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Posts tagged ‘zucchini’

“Green” recipes, little tidbits, and a winner!!!

Happy Friday, everyone!!!!

Gonna share some “green” recipes today, whether in color or just use of produce or items, as well as throw in some little newsy bits and announce a give-a-way winner!

A little while back when our garden was over-run with zucchini, I tried out this recipe from Hobby Farms magazine.  It would be appropriate to make it again, as my basil plant is now flourishing!!!

Zucchini-basil Soup

Puree zucchini, basil and other farm-fresh ingredients for a refreshing summer soup.

Ingredients

  • 3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ cups roughly chopped onions (any kind)
  • 1 T. chopped garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup seeded and chopped sweet bell pepper (any color)
  • 2½ cups coarsely chopped zucchini
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh sweet basil
  • chopped fresh tomato for garnish (optional)

Preparation
Heat the olive oil in a large, thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Sauté onions, garlic and salt until vegetables start to soften. Stir in pepper, zucchini and stock. Bring to a simmer, and cook until pepper is soft, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the spinach and basil just until wilted. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Add more salt if needed. Serve hot, topped with chopped fresh tomatoes if desired.

Making Zucchini-basil soup

Makes about 6 servings.

This soup is great for on-the-go, as well, whether hot or cold!  “Green” tip: store wet things like soup in clean jars in the refrigerator; good re-use of something rather spending energy on recycling or (gasp!) just throwing it away, and storing things in glass cuts down on your chemical toxin intake (some plastic storage containers have been known to leach unknown substances into your food, even when cold).

Zucchini-basil soup stores well in a mason (or other) jar!

Hubby's empty bowl....he loves it with a bit of Parmesan Cheese! (The real stuff, not the desecrated milk kind...)

I have a confession to make: I have a sweet tooth.  If you know me at all, this is not really a confession, but a “so what else is new?”  Having a sweet tooth can lead to unhealthy choices if we do not operate in the fruit of the Spirit called Self-control…but luckily we can also choose healthy recipes so that we can enjoy treats once in awhile (not overeating them, mind you) without even having to be concerned over what the “bad” ingredients might do to our little temples (like some other items we might choose…ahem.)

Here is a recent DELICIOUS recipe I tried recently after watching an episode of “Giada at Home” on the Food Network.  I tweaked it to make it healthier.

Lime and Cornmeal Cookies with Citrus Glaze (they are Gluten-free!)

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 1/2 stick, at room temperature (I used Earth Balance instead)
  • 1 cup sugar ( I used 1/3 C Stevia-in-the-Raw, 2/3 C “Swerve”*)
  • 3 large limes, zested
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (2 to 3 large limes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups rice flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Glaze: (I only did HALF the recipe, and it was plenty)

  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar (I used equal parts Swerve* and Stevia-in-the-Raw ground up in my Magic Bullet to make powder…don’t waste your money buying the powdered version when you can do it yourself!)
  • 2 large limes, zested
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Special equipment: 3-inch round cookie cutter

Directions

For the cookies: Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper. Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse together the butter, sugar, and lime zest until combined. Add the egg, lime juice, and vanilla. Process until smooth. Add the rice flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Process until the mixture forms a dough. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 20 seconds. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly flour a work surface. Cut the dough in half and roll out each piece into a 9-inch diameter circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut the dough into 10 circles and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Gather any scraps of dough, knead together, and roll out to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out 2 additional rounds of dough and place on the baking sheet. Bake until light golden around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes.

For the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lime zest, and lemon juice until smooth. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the glaze onto each cookie leaving, a 1/4-inch border around the edge. Allow the glaze to harden for about 45 minutes before serving.

*To order “Swerve” or get information on it, go to  http://www.pcflabs.com/store/swerve.htm

Newsy Tidbits and other info…..

If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know that we have been “fostering” a plethora of felines on our compound, desperately seeking new homes for the sweet babies!  Hallelujah, we found one!!! Thank you, very much, Paula, for opening your heart and home to one of the darlings!

There are still 2 babies in need of a forever home.  Today is our callback date to the Humane Society to see if they have room, which is no guarantee, but not only will that cost us $10 per kitten, I would truly rather these adorable wee ones went straight to a good home!  They are about 12 weeks old and so sweet.  If you have not yet seen their pictures or read their story, you can go here:

https://robynlooksup.wordpress.com/2011/08/13/lots-of-love-in-little-packages/

I have been meeting a personal challenge lately in the form of a Couch to 5K program.  Tomorrow I will be on Week 2, Day 3.  So far, so good.  By the Grace of God, the Power of the Holy Spirit, the word of my testimony, and the sheer grit all of those empower me with to get my hind end outside, I am overcoming limitations left and right!  Feel free to read about that journey and what helps me here:

https://robynlooksup.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/family-yoga-couch-to-5k-and-a-give-a-way/

I am actually looking forward to tomorrow’s run!

Also, you can picture me out there with a little pink pepper spray bottle due to a catastrophic run-in (no pun intended, since I was on a bicycle) with a Rottweiler mix nearly 2 months ago.  My left derriere STILL has a 4 inch square bruise with a scar-on-top!  Read about how God soothed me here:

https://robynlooksup.wordpress.com/2011/07/02/things-i-love-that-lift-my-spirit-part-1b-a-k-a-the-holy-spirit-is-a-crooner/

This week at Vessel’s of Clay Yoga was “grab bag week” in which rather than having just one scripture that we all shared, we “grabbed” one from a pile of previous scriptures…those scriptures have been prayed over in advance that God will send the right ones to the right people for whatever they are needing!  This is not only a good use of resources, it also allows for a little more literal “quiet time” during the beginning and end of our classes, as we quietly contemplate what God is saying to us today.  Here is the scripture God had for ME this week and as always, He was right on time:

Psalm 145:9 (NIV) The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

Isaiah 30:18 (The Message)  But God’s not finished.  He’s waiting around to be gracious to you.  He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you.  God takes the time to do everything right—everything.  Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.

————————————————————————————————–
Speaking of waiting and how good things come to those who wait (is THAT where that phrase came from?), some of you are waiting to find out who won this week’s give-a-way of either a yoga mat or a Vessels of Clay Yoga coffee/tea mug….and the winner is…..

Paula!!!!

(I even had Hubby draw the name for me, since we are both up-and-at-’em this morning!)

So, at your convenience, Paula, let me know which you would prefer: a yoga mat in either Buttercup Yellow or Dark Teal (check last week’s blog post for pictures) or a Vessels of Clay Yoga mug!  And congratulations!!!

Thank you to all of the participants!  It sure is fun getting your answers here and on Facebook!!!

(For those who don’t know, that’s http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vessels-of-Clay-Yoga-LLC/73576731717)

Blessings and favor be upon all of you this weekend.  Seek His face first, and you will not stumble over your own feet….Psalm 25:14-15 The Message (among many others, actually!!! I dare you to type the word “stumble” or “trip” into the search engine at Bible Gateway.com!)

Glory to God!

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And the winner is….!!!!

Well, it is the end to another wonderful week, and while I have filled my day off with plenty of (fun) work to do, followed by another trip to the swimmin’ hole (this time with my Mom as company; hooray!), I am gonna’ take a break right now to share with you the winner of this week’s Yoga Mat Bag Give-a-way!!!

Prepping for the draw....

First, I put the names on little slips of paper and found a cute bag to shake them in…

Then,  I reached in to pull out a name, and it was….(drum roll, please)…

Hooray for Shelley!!!

Shelley!!!

So girl, let me know if you’d like the light green yoga mat bag or the maroon one, and we will set a time and place for delivery!!! Congratulations!!!

As for the other bag, I think we can have another give-a-way later this summer, don’t you?!?  And I have OTHER things for give-a-ways, too, so make sure you subscribe to this blog to stay-in-the-know!!! (There will be give-a-ways open to the entire United States, as well, not just Southwest Missouri!)

The answer to the Question about which kind of beans the recipe in Kristen Feola’s Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast was Chickpeas OR Garbanzo Beans, because they are the same thing!!!!  So, everyone got the answer correct…way to go!!!

Also, thank you for the “mayo story”, Kelly, and I am so proud of Zack!

By the way, last weekend I mentioned that I would be posting soon about how the enemy can get ya’ riled on a Sunday, and that certainly was the case last Sunday…but God is the remedy, and sometimes He works out physical blessings, even,  in our response to turning to Him…a post about how our last Sunday turned out is forthcoming soon…=-)

But for now, I wanna share a little fun we had this week!

My husband is a wonderful gardener. I am soooo very blessed to have him by my side, as well as for reaping the blessing of what his green thumb produces!  What a marvelous man!  Here are some photos of his magic place:

Squash and Zucchini...my yoga students reaped some of those benefits this week!

Kale, Collard greens, and Spinach

Eggplant

cabbage, fennel, beets, and somethin....

And that’s not all!  My sweet hubby won blue ribbons for his vegetables at the county fair this week!  I get to go there tonight and see the win in “action”…=-)

He won 4 blue ribbons! This is the kale, but he also won for beets, fennel, and zucchini!

I have had some success in the green thumb department this week, too!  I have tried sprouting things several times, and it has NEVER worked for me.  Recently, we received a catalog in the mail with a coupon for $25 of product free with our first purchase!  It is the Gardens Alive catalog.  We ordered some broccoli sprouts for $9.95 and got a sprouter for FREE!  This week I decided to give it a go, following their instructions to a “T”, right down to the use of Hydrogen Peroxide in the rinsing water each time I rinsed, and would you believe it?  SUCCESS!!!!

Gardens Alive Sprouter

Each of those tiers holds about what you get from the store for around $4 here…I have only used about half of my seeds, MAYBE, so I may have “spent” $1 per regular grocery store amount…saving me about $12!  Yessssss!

"Brocco-sprouts"---one of THE most healthful you can get!

Finally, I have been craving (dare I use that word?) Calzones…so, on the way home last night, I used my little noggin to think of what ingredients I have and how I might go about coming up with a healthier alternative than the one I pass every day on the drive!

Using a mixture of Spelt flour, oat flour and almond flour with water, salt and flaxmeal, I came up with a dough…while the dough rested,

I chopped up some garden zucchini and romaine, rinsed some brocco-sprouts, chopped a few store-bought green onions and mixed them with 1 Tbsp EVOO plus about 1/4 cup tomato paste and a liberal sprinkling of Frontier Pizza Seasoning. 

After rolling out the dough, I placed the veggie mixture on top, adding a little vegan mozzarella (Lisanatti), and some Tofurky Italian Sausage (I know, they aren’t whole foods, but real Italian Sausage would have not have digested well and is quite fatty…sometimes in our moderation…we have to be moderate…)

I then folded the dough over, cut off the excess, and crimped the edges…

Baked the whole deal in my NuWaveOven Pro (I highly recommend it for energy saving costs and easy/quick cooking!).

In the meantime, I re-rolled out the excess to be cooked in the skillet as a tortilla for another day.

After 20 minutes in the NWOP at level 10 (about 350 degrees), it was time to behold…

Yum!!!

Garden fresh, non-wheat, non-yeast, completely vegan Italian Calzone.  Believe me, I thanked God for the bounty of my favorite kind of tastes in a healthy way!…and my hubby gets to have some for lunch today, too!  How’s that for Proverbs 31 Woman?  (giggle)  He’s very happy. =-)…and I am very glad.

I pray you are having a weekend full of bounty and gladness, too!!!

Psalm 18:20 The Message (MSG)

 20-24 God made my life complete
      when I placed all the pieces before him.

Psalm 100:2
Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

What are you joyful and glad about today?  Please share by leaving a comment below…and we can all be glad with you!!!

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