too difficult, and not be fun. Well that was my story, but now, I’m ready to dive in and try it. I’m not a fan of typing or sitting at the computer… (friends ask me for my recipes and I never have them typed)… but it’s time for me to start sharing so that you too can enjoy my favorite foods!
The rough plan? Rather than create a new website..I’m going to add a tab on my existing site for recipes. If you’re a foodie like me and love trying different recipes, I hope you’ll stay tuned and check mine out!
Conscious Cooking with Clare
A little background on what kind of recipes I’m sharing and why…I have had IBS for almost my entire life, but in 2011, I got Salmonella and things went haywire. I had antibiotics and my gut has never been the same. Foods that I loved, I could no longer eat. What to do?
After many, many tests and elimination diets, working with various health practitioners, as well as reading, researching, and learning about dysbiosis and the microbiome, and after very disciplined eating regimes, I can finally mostly manage my IBS. So the recipes here will be healthy, clean (organic and non-GMO) and yummy! They will also be gluten free, lactose free and limited in sugar but with many variations and substitutions so anyone can enjoy them! I’m calling it Conscious Cooking with Clare…I hope you’ll join me as I embark on this new adventure!
Cooking Class at Emerson
If you’d like to sample some recipes and learn more about what I mean by Conscious Cooking, I’ll be teaching a class at Emerson on Feb 7th called Conscious Cooking for Your IBS –Take Control! Details are on my website and at EmersonWellness.org. Click here…
If you’re not interested in the recipes, no worries…I will still be posting articles that pertain to your career and life…things that affect your job search, well being, and outlook and are important from my perspective…like mindfulness, compassion, gratitude, personality types, fears, energy levels, meditation, communication styles, perfectionism, believing in yourself, and more. So stay tuned… in the meantime, here’s the first recipe:
Immune Boosting Soup
This Tuscan style soup, with sweet potatoes, kale and garlic, contains lots of antioxidants that help boost your immune system. Don’t cut back on the garlic; it mellows with cooking. Try different spices; I love cumin and turmeric, maybe a little chili powder…or sometimes a little salsa. You can also puree half of it if you like. This soup freezes well and is nice to have on hand when cold season hits. You can get all these ingredients at Debra’s, Whole Foods and/or Trader Joe’s.
1 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 tsp. Italian herbs, dried
6 cups chicken broth (or bone broth)
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans (omit if you can’t eat beans)*
4-5 fresh tomatoes or 14-20 oz. canned tomatoes, diced
1-2 sweet potatoes, diced
4-8 oz. Kale, chopped coarsely
9-12 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste (I use about ¼-1/2 tsp)
Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and herbs; sauté until onion is soft and golden, about 5-6 minutes.
Stir in broth, beans, sweet potatoes, and kale. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
Add garlic and tomatoes. Simmer until potatoes and greens are tender, about 20 minutes. Add cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.
*If you can’t eat beans, you can substitute chicken or chicken sausage!