Tag Archives: vegetable

Carrot-Zucchini Bread

19 Aug

Thank you Alice for the amazing tip on the easiest apple pie ever! I now have a packet of puff pastry in my freezer for those last minute dessert needs.

So we’ve explored quite a few fruit desserts recently, but how about a sweet vegetable bread?

1-Carrot Zucchini Bread with Ginger 055

Being the end of summer here in Minnesota everyone has an overabundance of zucchini from their gardens, so why not make bread with it?! This recipe from Leite’s Culinaria intrigued me because of the addition of carrots and candied ginger to a basic zucchini bread recipe. Yum!

Carrots & Zucchini

I grated the zucchini and carrots in my greatly loved, ancient but usable food processor.


They can very easily be grated with a hand grater as well. Just take care with your knuckles!

1-Carrot Zucchini Bread with Ginger 016

See, so pretty!

My friend and sous chef Karen measured out all the dry ingredients.

dry ingredients

We got to try the candied ginger, which was delicious and quite expensive. After a bit of poking around, I think I might try to make my own as it doesn’t look too difficult to do. David Lebovitz has a lovely recipe that I mean to try shortly.

candied ginger

I mixed the eggs in the mixer until they were frothy,


then added sugar, oil and vanilla. Once they were all well combined

eggs and sugar

I tossed in the shredded veggies and mixed those in as well.

1-Carrot Zucchini Bread with Ginger 039

At that point the dry ingredients were tossed in all at once and stirred together just until combined.

add dry to wet

While I was mixing and combining, Karen had gotten a loaf pan and a muffin pan all ready for the batter by greasing them with spray oil.

1-Carrot Zucchini Bread with Ginger 048

We filled the baking pans and into the oven they went.


Because the recipe gave baking directions for the loaf but not the muffins, I improvised and checked the muffins at 30 mins. They were perfectly done.


They looked like party muffins with the green and orange flecks and then every once in a while there was a spicy chunk of candied ginger to liven things up.

The loaf baked for a full hour at 325°F/162°C.

Carrot Zucchini Bread with Ginger loaf

It was quite delicious plain, but slathered with butter is even better.

Carrot Zucchini Bread with Ginger

I experimented with the zucchini loaf and some sharp cheddar in trying to make a grilled cheese sandwich. It was quite tasty, but the slices of the bread should be very thin to allow the cheese to melt before the bread starts to burn.

Carrot Zucchini Bread grilled cheese

via Leite’s Culinaria
Makes two loaves or 24 muffins

Nonstick cooking spray
3 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup minced candied ginger
3 large eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup zucchini, grated

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (162°C). Coat two loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray or butter. You could also make them in two muffin tins.
2. Sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Stir in the salt and candied ginger.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until light and foamy. Add the canola oil, sugar, and vanilla, whisking vigorously until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the carrots and zucchini.
4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture all at once and stir with a wooden spoon just until blended. Divide the batter evenly between the pans.
5. Bake until the zucchini bread is well risen and firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour for a loaf pan or 30 minutes for muffin tins. Let the zucchini bread cool in the pans on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert them and finish cooling them right side up on the rack. Of course, a thin slice for the cook while the loaves are warm isn’t out of the question.

Sautéed Cabbage with Tomato

14 Jan

Let’s continue on this roll (hehe) with more cabbage! After seeing Alice’s last dish, I was so hungry for cabbage that I went to the store and made my go-to comfort food cabbage dish – sauteed cabbage with tomato.

Cabbage plated

This is a dish that I grew up eating on a regular basis. We had a huge garden and grew a lot of cabbage and had it for lunch and dinner quite often. It’s a simple dish that is great as a main vegetarian dish, perfect as a side dish with meatloaf or roast chicken or Brazilian beans and rice and delicious heated up and topped with a poached egg for a filling weeknight dinner in a flash. If you happen to be on a veggie kick, it’s right up your alley. The only non-vegetable ingredient is the olive oil used in the pan for sauteing purposes.


First, chop up your onions, tomatoes, garlic and ginger

chopped ingredients

Slice your cabbage as thin as you can, by first cutting the cabbage in half


Then slicing each half very finely.

chopped cabbage

Heat up oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven.

First add your onions to the hot pan and let them cook for two to three minutes, stirring regularly, until they are softened slightly.

sauteed onions

Then add the garlic and ginger and stir before adding the tomatoes to the pan.

sauteed tomatoes

Add salt and pepper, or Arisco if you are lucky enough to have some. Arisco is a Brazilian seasoning consisting of salt, pepper, onion and garlic which adds a wonderful flavor to most savory dishes.


When the tomatoes have softened a little – about three minutes – add a cup of water and all the cabbage.

Lots and lots of cabbage

You may want to make sure your pan is large enough…mine almost wasn’t.

Lots of cabbage

Cover the pan for about five minutes, until the cabbage has softened a bit and is reduced

covered pan

Stir for a few more minutes while it continues to cook.

sauteed cabbage

When the cabbage is cooked, but still has a little bit of a crunch, serve.


If you’re lucky, you’ll have a good helper like I do.

Hattie helping

If you like a little spice, feel free to add some pepper sauce.


Alice, are you going to continue the cabbage roll?

Sautéed Cabbage with Tomato
Serves 4 as a main or 8 as a side

1 small cabbage, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ inch fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil

Heat the oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté the onions in the hot oil until softened, about two to three minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and stir frequently before adding the tomatoes. Continue to stir until the tomatoes are softened, about three minutes. Add one cup of hot water to the pan and stir before adding all of the cabbage to the pan.

Cover pan for five minutes then remove cover and resume sautéing while stirring regularly until cabbage is softened, but still a bit crunchy. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.


Grilled Zucchini with Pine Nuts, Currants and Fetta

3 May

It feels such a luxury to be back in Melbourne and to be totally spoiled for choice with ingredients. Fresh and vibrant produce, cheeses, spices and meats. So good.

My step mother, Betsy, is always an inspiration with food, and we cooked this dish together a few weeks ago. I’m not one to normally be amazed by zucchini, but this dish is something else. We ate it alone as a first course. It is also something that would go well alongside a simple cooked meat, perhaps something on the barbecue or chargrill pan given you have already fired it up.

The original recipe is below, and it is from one of the ‘it’ Melbourne chefs, Andrew McConnell. I would dine at his restaurant, but I am not so interested in a three hour wait. I add a bit more pine nut and currant, but other than that I pretty much stayed on track. I made double quantity, because I figure it keeps well for the next day’s lunch.

You will need zucchini, lemon, currants, pine nuts, fetta, mint, sumac spice, olive oil and a little salt.

First I turned on the barbecue to get it warmed up.

Then I soaked the currants in some warm water, and toasted the pine nuts in a dry pan.

I zested a lemon, and sliced up four medium zucchini. I didn’t see any baby zucchini, like the recipe calls for, so I left them out.

Into a bowl I poured a few good glugs of olive oil, added a big pinch of salt, and squeezed the juice of a lemon. And then gently tossed the zucchini through it.

I laid each piece of zucchini on the heated grill in batches, and let it cook until it had nice stripes, and some charcoal flavour, but was still firm. You want it to maintain a bit of crunch. I reserved the liquid left in the bowl for the dressing.

To the reserved oil mixture I added the lemon zest, drained currants and pine nuts. If you need more oil at this stage, by all means add some.

I gently tossed the cooked zucchini through, and then placed it on a serving plate. I finished it off by crumbling over it some sheep’s milk fetta, roughly torn mint leaves and a smattering of sumac spice.

This is almost too good. For me, zucchini has never known these heights.

Nice to be back to our regular format again… and so with that, over to you B!


Original recipe from the book Cumulus Inc. by Andrew McConnell

1 tablespoon pine nuts
2 teaspoons currants
2 medium sized zucchini, topped and tailed and then cut lengthwise into 3mm slices (just over a tenth of an inch)
3 baby zucchini halved lengthwise
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
8 mint leaves, roughly torn
50g (2oz) fetta, preferably barrel-aged, crumbled
pinch of sumac

Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan until golden. Soak the currants in water for 10 minutes to rehydrate, then drain and pat dry.

Preheat a barbecue or chargrill pan. Gently toss the zucchini with the salt, the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Briefly grill the zucchini on the hot barbecue or chargrill pan for a moment on each side, just until they are lightly grill-marked and wilted without being cooked through.

To serve toss the zucchini with the lemon zest, pine nuts, currants and the remaining olive oil (I used the oil and lemon juice mix left from the zucchini bowl earlier). Arrange the zucchini on a platter and strew with the mint. Crumble the fetta cheese over and finish with a pinch of sumac.

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