Friday, August 20, 2010

Book Winner

Since 11 people entered the Garlic-Onion-Beet-Spinach-Mango-Carrot-Grapefruit Juice giveaway, I rolled a pair of dice to determine the winner (since it's impossible to roll 1, the first commenter would have won with a 12). And the winner is...

Jcazz, who loves blueberry, carrot, celery, orange, and apple juice! Send an email to mary@mittenmachen.com and let me know where you'd like the book and buttons sent.

Enjoy the weekend everybody. Eat those tomatoes while you can!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Summer Vegetable Sauté at Maine Food & Lifestyle

If you've still got more zucchini than you know what to do with, try this quick, easy Summer Vegetable Sauté. In this dish, which takes only 20 minutes to prepare, fresh summer squash, heirloom tomatoes, white beans, and Italian herbs are satisfying and elegant. Visit me at the blog of Maine Food & Lifestyle Magazine, where I've posted the recipe. This meal is in heavy rotation at my house!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Something To Do With All Those Damn Zucchini

For the last few weeks I have been suffocating under a zucchini avalanche. I'm getting 6 or 7 pounds of the stuff in my CSA, and coworkers are giving us shopping bags full of it. My neighbors have set up a table next to their mailbox where they leave piles of summer squash, free for the taking. Zucchini is a delicious source of fiber and of vitamins A and C, but this month it's coming on too strong. Give me a chance to miss you, zucchini, before showing up on my doorstep by the dozen.

I've dried and frozen most of my excess zucchini; it will show up later in soup. Another way to store zucchini is to bake it into bread which can be frozen and enjoyed all winter long. I had serious misgivings about adapting a traditional zucchini bread recipe. In my experience, gluten-free quickbreads sink in the middle and get gluey. Mini-loaves and muffins require less support; when you're baking without gluten, a high ratio of surface area to insides is best.

I worked with Gluten-Free Mommy's recipe for Carrot-Zucchini Muffins, which is itself an adaptation of Martha Stewart's Spiced Carrot Muffins. The crumb topping comes from FatFree Vegan Kitchen. Substituting vegan ingredients was easy; I also adjusted the spices and added walnuts. I used Ener-G egg replacer because I was feeling risk averse, but if you try these with flax or another egg substitute, let me know how they turn out, okay? I made one batch with sorghum flour and another with millet. I prefer the millet because it is slightly less sweet, but both work well, so use whichever is in your pantry.

Now for the exciting part: you can make the batter now and have zucchini muffins fresh from the oven in January. I learned this trick from Martha: spoon the batter into lined muffin cups and place it in the freezer. Once the batter is frozen, remove the cups and store them vapor-proof freezer bags until ready to use. When you want fresh muffins, there's no need to thaw the batter—just increase the baking time by 10-12 minutes. I've got plenty of these babies ready to go in my freezer.

Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffins

Dry Ingredients:
⅔ cup sorghum or millet flour
⅔ cup tapioca flour
⅔ cup brown rice flour
¾ cup of granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons of baking powder
¾ teaspoon of baking soda
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1⁄8 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1½ teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer
2 tablespoons warm water
5 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2½ cups zucchini, grated or shredded

Crumb Topping (optional):
2 teaspoons vegan margarine
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon brown rice flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare muffin tins with liners. In a small bowl, use a fork to mix crumb topping ingredients (if using) and set aside.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined. Distribute batter evenly among 18 muffin cups. Sprinkle crumb topping.

Bake for 20-22 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave muffins in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes before eating, or they will stick to the liners.

Makes 18 small muffins.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Vegan-Friendly Children's Book Giveaway!

Do the kids in your life like silly vikings, creative cooking, and stories that make them think? Then they'll love Garlic-Onion-Beet-Spinach-Mango-Carrot-Grapefruit Juice (whew, what a mouthful!) by author and illustrator Nathalie VanBalen.

With a tone that's thoughtful and fun, VanBalen tells the story of Askel and Krog, two vikings with a passion for making juice. When they read that juicing the shells of yellow spotted snails will make them stronger, they confront an ethical dilemma. With their friend Thora, the vikings consider questions like: Who do the yellow spotted snail shells belong to? How would it feel to be someone else's food?

While the book's message is serious, the riotous, colorful multimedia illustrations and text are a joy. Visit VanBalen's website for a peek at her work. Kids will love the free coloring pages and opportunities to submit their own artwork and recipes at VanBalen's blog. To order the book, visit VanBalen's store, where you'll find buttons, magnets, and handmade, limited edition sewn and stuffed characters from the story.

One MittenMachen reader can win a copy of Garlic-Onion-Beet-Spinach-Mango-Carrot-Grapefruit Juice, along with some buttons featuring Thora and two of VanBalen's adorable food drawings (perfect for your kiddo's backpack). What a great back-to-school gift for the veggie-loving child in your life! To enter, leave a comment telling me your favorite type of juice (mine's cranberry); I'll randomly select a winner on Friday, August 20th. Good luck!