100 MINI RAINBOW PANCAKES

A plate filled with 100 mini rainbow pancakes!
A plate filled with 100 mini rainbow pancakes!

This 100 mini rainbow pancake recipe is a fun & colorful way to sneak in some yummy fruits and veggies into some pretty adorable little cakes. Your kids will love these!

The Big 100

For those who don’t know, The Funky Spork has a cooking channel on YouTube. Recently, the channel hit the amazing milestone of gaining 100 subscribers!! As a way to celebrate this achievement, I wanted to come up with a very special celebratory recipe.

Rainbow Pancakes!?

After brainstorming, I finally hit an ‘a-ha!’ moment: As many of you know, breakfast is one of my FAVORITE meals. I also love color. So why not combine the best of both worlds? The result was to cook 100 mini rainbow pancakes. I wanted to take this one step further by substituting traditional food dyes with natural fruit and vegetable purees. Creating purees not only result in naturally-derived colors, but also add in some additional nutrients into each of the pancakes. For my fellow parents and guardians looking for ways to satisfy your kids huger and nutrition,I think this is a dish you will enjoy.

As a way to celebrate my special 100-subscriber milestone, I will show YOU how to create 100 miniature RAINBOW pancake cereal using easy-to-make colorful homemade purees. Thanks for the inspiration, TikTok! ;D

P.S. I also wanted to take this moment to wish each and every single one of you a VERY happy Pride month! I know that so far, with everything going on right now, this month has been pretty rough. But I truly hope that this recipe can bring a little happiness into your life. <3

100 Mini Rainbow Pancakes

This 100 mini rainbow pancake recipe is a fun & colorfulway to sneak in some yummy fruits and veggies into some pretty adorable littlecakes. Your kids will love these!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Blueberries, Breakfast, Brunch, rainbow food
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 561kcal

Equipment

  • Griddle
  • Chopsticks (for pancake flipping)
  •  4 medium bowls
  • Food processor or blender

Ingredients

Pancake Batter

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour divided into four ¾ cup servings
  • 7 tsp. baking powder divided into four 1.75 tbsp. baking powder measurements
  • 2 tsp. salt 4 portions of ½ tsp. each
  • 2 tbsp. white sugar 4 portions of ½ tbsp. white sugar

Natural Food Coloring Ingredients

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 ½ cups milk 4 portions of 5 ounces of milk
  • 6 tbsp. melted butter divided into 1.5 tbsp. per serving
  • 2 eggs, beaten divided into ½ egg per batter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract divided into ¼ tsps. portions

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to the lowest temperature you have.While oven is preheating,  mix all of your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) into large bowl.Then make sure to evenly divide that larger mixture and separate it into a total of four different bowls). Set aside.
  • Preparing the purees: add the 5 ounces of blueberries, along with 5 ounces of milk, 1.5 tbsp. melted butter and ¼ of the beaten egg mixture, and the vanilla extract into your food processor. Blend until the puree turns into a smooth, rich consistency. Pour puree into a small cup and repeat this step for the rest of the produce (the raspberries,blackberries, and spinach).
  • Gently stir in one puree mixture per bowl and mix until each of the respective batters takes on the color of each of the purees. You will have a raspberry batter, a blueberry batter, a blackberry batter, and a spinach batter (don’t worry, your kids won’t be able to detect the spinach flavor!)
  • Heat a griddle to medium heat and lightly grease. With a tablespoon, take one barter, and drop teaspoon sizes of pancake mixture into your skillet and gently flip over with a small spatula (or chopsticks!) once each mini pancake begins to bubble. Quickly remove from heat once finished. Each batter should make approximately 25 miniature pancakes.Repeat this step for each of the batters.
  • Enjoy your baby pancakes in a cereal bowl and eat ‘em with a spoon! 😀

Video

Nutrition information (per serving):

561 Calories/ 14g Protein/ 19g Fat/ 85g Carbohydrates/ 5.5g Fiber

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Did you create this dish? What do ya think? Please let me know in the comments, below! 😀

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How to Make Blueberry Crisp

If you’re looking for an easy and delicious way to incorporate blueberries into your next dessert, look no further than this blueberry crisp recipe! Just be warned, you MAY wind up eating the entire batch!

A picture of a serving of blueberry crisp in a medium white bowl.
This Blueberry Crisp recipe is one that I hope will put a smile on your face. 🙂

It’s still blueberry season in Florida. And for many, blueberries mean DESSERT! Now, before I proceed with the rest of this blog post, I have a bt of a confession to make:

I’m not a baker. At all. It’s just…not my thing!

I’m not kidding, I don’t bake very often.

Despite my claim, above, there is one very specific exception: crisps. I LOVE a good apple crisp. It’s one of the few desserts that I enjoy baking. Why? Not only is a[pple crisp delicious, but to be honest, it’s quite simple to make. And- unlike most other baking recipes, baking a crisp allows for SOME improvisation.

But what does apple crisp have to do with this particular recipe? Well, as I try my est to incorporate as many local and seasonal ingredients into each of my recipes, I knew that I had to do something with the rest of our blueberries before we move out, next weekend. With that being said, I combined forces with one of my all-time favorite desserts to create a beautiful melt-in-your-mouth hybrid: blueberry crisp.

You’re in for a Treat with this Crisp!

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make a really simple yet scrumptious blueberry crisp which uses everyday ingredients. I would like to once again thank Keel Farms for these amazing blueberries. If you live in or around the Plant City, FL, area, check them out!

Image of blueberry crisp baked in a 9x12 inch glass oven-safe dish.
Blueberry crip fresh out from the oven!

If you’re gluten-free, please feel free to swap the flour for your preferred substitution.

But anyways…let’s move onto the recipe!

Blueberry Crisp

If you're looking for an easy and delicious way to incorporate blueberries into your next dessert, look no further than this blueberry crisp recipe!
Prep Time6 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Blueberries
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 302kcal

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup oats
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cold butter cut into pieces
  • 2 tbsp. cold butter cut into pieces
  • 1 pinch salt

Filling

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries ripened
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup brown sugar

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch square(2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup flour, the oats,brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon until blended. Cut in cold butter, using fork or pastry blender, until mixture is crumbly. (Do not over-mix. Don't worry if all of the butter clumps evenly disperse throughout the mixture. The magic will happen in the oven. Just wait!!) Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix Filling ingredients until well-coated. Spread evenly in baking dish. Sprinkle crumble over top. If you want extra crisp, feel free to place some extra dices of cold butter on top!
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until topping is golden brown and juices are bubbling along edges.
  • Cool at least 15-20 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Video

Nutrition information for the Blueberry Crisp (per serving)

302 Calories/ 3.9g Protein/ 7g Fat/ 62.4g Carbohydrates/ 4.6g Fiber

Did you create this dish? What do ya think? Please let me know in the comments, below! 😀

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Butternut squash tacos recipe: A picture of two butternut squash tacos served with corn tortillas

Butternut Squash Tacos

This butternut squash taco recipe is a deliciously decadent meal to enjoy during your next #TacoTuesday!

Jump to Recipe

I am a huge fan of Taco Tuesdays. No joke! I try my best to make sure that I have a yummy and unique recipe to concoct each week, during our taco Tuesdays. Sometimes, I have cravings for the classics, such as tacos with carnitas, chicken, or fish. Other times, I want something a little different inside of my corn tortilla. Guess what? If you don’t know me by now, you should know that I am definitely a fan of unique delicacies.

You Butternut Doubt It!

This particular recipe contains an ingredient many of you already admire: Butternut squash. But wait! Before you begin to twitch your eyes and smirk with disgust, please stick with me! Butternut squash makes a really delicious filling. In addition, this yummy gourd is a power house in nutrients. One serving of butternut squash contains over 100 percent of your daily value in vitamin A, approximately 40 percent of your daily Vitamin C requirement, approximately 18 percent of your daily potassium requirement, and around 15 percent of daily requirement of Magnesium ¹.  

Delicious chunks of diced butternut squash ready for roastin’!

The Verdict?

I’ll admit that I’m not the first, nor the last person on this planet to come up with a butternut squash taco recipe. However, I am proud of my version. For this recipe, I coat my squash with a tasty, aromatic seasoning, and then roast the squash, along with a clove of garlic. The roasted garlic really enhances and compliments the sweet and nuttiness of the squash, and cumin-the recipe’s main seasoning. Afterwards, I top this with some deliciously cool avocado. One of the best parts about this dish is that all of the ingredients can be roasted in one pan. Hello, convenience!

Butternut squash tacos recipe: A close-up of the filling in the butternut squash tacos, such as sauteed onions, avocados and roasted butternut squash chunks.
Butternut squash taco filling

For those of you scratching your heads, yes! This butternut squash taco recipe is also vegan, and contained squash locally sourced from my friends over at Steed Farm.

Alright, I’ve spent enough time rambling about this yummy dish. Let’s move onto the recipe now, shall we??

Butternut squash tacos recipe: A picture of two butternut squash tacos served with corn tortillas
A picture of two butternut squash tacos served with corn tortillas

Butternut Squash Tacos

These butternut squash tacos are a deliciously decadent way toenjoy during your next #TacoTuesday!
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Tex-mex
Keyword: vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 133kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 bulb fresh garlic
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • sriracha (optional)

Spices

  • ½ tsp. red chili powder (to your heat preference)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. allspice

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Carefully cut squash into 4-5 large sections,and de-seed. Then with a paring knife, gently cut away outer skin layer. Afterwards,dice each chunk into 1” pieces. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine all of the seasoningsuntil well mixed. Afterwards add squash and gently incorporate the cooking oil.Gently stir everything until each squash cube is well coated. Place in largecookie sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, and flip halfway. Make sure toreserve at least 1/3 of the space in the pan.
  • While the squash is roasting, slice the onionand bell pepper into ¼” slices, add to the same sheet the squash and garlic areroasting in, and place in the oven to roast for the last 25 minutes of thesquash roasting time.
  • Take everything out, and gently cut and mixthe smashed roasted garlic puree into the squash chunks.
  • (Optional) Add to your tortilla of choice andserve with avocado .
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition Information per serving (without tortillas or avocado)

133 calories/ 3 grams protein/ 2.8 grams fat/ 28 grams carbohydrates/ 5 grams of fiber

References:

¹ https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/butternut-squash-health-benefits#1

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Strawberry hot chocolate served inside of a short see-through glass cup

Strawberry Hot Chocolate

This strawberry hot chocolate recipe is a really delicious and unique way to enjoy delicious strawberries with your family!

Jump to Recipe

I have a confession to make: I really love hot chocolate. In fact, drinking hot chocolate is kind of an addiction for me. No matter the temperature, or time of the year, nothing feels more satisfying than curling up somewhere, and allowing the creamy warmth of hot cocoa massage my taste buds and soul. It’s kind of a spiritual thing.

Being that I am a Florida gal, it’s actually a big deal for me to be such an avid hot cocoa lover, given the fact that I spend half of the year in notoriously hot and humid conditions. But as someone once told me, you make time for what’s important.

Strawberry Fields, Forever!

For those who do not know, I live in a lovely town, known as Plant City, Florida. Aside from the contributions that Henry B. Plant made towards our establishment as a historic railroad hub, we are also known for something else: Strawberries! Winter is the season that strawberries grow and thrive, and the region around Plant City and Central Florida has a pretty prevalent array of strawberry growers. More specifically, according to Fresh From Florida, if you are interested in purchasing these sweet berries, depending on climate conditions, strawberries typically grow from December until early April. According to the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, the sweet spot to enjoy these berries is typically from late January-early March, when the growing season begins to peak.  But overall, when the temperature and soil conditions align, one can expect to enjoy some pretty sweet and juicy berries.

When Strawberries Meet Hot Chocolate

As you see, I just made a pretty vulnerable confession about my love for hot chocolate, and I also provided some 101 information about Florida’s strawberry season. But what do strawberries and hot chocolate have to do with each other? Well, everything.

You see, I have been trying to figure out a very creative way to enjoy my favorite beverage that incorporates my town’s beloved fruit. Hence, I am very proud to say that I concocted a pretty darn tasty and satisfying strawberry hot chocolate recipe. Forgot the processed strawberry syrup from your grocery store. This recipe contains real strawberries, and white chocolate, which beautifully compliments the berries.

If you’re based out of the Central Florida region and looking for some tasty berries to purchase, I definitely recommend shopping for a flat (or two!) of Strawberries. They can be found at and around the premises of the Florida Strawberry Festival. You will definitely get a good bang for your buck. If you live in the Plant City area, and are looking for some quality white chocolate, definitely hit up my friends over at The Corner Store. They sell quality European white chocolate buttons, by the pound!

Strawberry hot chocolate served inside of a short see-through glass cup
Strawberry hot chocolate

Did I mention how delicious this recipe is?!? If I didn’t mention it, I will assure you that it is!

Even though this recipe will take about 20 minutes to make, I assure you that it’s a pretty simple one. This will be well worth every precious second of your life. Trust me.

Let’s move onto the recipe, shall we??

Strawberry Hot Chocolate

This strawberry hot chocolate recipe is a really delicious and uniqueway to enjoy delicious strawberries with your family!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Hot chocolate, strawberries
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 367kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 4 cups unsweetened almond milk (or any other milk of choice!)
  • 4 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions

  • De-stemand coarsely chop the strawberries. Set aside.
  • In a medium-large sauce pan, heat to medium. Gradually add in water, vanillaextract, brown sugar, and strawberries. Take a masher and gradually stir andmash every couple of minutes for about 10-15 minutes, or until the strawberrieshave disintegrated and the sauce reduces into more of a syrup consistency. Then sieve out excess strawberry puplp with a fine straine or cheesecloth (optional).
  • Continue to use the same pot at medium heat with the strawberry syrup, and graduallystir in the milk. Afterwards, gradually add in the white chocolate chips andsalt. Stir for about 2-3 minutes, or until all of the white chocolate chipshave dissolved.
  • Servewith diced strawberries, or whipped cream & enjoy!

Nutritional Information per serving:

367 calories/ 11 grams protein/ 16 grams fat/ 45.6 grams carbohydrates/ 1 gram of fiber

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A stack of nine miniature two-inch savory sweet potato pancakes topped on a white plate. The pancakes are topped with sliced scallions.

Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes

Yes, Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes!

Jump to Recipe

I know I have said this before, but I will say it again: If you know me, you KNOW that I absolutely LOVE both American breakfast dishes and Asian-inspired cuisine (Yes, I love the nuanced array of cuisines from this entire gorgeous continent). Moreover, one of my guilty pleasures is Yachaejeon, a very delicious Korean or vegetable pancake. Every few months, I get intense cravings for one of these bad boys, and drive over 30 miles to sink my teeth onto one of these delicacies.

Lately, I have had some serious cravings for Yachaejeon. Being that I want to improve at saving my precious pennies, I challenged myself with making my own version of a vegetable pancake meal, inspired by the mouth-watering Korean dish. After trying my best to be resourceful, I looked around at my own pantry and fridge to see that I had two solid ingredients: green onion, and local sweet potatoes.

The Verdict?

After experimenting with this dish and making some measurement (and ingredient!) tweaks, I am proud to say that I came up with a pretty darn tasty vegetable pancake recipe. While this dish is nothing like Yachaejeon, it is very delicious. Moreover, the sweet potatoes give this dish creaminess with a very subtle sweetness, while the green onion gives this dish a beautiful sultry aroma and tiny bite. Furthermore, this dish is also unique in that I used almond milk, and two eggs to bind the mixture together. I HIGHLY recommend following this recipe closely, and keeping the pancakes small in size, because the batter is very delicate and WILL crumble if you make them any bigger. Trust me.

Alright, folks. That’s all I have to say: A delicious savory pancake recipe that can be enjoyed for breakfast or any other time of the day. Let’s move onto the recipe, shall we?

A stack of nine miniature two-inch savory sweet potato pancakes topped with scallions
A stack of yummy & savory sweet potato pancakes

Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes

Yes, Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: savory pancakes, sweet potato pancakes, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 308kcal

Equipment

  • Griddle or large skillet
  • Spatula

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 cups milk (any variety)
  • ½ tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup finely sliced green onion

Instructions

  • Coarsely dice the sweet potatoes into 1”-2” cubes and boil/steam for about 15-20 minutes or until tender with a fork. In this step, you will also peel the garlic cloves and place them in the same pot as the sweet potatoes to cook for the same amount of time (cloves should feel very tender with a fork). Remove from heat, rinse with cold water (to cool down), and gently peel the skin off. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, garlic, and soy sauce into a bowl and whisk until everything is well combined. In a separate bowl, combine all of the following dry ingredients:  the almond flour, baking powder and garlic.
  • Gradually combine the wet and dry ingredients, as well as the sweet potatoes and whisk for about two minutes, or until virtually all of the lumps are gone. The batter should look more liquid in nature. Once all of these ingredients are combined, mix in the green onion.
  • Heat skillet to medium and lightly grease with cooking oil of choice. Using a ladel, gently pour in batter to form miniature pancakes no bigger than the two inches in diameter in size (roughly the size of silver dollar pancakes). Allow to cook for roughly two minutes until the surface begins to bubble. Gently flip with a spatula, and allow to cook for two more minutes. Repeat until all of the mixture has been cooked.
  • (Optional step) Serve with a drizzle of sriracha, additional green onion slices, and enjoy!

Nutritional Information per serving:

308 calories/ 15.11 grams protein/ 19.6 grams fat/ 21 grams carbohydrates/ 4.5 grams of fiber


A closeup of creamy butternut squash rotini served in a bowl

Creamy Butternut Squash Rotini

This roasted butternut squash rotini pasta dish is warm, creamy, delicious, and oh-so-nice! If you’re looking for a yummy vegan pasta dish, here ya go! 🙂

Jump to Recipe

In case any of you weren’t aware…I love food. All types! But I’ve got to admit, nothing makes me happier than a warm serving of comfort food.

Here in Central Florida, we have been experiencing a “Winter” all weekend, with temperatures dipping down to the ‘40s (Fahrenheit)! Yes northerners, laugh all you want. But don’t come complaining to me, once you decide to move down here, and then eventually complain about our frigid 40 degree weather!!!

As many of you know, my husband and I try to eat as locally and seasonally as we can. Luckily, we have had some great produce shares from Steed Farm, our local Community-Supported Agricultural system (also known as CSAs). Among this week’s most recent share of seasonal goodies, we received a very large, 5 pound choctaw squash. Now-I know what you’re thinking. The recipe that I’m about to provide is for butternut squash, yet I used a different variety. Choctaws taste almost exactly like butternut squashes, and are very close cousins. If you do not have access to butternut squash in your area, please feel free to opt for choctaw-vice/versa. Trust me when I say that once I saw that beautiful squash, my taste buds became very happy.

Pieces of chopped butternut squash

After trying to figure out how I was going to prepare this lovely fruit, an ‘A-ha!’ moment came: Why not transform this into a delicious comfort pasta dish? And so I did.

Folks, I would like to present you with this creamy butternut squash rotini recipe. This dish specifically calls for rotini pasta, as it holds its shape and does nicely with absorbing the creamy butternut puree.  While you can technically opt for whatever type of pasta you’d like, I went for pasta enriched with protein. Because the squash (and garlic!) are roasted, this recipe takes slightly over an hour to prepare. But please trust me, it’s well worth your time. While the squash and garlic are roasting, you can even do other things, such as yoga, walking, reading, or catching up on Netflix 😉 -You do you! The moment your fork digs into the rotini which later lands onto the tip of your tongue, your taste buds will feel like you gave them one of the creamiest and most delicious bites of comfort food heaven, ever.

Chunks of roasted butternut squash with the skin

Did I also mention that this specific recipe is vegan and dairy-free? Well, in case I haven’t, now you know!

I can practically hear your stomach grumbling form here…so let’s move onto the recipe, shall we??

Creamy Butternut Squash Rotini

This roasted creamy butternut squash rotini pasta dish is warm, creamy, garlicky, delicious, and oh-so-nice! 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: pasta, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 5 Servings
Calories: 416kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 3 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 14 oz. rotini pasta

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whileoven is preheating, carefully cut the squash in half, remove the seeded coreand then cut each of the half pieces, until the squash has been cut into largequarters. Take 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, to lightly grease the bottom ofa large sheet.
  • Take the remaining 2 tbsp. of olive oil andgently lather each quarter and place into the tray, skin side up. Place thegarlic bulb into the same tray. Allow to bake for 50-60 minutes, until the skinof each piece can be gently pierced with a fork. Allow to cool down for about 5 minutes.
  • During the last 10 minutes of roasting time,begin to boil a large pot of water. Once water is at a rolling boiling point,lower heat to medium-high, place pasta into water, and allow to cook for 7-9minutes until al-dente. Drain, and then place back into lot, with a cover. Setaside.
  • Once squash has cooled down, gently scoopsoftened squash and garlic, and place into a large food processor. Gently addin the almond milk, salt, pepper, and remaining spices. Puree the mixture for1-2 minutes until the blend has turned into a thick liquid consistency.
  • Once the puree has been created, gently mix intothe pasta until well-combined.
  • (Optional) Add in fresh spinach leaves.
  • Enjoy!

Nutritional Information per serving:

416 calories/ 7.4 grams protein/ 10.5 grams fat/ 76.7 grams carbohydrates/ 11 grams of fiber

*Substitute for any other milk of your choice

**Feel free to rinse, season, lightly oil and bake the seeds at 350 F for about 10-15 minutes, or until crispy!

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A close-up of five zucchini fritters served with marinara sauce

Zucchini Fritters

WARNING: These zucchini fritters are extremely addictive.

A close-up of five zucchini fritters served with marinara sauce
Zucchini Fritters

This year, my husband and I decided to become members of a local CSA (Community-Supported Agricultural system), and decided to become members of Steed Farm, the local CSA in our hometown. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, a CSA is a system where the consumer has the opportunity to subscribe to the local harvest of a local farm or collective of farms (Click here if you’re interested in seeing my CSA video-its good stuff!).

I recently received my first share of produce, which was super exciting. No joke…we probably came home with about 7 pounds worth of produce. Among all of the goodies I received, I had two very large and hefty zucchini fruits. After trying to figure out how I was going to prepare them, I had an ‘A-ha!’ moment: Why not turn them into fritters?!?! I had most of the ingredients, to do so.

The Moment of Truth

After experimenting with this dish three different times, and modifying each of the ingredient quantities, I am proud to announce that I finally came up with a recipe that I am super proud of. Folks, I present you with my very tasty zucchini fritters. These fritters contain feta cheese, which naturally gives these the salt and amount of zing these babies need. If you don’t want to fry them, no worries! I included a step which shows you how to bake ‘em. These fritters are pretty low in carbs, which is why I opted for Almond flour in my recipe. But you can use whatever other type of flour you’d like! The flour ratio should still be the same.

A vertical stack of zucchini fritters

A couple disclaimers before I proceed:

  1. The quality of the skillet you use matters (take it from me). If you opt for frying, these fritters are prone to sticking on the bottom of the skillet and WILL crumble a part if you do not make sure that you do not have a non-stick surface.
  2. WARNING: These fritters are addictive. Even though they are low in carbs (per serving), you may wind up wanting to eat the whole batch. Just a heads up…

Aright, alright…here’s the recipe!

Zucchini Fritters

WARNING: These zucchini fritters are extremely addictive.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: low-carb, vegetarian
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 197kcal

Equipment

  • Cheesecloth
  • Skillet
  • Spatula

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchinis medium
  • cups almond flour
  • 8 oz. feta cheese crumbled
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 onion small
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp. cooking oil

Spices

  • 2 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp. parsley
  • 1 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Finely dice onion into ¼" cubes, and set aside.
  • Coarsely chop zucchini into 1” Cubes, separate them into three batches. Place each batchinto a food processor and pulse for about three seconds, two-three times, untilthe zucchini pieces are roughly ¼” in size. Repeat this step for each batch.
  • After all of the zucchini has been pulsed, take a cheese cloth, and squeeze as muchof the water out of the zucchini chunks, until almost all of the liquid has drained out. This will take about 3-5 minutes.
  • Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl, except the oil. Gently stir untileverything looks evenly mixed.

Cookyour zucchini fritters using one of two methods:

  • Frying:Heat your large skillet to medium heat, and add the cooking oil. While theskillet is heating, take your batter, and create balls which are about one-one anda half inches in diameter. Creating the mini patties is best to use with atablespoon. Gently drop each medallion-sized patty into the skillet, and allowto fry on each side for about 2 minutes on each side (no more than three minutes),until each side is golden browned. Try not to fry more than five patties at atime. Repeat until all pieces are cooked.
  • Baking:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Once oven has pre-heated, lightly grease a largebaking sheet, and form mini patties the size of 1-1.5 inch medallions. Bakefritters for about 25-30 minutes, until the fritters have golden browned.
  • Enjoy your zucchini fritters with some marinara sauce, or sour cream!

Nutritional Information per serving (serving size- 4 fritters):

197 calories/ 10 grams protein/ 14.3 grams fat/ 8.6 grams carbohydrates/ 6 grams of fiber

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Mesquite Cauliflower and Lentil Bowl

Mesquite Cauliflower and Lentil bowl: An Earth-Friendly Meal

This mesquite cauliflower and lentil bowl is a dish that is delicious, and planet-friendly!

Mesquite Cauliflower and Lentil Bowl
Mesquite Cauliflower and Lentil Bowl

You’re probably like me, in the sense that you are trying to live your best life possible. Maybe this effort includes giving back to the community by being physically active, and trying to eat as healthy as possible-on top of every other responsibility you may have.

What about this planet? Where does being a good environmental steward come into play with you trying to live out your best life? What steps are you making in order to make sure that your actions, and decisions have a good impact on the Earth, and everyone else who lives here? Then the effort of living your best life shifts to living our best life.

A Global Perspective

Let’s take a step back and think globally, for a second. According to a 2017 study conducted by the United Nations, by the year 2050, Planet Earth’s population will surpass 9.8 billion inhabitants-all fighting for the same diminishing resources. Trying to live your best life, while also trying to live healthily and being a mindful steward to our ever-crowding planet may not only seem heavy, but can also become an extremely overwhelming effort.

What if I told you can take the first step of living an equally healthy and sustainable life by choosing what and how you eat? It’s definitely a great place to begin. While attempting to adopt such a golden diet may seem daunting, there is one team of scientists and researchers which may have one solution to this dilemma. In 2019, The EAT Lancet Commission was formed as an effort to address this dichotomy. The EAT-Lancet Commission comprised of over 37 leading scientists and researchers from over 16 countries who work in the arenas of agriculture. Human health, environmental science and political science who worked together to develop scientifically-backed global targets for healthy diets and a sustainable food production system (“Summary Report of the EAT-Lancet Commission”, 2019).

A Planetary Health Plate

So what and how does the EAT-Lancet Commission reccomend we eat? The Commission developed a planetary health plate that consists of roughly half a plate of fruits and vegetables. The Other half of this plate would primarily consist of whole grains (such as rice and barley), plant-sourced protein, and unsaturated plant oils (such as olive and sesame). The Planetary includes minimal consumption of animal-based foods (such as meat, dairy, and eggs), sugars, and even includes a significant limitation of starchy vegetables and (“Summary Report of the EAT-Lancet Commission”, 2019).

A diagram of the EAT Lancet Commission’s Planetary Health Plate

Ever since I found out about the Planetary Health Plate, I have been intrigued. I definitely fall within the camp of folks who is trying my best to eat in a healthy manner while also being environmentally conscientious. I wanted to accept the challenge of eating in a way that complies with the principles of the EAT Lancet Commission, as best as I could. With that being said, I bring you my first Planetary Health Plate Dish-or should I say bowl, in this case?

An Earth-Friendly Meal?

With this, I bring to you a very delicious and hearty Mesquite Cauliflower and Lentil bowl. This delicious bowl has a very rich set of flavors, which combine the natural meatiness of Lentils, with the versatility of rice. The roasted cauliflower with the homemade mesquite marinade gives this dish a burst of subtle smoke and heat-packed flavor. The incorporation of onion, garlic and generous amounts of kale help to ensure that at least half of this bowl comprised of vegetables-a recommendation of the Planetary health plate guideline. I will admit that while the guidelines recommend a minimal amount of starchy vegetables, I did incorporate a small sweet potato into my recipe, since I wanted to clean out my fridge in the process-therefore, reducing food waste. The incorporation of the sweet potato is entirely up to you! All in all, this dish took about 40 minutes to prepare, excluding the time you are preheating your oven. This may seem like a long time, but the dish was actually simple to prepare, since most of these ingredients cooked themselves, with minimal effort to watch over.

Planetary-health plate-complaint ingredients for the Mesquite Cauliflower and Lentil Bowl

Ready to get cookin’?! Let’s move onto the recipe!

Mesquite Cauliflower and Lentil Bowl

This mesquite cauliflower and lentil bowl is a dish that is delicious, and planet-friendly!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten-free, vegan
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 407kcal

Ingredients

Black Rice

  • 1 cup Black rice (*or whatever other rice you have)
  • 2 cups water

Roasted Mesquite Cauliflower

  • 1 cauliflower large
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Lentil Stew

  • 1 cup lentils uncooked
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups kale or spinach
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 sweet potato diced (optional ingredient)
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil

Instructions

  • First, before moving forward withany other step, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cooking the Rice

  • [Method 1: Rice Cooker] Load the rice cooker with the rice and water, press the startbutton, cover, and allow for the rice to cook for about 25-35 minutes, or untilthe cooker indicated that the rice has finished cooking. Afterwards, fluff withfork.
  • [Method 2: Stovetop] in a medium pot, combine the rice and water, and heat onmedium-high and allow to boil. Once the rice reaches a rolling boil, reduce theheat to low, cover, and allow to cook for 25-35 minutes or until you see thatall of the water has evaporated. Afterwards, fluff with fork.

Whilewaiting for the rice to cook, begin preparing the roasted cauliflower:

  • Coarselydice cauliflower into pieces that are roughly 2”-3” in size. Place in anoven-safe casserole dish, and set aside.
  • Makingthe mesquite marinade: In a bowl, combine the maple syrup, the chili powder,smoked paprika, oil, and salt until well-combined.
  • Gently pour over the mesquite marinade over the cauliflower pieces, and gentlymix marinade with your hands until each piece of cauliflower is well-coated.
  • Placein center rack of oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. Afterwards, take out of theoven, flip each piece over, and place in the oven again for 15-20 minutes, oruntil each piece of cauliflower has lightly caramelized.

Whilewaiting for cauliflower and rice to finish cooking, begin preparing lentilstew.

  • In a fine mesh, rinse out lentils, until small rocks and debris have been removed.
  • In a medium pot, add the cooking oil, and let it heat up for about 10-30 secondson medium-high. Gradually, add in the onions and garlic and sauté for about 3minutes, or until the onions become translucent. At that point, add thelentils, vegetable broth, tomato sauce, turmeric, salt and sweet potato andallow to heat up until boiling. Once you see that the stew begins to boil,reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and allow the lentil stew to cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils have absorbed the broth. During the last 10minutes of the lentils simmering, mix in the kale, and cover again.  
  • Addeach of these elements into a bowl or plate of your choice, and enjoy!

Video

Nutrition information per serving:

407 calories/ 9.5 grams protein/ 11 grams fat/ 71 grams carbohydrates/ 7.5 grams of fiber


References:

Willet, W., & Rockström, J. (2019). Summary Report of the Eat-Lancet CommissionSummary Report of the EAT-Lancet Commission. EAT; Wellcome Trust. Retrieved from https://eatforum.org/content/uploads/2019/07/EAT-Lancet_Commission_Summary_Report.pdf

World population projected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100 | UN DESA Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2019, from https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/world-population-prospects-2017.html.

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