There are basic factors recipes must meet in order to be the Makeover Monday Meal:
It has to have a fairly short prep time, and the meal or dish should come together in less than an hour.
The ingredients have to be easy to find in your grocery store, freezer, or fridge. The use of pantry items is a plus.
The recipe has to be adaptable, even traditional meat recipes.
It should be healthy
This week’s recipe for Cast Iron Baked Ziti comes from America’s Test Kitchen. This is a wonderful weeknight meal that comes together quickly and is easily adapted for a vegan/vegetarian or gluten-sensitive diet. The sauce is a combination of fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, basil, mozzarella, and grated parmesan cheese. Moreover, as good as it tastes when you first make it, the leftovers actually taste better overnight in the fridge.
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup) (vegan cheese like Daiya Provolone or mozzarella shreds are quite good)
Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Heat 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Toss tomatoes with oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Add tomatoes to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred and blistered, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Off heat, coarsely mash tomatoes using a potato masher.
Stir in pasta and water and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to vigorous simmer, cover, and cook, stirring often, until pasta is tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
Stir in Parmesan and adjust sauce consistency with extra hot water as needed. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Transfer skillet to oven and broil until cheese is melted and spotty brown, about 5 minutes. Serve.
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The arrival of fall brings cooler temperatures, vibrant foliage, and apples. Many people take their children to farms to enjoy hayrides, pumpkin patch, and apple picking. I with apple picking at Blue Orchard in Connecticut where they had an abundance of apple varieties ranging from Cortlandt, Gala, McIntosh, and Empire to name a few. We also picked up a half-gallon of their sweet apple cider.
While apple pie remains supreme, apple cider donuts are a close second. Many visitors to Blue Orchard left with their cider donuts. When it’s spiced right, an apple cider donut is perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. I’d seen the recipe for baked apple cider donuts in the New York Times Food Section and decided to give it a try. If you don’t have a donut pan, it’s a worthwhile investment and can easily become a weekend or holiday breakfast tradition.
Still A Chick Lit has adapted the recipe for:
Gluten Sensitivities-Celiac Disease
Low and No Sugar Diets
Apple Cider Donuts by New York Times adapted by Still A Chick Lit
Nonstick cooking spray
1 ¾ cup/225 grams all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, white rice, brown rice, or sorghum flour)
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup/225 grams unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature (unsalted vegan butter)
¾ cup/165 grams light brown sugar (Swerve brown sugar substitute, organic light brown sugar)
¾ cup/150 grams granulated sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit granulated sweetener, raw cane, turbinado, or coconut sugar)
2 large eggs, at room temperature ( ¼ Aquafaba, ½ cup silken tofu pureed with ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 2 flaxseed or chia seed eggs, vegan egg substitute such as Bob’s Red Mill or Just Eggs, which is made with mung beans)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup/120 milliliters apple cider
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 (6-cavity) doughnut pans (or 12-cup muffin tin) with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and nutmeg and whisk to combine. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream 10 tablespoons/140 grams butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup/50 grams granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated after each addition, scraping the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Add the flour mixture and mix at low speed until incorporated. With the mixer running, add the apple cider in a slow, steady stream and mix to combine. Scrape the bowl well to make sure the batter is homogeneous.
Spoon the batter into prepared doughnut pans, filling them about 2/3 of the way. (You can also do this using a disposable piping bag or a resealable plastic bag with a 1/2-inch opening cut from one corner.) Bake until evenly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the thickest portion comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking. (If you are making muffins, divide batter evenly between the prepared cups and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through.)
While the doughnuts bake, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup/100 grams granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon together in a small bowl to combine. In a separate small bowl, melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Let the doughnuts cool for 5 minutes after baking, then unmold them from the pans, brush with the melted butter and dredge them in the cinnamon sugar while they are still warm. Serve immediately, or let cool to room temperature.
Almost everyone has a go-to place for great takeout. Whether you go on a Friday, Saturday, or even Tuesday night, there’s nothing like ordering your favorites and digging in when you get home.
However, there are times when you just don’t feel like making the drive. Granted, there are a plethora of delivery options available, but many of them require a minimum order to get free delivery, and if you’re in the mood for one thing, it’s just not worth it.
For many people, lo mein with its noodles stir-fried with vegetables and your choice of beef, chicken, or shrimp in a delectable sauce, ticks all the boxes. Thankfully Cooking Professionally has a recipe for Beef Lo Mein that is not only delicious but it can also be prepared for two in twenty minutes. Moreover, by making it at home, you can control the level of sodium and carb intake.
With so many supermarkets and grocery stores offering pre-chopped and julienned vegetables in their produce sections, you can save yourself some more time. This is a great and economical way to enjoy your favorite takeout meal at home.
If you want to make this vegetarian or vegan:
Omit the beef and increase vegetables *
Replace the oyster sauce with an equal amount of low-sodium or regular soy sauce plus 2 teaspoons of white sugar, coconut sugar, turbinado, or raw cane sugar. You can also use 1 teaspoon of Swerve, Splenda, or monk fruit sweetener. *
To make it low-carb instead of Lo Mein noodles or egg noodles, you can use zucchini or spaghetti squash noodles. Instead of blanching in hot water for 2 minutes, blanch the vegetable noodles for 4 minutes and set them aside. *
Beef Lo Mein recipe by Cooking Professionally adapted Still A Chick Lit
The aroma of cinnamon rolls wafting through the air is enough to wake even Rip Van Winkle from the deepest slumber. It’s also quite tempting in malls and rest stops in the form of Cinnabon. Their cinnamon rolls lure countless people to their kiosks and storefronts everywhere. The combination of the light fluffy consistency of the roll, the spicy sweetness of the cinnamon, and the sweet icing, is irresistible.
For many, making cinnamon rolls is a holiday morning treat to enjoy when everyone is at home and happily lounging in their pajamas. However, this recipe can be made the night before. All you need to do is allow it to rise for an hour while you get on with your morning, then bake them for about twenty-five minutes, and you are golden.
This is a great recipe to get your day and week off to a sweet start.
This recipe is by Natasha’s Kitchen and we’ve adapted it for:
Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Recipe by Natasha’s Kitchen adapted by Still A Chick Lit
Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 53 minutes
1 cup warm milk (98 to 110-degrees) ((dairy: whole, 2 %, or fat-free milk) (non-dairy: almond, rice, soy, or light coconut milk)
1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast (not quick rise)
4 Tbsp granulated sugar divided (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener granulated, coconut, raw cane, or turbinado sugar, pulsed fine)
3 cups all-purpose flour divided* (plus 2 to 4 Tbsp) (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sweet rice, brown rice, or sorghum flour)
1 large egg room temp (egg substitute) (2 tablespoons Aquafaba, ¼ cup silken tofu pureed with 1/8 teaspoon baking soda,1 flaxseed or chia seed egg, or vegan egg replacer)
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, add 1 cup warm milk and sprinkle with 1/2 Tbsp yeast. Let sit uncovered for 7 minutes at room temp. Add 1/2 cup flour, 2 Tbsp sugar and whisk until blended. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 35-45 min (or in a 100˚ oven** for 25 min). It will look puffy.
Whisk in 1 egg, remaining 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp melted butter, and 1/2 tsp salt.
Using the dough hook on speed 2, add the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour (1/2 cup at a time) letting it blend with each addition. Add more flour 1 Tbsp at a time just until dough is no longer sticking to fingertips or the walls of the bowl as it mixes then knead/mix for 10 min. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temp 2 hours (or in a 100˚ oven for 1 hr). The dough should double in size.
Generously dust flour over a clean work surface and place dough in the center. Sprinkle dough with flour (just enough to keep the rolling pin from sticking) and roll into an even 17″x10″ rectangle. Dot the top of the dough with 6 Tbsp softened butter and spread it out gently with a spatula.
Stir together 1/4 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon and sprinkle ALL OF IT evenly over buttered dough. Roll the dough up starting with one of the longer sides, keeping a tight roll. Once it’s rolled up, push ends in slightly to make them a little more uniform then slice into 12 equal-sized cinnamon rolls.***
Butter sides and bottom of a 9×13 baking pan with 1 Tbsp butter and evenly space cinnamon rolls in pan, cut-side down. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (up to 18 hours). The following day, remove from refrigerator and keeping them covered, let cinnamon rolls rise at room temp 1 to 1 1/2 hours (or in a 100˚F oven for 35 min) or until puffy.
Brush tops with 1 Tbsp melted butter and bake at 350˚F for 22-24 mins or until tops are light golden brown. Let cool in pan 15 minutes then frost warm buns generously with the cream cheese glaze (instructions below).
How to Make Cream Cheese Icing:
Using an electric mixer, cream together 4 Tbsp softened butter, 4 oz soft cream cheese, and beat on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Beat in 1/2 Tbsp vanilla then add 1 cup powdered sugar and continue mixing until fluffy (3-4 min), scraping down the bowl as needed.
This Monday meal is just right for autumn and football season. When the temperatures drop, this chili will warm you up without weighing you down. It also comes together fairly quickly. Serve the chili alone, topped with cheese or over rice. It also goes well with guacamole and chips.
This is a family pleaser and perfect for Monday Night Football.
The recipe includes adaptations for vegetarians and vegans. It’s also gluten-free and high protein.
Chicken Chili by Still A Chick Lit
4 small or 3 large sweet onions, diced (Vidalia or Texas sweet)
2 green peppers, medium-diced
3 red peppers, medium-diced
1 orange pepper, medium-diced
1, yellow pepper, medium-diced
1 can low-sodium red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can low-sodium pink kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of unsalted chicken stock or broth
3 cans Campbells tomato soup
3 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
1 pound ground chicken (or ground turkey)
1 pound ground chicken breast (or ground turkey breast)
3 tablespoons Canola oil
Add Canola or vegetable oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add your diced onions and peppers. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground chicken and chicken breast in, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cover and let cook through, stirring occasionally.
When the chicken is no longer pink, add the chili powder and stir well. Add the beans and tomato soup. Mix well. Lower the flame and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
2 Packages of vegan ground meat
1/4 cup to 1/2 unsalted vegetable stock or broth
To Make Using a Slow Cooker
Cook the ground chicken separately in a skillet until cooked through. Set aside. Clean the skillet and add the onions and peppers. Cook until the vegetables are just beginning to soften. Remove from the heat.
Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a slow cooker with the beans, tomato soup, seasoning, and chicken stock.
Cover and cook on high until chili has thickened, about 4 hours. Or cook on low for 6 hours.
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Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer. The kids are back in school. Fall is on the horizon. One of the things I love best about the fall is putting the oven on once again. After ditching it in favor of no-bake desserts and dinner on the grill, it’s nice to have the aroma of something delicious in the oven wafting through the house.
It was Google’s baking and cooking feed that led to finding this wonderful recipe for a perfect morning treat. 31 Daily, is a blog by Stephanie from Puget Sound is an author, publisher, and former television news writer and producer. She describes this recipe as divine and she’s 100% correct. This donut is lovely and the perfect way to begin your morning or you can save it for your afternoon snack. The recipe is straightforward and since it’s baked and not deep-fried, it seems a little less guilty. The only special equipment needed is a donut pan to bake them.
To make sure as many of you can enjoy this, we have adapted the recipe for:
Gluten sensitivities or Celiac disease
We hope you enjoy this recipe and make it this holiday weekend and many more weekday mornings. Enjoy in good health,
Double Chocolate Glazed Donuts recipe by 31 Daily adapted by Still A Chick Lit
1 cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend flour, sorghum, sweet rice, brown rice flour)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips (vegan chocolate chips)
1 large egg (2 tablespoons Aquafaba, 1/4 cup silken tofu pureed with 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, 1 flaxseed or chia seed egg, or vegan egg replacer)
1/2 cup brown sugar (Swerve brown sugar substitute, organic brown sugar, turbinado sugar)
1/3 cup milk (dairy: whole, 2%, fat-free) (non-dairy almond, rice, soy, or light coconut milk)
1/4 cup sour cream (dairy: light sour cream, plain yogurt, plain Greek yogurt, whole milk or low-fat, do not use fat-free) (non-dairy: almond or coconut yogurt, vegan sour cream)
3 tablespoons cream or milk (dairy light cream whipping cream) (non-dairy coconut or almond milk)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (vegan butter)
If you would like to add more fiber use 2/3 cup all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
If you don’t have instant espresso, you can use regular instant coffee or 1 teaspoon of strong brewed coffee
If using turbinado sugar, pulse it in a food processor a couple of times to give it a finer texture. Turbinado sugar can have more of a rock candy type of consistency.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a donut pan with oil or butter; set aside.
Make the donuts: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, espresso powder, and chocolate chips. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with brown sugar until well mixed. Add the milk, sour cream, melted butter, vanilla, and vinegar; whisk to combine.
Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir until just combined. The batter will be thick. Using a spatula transfer the batter to a piping bag or zip-top plastic bag. If you don’t have either, a spoon will do just fine! Cut off the tip of the piping bag or plastic bag and fill donut cavities with batter until 3/4 full.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the donuts comes out clean. Let the donuts cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the chocolate glaze: Microwave the chocolate, cream, and butter in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until melted. Or use a double boiler and melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth. Once the donuts are completely cool (this only takes a few minutes), dip the tops of the donuts into the chocolate glaze and place them on a rack to set. While the chocolate is still wet, add sprinkles or other decorations to the top.
The donuts are best on the day they are made. If you have any leftovers, store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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It’s hard to believe that August is nearly over. School is already in session for some but will soon be in session for kids all over the country. As summer fades, so does summertime’s fresh produce, which gives way to fall staples like apples, pumpkins, and hearty butternut squash.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t still time to enjoy the berries of summer. Blueberries are a superfood. Packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, these berries are also high in potassium and vitamin C, making them a favorite of doctors and nutritionists. Moreover, blueberries don’t just lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, they’re anti-inflammatory. They are wonderful in muffins, buckles, coffee cakes, and pancakes. Or you can enjoy them by the handful.
Blueberry muffins have always been a favorite at my house. When you make them yourself, you are in control of the sugar, fat, and sodium content, unlike the muffins you get on the run from your favorite coffee place.
This blueberry muffin recipe is quick. easy, and delicious. The recipe has been adapted for:
Gluten-Sensitivities, Celiac disease
Jumbo Blueberry Muffins
½ cup unsalted butter softened (vegan unsalted butter)
1 ¼ cups sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener granulated, baker’s style coconut sugar, turbinado, or raw cane sugar pulsed)
2 eggs (1/4 cup Aquafaba, 1/2 cup silken tofu pureed with 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 2 flaxseed or chia seed eggs, vegan egg replacer)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
zest from one lemon
½ cup buttermilk (1/2 cup whole 2% or skim milk mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Mix and let sit for five minutes) (1/2 cup rice, almond, soy, or light coconut milk mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Mix and let sit for five minutes)
2 cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, brown rice, quinoa, or millet flour)
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups blueberries; or 2 cups frozen blueberries, thawed; or 2 cups rehydrated blueberries
3 teaspoons sanding sugar, optional
optional: 2 tbsp melted butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cream together the butter and 1 ¼ cups sugar until it becomes light and fluffy, preferably in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer.
Add in the eggs, one by one, making sure you beat well after each addition.
Stir in vanilla, lemon juice, and buttermilk and mix well to combine.
Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into the sugar, buttermilk, butter, and eggs. Using a sifter will help to reduce clumping and prevent you from overworking muffins.
In a small bowl, lightly mash/smush about half of the blueberries with the back of a spoon (sort of like muddling mint in a drink) and then stir into the batter.
Fold in the remaining blueberries. We also like to save a couple to drop right on the tops of the muffins.
Line a 6 cup jumbo muffin tin or 12 cups standard muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Fill with batter – leave ⅓ muffin tin/liner for muffins to rise above.
Sprinkle the 3 teaspoons sanding sugar over the tops of the muffins, reduce oven heat to 375, and bake at 375 degrees for about 30-35 minutes.
Optional: Reserve sanding sugar until the end of cooking. In the final 10 minutes of baking, brush tops of muffin with melted butter. Top with sanding sugar. Continue baking the muffins until l the toothpick inserted comes out completely clean.
Remove muffins from tin and cool for at least 30 minutes.
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We are always on the lookout for delicious recipes to start your week off right. To that end, we came across this lovely recipe by the Real mom Kitchen for an unstuffed peppers skillet. Many of us know and love a version of stuffed peppers made by our moms or grandmothers. The presentation was always as delightful to the eye as it was the palate. Laura Powell’s unstuffed recipe is a great take on this classic.
To make this recipe a little more inclusive, we have adapted it for vegans and vegetarians too. Remember, you can season it your way. The seasonings used in Ms. Powell’s original recipe work nicely, but feel free to go with your own palate. It can easily be more Italian with the addition of dried oregano, basil, or parsley too. For an Indian flare, a little curry or Garam Masala might be nice. You get the idea, make it your way and enjoy.
Unstuffed peppers skillet recipe by Real Mom Kitchen adapted by Still A Chick Lit
3 bell peppers, diced (I used one green, 2 red)
1/2 onion, diced
1 lb ground beef or sausage (beef 80/20 or 85/15, 90/10) (Chicken: ½ pound ground chicken breast, ½ pound ground chicken) (Turkey: ½ pound ground turkey breast, ½ pound ground turkey)
(Beyond meat, ground, Gardein ground, Impossible Plant-Based Burger Ground, Farmland Protein, ground, Good and Gather, meatless beef style ground)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (14 oz) can beef broth (chicken or vegetable unsalted stock)
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup uncooked extra-long grain rice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (Daiya cheddar cheese shreds or vegan cheese shreds of your choice)
additional diced peppers and/or green onion for garnish
3 tablespoons canola or olive oil, divided
In a large skillet with 1 ½ tablespoon of oil, add onion and peppers and sauté until tender. Remove from the skillet and wipe clean. Brown the ground beef or sausage until cooked through. Drain off any excess fat, then add the vegetables back in. * If you are using chicken, turkey, use 1 ½ tablespoon of oil to cook the meat thoroughly until no longer pink. For the vegan ground, you can cook the onions, peppers, and vegan ground together in the oil until the vegetables are tender.
Add garlic to the meat or meatless mixture and cook for a minute until fragrant. Drain off any excess grease (meat).
Add tomatoes, beef broth, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, Worcestershire, and rice to the skillet.
Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cover. Cook for about 20-30 minutes until moisture is absorbed and rice is tender. At 20 minutes check and give a stir and continue cooking if needed.
Once the rice is tender, sprinkle cheese over the mixture and cover to get the cheese melted.
Once melted garnish with chopped peppers and /or green onion and serve. Serves 4-6.
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It’s already August for many of us it’s been a hot summer. It is also the time when we begin to see more zucchini recipes as it’s the time of year there’s a bumper crop of zucchini everywhere.
I found this recipe in my inbox and it was a hit, even with my seven-year-old nephew, a very picky eater. The best part was that I got to sneak in a little nutrition with all the chocolate goodness. I hope you give this recipe a whirl. There’s a link for A Kitchen Addiction to see what other goodies she has.
This recipe has adaptations for:
Happy Monday to everyone.
Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins by A Kitchen Addiction adapted by Still A Chick Lit
Yield: 18 muffins
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour (brown rice flour, quinoa flour, buckwheat flour)
1 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (Dutch-Process cocoa powder)
1/3 cup sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener granulated, or coconut, raw cane, golden, or turbinado sugar, pulsed fine before using)
1/4 cup brown sugar (Swerve brown sugar substitute, or organic brown sugar, light or dark)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Cup whole-fat or low-fat plain yogurt (non-dairy: almond, soy, or coconut yogurt) (dairy: Greek plain yogurt low fat, whole milk Greek yogurt, do not use fat-free yogurt)
1 cup milk (dairy: whole, 2%, or skim) (non-dairy: almond, soy, rice, or light coconut milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs (1/4 cup Aquafaba, ½ cup silken tofu pureed with ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 2 flaxseed or chia seed eggs, vegan egg replacer)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil (measured in the liquid state), melted and cooled butter or canola oil would also work (vegan unsalted butter)
2 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 Cups mini chocolate chips + additional mini chocolate chips for garnish, if desired
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners or spray muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, unsweetened baking cocoa, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well-combined. Stir in yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until the mixture just starts to combine.
Add in eggs and melted coconut oil. Stir until combined.
Gently fold in shredded zucchini and mini chocolate chips.
Divide batter into muffin cups. Depending on the size of the muffin cup, each cup will be anywhere from 3/4 to completely full.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
One of the very best things about summer is the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables. With fruits like blueberries, cherries, and blackberries in season, berries are wonderful on their own, on top of yogurt with a little granola, or baked up in a pie.
The same applies to the bounty of fresh vegetables. You can find zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, green beans, herbs, and tomatoes (which are technically not a vegetable) in many backyard gardens, farm stands, farmer’s markets, and your favorite market or grocery store’s produce section.
Summer corn is found everywhere. It’s so delicious this time of year and there are so many ways to enjoy it besides boiling or grilling it to indulge in its sweetness. When I came across this recipe by Simply Recipes, which was touted as their very favorite, I was intrigued enough to put aside a few other recipes I’d been eyeing to give this one a whirl. I wasn’t disappointed.
Simply Recipes has this along with many other recipes that feature corn as the star of the show. Check out their website for more ideas to enjoy it to the maximum.
The recipe includes bacon and milk, which won’t work for vegans or vegetarians. I have adapted it so you can still enjoy this lovely bowl of soup.
Sweet Corn Chowder by Simply Recipes
1 tablespoon unsalted butter ( For the vegetarian or vegan chowder: 2 tablespoons unsalted vegan butter, plus 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin or virgin olive oil)
1 strip bacon, or 1 teaspoon bacon fat (omit for vegetarian and vegan soup)
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup small-diced carrot
1/2 cup small-diced celery
4 to 5 ears sweet corn, kernels removed from the cobs (about 3 cups), cobs reserved
1 bay leaf
4 1/2 cups milk, whole or low fat (soy or rice milk)
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and large (1-inch) diced (about 3 cups)
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
For vegetarian and vegan chowder, go straight to sauteing the vegetables in the vegan butter/olive oil)
Cook the bacon:
Place butter and bacon into a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Heat on medium heat until the bacon renders its fat, 3-4 minutes.
Cook the vegetables (except the corn and potatoes):
Add the chopped onions, red bell pepper, carrot, and celery, lower the heat to medium-low and cook until vegetables soften about 5 minutes.
Add corn cobs and bring to a simmer:
Break the corn cobs in half (after you’ve stripped off the corn) and add the cobs to the pot. Add the milk and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes.
Make sure the heat is as low as can be and still maintain a gentle simmer (on our stove we had to use the “warm” setting) to prevent scalding the milk on the bottom of the pan.
After 20 minutes, add the potatoes, salt, and thyme to the pot. Increase the heat to return the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain the simmer and cook for another 10 minutes.
Finish the soup:
Discard the cobs, the bacon strip, and the bay leaf. Add the corn kernels and black pepper. Again raise the heat to bring the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat and cook for another 5 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender.
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