Copycat Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad

I’ll admit, I’ve been somewhat obsessed with copycat recipes of late. I’m not sure if it is because I live so far from restaurants now, or because I just want to see if I can replicate restaurant food at home. I imagine it’s a little of both! This particular salad is my husband’s favorite thing from Applebee’s Restaurant, so I wanted to give it a try. There are several versions of the recipe on line, but I based mine off of one from Mandy’s Recipe Box.Looks good, right?!  What’s even better…it is very easy to put together with some pre-packaged items from the grocery store.

Copycat Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad

Dressing – 
3 Tablespoons honey
1 1/2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup mayonnaise (*I use Hellman’s with Olive Oil)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
 
Salad – 
6 crispy chicken strips, cooked
Pre-packaged salad mix (w/romaine lettuce, carrots, and cabbage)
Pre-packaged coleslaw mix
3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted (I used toasted sesame seeds instead)
1 cup Chow Mein noodles
 
  • For the Dressing 
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Refrigerate while preparing salad.
 
  • For the Salad 
Cut chicken strips into bite size pieces. Set aside.
Mix together about half the bag of each of the pre-packaged salad and coleslaw mixes.
Top with cut up chicken, almonds & Chow Mein noodles. 
Drizzle the dressing on top, to taste.
Makes approx. 3 large salads
You can make as much or as little as you want by altering the amounts of salad used.  The amount of dressing used per salad is such an individual preference, so you may need more or less.  The amount listed was enough for 3 salads (a dinner sized salad entree) for us, but my husband said he would have liked more dressing (he likes a lot, where I like just a little!)
I added mandarin oranges to my salad, and I used toasted sesame seeds in the place of almonds, just because I love them! This was a convenient, filling and delicious salad, and I can’t wait to tackle my next copycat recipe!  So far, I’ve tried Copycat Chick-fil-a ChickenOlive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana, and Chili’s Monterey Chicken.
Have you got a restaurant favorite that you make at home? I’d love to hear about it!
I’m linking up this recipe over at – (Wednesday) Fluster BusterSemi Homemade MomAdorned from AboveLady Behind the CurtainGinger Snap CraftsHungry Little GirlNaptime is My TimeBloom DesignsCherished Handmade Treasures  (Thursday) Project Inspire ,Joyful HomemakingDesigned DecorTaste and Tell,  Miz Helen’s Country CottageThe Mandatory Mooch,  The Busy Bee’s(Friday) Not Your Ordinary Recipes,  Simple Living and EatingJust Us FourBacon Time with the Hungry Hungry HypoDiana RamblesThe Better Baker,CraftionaryMummy DealsOne Artsy MamaThe Best Blog RecipesOne Creative Mommy, Michelle’s Tasty CreationsClose to Home, A Peek Into My Paradise (Saturday) Sassy Little Lady Lemons for Lulu,  Or So She Says…Six Sisters’ Stuff (Sunday) Mommy’s Sweet Confessions 
Yay! This recipe was featured at The Better Baker and The Best Blog Recipes!

The Best Blog Recipes

Low Carb Pizza Crust (that you can pick up, hold and fold!)

I’m not a newbie to low carb, and I’ve experimented with different low carb pizza crusts before. There was the egg and cream cheese crust and a previous cauliflower pizza crust attempt. The cauliflower crust had potential, so I decided to give it another try after I saw ‘The Secret to Perfect Cauliflower Pizza Crust‘ by The Detoxinista.  The key, she said, was to really squeeze all the liquid from the cauliflower before mixing your other ingredients.  I gave it a try.

Tip: Make your crust thicker than you think you need bc it will flatten out quite a bit once cooked (because of the moisture drying out.)  Once you bake your crust, add toppings and bake a few more minutes.
We had a little meat lover’s action going on.
But check it out!  Low carb pizza that you can pick up, hold, and fold, just like regular pizza!  Pretty cool.
It is also pretty tasty.  The only thing I will do differently next time is to add more spices to the crust.  The cauliflower has a little natural sweetness to it once baked, so I think adding more spices would help.

 Cauliflower Pizza Crust 

adapted from The Detoxinista – my changes in italics
{makes 1 large crust}

4 cups raw cauliflower ‘rice’*
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon basil
pinch of salt

*pulse cauliflower in a blender or food processor to achieve a rice-like consistency

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  2. Cook your cauliflower ‘rice’ by boiling about an inch of water in a large pot.  Add the cauliflower, and cover. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, then drain with a fine-mesh strainer.
  3. Place your drained cauliflower ‘rice’ on a clean, thin dishtowel. Wrap up the steamed rice in the dishtowel, twist it up, and squeeze all the water out! This is the key to having a crust that will hold together! Be careful, the cauliflower and water is hot, but squeeze it good (rubber gloves are handy for this step!)
  4. In a large bowl, mix your strained rice with the beaten egg, cheese, and spices. Mix well.
  5. Press the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed aluminum foil (mine still stuck to the foil a little, but not bad) into your desired pizza shape. Keep it about 1/3 to 1/2 inch in thickness.
  6. Bake crust for 35-40 mins in preheated oven. The crust should be firm and golden brown when done.
  7. Remove crust from oven and add toppings of choice.  I used pizza sauce, turkey pepperoni, turkey sausage, Canadian bacon, and real bacon bits, and cheese, of course!  Return the pizza to the oven, and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is hot and bubbly.
 **There are excellent step by step pics in the original post.

 

Olive Garden Copycat Zuppa Toscana – Lightened Up!

Oh yes! The perfect cold weather comfort food. I mean seriously, this is the food version of a warm, fuzzy blanket in front of a blazing fire when it is snowing outside, with a cup of hot cocoa in hand.  Which almost describes my weekend, seeing as how our downstairs heating unit went out this week…so we spent a lot of time huddled up in the living room in front of the fireplace, b/c for whatever reason, it takes a week for the part to come in.  These heat people need to get with the program, I mean helloooo?  What about over night delivery?!  Anyway.  That’s a gripe for another day.  This soup is so warm and comforting, it will make you forget about the frigid temps.
Not only is it delicious, it’s also pretty good for you, thanks to reducing the cream and a good amount of the superfood, kale!  Yes, under all that cream and sausage, there has been a leafy green hiding.  Even better, these changes were made without sacrificing the flavor we know and love from this very popular soup.
I’ve had a few friends waiting patiently for me to get this recipe posted since I put a pic on FB the other day, so here goes!

Olive Garden Copycat Zuppa Toscana – lightened up!

 adapted from Food.com 
1 lb Italian Chicken Sausage (see notes)
3 medium baking potatoes, with skins (1/8 to 1/4 inch slices-see notes)
1 large chopped onion
1/8-1/4 cup bacon bits (optional)
2 cloves minced garlic
2 1/2 (packed) cups kale, stalks removed and chopped
16 oz. chicken broth
1 quart water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup fat free half and half
1/4 cup skim milk
 
NOTES: 
  • I used Spicy Chipotle Chicken Sausage b/c that is what I had on hand.  Hot Italian Chicken Sausage would be excellent however.
  • Slicing the potatoes in varying widths helps add texture to the soup. The very thinly sliced potatoes ‘dissolve’ into the broth, making it thicker and creamier.
  • I used a 1/2 cup heavy cream b/c I happened to have some leftover from another recipe, however, next time, I will only use half-and-half and milk. Cream is delicious, but not really necessary, and will reduce the fat even more by leaving it out.
Directions
Remove sausage from casings and cook in a large pot over medium high heat until done.
 Remove sausage, add onions, and cook on medium heat until translucent.
Add garlic to onions and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds or so).
Add sausage back to pot, then add broth and water.
Bring to a boil, and add potatoes.
Cook on medium high until potatoes are done.
Add bacon bits to soup if using.  I used about an 1/8 cup of Hormel Peppered Bacon Bits.
Taste, and add salt and pepper if desired.  I didn’t add any.
Turn heat to low, and add kale, cream (if using), half-and-half, and skim milk.
Heat through, and serve!

VERDICT – This soup was creamy, delicious, filling with a slightly spicy kick.  In my opinion, it tasted very much like the original, but I have only had it at Olive Garden once, a few months ago.  However, this is definitely on my list to make again very soon.

 

Bacon Green Beans {for a crowd}

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans are one of the most popular recipes on my blog. Why? Because bacon makes everything better.  Just a fact, Jack.  I wanted to recreate the flavor of the bacon wrapped green beans, but without all the… wrapping of the bacon around the green beans. Uhmmm, maybe I’m a wee bit lazy? Seriously, I wanted to have green beans that would feed a bunch of folks, would be easy to travel with,  and easy to heat up once I got there.  Oh! And quick and easy to make.  Very important little detail there.

Okay, so they won’t be winning any awards for being the prettiest dish around, but when you have bacon and brown sugar together…you really can’t go wrong.
Convenience.

Bacon Green Beans 

1 large can cut green beans, drained
1 15 oz can green beans, drained
1 large can whole potatoes, drained
1 package real bacon bits (I used the ‘no nitrates or nitrites added’)
2/3 cup unpacked dark brown sugar (can use light as well)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Place drained green beans & potatoes in a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  • Sprinkle package of bacon bits over green beans/potatoes.
  • Combine the brown sugar, melted butter, soy sauce, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Pour over the green beans, potatoes and bacon.
  • Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes, depending on how “done” you like your beans. (I don’t like mine to get all limp and wrinkled, so I only did about 30 minutes.)
  • Stir and serve!
Verdict?  Bacon is the bomb.  These are tasty, yet simple to throw together, and a 9×13 pan full of green beans feeds quite a few people!  If you want to cut down on the sodium, you can rinse your canned veggies before using. (or buy unsalted….if you find them palatable. I don’t.)  Or you can go all out and use fresh green beans (a.k.a. snap beans if you’re from around here – just adjust your cook time accordingly). You can also use low sodium soy sauce and unsalted butter.  There is a lot of bacon in these, so that could be scaled back, as well as the sugar, without a noticeable difference I think.
 

Panzanella Salad

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of salads, but I am all about some bread.  So, give me a bread salad and I’m pretty happy.  Of course, ‘bread salad’ sounds boring, so we’ll call it by it’s Italian name….Panzanella Salad.  That makes it sound all fancy….except I white-trashed it up by adding bacon bits. (so now it’s sorta a BLT-nella salad, but let’s not get technical.)

As you can see, I went a little heavy on the bread! I also added spinach and arugula. (ok, AND bacon)  What can I say? I’m not Italian.

Panzanella Salad (or BLT salad)

loosely adapted from A Foodie Affair
  • 4 cups stale (1 to 3 day-old bread) Italian-style bread, cut into 1/2″ cubes*
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced  I used cherry tomatoes and cut them in half
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1-2 whole roasted red peppers in the jar I omitted b/c I forgot to pick some up at the store
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow peppers I used green pepper since that is what I had on hand
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata or Nicoise olives, pitted  I omitted b/c I hate olives
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese  I used Asiago since that is what I had
  • Peppered bacon bits (optional)
  • Spinach & Arugula (optional)
*I bought my bread from the clearance bakery items at Wal-Mart & I think my cubes were closer to 1″ than 1/2!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the bread cubes on a large baking sheet in a single layer; drizzle a small amount of extra virgin olive oil just to lightly coat cubes. Dry in oven approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Make dressing with 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar. I used an envelope of Good Seasons salad dressing based on A Foodie Affair‘s recommendation.
  3. Combine tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, green peppers, basil, coarse salt, and pepper. Toss the ingredients gently to coat; let stand for at least a half-hour.
  4. Panzanella can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for several hours. Remove from refrigerator an hour or so before serving and bring the salad to room temperature. Before serving, add bread cubes and sprinkle with Asiago cheese and bacon if using! Add salad dressing and serve on a bed of spinach and arugula if desired.

The salad was delish, whatever name you want to give my version!

And let’s not forget…today is SEPTEMBER 11th.  I don’t care how long it has been…the very thought of what happened on 9/11 sends chills down my arms, gives me a heavy heart, and makes me want to scream and cry all at the same time.  I did not know anyone who lost their life during the attacks of 9/11, but I mourn for them. I remember them. And I cherish their memories and give thanks to all the heroes of that day.
I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.
MAY GOD BLESS THE USA!
 

I’m linking up today with Naptime Creations, Mandy’s Recipe Box, It’s a Blog Party, All the Small Stuff, 33 Shades of Green, Blessed with Grace
 

Blueberry Lime Salsa

I’ve been a little more adventurous of late with the food combinations I have been willing to try.  I have pretty much been alone in this endeavor since my children have zero sense of adventure when it comes to eating new things.  (Unless they are covered in chocolate.  But even I could not add chocolate to this.)  Now, if you want to see if they will use an air mattress as a launching pad (even though they have been told repeatedly not too); or use snow boards on the slip ‘n slide; or combine several items of makeup together for their own personal ‘makeover’ from hell then I would say their spirit of adventure is alive and well.  But ask them to try something new that involves a vegetable….not so much.  All I can say is, their loss.  (And if anyone out there is an animal trainer, I could probably use a few pointers, since as I type, the kids sound like they have the Wild Kingdom plus WW III going on in the next room.)

At least I can look at this.  So pretty!  And yes, it is a little odd to see beautiful red strawberries and blueberries mixed in with cilantro and red onion.  But give it a go, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Blueberry Lime Salsa

recipe from How Sweet Eats
1 cup fresh blueberries

5 medium strawberries

1/4 red onion

1 teaspoon lime zest

juice of two limes

1/3 cup fresh cilantro

1/2 avocado, chopped (I omitted)

salt and pepper to taste

Combine blueberries, strawberries, onion, lime zest, juice and cilantro in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until you reach desired consistency. Add salt and pepper if desired. If using avocado, fold in now.  I ate mine with tortilla chips, but had the intentions of adding it to shrimp or fish tacos.  It just didn’t last long enough!
I will not even mention what my kids said this looked like.
*sigh* Just eat it!

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

Leave it to me to take something healthy and ruin it.  Not that adding bacon is ruining it, it’s just that whole pesky eating in moderation thing.  Which my husband did not practice when eating these.  It’s not my fault…I have all these green beans coming in from the garden, and How Sweet It Is posted Green Bean Bacon Bundles.  What’s a girl to do?  Well, make some bacon wrapped green beans of course…

Green Bean Bacon Bundles 
from How Sweet It Is
makes about 10-12 bundles *I made 14

1 pound fresh green beans

10-12 slices of thick-cut bacon  *I used regular bacon

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 cloves of garlic, minced  *I only used one

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.

  • Wash and thoroughly dry green beans, then season with salt and pepper. Bundle together about 5-8 green beans – this will depend on your size of beans and the amount of beans you get for one pound. Bundle together as many as you’d like! Using a slice of bacon, wrap it around the center of the beans to hold it together. Lay the bundle bacon seam side down in the baking dish to hold it together. Repeat with remaining beans.
  • Heat a small saucepan over low heat. Add butter, brown sugar and garlic and whisk until melted and combined. Using a pastry brush, brush the mixture over top of each green bean bundle. Cover the bundles with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10-15 (it took more like 25 minutes for me to get the bacon somewhat crisp, and I still ended up putting it under the broiler for a minute) minutes more, just until bacon gets crispy.

Verdict?  Bacon makes everything delicious. Even vegetables.

The only thing for me is that I baked them in a casserole dish, and the beans cooked in all that grease.  Which may be the point, but the green beans absorb a lot of that grease, which obviously is not good for you.  I think when (when, not if) I make them again, I’ll cook them in a roasting pan, with the wire rack, so the beans still get the juices of the bacon while it’s cooking, but a majority will drip down into the pan.  That should also get the bacon crispier without having to broil it.  (b/c I almost always burn everything I put under the broiler – see 1st pic)

These were definitely a winner with the hubs, not so much with the kids.  But as you may have noticed, my kids don’t like anything!

Since I’ve been blogging for a year now, I thought it would be fun to look back on previous posts.  Fun for me anyway 🙂  So…
Last year’s PostHealthy Choices (and ongoing struggle fo’ sho’)

I’m linking it up with Homemaker on a Dime, Delightfully Dowling, Mouthwatering Monday @ A Southern Fairytale, Skip to my Lou, Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl CreativeDelicious Dishes at It’s a Blog Party, Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff,  Hearth and Soul Blog Hop, Tasty Tuesdays @ 33 Shades of Green, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Made from Scratch Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday @ For The Love Of Blogs, At Home with Haley, Lady Behind the Curtain,  Little Brick Ranch, These Chicks Cooked, Miz Helen’s Country CottageMangoes and Chutney for Fat Camp Fridays, EKat’s Kitchen (currently being held at Girlichef), Simply Delish, Feeding Four, It’s a Keeper, Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo, The Sweet Details for Savory Sunday; Eat at Home (Ingredient Spotlight: Bacon!), Mom-Spot.com, Gooseberry Patch Blog

Homemade Pepper Relish

I picked all these beautifuls babes from my garden
and these too!
I was trying to decide what I could do with all my peppers besides sticking them in the freezer, and I decided to try making relish.  Since my pickled banana peppers were delicious, I thought the odds were good that I could maybe pull it off.  I searched the internet, got a general idea of what to do and went for it!  I adapted my recipe from this one for Pepper Relish.
Pepper Relish
  • 12 cups of diced assorted peppers (red & green bell peppers, banana peppers, and jalapenos)
  • 2 medium onions – diced
  • 2 T. salt
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 t. mustard seeds
  • 1 t. celery seed
  • 2 whole jalapeno peppers {additional to 12 cups above}
*I used a food processor to dice peppers and onions.
1. Combine peppers and salt in a large bowl.  Let stand for 2 hours.  Drain.
2. Combine sugar, vinegar, and mustard/celery seed in large saucepot.
3. Cut slits in the two additional whole jalapeno peppers and add to vinegar mixture.
4. Bring to boil.
5. Reduce heat and add peppers and onions, simmering 10 minutes.
6. Remove whole jalapeno peppers.  
7. Pack hot relish into clean jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space.  Adjust caps.
8. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner  I don’t have a canner, so let them sit in a boiling water “bath” for 10 minutes.
Notes – next time I’ll reduce the sugar even more (original recipe called for 3 cups) and increase the number of jalapenos used.
This is a yummy sweet and spicy relish.  I would prefer it to be a little less sweet and a little more spicy.  Like me.  haha.  However, for my first time making it – I think it’s pretty good!  Let me tell ya – it takes a looong time to seed 12 cups of peppers!!!

But look how pretty they turned out 🙂
Will my kids eat it?  Absolutely not.

I’m linking this recipe up with Eat at Home, and Finding Joy in My Kitchen – Ingredient Spotlight – Bell Peppers, and The Gooseberry Patch Blog

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

My sister has been talking about how delicious Orzo with Roasted Vegetables is for a while now.  I love orzo, but when I heard ‘roasted vegetables’ – I sort of thought “ewww”.  However, if you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I have recently discovered that I actually like roasted vegetables.  So, I figured it was time to re-visit the recipe.  Especially since I still have…
I did not follow the recipe exactly, I just used what veggies I had on hand.  This is one of those recipes that you can change up quite a bit, depending on your likes (peppers) or dislikes (mushrooms).  I don’t think there’s any hope for mushrooms.  They just gross me out.

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

adapted from For the Love of Cooking 

6-8 spears of asparagus, sliced in thirds
1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced (I threw some banana peppers in there too)
1/2 red onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, leave skin on while roasting
15-20 grape tomatoes
4 tbsp olive oil (divided)
Juice of 1-2 lemons, to taste
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1 cup orzo
2 green onions, sliced thin
1/4 cup reduced fat feta cheese
10 fresh basil leaves
 
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
For quick clean up, use a foil lined baking sheet, then spray with cooking spray.
Toss the asparagus, bell peppers, onion and garlic with the olive oil, salt and pepper on the baking sheet.

Roast for 20 minutes, then toss & add the tomatoes. Roast for an additional 10 minutes.
While veggies are roasting, prepare the orzo per instructions on box.
Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
When vegetables are done, carefully squeeze the garlic from their skins and mix with orzo.
Add roasted vegetables to the orzo.
Combine: lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper (to taste) and pour over orzo/vegetables.
Add the green onions, feta cheese and basil. Toss to coat evenly.

I made Whole Wheat Beer Bread to go with it.  I heart bread products.  and beer.  Since I have discovered the Michelob Ultra Peach flavor (and love it), I thought I’d give it a try in the bread.  I also added cinnamon, to make kind of a sweet bread.  It was very good.  As in, I ate 1/2 a loaf in one evening good.  There’s not much better than warm bread with a schmear of butta…mmmm…

So, I thought I was all that making this yummy, and very healthy meal. The hubs liked it, but the kids were less than impressed. They did like the bread however. They think I’m the craziest mother ever b/c I feed them things with beer in it. My mother-in-law would not approve. Anywho…the next night I had left overs and fixed these for the kids
They said I was the BEST cook EVER.  Kids are so easy.  Okay, not really, but this was a super easy recipe from Pillsbury.  I used Reduced Fat Grands biscuits and Cabot’s 50% reduced fat cheese, and ham (without added nitrates and nitrites, of course – geesh, all the crap moms have to remember).  I highly recommend using reduced fat ham and cheese or when you bite into them you will get grease/”juice” running out.  ewww

So these little gems get 5 stars in my kids’ book.  Guess I’ll be making them more often.  Grands makes a reduced fat wheat biscuit that I’ll use next time, but couldn’t find them at my regular grocery store. (what else is new?)

I’m linking up with Finding Joy in My Kitchen

{egg free} Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

So, I have bananas left AND I have zucchini….what can I make?  (Egg-free) Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread of course!!  It just came out of the oven (and I immediately ate some) and it is so good I had to begin blogging about it immediately.  I sort of combined two recipes, one from For the Love of Cooking (Chocolate Chip and Walnut Zucchini Bread) and one from Madhuram’s Eggless Cooking (Eggless Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread).  I guess I made enough changes to warrant typing out the recipe – it’s going to seem strange, but it is ooooh soooo good!

{egg free} Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

  • 2 very ripe medium sized bananas
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups raw, grated zucchini
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 oz. jar of baby food carrots or 1/2 cup cooked and pureed carrots
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips – I used a very well rounded 3/4 cup 🙂

I then followed the directions from For the Love of Cooking recipe – My loaf pan was larger than 8×4, so I made one loaf and 6 muffins.

The muffins cooked in about 30 minutes I think.  They are so moist and delicious and the kids didn’t even complain about the flecks of green!!  (and they have no clue I added the carrots.)  They were moist enough with the bananas that I think I could use all whole wheat flour next time, and I love that I was able to cut the sugar in half!!
This really was the best I’ve made, so I will definitely be making this again.  I also LOVE sneaking veggies into my kids!!  I have some other zucchini recipes to try, but only have a couple of zucchini left, because unfortunately, my zucchini plants died 🙁   (Can I say zucchini one more time?)  I think they suffered dehydration and heat stroke.
I’m linking this recipe up at i should be mopping the floor Iron Chef Mom: Battle-Carrots