Zany for Zucchini

A friend of mine and fellow blogger (thewolfwilltravel.com) asked me to share my zucchini cake recipe after seeing a picture of it in an earlier post.   Zucchini is by far one of my favourite vegetables; however a few people consider it to be boring so nobody bothers to do anything creativewith it.  During one of my internet trolling sessions I stumbled upon this amazing recipe that turns my favourite vegetable into something spectacular. Naturally, I HAD to try it!  With a few minor tweaks to the original recipe, zucchini cakes have became a frequent guest at my dinner parties as they are a perfect accompaniment to any main course.  These little treats  are really light and fluffy,  I could eat about a dozen in one go.  Preparation is quick and easy, so if you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen, this is perfect!

raw-sliced-zucchini

Ingredients

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (Coarse breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup  parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Grate the zucchini and drain out the excess water.  To do this, wrap the grated zucchini is paper towels for a few minutes.   
  • In a large bowl combine all the ingredients at once. Using your hands, squish the zucchini into the bread crumbs with the help of the egg.  The spices add a rich flavour and beautiful aroma to the cakes so ensure that they are mixed in well.
  • Once you have a sticky dough, scoop a tablespoon full at a time into your hands and form a small patty.  *(You can make them bigger if you wish)
  • Fry your cakes in shallow oil over medium heat till they are golden.

I love these cakes with chicken and baked potatoes. When I’m in the mood for a full vegetarian course, I like to serve them with a beautiful stir fry.  Sometimes, I prefer to just eat them on their own with a sweet and sour sauce.  Whatever your taste preference, I’m certain you will enjoy these flavourful little cakes.

Happy cooking!

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Zucchini cakes served with mac&cheese and vegetable stir fry

Source: http://www.lifesambrosia.com

Breakfast on the go

Every morning I have the constant battle of deciding what to wear to work and what to have for breakfast.  I end up standing in front of an open closet looking at all my clothes and saying to myself  “I have nothing to wear”, before I know it, time has flown by and there’s not enough time for breakfast.  I usually just fuel up on coffee and run out the door.  NOT GOOD!!!

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Story of my life

I wanted to get rid of this awful habit so I started picking out my outfit the night before (thank you weather app) so that I had time in the morning to eat something.  When I lived with my parents my mom would fix me breakfast but living alone means that the burden falls on my shoulders.  Fortunately, I discovered Pinterest (Thank you, Dena) and it’s plethora of recipes.  I troll that site everyday for inspiration for everything from apple-pies to zoo animals.  During one of my “pinning sessions” I found a quick-fix-breakfast.  SMOOTHIES!

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I’ve tried several recipes but my favourite was the peanut-butter&banana smoothie.  It asks for few ingredients and the taste is amazing.  It sustains me till lunch and I can I drink it on my way to work which makes me love it even more.

To make this delicious drink, you will need

  • 1 ripe banana
  • A tablespoon of your favourite peanut-butter
  • 1/4 cup low fat milk
  • +/- 6 ice-cubes

Throw all the ingredients into your blender and flip the switch.  After a few good swirls inside the blender you will have the most delightful breakfast smoothie.  Pour it into your travel mug and enjoy on the go!

*For an added burst of flavour throw in some almonds.

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The most delicious smoothie

Source: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/

Chocolate delight

Everyone says that their mom is the best.  I can safely say that mine is by far the BEST cook, mentor, friend and she gives the best advice with the warmest hugs.  I have studied under a true master who has taught me lessons I wish to pass on someday to my kids.

Mommy and me

Mommy and me

One of my favourite lessons with mom was baking.  Sugar is my frenemy, I hate that I love it so much.  I’ve tried several times to give up sugar and all things sweet and decadent but sugar always wins.  So, when the sugar cravings call, I usually like to answer with chocolate because nobody understands me better than chocolate.  I love chocolate in just about anything. My go-to-use of course is a moist slice of chocolate cake.

I’ve tried a few chocolate cake recipes with success but my mom’s classic chocolate cake remains my firm favourite. It’s super easy and quick to prepare.  Back in high school my cousin and I would bake it as an excuse to avoid homework.  While writing this I am tempted to hit save and rush off to the kitchen…But I won’t.

To make this delicious treat, you will need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 220ml sugar
  • 1/4 oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • Milk chocolate of your choice for decorating

Now the fun bit.

  1.  Dissolve the cocoa in the boiling water and allow it to cool.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder and leave aside
  3. In a separate bowl, combine egg yolks, oil, sugar,essence and cool cocoa mix. Mix well until it is creamy and smooth then add the dry ingredients.
  4. In a third bowl, whip up the egg whites until they are stiff then fold it lightly into your batter.
  5. Divide your creamy chocolate batter into two round (well greased) baking tins
  6. Pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes at a 170 degrees Celsius

When you remove your beautifully baked cakes from the oven allow them to cool before decorating.  Sandwich the cakes with milk chocolate and spread chocolate all around the chocolate sandwich so it looks irresistible.  Be as free and creative as your like with the decorating process.  Below is the cake my mom made for my brother’s birthday.  He’s too old for the candles and party hats so we just sang to him and let him cut the cake before sending him off to work.   He only cared for the cake anyway so it was all good.

My brother

My brother

Simple summer supper

Summer in Korea is extremely hot and humid so the last thing I want to do is stand over a blazing flame and cook.  I try to look for quick fixes that have me in and out of the kitchen as fast as possible.  One of my favorite summer dishes is a simple cherry tomato with feta cheese pasta.  I got this wonderful idea from my aunt.

For this dish, I used pasta in the shape of bows.  You can use spiral noodles as well or whatever shape you can find.  Boil your pasta as normal (pot of boiling water with a tablespoon of oil and a teaspoon of salt).

For the tomato-feta combo I use…

  • 1 Cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Feta cheese cut in cubes

In a pan,  heat the tablespoon of olive oil then toss in the juicy cherry tomatoes.  Give the tomatoes a few good tosses then add the salt , sugar and black pepper.  Toss around a few more times then turn off the heat.  Once the heat is off, throw in the feta (the amount depends on your love for cheese) and toss. Drain your pretty shaped pasta and add it to the tomato-feta combo with a few good tosses.  **I say toss and not mix because you don’t want the tomatoes or cheese cubes to lose shape.**

Serve and enjoy!

NB:It goes great with any protein or can be enjoyed alone. 

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Cherry tomato and feta cheese pasta served with zucchini cakes