A great meal idea for meatless Monday’s.
Recently on the local news, the city of Vancouver, BC announced that they will be officially commencing with Meatless Mondays, encouraging residents to forego meat for one day a week for the sake of the planet and their health. As with everything that’s considered “change” there’s been a bit of controversy around it. Michael and I have been trying to cut back on the meat we eat on a weekly basis for a few years now and at this point we eat meat about 3-4 times a week now. It’s nothing I work too hard at or even think about any more. Fortunately there are so many great alternatives to meat available to us.
Last night I made some wonderful zucchini quinoa patties and thought it was worthy of a post. Our entire family enjoys them, even picky Noelle. It’s nice because you get some veggies and protein in one nice little package. I try to keep the frying down to a minimum, I lightly brown the patties and then I cook them through the rest of the way in the oven.
This recipe has been slightly modified from this original recipe.
FOR THE CAKES:
- 2 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 cup cooked jasmine rice (feel free to omit and just use 2 cups of quinoa)
- 1 egg
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ cup of green onions
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ½ cup panko crumbs (or more breadcrumbs)
- ½ cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated is best but use what you have)
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tsp oil plus more for frying
FOR THE YOGURT SAUCE:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt (use reduced fat yogurt if you’d like)
- Juice from ½ a lemon
- 1 tbsp of freshly chopped oregano
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- Combine and thoroughly mix all the yogurt sauce ingredients together and let sit in the fridge until the patties are ready to be served
- Sprinkle ¼ tsp of salt on the shredded zucchini, put in a colander and let sit to draw out any liquid.
- Heat oil in a medium skillet and add garlic and green onions, ¼ tsp salt and pepper and cook until veggies are slightly soft. Remove from heat, drain off excess oil and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs, panko, parmesan cheese and lemon zest. The mix in lemon juice, quinoa, rice, and cooked green onions and garlic. Add in egg and shredded zucchini. Mix everything together thoroughly and start forming balls (a little smaller than a golf ball) and then carefully flatten into a thick patty.
- Preheat oven to 400 F
- Heat oil (just enough to evenly cover the surface entirely) on medium-high heat in a large skillet. Carefully place patties into the pan and cook for a few minutes on each side until it starts to lightly brown and get a little crispy. Remove from pan and place to a paper towel covered plate. Dab off any excess oil with more paper towel.
- Move patties onto a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 15 minutes, turning over at about the halfway point.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly and serve with the chilled yogurt sauce on top.
Easy to make Garlic Scape Pesto
Last week I saw a Facebook post from a British Columbia based seed company called Westcoast seeds. This is where I purchase all my seeds from and they’re always a great source of local knowledge. The Facebook post was perfect timing since it was all about garlic scapes (garlic scapes are the “flower stalks” of hardneck garlic plants, although they do not produce flowers). I was just looking at my garlic and noticed all the scapes and wondered what I was supposed to do with them. This is the first time I’ve grown garlic and it’s all new to me so I take whatever help I can get… thanks Westcoast seeds!
You’ll see from my photos that the scapes are simply stunning. Perhaps it’s the designer in me, but all I see is the beauty in the shape and colour of these curly flower stalks. The Facebook post mentioned that it’s best to remove the scapes from the garlic at this point but also mentioned that some people like to make pesto with them – perfect, another great culinary experiment to attempt! So, although I found it hard to do, I managed to chop off the beautiful scapes and take them into the house to experiment with garlic scape pesto.
Please take a moment to “ewww” and “ahhh” and gush over the photos for a moment – seriously, another of nature’s splendour’s.
- 1/2 cup garlic scapes, finely chopped (6-8 garlic scapes)
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup raw almonds toast them lightly, if you’d like)
- About 1/2 cup olive oil
- Juice from 1/2 a lemon
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until entirely mixed. Feel free to add a little extra olive oil depending on the desired consistency.
- Serve with crackers, toast, pasta, gnocchi or rice. Enjoy!
The perfect chocolate chip cookie.
The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie – For Father’s Day this year, Noelle and I decided that we would make Michael his favourite chocolate chip cookies. I actually had no idea (after almost 12 years) that he loved chocolate chip cookies so much but recently, after all the cookies disappeared within about a day of making my last batch, he confessed his weakness to me. I’m more of a savoury food person myself but I’ve got to say that these chocolate chip cookies are really quite divine. What makes them so great… they are a little bit crunchy and yet soft and chewy all at the same time. They also have a nice saltiness to them thanks to the kosher salt in this recipe. Give them a try and I think you’ll agree that they’re pretty close to perfect.
Makes about 20 – 22 cookies. Adapted from original recipe here.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips (I used mini chips and only 1/2 cup in the cookies photographed above but they definitely could have used more)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional – I love them but my daughter doesn’t so I omit)
- In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon or mixer (I do it all by hand) cream together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Do not over mix.
- Add the egg, vanilla and salt and stir until combined.
- Sift in the flour, baking soda and baking powder and stir gently until completely mixed in.
- Add the chocolate chips (and nuts if using them) and stir in just until they are evenly distributed.
- Cover bowl and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop enough dough to make 1″ balls (don’t make too big – I’ve done this and it doesn’t end well 😉 ). Place them about 2″ apart on the baking sheets.
- Bake cookies for 13-16 minutes (depending on the softness you like – I do mine 14 minutes), rotating the pans after about 8 minutes.
- Remove from oven, transfer to racks and let cool.
- The original recipe says they’ll last 4 days in an airtight cookie jar but I have no idea since a batch has never lasted that long in our household.
Marinated Feta Cheese
Marinated Feta Cheese – A few weeks ago I attempted to make homemade feta cheese. You’ll notice that you see no such post about how to make feta cheese… that’s because it was a flop – I made something, but it definitely wasn’t feta cheese. Before my sorry attempt, I did a lot of research on feta and came across some really great recipes. One recipe I found over and over was marinated feta and wow did it look good. Now that I’ve had time to lick my cheese making wounds, I decided I would probably have much more success with the marinated feta (especially if I used beautifully made store bought feta). I looked around and eventually decided to make a combination of a few recipes. The result was fabulous.
This is wonderful to keep in the kitchen, to add to dishes or simply eat straight from the jar. It should keep for at least a couple of months – if it lasts that long. Just think what a great hostess gift this would make, tasty and gorgeous to look at. Oh, and you can purchase the cute little jar label here.
- Feta cut into 1″ cubes (I actually made some cubes a little smaller too just for snacking on).
- Olive Oil (enough to fill up the container)
- Fresh Herbs: Basil, Oregano, Thyme and Rosemary (mine were fresh out of the garden)
- 4-5 Cloves of Garlic
- Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
- 8-10 Sundried Tomato Slices
- 6-8 Green Pitted Olives (quartered)
- Pinch of Chili Pepper Flakes
- Sprinkling of Steak Seasoning Spice
- Get all your materials ready and start by adding enough cubes of feta to fill the bottom of the jar.
- Add 1/3 of all your ingredients (except olive oil) and try to keep most of the ingredients to the outside of the jar (it just makes the jar look prettier when you can see all the beautiful ingredients).
- Add olive oil until it cover the feta and then repeat with another 1/3 of the ingredients, add olive oil and then finish off with the last 1/3.
- Add lemon juice and then pour olive oil into jar until all the feta cubes are covered. Give a very gentle shake or roll of the jar to mix the ingredients around.
- Seal and let sit for at least 3-5 days to allow flavours to develop.
SERVE: You may want to stick a toothpick into every feta cube or just serve it as it is. Try with toast/crostini, crackers or bruschetta. Also great in eggs or salads.
You can also use the leftover oil in the jar in rice, quinoa and lentil dishes, pasta as well as roasted veggies.