I just came out of my internet procrastination daze and had one of those oh-crud-I’m supposed-to-be-doing-something moments.
Yep, those are the best aren’t they? So, I know it’s only Monday, I hope you all had a killer weekend by the way, but I thought I’d start off the week with a little bit of chocolate. Okay fine, a lot of it. Mondays just need loads of chocolate sometimes, you feel me? Hey, there are vegetables in this bread too, so I think that makes it completely acceptable as breakfast. True story.
Although, the honest to goodness truth is that this is an luscious cake disguised behind it’s green veggie and loaf shaped facade. You know what though, honesty when chocolate is involved is overrated. Let’s stick with calling it “bread”. It’s a plan.
So, I’m realizing that my fake Fall is actually more like it’s own season. Have you ever tried to imagine a unique color past the ones our eyes can see? I think it’s impossible and it makes my head hurt trying, but it’s a weird thought isn’t it? Yeah, well that’s what my current seasonal situation feels like. I’m living in a 5th season that is unique to the 4 we all know of. The only thing is I can’t decide whether it’s ‘sprall’, ‘sprautumn’, or ‘fring’. I think ‘sprall’ is good. ‘Sprautumn’ sounds like an unmentionable body part and I can’t hardly say ‘fring’ with a straight face. So sprall it is, and in that case, I’m liking this particular ‘sprall’ the most so far.
The spring half has been getting me excited. My awesome brother-in-law just scrubbed down and seasoned (properly, not my halfway style of doing it that didn’t work) this giant wok thingy we have that has been trying to rust itself to death over the past month. He made it look brand new again somehow so I can’t wait to try it on the grill. Oh yeah, we did our official first grill-out of the season the other day and it was awesome even if it was a bit chilly out still. The whole warming up aspect of my “sprall” is pretty nice, I must admit.
Then for the autumn side of things, I broke out my pumpkin pie spice and now there’s no going back until the years over. I am in full holiday baking gear and I’ve already started planning and getting ideas of things for December. I also can’t wait to have a scary movie fest with those of my siblings that enjoy them with me. As of this year, I’m pretty sure I’m the biggest fan but two of my sisters both enjoy them too and then two of my brothers both try to make it through the suspense without bailing (This usually doesn’t work though). Haha, then two of my other sisters pretty much avoid them at all costs.
Also, I think I have a caramel problem. I just seem to want to put it in, on, and swirled with everything. Prepare for some serious caramel coming your way from this direction. But there’s no caramel in this bread (hey, that’s a dangerous idea though), just plenty of chocolate goodness. Oh, and don’t let the veggie detail freak you out ’cause I promise you won’t even remember it’s in there. Okay, you’ll remember but you won’t care.
Chocolate makes Monday happy.
Double Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Bread (Vegan+GF)
Adding green veggies to your dessert may sound like a terrible idea, but trust me, this recipe will totally change your mind.Prep Time 15 minutesCook Time 55 minutesTotal Time 1 hourServings 1 loaf (8-12 servings)
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup coconut palm sugar (or 3/4 organic cane sugar)
- 2 flax "eggs" 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal+ 6 tablespoons water
- 1/3 cup applesauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups whole wheat flour replace with gluten free flour if needed
- 1/2 cup dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips (optional)
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup organic powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and grease a 5x9-inch loaf pan.
Whisk together coconut milk, coconut sugar, and flax "eggs" in a medium bowl. Add applesauce, salt, vanilla, and baking powder. Stir in cocoa then add zucchini and 1/4 cup chocolate chunks. The mixture will be pretty thick by this point. Now use a large spatula to fold in the flour as evenly as possible.
Scrape the batter into pan and sprinkle remaining chocolate on top. Bake for 45 - 55 minutes hour until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.
While bread is baking make your icing by whisking all ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Pour over bread once cooled.
Guess what, the sun is popping out and I think It might stay and hang out for a while today, yay! I was beginning to forget what it looked like.
So what do think of when you hear the word salad, because it seems to be a very broad term with many different interpretations. In some places if you order a salad at a restaurant you are going to be disappointed with a large bowl of lettuce and a few dots of something to garnish. I thinks it’s just that some consider salads only a side dish type of thing.
To others when salad comes to mind it might be a steakhouse-style salad that’s basically a pile heavy toppings and croutons smothered in ranch. Would you like some lettuce with your dressing?
My view of a perfect salad is somewhere in between the two. I think every salad needs to have plenty of flavors and some kind of awesome dressing to finish it off, either creamy or sweet. It also should be light enough to be a side dish on it’s own, or loaded enough that you could add some protein and make it a meal. Of course, that applies only to lettuce based salads, I’m not talking about pasta, bean, or fruit salad. Those are all completely different categories.
One of my favorite flavors of summer is fresh basil and I happened to get a bunch of it the other day. Since it pairs so well with tomatoes and avocado it seemed only fitting to make a caprese salad and my favorite way to top that is with a balsamic reduction that is super easy. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Grape Caprese Avocado Salad + Balsamic Reduction (Vegan+GF)
Sometimes the simplest things are the best and that's exactly the case with this minimal ingredient salad.Prep Time 10 minutesCook Time 10 minutesMarinating Time 25 minutesTotal Time 20 minutesServings 4 servings
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 cups loosely packed red leaf lettuce
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1 cup red grapes sliced in half
- 1 medium avocado sliced
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 block firm tofu drained and dried of excess liquid
- 1 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
Cut the tofu into small cubes and throw into a bowl and add apple cider vinegar and a sprinkle of salt. Toss to coat. Place in the fridge to marinate for 15-30 minutes
For the reduction, combine sugar and balsamic in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes until thickened, then remove from heat and cool.
Combine ingredients for salad in a large bowl and toss together gently. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Top salad immediately before serving or serve per individual.