Archives for May 2014

Whole Foods Cooking Class Part 3

It’s our first harvest from the garden… a zucchini!!  Shocking, I know. 😉 (For those of you who read the original garden post, go and check it out again; I’ve added some updates near the bottom! Or just check it out if you want inspiration for starting your own garden!) The recipe below was inspired by the Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini recipe already on the blog, which wasn’t my recipe at all, but I loved it so much I posted it anyway – and of course gave the book credit! Check out that page when you are done here, for another amazing stuffed zucchini recipe. I was also inspired to stuff our first harvested zucchini, because my mom was telling me stories about how she would stuff zucchinis from our garden when we were kids! “They would hide under the big leaves and grow as long as your forearm! I had to scrape out the seeds and stuff them!”I kept telling her I think that happened before I was born… because I barely remembered it happening… being the youngest of 5 isn’t easy sometimes.

This lunch came about because we needed something quick during the work week – we both work from home so that makes cooking healthy lunches on the fly much easier! It started as just beans and rice, so we could get a complete protein cheap and easily… then I decided to stuff them! Since the only other stuffing of a zucchini I’ve done is the one I just mentioned above, I think this qualifies as a recipe I’ve never made before, so I’m using it as my week 3 assignment for my Whole Foods Cooking Class at SWIHA. 🙂 I felt very excited as I was whipping this up in the kitchen and therefore it was a “little dash of this, a little dash of that” measuring system. 😉 Below is a quick breakdown of the recipe.

1 c. uncooked brown rice, cooked in 1 3/4 c. water for 40 minutes (yields ~ 2.5 cups cooked rice)
1 tbsp. coconut oil (stir this in after the cooking is all done)


1 – 7″ zucchini, cut lengthwise, with seeds and some flesh gutted and baked in a 350ºF oven, in a pan with 1/2″ of water for 10 minutes


For the filling, combine in a warm skillet:
1/2 c. onion, diced (cooked alone until somewhat translucent ~5 min on low-med heat)
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
zucchini guts

Season the filling directly in the skillet with the following spices to taste:

  • cumin
  • parsley
  • chili powder
  • cayenne powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • favorite salsa (can use as a seasoning and stir into skillet, or use as a topping; pictured below)


This is one of my favorite salsas! It really packs a punch in the spice department, but the flavor is SO GOOD – which is rare to find.   IMG_2983

The end result of this new recipe experiment was very tasty, filling and easy to prepare – with little hands on time. The brown rice of course took about 40 minutes to cook, but it takes about 5 minutes to get it started and then you just leave it and do other things!


This recipe serves two and I will definitely be making it again! Yay for my Whole Foods Cooking class and a winning recipe this week! (albeit a little late… whoops!)IMG_2988

Whole Foods Cooking Class Part 2

For the past 2 days I’ve had that song “Peaches” by President’s of the United States stuck in my head… “Nature’s candy in my hand, or can, or pie… millions of peaches, peaches for me, millions of peaches, peaches for free…” Do you know that song? Well, if not — you’re welcome. It’s the most random song that went mainstream in 1996. 😉 Every time I walk past my kitchen and see this…


…I just can’t help myself. The song pops up and then sticks there for a few rounds. Luckily, it doesn’t stick for too long. So why do we have so many peaches? Well, you may remember last year when Mr. Zucchini Runner and I went to the Schnepf Farms Peach Festival with my cousin and her son. It was a magical experience and I’ve never forgotten how delicious that peach straight from the tree tasted!

This year, we were prepared. We woke up at 5:15 a.m. to get there by 7:30 a.m. when the doors to the farm opened. It was AMAZING. No waiting in an hour line of cars on the street, no heat, barely any crowds and no confusion. We were pros this year. We got on the second hayride out to the orchards, which meant we got to pick from the FIRST row of trees. Nobody had picked any yet! We were a little excited to say the least.

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As we were waiting for the hayride back (having spent a ridiculous amount of money on our fresh peaches) we drooled over all the things we would make with them… while eating a fresh peach of course.

The peach was JUST how I remembered it from last year. Only it wasn’t warm since it was only 8 a.m. By the time the hayride arrived, we had already started on our second peaches. 🙂 On Saturday we just ate the fresh peaches, not using them in any recipes. On Sunday morning however, we made some delicious pancakes with them, which I posted to Facebook; this recipe was a spin on my gluten-free banana walnut pancakes. By Sunday night, I was ready to brave a never-before-tried SCONE recipe. If you remember my post from last week, I’m taking a Whole Foods Cooking Class as part of my Holistic Nutrition certification. One of our assignments each week is to prepare a new recipe that we’ve never tried before, and it must be gluten, dairy and soy free. (If you want the full story, you can read Part 1.)

Not only have I never made homemade scones before, but I was modifying a recipe I found online. This right here is a true behind-the-scenes peek of how things work in the Zucchini Runner household! We get a crazy idea, we search for a base recipe, we try it out, its either fab or fails miserably. The ones that are fab make it on the site, the ones that fail don’t. I have to tell you right now, this one failed! But, the good news is, I know why. One ingredient. Buckwheat flour. I’ve been trying to find a way to use it, AND make it taste good… so far no luck! I even only used 1/4 c. for a whole 2 cups worth of flour. STRONG STUFF.

So, having said that, I’m not even going to share the recipe… ahhhhh… no I will, here goes…

***DISCLAIMER: TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK*** (VERY EARTHY) 🙂 This recipe was part of my class assignment!

1 c. all purpose gluten free baking flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 c. organic quinoa flour
1/4 c. hazelnut flour
1/4 c. organic brown rice flour
1/4 c. buckwheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. pink Himalayan salt
1 tbsp. chia seeds + 3 tbsp. water (set aside for 5 minutes to form your egg replacement)
2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. fresh peach juice (this forms naturally as you cut them, and place into a bowl, I just held the peaches in place while I tipped the bowl to drain the juice out)
1/2 c. cashew milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
1/2 c. fresh sliced peaches
1/3 c. chopped pecans
Coconut sugar (optional)
12-14 peach slices (optional)
2 tbsp. maple syrup (optional)

All flours, salt and baking soda get combined in one bowl, all liquid combined in another bowl; then combine the two. (If it seems a little too dry, add more milk a tablespoon at a time until the consistency is like dough, see picture in slideshow). Add the peaches and pecans. Scoop onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, using a cookie scoop or tablespoon. Flatten down with your fingers, until they are 1/2″ thick.

Bake at 375ºF for 10 minutes. (I sprinkled some coconut sugar on them with 3 minutes left.) Yield = 13 scones, depending on how big you make them

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I was very hopeful that these would turn out, but at the same time I think I’m discovering that I would rather eat the peach the way nature intended. Whole. Nothing added, not cooked or peeled, just a plain ole peach. They are perfect JUST the way they are! I’m bordering on fruitarian the past couple days because I’m eating so many dang peaches! I just went and ate my 3rd one of the day, because writing about peaches, made me want peaches!

Anyway, overall these had a good texture, perfect for a scone. But the buckwheat flour was just so overpowering, that you couldn’t taste anything else. It’s like using too much cilantro in a salsa. However, another plus side to this experiment, was that I made my first batch of cashew milk! I usually do almond milk but we were all out, and we didn’t have any almonds soaking. (I think cashews are about one of the only nuts you can make milk out of without soaking for an extended period of time.) It tasted pretty good and I had enough left over to use in my tea today! I think I liked it better than using almond milk in tea. So this little adventure in peach and pecan scones wasn’t a total wash. And I think besides the buckwheat flour, these would be a tasty gluten-free, dairy free, soy free pastry. I have not given up on scones. 🙂

Since last week, have you tried anything new in the kitchen? I’d love to hear about it!