Crispy Apple & Zucchini Latkes
Yes, I know Hanukah just ended, but I simply couldn’t resist sharing one of new favorite “Latke Recipes” that is so yummy and delicious, that you can really make it any time you please! Not one to use white potatoes too often in my recipes, I chose to do a Zucchini Latke this time. However, since the veggie on its own can be a little bland (sorry) I added some wholesome sweet apple, which paired with the onion makes quite the combo! I am a fan of pairing the latkes with some tart Greek yogurt and chunky applesauce. A true hit amongst my family…even the picky ones. ☺
2 medium green zucchini grated
1 small onion grated (I like to grate it right into the batter to get the onion “juice flavor”)
½ apple peeled and grated (red & crisp is a good choice)
2 tablespoons seasoned matzo meal or bread crumbs
1 egg beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
Peanut or vegetable oil for frying (the higher smoke point oils are the best for this recipe)
½ cup Greek yogurt and ½ cup applesauce for dipping
1.) Immediately after grating zucchini, sprinkle with kosher salt and let sit for 10 minutes. Wrap in a clean dishtowel or layer of paper towels and wring out all existing moisture. The dryer the zucchini the better. (Skipping the salt, continue to do the same with the onion & apple removing as much liquid as possible)
2.) Combine zucchini, onion, apple, matzo meal, egg, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
3.) Heat a large frying pan with about ¼ inch of vegetable oil. The oil should be sizzling, but not smoking.
4.) Using an ice cream scooper, scoop out spoonfuls of the batter and gently drops it into the hot oil. Flatten a bit using a spatula into a thick pancake formation. (Do not flatten too much or the latke will be denser than you wish.)
5.) Cook each side for about 2-3 minutes until golden brown and the edges are crisped.
6.) Remove and let them drain on a bed of paper towels on the counter. Serve immediately while hot with yogurt and applesauce on the side.
Nic’s Tips: If you have to make them in advance re-heat the latkes in the oven until crispy.
Kale & Cannellini Soup with Caramelized Onions & Shallots
There is just something just so warm and cozy serving a delicious soup to kick off the Thanksgiving Dinner meal. Forget the heavy creams and cheese, all you need is a big pot of this Kale & Cannellini Soup with Caramelized Onions & Shallots for everybody to enjoy. The best part is that this not only can this soup can be made well in advance, it actually tastes better as the flavors get to really blend together. It’s a forgiving soup, so feel free to add and take away whatever you desire.
o 2 tablespoon olive oil
o 1 quart low sodium beef stock (vegetable stock is ok too if you want to stick with vegetarian)
o 4 cloves garlic crushed. (Give it a nice whack with the base of your chef’s knife)
o 1 large yellow onions very thinly sliced
o 2 large carrots peeled and diced
o 2 stalks celery diced
o 1 bunch kale trimmed of ribs and thoroughly washed
o 1 dried bay leaf
o 2 shallots very thinly sliced
o 1 teaspoon dried thyme (thyme is a rich source of vitamin K, E, A, C B-6 and Beta-carotene)
o 1 teaspoon salt
o Ground pepper to taste
o 1 cup cannellini beans soaked over night
o 2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
1.) In a large Dutch Oven or stockpot heat olive oil. Once hot add crushed garlic cloves.
2.) Add onions & shallots and cook for 15-20 minutes, continuously stirring so onions do not burn.
3.) Now add carrots and celery and stir everything until tender.
4.) Once veggies are and very near finished, pour in broth, thyme, beans, bay leaf salt & pepper. Mix it all together and bring to a boil.
5.) Reduce heat to a simmer allowing soup to fuse together for about 20-25. (Your home is going to smell amazing!)
6.) Towards the end of cooking time add in kale and season with salt and pepper according to taste.
7.) Remove bay leaf and ladle soup into bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and ENJOY!!
Nic’s Tip: This soup freezes super well in resealable bags.
Cucumber Tomato “Snappy” Thanksgiving Salad
The funny thing about us foodies is that the minute one holiday ends, it’s right on to the next! When it comes to the Thanksgiving, I don’t think there is ANYTHING that is more important than some easy side dishes. All lined up on the big table, waiting to be nibbled on. What I love most about my “Cucumber Tomato Snappy Thanksgiving Salad,” is that there is no need to worry about warming it up or cooling it down; room temperature is just perfect. Wait, scratch that! My favorite part of this salad is that it can be made way in advance. One thing less thing to worry about on Turkey Day!
4 cucumbers peeled and sliced
1 pound cherry tomatoes
1 white small white onion sliced thinly
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1.) In a medium sized bowl mix onions and cucumbers. Slice tomatoes in half.
2.) Combine vinegar, salt and sugar in a smaller bowl until all is dissolved.
3.) Pour marinade over the vegetables and refrigerate for at least one hour.
4.) Remove and add tomatoes. Garnish with parsley and serve.
PB Chocolate Chip Spider Cookies
Halloween is here and I’ll use any excuse to bake with my obsession…peanut butter! With all the junk coming up in the next few days, I thought we can at least kick it off with a healthy and festive snack for the kids to enjoy (us too of course). With few ingredients these guys are totally fuss-free and PERFECT for a last minute get-together!
• 2 cups reduced fat natural peanut butter
• ½ cup granulated sugar (You don’t want to over-sugar these cookies as the PB and pumpkin flavors should shine)
• ¼ cup canned pumpkin (This can be found in the baking aisle of Pathmark and most supermarkets)
• ½ cup whole wheat white flour
• 1 egg beaten
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 cup milk chocolate chips
• 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.) Combine all ingredients (except ¼ cup chips) above in a large mixing bowl until you get a dough-like consistency.
3.) Roll into golf ball-size rounds and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet 1 inch apart.
4.) Flatten down cookie with a fork to create a “peanut butter cookie” mark. (Basically a
5.) Bake for about 10-12 minutes until cookies are firm to the touch. Make sure oven racks are in center or bottom to reduce chance of burning.
6.) Transfer to a cooling rack.
7.) While they are cooling, take out a microwave safe bowl and pour remaining chocolate chips in with vegetable oil. Melt for about two minutes or until chocolate is smooth and glossy. Stir every 30 seconds to prevent clumping.
8.) Take a spoon and gently drizzle the melted chocolate into webs over the cookies. (Does not have to be perfect…most real ones aren’t. ☺
9.) Place in refrigerator until set and enjoy!
Nic’s Tips: Store in an airtight container to keep fresh.
Pan-Fried Potatoes with Sea Salt
I have to tell you that this is a first for me! What? Well, pan-frying my potatoes my friends. Believe it or not I am a HUGE roaster with my veggies…it’s just always been my thing. That is until after-school activities started and roasting was taking a bit too long on those crazy harried nights! Out came the big ole skillet along with my favorite Yukon Golds (If Ina likes them, so do I) a little olive oil, sea salt and there you have the perfect side dish for just about anything. Who even needs the main course?
4-5 Yukon Gold Potatoes scrubbed and diced (approx. ½ inch)
2 shallots peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoon olive oil
1.) Heat a large skillet with olive oil.
2.) When sizzling add diced potatoes and continue to stir for about 10 minutes.
3.) Add shallots. Stir everything very well to prevent burning.
4.) Remove from pan and set down on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
5.) Immediately sprinkle on the sea salt and resist the urge to try one immediately for the sake of your tongue! Once slightly cooled, test for salted desire and EAT AWAY!