Zucchini Walnut Feta Cakes

You know there are just some things that take you by surprise.  Well that would be the night I served my version of Zucchini Walnut Feta cakes.  

I consider our family adventurous when it comes to food.  I know we each have our hang ups, but don’t we all.  In recent years we have started eating a lot more meatless entrees and we enjoy them, though I have found certain ones tend to be more appealing to Mr. Mixture.  This recipe was one on the must make list from Little Miss Mixture.  I was excited to make it, though I had thoughts that I would be scouring the refrigerator for something else to ensure the other two were pleased and went to bed satisfied.  

Imagine my shock when not one but both Little Miss Mixture and Mr. Mixture enjoyed it and even stated they would happily eat it again.  Woohoo that is getting a 4 out of 5 Truffles rating.

The recipe was adapted from Cooking light Zucchini Walnut Feta Cakes.  I actually was going to follow the recipe but then I did not have enough dill and when it comes to seasoning I tend to go heavy rather than light.  So I improvised and decided to add fenugreek.  I have no idea why as I truly have very little knowledge of this spice, except to know that every time I order something with it at the Indian restaurant I enjoy my meal.  I have to admit I am not even sure when I bought fenugreek or what I used it for, but it worked with these flavors.  The result was a nicely seasoned cake that paired well with the cucumber sauce.

Zucchini Walnut Feta Fritter

  • 1/2 Cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 Cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 1/2 Cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 Cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2  tsp chopped dill
  • 2 tsp. Fenugreek 
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 2/3 cup)
  • 2 Large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 container plain nonfat Greek yogurt (6 – ounce)
  • 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 Cups mixed salad greens (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 tomato sliced
1. Place quinoa in a mini food processor; process 1 minute or until finely ground. Add chopped walnuts to processor; process until smooth.
2. Place zucchini in a colander, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss well. Let stand 10 minutes, tossing occasion ally. Press zucchini between paper towels until barely moist.
3. Combine zucchini, green onions, dill, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, fenugreek, cheese, and eggs in a large bowl; stir to combine. Sprinkle quinoa mixture over zucchini mixture; stir well to combine.
4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 4 (1/3-cup) zucchini batter mounds to pan; flatten into 3-inch cakes. Cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and batter to yield 8 cakes total.

5. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, yogurt, cucumber, and garlic in a small bowl. Divide greens evenly among 4 plates. Top each with a couple slices do tomato and 2 fritters.  Then add about 1/4 cup cucumber mixture and Serve

No Bake Protein Packed Rice Crispy Bars

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Snacks at school have been a challenge for our family as I try very hard to send something healthy that includes protein.  Enter the nut free zone and your choices quickly diminish.  When first hearing of the nut free classroom, I went in search of healthy granola type bars and other items that were nut free and nutritious.  You are probably thinking yogurt and cheese are perfect, but my daughter has the early lunch this year so snack is in the afternoon, and I just do not love the idea of dairy products being in her bag for over 6 hours before being consumed.  The other part of that Little Miss Mixture likes cheese and crackers in her lunch several days a week and often consumes yogurt for breakfast. BORING who wants to repeat the same food items several times a day.

I found a recipe for Puffed Quinoa and thought perfect until I found none of the stores in town sell puffed quinoa and it takes about 72 hours to make it yourself.  I love to cook but I draw the line on things that take days to prepare.  I just do not see the value and doubt many people would be interested in a recipe like that.  So I adapted the recipe using rice krispies because they are a simple nut free cereal. The result was a deliciously sweet bar that everyone enjoyed.

This is a simple recipe that can be changed to meet your taste or food preferences.  No reason to go nut free, try Peanut Butter or Almond Butter, both pair nicely with some chocolate on top.

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Protein Packed Rice Crispy Bars

2 cups Crisp Rice Cereal (Rice Krispies)

1 cup Sunbutter, or Nut Butter of Choice

6 Tbsp. Agave Nectar (Maple Syrup can be substituted)

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Optional : Chocolate of choice, melted

In a mixing bowl, combine Sunbutter, agave, and vanilla.  If the mixture is too firm, you can heat it slightly on the stove top or microwave.  Be careful not to cook, simply warm to mix thoroughly. Add puffed cereal and stir until coated well.  At this point the mixture is stick.  You can place mixture in fridge to firm up for 15 minutes and then press into bar form, or in a hurry press into a prepared 8×8 square pan.  Allow to firm in refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.

Optional: Melt chocolate to drizzle or coat the top of the bars.  I went a little heavy on the chocolate,   You can never have too much chocolate in my opinion.  I used 52% cocoa chocolate chips.  Once the desired amount of chocolate is on the bars return to refrigerator to set.  Slice into bars and enjoy or wrap for snacks throughout the week.

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