Party in the Kitchen with Barb’s “Fresh & Healthy” Cooking Classes

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Let’s cook together, learn about fresh, healthy and sustainable foods and have fun!

I’ve teamed up with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for a party in the kitchen this October with Fresh, Healthy & Sustainable Cooking Classes. Did I mention delicious? Sign up today-spaces are limited!

Green & Leafy Delish Dishes
October 7: 11:00am to 1:30pm
October 8th: 6:00 to 8:30pm
You want healthy and delicious …then let’s to make “delish dishes” with six of the healthiest greens: Kale, Arugula, Bok Choy, Collard Greens, Watercress and Swiss Chard

Barb Scala featured in Elan Magazine Fall 2014 "Party in the Kitchen"

Barb Scala featured in Elan Magazine Fall 2014 “Party in the Kitchen”

Fall Harvest Farmer Market Entertaining
October 21: 11:00am to 1:30pm
October 23: 6:00 to 8:30pm
From appetizer to dessert, we’ll cook up a sustainable feast with the bounty of the fall harvest featuring butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin, apples, pears and more. Great recipes for your Thanksgiving feast!

$75 per person includes eating what we prepare, a recipe booklet AND a follow-up free call to get you started cooking and eating more fresh, healthy and delicious. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. To Register & More Info

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Chocolate Zucchini “Cupcakes”

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Zucchini in cupcakes never tasted so YUM!

To keep up with the cupcake rage, I adapted my chocolate zucchini bread recipe with artisan spelt and sweet rice flours topped with non-dairy coconut whip.

Although I try to avoid baking with refined sugars, I found that flavor is sacrificed if using less sugar or substituting with honey or maple syrup. Instead try unrefined coconut sugar which adds a deeper molasses taste and see what you think.

The nuetral taste of grapeseed oil lets the nut oil shine through. Of course, if you don’t like nuts or need a nut-free recipe, omit walnuts and walnut oil and increase grapeseed oil by 1/4 cup.

3 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup walnut oil
2 1/2 cups zucchini, grated
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups spelt flour
1 cup sweet white rice flour
3/4 cup pure coco powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking power
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dark chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tins by brushing surface with extra grapeseed oil and filling tins with large paper baking cups.

Sift flours and set aside. In a stand up mixer add eggs and sugar and beat with whip attachment until thick and light yellow.  Add oils and vanilla. Change to paddle attachment and add zucchini. Then add flours, coco powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in batches until consistency is like cake batter.  Remove bowl from mixer and add walnuts and chocolate morsels with spatula. Fill baking cups 3/4 full and bake 15 – 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool.

“Frost” cupcakes with sweetened whipped coconut cream and finish with sifted coco powder on top.

Gluten-Free Zucchini Flower Fritters

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Zucchini fritters or pancakes are great anytime!

The delicate zucchini flower can be used so many ways in the kitchen when these yellow beaties are brimming from the garden.

I go back to my Italian roots and make these fritters or pancakes  for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Serve with extra grated cheese on top and marinara sauce on the side, if preferred.

With so many brands of gluten-free pancake mixes, use the one you like. Or use an all purpose gluten-free flour like Bob’s Red Mill and follow their suggested pancake recipe found on their website.

Optional recipe for large flowers: Omit the shredded zucchini and dip the whole flower in the batter, and make like a pancake.  Remember to first remove the thistle and any no-see-ums inside.

Of course, kids love eating “flower pancakes” with grated cheese on top so you may have to make a second batch!

2 cups gluten free pancake mix, prepared
3/4 cup zucchini, shredded
2 zucchini flowers, thistles removed and flower chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan or romano cheese, grated (optional)

Combine pancake batter, zucchini, zucchini flowers, basil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add shredded cheese if desired or save to sprinkle on top instead.

Coat the bottom of a cast iron or heavy skillet with olive oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Test a drop of batter on the skillet to determine desired heat to make perfect fritters which brown at the edges. Ladle batter onto skillet and brown on both sides.

 

Roasted Tomato, Goat Cheese & Basil Crostini

Use garden plum tomatoes or your local farmer’s stand small heirlooms in this simple, delicious crowd pleasing appetizer.

This appy can’t be easier! Tomatoes become sweeter when slow roasted and fresh herbs add savory garden flavor. Try plum tomato varieties found at your local farmer’s market like sweet Juliet’s.

1 quart plum tomatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick
garden herbs (oregano, thyme and parsley), chopped fine
extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces goat cheese
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
1 baguette
1-2 garlic cloves
sea salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and place tomatoes in single rows. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Slow roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until tomatoes are roasted through but not mushy or dried out. Remove from oven and let cool.

Increase oven heat to 350 degrees. Slice baguette 1/4 inch thick, brush each side with olive oil and rub cut garlic cloves on each slice. Place on a cookie sheet and brown tops approximately 5 to 10 minutes, then flip and brown the other side. Remove from oven an let cool.

Assemble crostini by spreading goat cheese on slices and layer with basil leaf topped with a roasted tomato. For variety, leave off basil leave or goat cheese on some crostini. Serve.

 

 

 

Creamy Zucchini Risotto

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Cheese is the accent and not the main event to this garden fresh risotto.

Aborio is short grain Italian style rice, naturally gluten free. Serve as a summer main meal with grilled zucchini on the side.

It’s also the perfect accompaniment for seared scallops or grilled shrimp off the BBQ. If desired, top with lemon zest for an extra fresh punch of flavor.

1 cup aborio rice
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups zucchini grated
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth, warmed
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup shredded parmesan or romano cheese

In a large saute pan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion begins to soften. Add rice and saute for 2 minutes longer until rice is thoroughly coated. Add 1 cup zucchini and 1 cup broth and keep stirring until liquid is absorbed. Continue stirring adding 2 more cups broth, 1 cup at a time.

Add last cup of shredded zucchini, basil and wine (optional) or 1/2 cup water until liquid is absorbed. Rice should be soft and creamy. Add 1/2 cup water if more liquid is needed and saute until fully absorbed. Remove from heat, add cheese and sprinkle with more chopped fresh basil and lemon zest if desired. Serve.

 

Zucchini Carpaccio

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A fresh, raw salad when summer zucchini abounds in gardens and farmer’s markets.

Dressed with simple ingredients, this is the easiest side dish to make in the heat of summer.

Size of zucchini will vary, so you determine ingredient amounts. Toss with parmesan cheese shavings and toasted pignoli nuts if desired. Use a mandoline to create the thinest of slices.

1 large zucchini
juice of 1 lemon
sea salt, black and cayenne pepper
extra virgin olive oil
a few slices of lemon, minced
1 bunch basil, chopped
cherry tomatoes, quartered

Lay slices flat on a plate and squeeze lemon juice on top. Season with salt and both peppers to taste.  Drizzle your best olive oil over the slices and arrange on plates. Top with lemon, basil and tomatoes.  Serve.