Zucchini-Honey Bread

I absolutely love the resurgence of local farming and we are blessed to have a wonderful farmer’s market within minutes of our house. These days, I’m planning all my meals for the week around what’s available at the market, and there is simply nothing like the taste of truly fresh food. There has been an abundance of zucchini these past couple of weeks, so I knew it was time for this quick and easy family favorite. My boys love this so much that I had to divide the leftovers into plastic bags with everyone’s name on them so that there would be some left for breakfast the next day! They seriously LOVE it! So while the zucchini is plentiful and local, I plan to shred some extra and freeze it in 2 cup portions so that we can have a little taste of summer in the cool winter months. Hope you all are finding the farmer’s markets in your area and supporting your local farmers. I am very grateful for their time, effort, and passion for farming and real, unprocessed food. 

3  cups flour

1  teaspoon baking powder

1  teaspoon baking soda

1  teaspoon salt

1  tablespoon ground cinnamon

1  cup chopped pecans (if desired and safe for your family)

2  cups shredded zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)

2  large eggs, lightly beaten

1  cup sugar (The original recipe calls for 1 and 1/2 cups sugar, but that is way too much for my taste, so I reduce it to either 3/4 or 1 cup)

3/4  cup honey

1  cup vegetable oil

2  teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Combine the dry ingredients (first 6) in a large bowl, stirring well. In another bowl, combine the zucchini and remaining 5 ingredients, stirring well. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured loaf pans (I use Baker’s Joy). Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes to clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely or serve warm. Also freezes well and is perfect for a snack or breakfast on the road.

 

Adapted from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, 1999

 

Baked Beans Quintet

For those in the USA, Happy Independence Day weekend! Our AG friendly menu for this outdoor holiday includes turkey burgers, fresh fruit, salad, baked beans, and a red, white, and blue dessert. Growing up in New England, Boston baked beans were a tradition and also a production! Not knowing any other way, I made my baked beans from scratch in the first few years I was married. I soon discovered, however, that opening a can of “vegetarian” baked beans made for a much quicker and easier side dish, especially on busy nights with kids. I loved finding this recipe because it has some of the same ingredients as my traditional Boston baked beans, with all the ease of simply opening a can. I have adapted it to be AG friendly and hope you will try it for your cookout or barbecue this weekend or over the summer!

( I sincerely apologize for the lousy quality of this picture. I have been planning to post this recipe since I started blogging and this was taken about 3 cameras ago! It was a good photo at the time, but looks terrible now in comparison to what my newer camera will do. Hopefully, you get the idea of what it should look like and will just trust me that it’s delicious!!)

 

6  slices turkey bacon

1  cup chopped onion

1  clove garlic, minced

1  15-oz can butter beans, drained

1  15-oz can lima beans, drained

1  16-oz can VEGETARIAN baked beans

1  15-oz can red kidney beans, drained

1  15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained

3/4  cup ketchup

1/2  cup molasses

1/3  cup firmly packed brown sugar

1  1/2  tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1  tablespoon prepared yellow mustard

1/2  teaspoon pepper

 

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove bacon, crumble, and set aside. In the same pan, cook the onion and garlic until tender (add a little olive oil or butter if the onion is sticking to the pan); DRAIN.

Combine bacon, onion mixture, and all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Spoon into a lightly greased  2  1/2 quart bean pot or baking dish. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until beans are tender. Make sure to check the garbanzo beans for doneness, they tend to need some extra time. Serves lots and is fabulous leftover as well.

 

Adapted from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, 1999

Fresh Tomato and Basil Sauce

The original name of this recipe is “Tortellini and Fresh Basil”. However, since many with AG are dairy sensitive, I thought I would just post this super yummy tomato and basil mixture and you can decide what to put it on based on what your family needs. If you can tolerate dairy, it’s fabulous over cheese filled tortellini. If you need to be dairy free, serve it over penne or your family’s favorite pasta. And if you love bruschetta (like me!): Slice a baguette, rub both sides of the bread slices with olive oil and a piece of fresh garlic, toast or fry in a nonstick pan (turning once). Salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with tomato and basil sauce and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Add a side salad to ANY of these combinations and you’ll have a perfect dinner for a hot summer night. 

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1  pound ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped

3  cloves garlic, minced

1/2  cup chopped FRESH basil

1/4  cup olive oil

3  tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2  teaspoon salt

1/4  teaspoon pepper

Pasta of your choice

Grated fresh parmesan cheese, if desired

Balsamic glaze, if desired

 

Combine first 7 ingredients in a serving bowl. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Add tomato basil sauce to pasta and toss well. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Serve warm or chilled. Sauce can be made up to a day in advance. Chill until ready to use.

 

Adapted from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, 1999

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