Bread of the Month: Whole Wheat Zucchini

Yes I am aware it’s the beginning of May. But it was not until this week that life slowed down enough for me to want to pick up my hobbies again. So I know I am  once again due to give you a life update and that this post is way overdue but here it is: this is my contribution for April’s Bread of the Month.

In the past when Luke had work breakfasts I used to go to my wide selection of muffin recipes and bake one (as you have seen in past posts). But recently I have gotten tired of putting in the work of lining each muffin tin or buttering/greasing the pans then cleaning the baked on crevices after. For more info on this see my post: Living without a dishwasher.

So  instead I decided to try switched to making breakfast breads. They are less of mess to make and clean and just as quickly eaten up.   The great thing about breakfast breads also is that if you have carrots, zucchini, bananas, apples, lemons etc. around the house it’s easy to mash, shred, or cut it up to put in an oven baked bread. Unlike other yeasted breads breakfast breads/loafs,  just like muffins, are very moist but quick to throw together with no waiting time. (I’ll fill you in on a secret; breakfast breads/loafs are really muffins in disguise or vice versa depending on how you see it).

I had two zucchini’s leftover in my fridge from a recent dinner and decided they would make a great spring breakfast bread. I went to my every-handy Bread Bible and found a great recipe:

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Instead of greasing one 9 by 4 inch pan I chose to butter and flour much smaller pan for us to have a nice mini-loaf to keep and eat at home and one of my 9 by 4 inch pans for Luke to take to work (I just didn’t fill the 9 by 4 inch pan as full). I preheated the oven to 350F then used one of my favorite toys eh . . tools: my kitchen aid mixer. I placed our shredder/grater attachment on and quickly and easily shredded both zucchini’s.  I then took some paper towels to the shredded zucchini to absorb the moisture leaving only the zucchini “meat”.

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Next I combined the wet ingredients: 1/4 cup vegetable oil with 1 1/2 C sugar. If you want to make this recipe more healthy you can choose to replace the sugar with honey  or brown sugar of equal amount.  Once the sugar and oil were incorporated I added three large eggs and 2 tsp of vanilla extract. After this was well blended I added the grated zucchini.

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In a separate bowl I combined the dry ingredients: 2 C unbleached flour: the original recipe was not whole wheat I used half whole wheat flour and half regular flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, and I added more ground cinnamon and cloves then the recipe called for 2 tsp each. If you want to spice up your bread even more you can add 1 tsp nutmeg and or 1 tsp ginger as well.

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The original recipe at this point also called for adding 1 C of walnuts or raisins neither of which I chose to include. Instead I added 1/2 C more zucchini then the original recipe called for (originally 2 C shredded). Then I combined the wet and dry ingredients.

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It may not look appetizing but it sure tasted great!

Last of all, the easy part: spooning the batter into the pans and placing them into the oven. My loafs only took about 50-60 minutes for the top sto be firm and the toothpick to come out clean. The smaller one I think I took out at 50 minutes and the larger one five to ten minutes later.

The original recipe called for a brandy or congnac glaze but since this bread was made for a breakfast instead of  a dessert or snack I decided to go without it.  As with most breads and baked goods with baking powder in them, the flavor is better after they have been stored in plastic wrap and cooled/refrigerated overnight.

The bread tasted great; just enough sugar to balance out the veggies but not so much that if felt like dessert for breakfast. From now on I think I will do breakfast breads (with a mini-loaf for us to share at home) instead of muffins. At least for now.

What about you?

What is you favorite baked breakfast good?

 

Gluten-Free Low Cal. Meatloaf

Some nights it is just easiest to throw everything into the oven at once and with one dish have all of dinner ready.  Luke’s meatloaf is one of those dishes but between chunks of cheese and torn pieces of whole wheat bread it was getting to be  higher in calories per serving than we were willing to eat.

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With a little creativity I created a variation on his very Italian  meatloaf. After crunching the numbers I discovered the whole loaf was only 1270 calories. That means if you split it into 4 slices it’s 320 calories a piece, or if you slice it into 8 pieces its only 160 calories a piece. The best thing is it’s an all-in-one dinner of veggies, rice, and meat-what more do you need? And for taste? Let’s just say there wasn’t much of a meatloaf left after we were through with it. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 lb of 97/3% ground beef

1 C quartered zucchini

1C chopped onion

1 C chopped mushroom

1 C uncooked instant brown rice

1 egg white

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Pepper

¼ C Parmesan cheese

½ C to 1 C Hunt’s garlic and herb sauce

Instructions:

1. Chop mushrooms and onion and quartered zucchini

2. Combine the vegetables, uncooked meat, instant brown rice, and 1 egg white

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3. Add in spices: garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper

4. Place all in a large loaf pan

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5. Sprinkle the top with ¼ C of Parmesan cheese

6. Pour the ½ C Hunt’s Garlic and Herb sauce over the Parmesan

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7. Place in the oven at 350F for 45 min to an hour

If you let it cool for a little while it will cut much easier into loaf pieces. Because it has large slices of zucchini in it the loaf may fall apart more easily then other meat-loafs but its just as tasty and a whole lot more healthy.

Gluten-Free Low Cal. Chicken Marsala


Luke loves mushrooms and I can’t say I dislike them either so awhile back I decided to try to make chicken marsala at home. If you don’t know chicken marsala is a typical Italian dish in which the chicken is parmesan crusted and pan-fried served over angel hair pasta with a creamy mushroom sauce (usually made with Marsala Wine) poured over it.

The first time around I attempted to adapt a few recipes I had seen online. It was the middle of summer and humid-I was sweating in the kitchen trying to balance hot pans of boiling water and popping oil. The final dish was not bad but it was extremely carb. heavy. Not a light easy summer meal.

Still I was determined to try again. This time I needed to make some major adjustments. I took out the pasta and made the dish gluten-free and much lower in calories by using zucchini instead. After a few trial runs of substituting this and a few other items I finally fine-tuned a recipe both of us were happy with. Now this low calorie gluten-free chicken marsala is a common under 600 Calorie chicken-night dinner.

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Ingredients

  2 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts

1 tsp of: salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon garlic (depending how much garlic you like) and Italian seasoning

1/4 C Parmesan cheese

(if you want to cut calories you can take out the Parmesan cheese but it is a great gluten-free substitute for flour or bread crumbs)

½ cup olive oil

8 ounces container of mushroom, sliced and cleaned

2 tablespoons butter  (I use I can’t believe it’s not butter light)

¼-1/2 cup chicken stock

¼ cup sherry or dry white wine (I use cooking sherry which can easily be found at any grocery store)

2 medium to large zucchini’s or yellow squash (you can instead make the pasta alternative of spaghetti squash)

Instructions

1. Split (Butterfly) each chicken breast into two pieces.

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2. Place plastic wrap over them or place them in gallon size bag. Pound each one with a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin until about a quarter inch thick.

IMG_14123. Combine dry ingredients, mixing the Italian Seasoning, Garlic, Salt and Pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Place the mixture in a pie tin or on plate with a good edge.

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4. Pour 1/4 C olive oil into another pie tin or plate. Dip each piece of chicken on both sides in the olive oil then transfer it into the dry ingredients tin, coating both sides.

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5. Meanwhile cut up the zucchini or yellow squash into rounds. Steam the veggies on a low heat so they will done the same time as the rest of dinner.

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6. Heat the other 1/4 C of olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium sized pan. When the oil is hot place each piece of coated chicken in the pan. Allow the pieces to cook for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. (It is always good to play it safe and cut into the thickest piece to double check that it is done.)

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7. Remove the chicken and place them on a plate covered in tin foil (to keep the chicken warm) and a paper towel (to absorb extra oil). Then cover the plate with another plate or pot lid.

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8. In the same pan used to pan-fry the chicken brown the butter then add the clean and cut mushrooms to the pan.

9. Saute mushrooms for about 4-5 minutes seasoning with a little salt and pepper.

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Then add cooking sherry, or white wine and chicken stock, allowing the liquids to reduce slightly, about another 3 minutes.

When it is time to serve the steamed zucchini  is layered on the bottom.

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Then a crispy piece or two of the pan-fried chicken.

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Then last of all the mushroom sauce.

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Then you are ready to enjoy!

What is your favorite veggie? Way to cook chicken?