February 7, 2012

food baby

The past few days I have not had a 'healthy' feeling stomach. I think it's because the baby is just getting too big and my skin is not stretching enough (well, I'm not blaming her, I'd rather a big healthy baby than anything!) Regardless, I haven't been able to eat very much but literally all I can think about... is food. So today, I made the following things. No, I didn't eat them all (I sampled all, kind of like Whinnie the Pooh: "I wasn't going to eat it, I was just going to... taste it.") and yes I did have to lie in a propped-up position for the rest of the night (good thing there are lots of movies on TV on Saturday nights!)

I hope you enjoy the recipes, and please, let me know if you make them and they turn out wonderfully or awfully! (I am always interested to hear whether things work in different climates and altitudes, not that blended soup will turn disastrous at the top of a mountain, but you never know!) The zucchini soup is my own recipe, I like very fresh vegetable soups, especially purees, especially when it's cold, especially when I want it to be a season that it is not. The cod-wrapped phyllo- I did get the "how-to" from this page, since I've never made cod wrapped in phyllo before! The sauce is just something I made up, and the cake is a variation on the cupcake recipe that I use all the time from Love & Olive Oil (my absolute favorite food blog!) And, last but not least, the granola is just another attempt at getting clumps of oats instead of a 'toasted oatmeal' look. Happy eating!

Zucchini Soup
with mint
1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 medium zucchini, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 small yellow spanish onion, sliced very thin
2 small cloves of garlic (do not overpower your soup with garlic!)
7-8 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
scant tbsp thyme
1 tsp whole coriander (they add a nice crunch when they don't blend up all the way)
sea salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
lemon wedges

-saute garlic and onion in olive oil over medium high heat for 3-4 mins, until onions are sort of clear and garlic has color. pour in vegetable broth plus another 1/2 cup of water and add zucchini, thyme, coriander, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5-6 minutes. in the last minute, add the mint.
-puree the zucchini mixture in batches in a blender covered with a towel (so it doesn't splatter all over you!) pour into bowls and squeeze a little lemon juice on top to serve.
Phyllo-wrapped Cod Fillets
(technique and phyllo recipe from this website. I used 1/2 cup of melted butter and smaller cod fillets, ~3-4 oz each. I also had to trim some of the phyllo away, I'm assuming because my fish pieces were smaller than the ones they used. Instead of dill, I seasoned with "Parisian Melange" French Onion & Shallot Blend- some random spice jar in the spice basket! It ended up very good!)

Lemon Caper Cream Sauce

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice from half a lemon
3 1/2 tsp non peril capers
1 c half and half

-put oil and capers in a small sauce pan and saute over medium heat until the capers start to crackle. pour in the cream (VERY SLOWLY, it will splatter!) and, whisking constantly, add the lemon juice. heat for 3-4 minutes until the mixture thickens. serve over the cod fillets.

Pina Colada Cake
(recipe based on Lindsay's "go-to cupcake" recipe found here.)

1 13 oz can coconut milk
2/3 c canola oil
3/4 c sugar
2 tbsp packed light brown sugar
1/3 c finely flaked coconut (I'm not really sure how to describe this, but I found it at Whole Foods in the Bulk Trail Mix counter!)
1 can crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved
1 2/3 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (I actually forgot to add salt.... but you probably should)

3/4 c unsalted butter at room temperature
6 tbsp all vegetable shortening
3- 3 1/2 c powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp half and half or heavy cream

-preheat oven to 350*. butter and line two 8" round cake pans with parchment paper.
-combine coconut milk, oil, sugars, 1/2 c of reserved pineapple juice, 1/2 c crushed pineapple, and flaked coconut in a bowl. in a separate bowl, whisk together baking soda, baking powder, and flour (and salt). add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. pour into prepared pans and bake at 350* for 28-32 mins (depending on your oven) until golden brown on the top and a toothpick or knife comes out clean.
-cool cakes in pans for 10 mins, the turn out onto cooling racks until completely cool (about 45 mins). cover with plastic wrap and place cooled cakes in the refrigerator immediately.
-while cakes are cooling, prepare frosting. cream butter until light and fluffy. add 1/3 c reserved pineapple juice and 1/2 c crushed pineapple and beat for 2 mins on medium speed. add sugar 1 c at a time until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency (you may want to add cream, or more pineapple juice, 1 tbsp at a time if your frosting is too dry or thick).
-spread frosting (about 3/4 c) onto one completely cooled cake and top with the other cake. frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.
you can top the cake with toasted coconut flakes,

Zante Currant Multi-grain Granola

3 c rolled oats
1/2 c irish steel cut oats
1/2 c barley flakes
1/2 c rye flakes
1/4 c almond meal
1/2 c raw walnuts, finely chopped
3 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 c canola oil
1 pasteurized egg
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
3/4 c dried zante currants

-preheat oven to 250*. lightly butter a large baking sheet.
-stir all ingredients together in a large bowl, making sure to evenly distribute cinnamon and brown sugar and coat all flakes with oil and egg.
-spread mixture evenly onto baking sheet and bake for 55-65 minutes (depending on your preference), stirring just once, lightly. remove from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes before adding currants.

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