Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Yield: 1 loaf

1 1/4 c sugar
1 c vegetable oil
1/2 c water
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 c flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 c shredded zucchini
2 bars (8 0z.) milk chocolate baking bar, broken into 1/4″ pieces

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Grease a 9″x5″ pan.
3. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, oil, water, eggs, and vanilla extract until blended.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients gradually, stirring until moistened.
6. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate pieces.
7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly.
8. Bake 1 hour 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the loaf.
9. Cool the bread in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
10. To store, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze.

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Spinach and Strawberry Salad

Ingredients:
2 bunches spinach, rinsed and torn into bit-size pieces
4 c sliced strawberries
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c white wine vinegar
1/2 c white sugar
1/4 tsp paprika
2 TBS sesame seeds
1 TBS poppy seeds

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, toss together the spinach and strawberries.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.

Watermelon Salsa

Ingredients:
1 c diced seedless watermelon
1 c cored and diced heirloom tomatoes
2 TBS thinly diced shallots
1 TBS hot sauce
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 TBS honey
salt
2 TBS chopped basil leaves
1/2 c crumbled goat-milk feta cheese

Directions:
1. Combine watermelon, tomatoes and shallots in a bowl. Crush the tomatoes a but with your hands to provide a little extra juice.
2. Add hot sauce, lemon juice, and honey. Season with salt, and garnish with basil and feta. Then serve with tortilla chips and pretzels.

Hint: If you have any left over, serve it over grilled chicken for dinner.

Zucchini Wrapped in Tortillas

Ingredients:
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seed (optional)
1 tsp cumin seed
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 TBS grated fresh ginger
4 c grated zucchini
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
salt to taste
4 (10″) flour tortillas
4 fresh chives
1/2 c sour cream (optional)

Directions:
1. In a medium size wok or saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add mustard and cumin seeds. As they begin to pop, lower the heat and add the onion and ginger. Saute until onions are soft and light pink in color.
2. Add the shredded zucchini, increase the heat slightly. Stir frequently until the zucchini gets soft and well-cooked, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, pepper, clove, cinnamon, and salt.
3. Warm the tortillas and place the tortillas on a flat surface. Place 1/4 of the zucchini filling in the center of each tortilla. Roll up each tortilla and tie it closed with a chive. You can serve the wrap with a dollop of sour cream on the side, it makes for a well rounded wrap.

Mango Pistachio Cardamon Ice Cream

1 large, ripe mango (1 lb) peeled and cut into chunks
1/3 c sugar
2/3 c milk or cream
2 pods cardamon, split seeds removed and finely ground, or 1 pinch ground cardamon
1 pinch salt
1/2 c dry-roasted unsalted shelled pistachios, chopped

Blend mango, sugar, milk/cream, cardamon, and salt in blender until smooth.  Cover, and refrigerate until chilled.

Freeze mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Once ice cream is set, fold in pistachios.

Corn and Zucchini Salad with Chives

Serves 4

2 small zucchini, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 ears sweet corn, kernels shaved off
1 cup minced chives
1/2 cup chopped mint, plus sprigs to garnish

Place the diced zucchini in a colander or small bowl and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set aside. Heat a deep skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil and the butter. When the butter foams up, add the corn kernels and cook, stirring frequently, until they are tender — about 5 minutes.

Drain any excess water off the zucchini and add to the skillet, along with the chives and mint. Sauté just until the zucchini is barely tender — about 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately while hot, or at room temperature.

Zucchini Basil Soup

Ingredients:

2 pounds zucchini, trimmed and cut crosswise into thirds
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups water or broth, divided
1/3 cup packed basil leaves

Directions:

Julienne skin (only) from half of zucchini with slicer; toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and drain in a sieve until wilted, at least 20 minutes. Coarsely chop remaining zucchini.

Cook onion and garlic in oil in a 3- to 4-quarts heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add chopped zucchini and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water or broth and simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 15 minutes. Purée soup with basil in 2 batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids).

Bring remaining cup water to a boil in a small saucepan and blanch julienned zucchini 1 minute. Drain in a sieve set over a bowl (use liquid to thin soup if necessary).

Season soup with salt and pepper. Serve in shallow bowls with julienned zucchini mounded on top.