Sunday, August 28, 2011

Zucchini Potato Pancakes

What to do with all of this zucchini?

Because I have spent the last month working on zucchini bread I’ve had a large supply of “left over” shredded zucchini. Not wanting any to go to waste I have been trying to think of other ways to use up this abundant vegetable.

A few weeks ago I was talking with my mom about zucchini bread and I suddenly had an inspiration. What about turning some of the left over zucchini into Potato Pancakes? I come from a very Polish family and while growing up we ate a lot of food that was passed down from our heritage. Yummy dishes like pierogi, cabbage rolls, kielbasa and potato pancakes.

This seemed like the perfect way to use up my leftovers, while also making a comfort food a little more healthy. They are easy to make and the perfect side dish or appetizer. If you are not a fan of rosemary or red pepper flakes, try adding thyme or basil to give these a bright flavor.

Makes 8-12 pancakes
start to finish: 30 minutes
  • 2 medium zucchinis, grated (around 2 cups)
  • 2 medium red potatoes, grated (around 1½ cups)
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced, optional
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • pinch or red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil

Using a cheese cloth or sieve drain zucchini, squeezing to remove excess liquid. Place zucchini in a bowl and add potato, onion and garlic, mix well. Stir in the flour, egg, rosemary, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and mix together.

Coat the bottom of a non-stick skillet with oil and using an ice cream scoop, add the batter to the pan. Press lightly to flatten. Cook over medium heat until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve with your favorite aioli, dairy-free sour cream or applesauce.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gluten & Dairy-Free Zucchini Bread

Jon’s parents have a lovely garden each summer and they are always kind enough to share some of their produce with me. They really are great gardeners and usually have a harvest of delicious tomatoes, beans, chard, lettuce and zucchini. Right now their zucchinis are in full force and Jon has challenged me to make Zucchini Bread. :)

This isn’t something I’ve attempted to make since I’ve been gluten & dairy-free so I knew this would be a bit of an experiment. I have been using more and more coconut in my baking (oil, milk, sugar and flour) so I was excited to see how I could add this into the mix.

After a couple of weeks of experimenting I have to say, I am very happy with the end result! You get this sweet, mild flavored bread, with hints of lemon and coconut. It has a lovely texture that holds together well and it’s also incredibly moist, thanks to the applesauce and coconut oil.

I was so happy by the results I even made another batch tonight, just to celebrate blogging. :)

note: Coconut oil is solid at temperatures under 76 degrees F. In order to prevent it from solidifying in the mixing process, all cold ingredients need to be brought up to room temperature.

Makes 1 9in loaf
start to finish: 1½ hours (including baking time)
  • 1 cup white sorghum flour
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 large free-range organic eggs (room temp)
  • ⅓ cup applesauce (room temp)
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (room temp)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1½ cup of zucchini, grated and extra liquid gently squeezed out

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and line the bottom of a 9-inch loaf pan with a piece of parchment paper (this was a great idea from Karina at Gluten-Free Goddess that makes removing the bread very easy). Lightly oil pan and paper.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients, flour, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt. Add in eggs, apple sauce, coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Beat on medium high until the batter is a smooth consistency. About 2 minutes. Finally add in the grated zucchini and mix well to combine.

Pour mixture into the prepared baking pan and smooth top. Decorate with extra strips of zucchini and bake in the center of a preheated oven for about 60 minutes. Bake until the top is lightly browned, firm, and a toothpick inserted removes clean.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Coconut Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Anyone interested in fresh Coconut Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream?

Jon and I have a healthy amount of mint growing in the garden and we’ve been playing around with ways to incorporate it into our meals. Since dessert is always fun to make, that got us to thinking we should make our own ice cream. So much fun.

I have always been somewhat intimidated by the idea of making ice cream but decided it was time to face my fear. So I headed out to BBB this past weekend and returned with the perfect ice cream maker. (Thank heavens for their 20% off coupons.) Honestly, making ice cream couldn't be easier!

The texture of this dessert is a cross between an ice cream and sorbet and the taste is wonderful. The coconut milk has the perfect thickness to replace heavy cream, and the coconut flavor is very subtle because the mint steals your attention. The freshness of the mint brings this bright flavor that refreshes but is not overpowering, and the chocolate chips add the perfect crunch.

I really couldn’t think of a better way to begin my ice cream adventures. :)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Ice Cream Maker Time: Approximately 20-25 minutes
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • ½ cup agave nectar
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, minced
  • ½ cup gluten & dairy-free chocolate chips

Place coconut milk, agave, and mint in a blender. Blend for about 1 minute until the mint is fully incorporated into the mixture. Add chocolate chips and pulse for about 20 seconds.

Pour liquid into your ice cream machine bowl and churn for about 20-25 minutes or according to manufacturer's instructions. Serve immediately.

If you’d like a firmer consistency, transfer into a freezer safe container with lid, and freeze for about two hours to thicken. Before serving, allow to thaw for about 15 minutes.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Garlic Expressions Salad Dressing

I have a new FAVORITE salad dressing. It’s called Garlic Expressions Classic Vinaigrette.

I am always on the lookout for a good salad dressing. So many dressings are usually not Laura Friendly but this one is and it’s amazing! It’s very smooth and full of flavor. It has a nice garlic kick that’s not too overpowering and then the perfect blend of cider vinegar to make it nice and tangy. It’s 100% natural, preservative free and delicious.

It’s wonderful to use on salad (of course) but it also makes an awesome marinade, drizzled over pasta or a baked potato. Honestly, this is good stuff. If you live in GR you can pick up this gem at D&W or Art of the Table. :)

For more info check out this link: garlic-expressions

Friday, August 5, 2011


Amazing, awesome, allergy conscious, Chipotle. Yes, this is fast food I’m talking about but it’s truly an unique experience. The environment is a modern, open kitchen that lays out your food cafeteria style. This allows you to see how your food is prepared and allows you to view your food, before you choose it.

I have been to the local Chipotle quite a few times and the staff is friendly and willing to help meet my allergy needs. When I approach the counter I let them know of my food sensitivities and they immediately wash their hands and change their gloves. When I’m in the mood for guacamole (which is located right next to the cheese) they are more than willing to bring out a fresh batch to help me out.

The food is flavorful, hearty, fresh and healthy. Most of the menu is gluten & dairy-free, and they seem to take great pride in having options for individuals such as myself. I’m a huge fan of their Burrito Bowl. My Bowl usually looks like this: lettuce, cilantro rice, black beans, sauteed onions and peppers, grilled chicken, salsa and guac. For more allergy info check out this link:

Their motto: “Food with Integrity is our commitment to always look closer, dig deeper, and work harder to ensure that our actions are making things better, not worse. It’s our promise to run our business in a way that doesn’t exploit animals, people or the environment. It is the philosophy that guides every decision we make at Chipotle.” —Steve Ells

The prices are a tiny bit higher than your average fast food chain but it’s worth it. To know that you are eating great food that is also great for the planet, provided by a company that continues to think before they act… that's worth an extra couple of bucks to me. :)