Sunday, August 14, 2011

From Creamy to Zucchini

OK - I realize the title of this post might sound a little suspect, but so it goes for a Sunday night.

Per usual, when planning out my meals, I had too many options, so I decided to go a little Martha Stewart-ish this week, in terms of the number of recipes I'll be using this week. I bet you're tingling with anticipatory excitement!

And, after the success I had with the boys and zucchini the other night (8/9/11), I decided to up the zucchini factor, starting with zucchini bread today. (Or, I may have just over-bought zucchini)

Since I don't know much about what zucchini offers health-wise, I did a little homework (a BIG departure from my high school days, btw) and discovered that zucchini has a lot of fiber, which can help lower cholesterol; contains vitamins A and C, which are effective anti-inflammatory agents and powerful antioxidants; and has an ample supply of magnesium and potassium, which help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of a heart attack and stroke. (Disclaimer: I am not an expert and this information may or may not be accurate - just based on online sources.)

Bring on the (almost) super food!

EatingWell Zucchini Bread
Source: July/August 2011 EatingWell

Note: Add chocolate chips and this bread leans toward dessert. Or try it with toasted walnuts or raisins. Went with the chocolate chips, obvs.

  • 3/4 c. lowfat milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 c. shredded zucchini
  • 2 c. white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt (Note: Did NOT skip - baking is too exact of a science)
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • Whisk milk, eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in a medium bowl. Stir in zucchini.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl; stir in the wet ingredients and chocolate chips until just combined. Transfer batter to loaf pan.
  • Bake until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 minutes - 1 hour. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Cool for at least 1 hour before serving.
Yield: 12 slices
Per slice: 197 calories; 7g fat (1g sat, 4g mono); 32mg cholesterol; 29g carbs; 13g added sugars; 4g protein; 2g fiber; 209mg sodium; 108mg potassium

And for dinner, we had:
Creamy Chicken Salad
Source: Cooking Light (not sure which issue, sometime in 2011)

  • 2lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 c. light mayo
  • 1/2 c. plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (didn't use fresh)
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (skip)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper (skip)
  • 1/3 c. chopped celery
  • 1/3 c. sweetened dried cranberries
  • 7 tbsp (about 2oz) coarsely chopped smoked almonds (used honey roasted, had them on hand)
  • 6 c. mixed salad greens
  • Fill a Dutch oven 2/3 full of water; bring to a boil.
  • Wrap each chicken breast half completely and tightly in heavy-duty plastic wrap. Add the chicken to the boiling water. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until thermometer registers 165 degrees.
  • Remove from pan and let stand 5 minutes. Unwrap chicken and shred; refrigerate for 30 minutes or until cold.
  • Combine may and the next 7 ingredients (through pepper) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until combined. Add chicken, celery, cranberries and almonds; toss well to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve over salad greens.
Yield: 6 servings (1 c. chicken salad and 1 c. salad greens)
Per serving: Calories 339; Fat 13.6g (sat 1.9g, mono 5.1g, poly 5.1g); Protein 39.5g; Carb 14.6g; Fiber 2.8g; Chol 95g; Iron 2.0mg; Sodium 525mg; Calc 54mg

Preparation-wise, the zucchini bread was super easy. It turned out much sweeter than I anticipated, and I didn't notice the zucchini at all (except for a stray green strand). The kid kind of liked it, and the hubs gave it a "pretty good." He did eat his entire portion, so that says something, I guess.

Z is for zucchini

We all thought the chicken salad was really good. I have never prepared chicken in the way described above (the whole plastic wrap/boil thing), but it turned out great. The kid really enjoyed his serving - even the greens. The hubs - who one (the one being him) might consider to be a connoisseur of chicken salads - did pick out most of his cranberries, but otherwise really seemed to like it. I would def make both recipes again - in a year.

Creamy Chicken Salad


  1. I don't know about you, but that Zuch bread looks sexy time good.



  2. QLF - thought you'd appresh the title of this post