Zucchini-Pineapple Quick Bread

Zucchini Pineapple Quick Breads

Zucchini Pineapple Quick Breads

Today we have another way to use zucchini.  Zucchini Bread is a popular quick bread and such a great way to get in some veggies disguised as a sweet.  This recipe is all of that and more because it also contains pineapple.  A new twist on an old favorite!

We like to eat this bread for breakfast, but we also enjoy it as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea or coffee.  The pineapple adds a little sweetness of its own, so I  cut back on the sugar to 1 3/4 cups.   The recipe makes a large volumn of batter, enough for two 8″ x 4″ pans, so you can freeze the extra loaf, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and heavy-duty foil, for up to one month.  Slices are good warmed in the microwave and spread with a little butter.

Some zucchini breads that I have had seemed to have a lot of oil in them and were very sweet.  This recipe is not like that at all.  The oil used is a moderate amount considering that you’re making two loaves.  The color of the bread is also lighter than other zucchini breads that I have had, perhaps because I used a yellow zucchini and a green one. You will note that the recipe calls for 2 eggs and 1/2 cup egg substitute.  However, you could use 4 eggs and eliminate the egg substitute.  Personally, I like using only the two eggs because it’s a way of reducing the overall cholesterol in the recipe.

On the whole we liked this bread very much as a breakfast item because it is not overly sweet.  I am expecting house guests soon and this is one of the items I plan to set out for “make your own breakfast”.

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Recipe:  ZUCCHINI-PINEAPPLE QUICK BREAD

Yield:  2 loaves, 8″ x 4″ each

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour  ( I use half whole wheat flour.)

    I used both yellow and green zucchini.

    I used both yellow and green zucchini.

  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1  1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 1/2 medium zucchini).
  • 2/3 cups canola oil
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2  (8-ounce) cans crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • baking spray

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Spray two 8″ x 4″ loaf pans with baking spray.

2.  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife.  Combine flour, salt, and next 3 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

3.  Beat eggs with a mixer at medium speed until foamy.  Add sugar, oil, egg substitute, vanilla and zucchini beating until well blended.  Add zucchini mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.  Fold in pineapple.  Spoon batter into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops.

4.  Bake at 350*F for 45 min – 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack;  remove from pans.    Cool completely on wire rack.

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SOURCE:   Cooking Light

Barbecue-Rubbed Pork Chops with Grilled Pineapple

A colorful presentation of grilled pork chops and pineapple.

A colorful presentation of grilled pork chops and pineapple.

To me, this meal represents summertime cooking at its best.  The aroma of the meat sizzling on the grill, made it very hard to wait for it all to be cooked and ready for eating.   Our neighbor wandered over to share a glass of wine with us and commented on what was cooking and how delicious it smelled!  😀

Everything cooks in about the same time on the grill.

Everything cooks in about the same time on the grill.

One of the meats we particularly like is pork chops cooked on the grill.  We spent a leisurely weekend at home when I planned this  meal cooked completely on the grill that included this recipe for pork chops and grilled pineapple.  The spice rub on the chops is made up of seven spices, giving the meat a bold and zesty flavor. This is counterbalanced by the sweetness of fresh pineapple.  Along with this I made Hasselbach potatoes and cooked them on the grill also.  Stay tuned for this recipe coming up tomorrow. To round out the meal we had fresh asparagus and homemade ice cream for dessert.  (Also coming up this week.)

Hasselbach potatoes and asparagus completed the meal.

Hasselbach potatoes and asparagus completed the meal.

BARBECUE-RUBBED PORK CHOPS

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 4  (6-ounce) bone-in center cut loin pork chops trimmed (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • cooking spray
  • 1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices

1.  Combine the first 9 ingredients;  rub over both sides of pork.  Heat a grill to medium-high heat.  Coat the grid with cooking spray by rubbing with a paper towel sprayed with cooking spray.

2.  When the grill is sufficiently hot, lay the chops and pineapple slices on the grill rack.  The  pork will cook in about 8 minutes, total. At about 4 minutes, turn the chops and pineapple over, and continue cooking until tender but still moist and juicy.

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SOURCE:  Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens

Pineapple Jerk Chicken and Rice

I made this dish for the very first time just a few days ago, and it came out so good I must tell you about it.  Normally I steer clear of dishes that I think will be very spicy.  From what I know about jerk seasoning, it is quite “hot”  since Scotch Bonnet peppers are usually  amongst the ingredients.  But on reviewing the ingredient list on the bottle of jerk seasoning marinade I became convinced that it would be OK.  So I purchased the suggested brand:  Lawrys Jerk Marinade, and proceeded with the recipe.

This is a one-dish meal featuring chicken breasts, pineapple, black beans, cilantro, onions and the jerk marinade served over brown rice.  It goes together quickly once you have everything prepped.   Mr. D.,  a person who likes spicy foods, was very complimentary when he tasted it.   It does have some heat to it especially with the jalapeño  chile in it, but I could tolerate and even enjoy it, so I know I will be making this dish again.

INGREDIENTS 

SERVES    4

  • 2 cups brown rice,  or 2 bags Boil-in-Bag brown rice, such as Uncle Ben’s
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chile–stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 fresh pineapple cut into 3/4 inch pieces  (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup jerk marinade, such as Lawry’s
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1.  In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the rice, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until tender, about 30 minutes;  drain.  If using bagged rice, cook in boiling water 10-12 minutes, as package directs.

2.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and jalapeño and cook until the onion is browned, 7 minutes;  transfer to a bowl.

3.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the same skillet and increase the heat to medium-high.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then add to the pan and cook until browned, 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the pineapple and jerk marinade and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, another 2-3 minutes.

4.  Stir in the onion mixture, black beans and cilantro; cook until the beans are heated through, about 1 minute.  Season with salt and pepper and serve over the rice.

SOURCE:   Every Day with Rachael Ray

Pina-Mango Coladas

Just in time for what is promising to be a very warm weekend, I have just the cool, refreshing drink you may be looking for.  Lately I have been experimenting with putting together various combinations of fruits plus an alcoholic ingredient of some sort to make a cocktail that we can enjoy in the late afternoon out on our deck. Some have been very Yummy, others only Eeh……  This one, I think, is one of the successful ones.  Try it, and see if you agree.

It contains pineapple, mango, and orange juice, plus dark rum.  I freeze the pineapple in chunks, also the mango, and make orange juice ice cubes.  When it is all blended together you get a thick, cold, frosty beverage that pretty much stays that way all the way to the bottom of the glass.  Then you will want to pour yourself another one!  🙂     The riper the pineapple is, the more pronounced it’s flavor will be.

My advice:  If you do not have the ingredients on hand there is still time to go to the market and get them.  Cut up and freeze the fruits, so when a hot day arrives in your neck of the woods, you will be able to zip up this drink in a jiffy.

INGREDIENTS

Servings:  about 8 @ 2/3 cups each

  • 1 (13.5 0z.) can Lite Coconut Milk
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks
  • 1 fresh mango, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, frozen into cubes
  • 1/4 cup orange juice-not frozen
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons light agave nectar
  • 3/4 cup gold rum ( such as Bacardi Gold)
  • 8 fresh pineapple slices

1.  Arrange pineapple and mango pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet;  freeze at least an hour or overnight.  Freeze the orange juice in an ice cube tray.

2.  Combine pineapple, mango, orange juice cubes,  ice cubes, agave nectar and rum in a blender;  Process mixture until smooth.  Add coconut milk slowly thru top “feed opening” while blending.  Process just to incorporate.

3.  Serve with a pineapple slice to garnish.

Some further thoughts:  You may choose to omit the rum, and this would still be a cool, delicious drink.  I chose to use “lite” coconut milk to avoid the saturated fat in the heavy, sugary cream of coconut.  This also cuts the calories way down.  I used a darker variety of rum because it’s what I had on hand.   With its underlying hints of molasses and caramel it  compliments the coconut and pineapple but you could use any kind of rum.

Tropical Pineapple Cupcakes

The occasion—-High School Graduation.   The graduate—- my Granddaughter.  Future Plans—-Culinary school!   YEAH!   someone who loves to bake as much as I do.   I wanted to make something special,  yet cool and refreshing looking.  My  idea grew out of my finding a bag of marshmallowy, chewy candies in pastel colors that I thought would look cute as cupcake toppers.  So then I went on the hunt for a recipe for the base cupcake and its frosting, to tie the whole thing together into a theme.

I started with a yellow cake recipe to which I add chopped pineapple and a little pineapple juice.  The frosting is a butter cream with added lemon zest and lemon juice, tinted pale yellow.  The candies are pale green, peach and pale yellow.  So that is the color scheme I worked with,  and it was light, delicate and cool looking.

TROPICAL PINEAPPLE CUPCAKES

Yield:  I got 15 cupcakes, probably could have made each a tad smaller, and gotten 16.

Ingredients

  • 4 canned pineapple rings, finely chopped.  (or  1/2 cup crushed pineapple, well drained)
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 12 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup self rising flour***
***To use all-purpose flour, add  1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and  1/2 teaspoon salt to the flour measurement.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

Drain the pineapple, and reserve 2 tablespoons of the juice.  Finely chop the pineapple, or use crushed.

Place the butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Remove from mixer.  Sift in the flour, and using a large spoon (wooden?), fold into the batter.  Fold in the pineapple and the reserved 2 tablespoons juice.

Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling about 2/3s full.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until risen, golden, and test done with a toothpick.  Cool in pan a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • about 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • tiny dot of  yellow gel food coloring

Put butter and cream cheese in a beater bowl and beat together until smooth.  Add the lemon zest.  Sift the confectioners’ sugar into the mixture, then beat  until well mixed.  Gradually add the lemon juice until the frosting is of spreading consistency. Add the dot of gel food color, and beat for consistency of color.   Spoon the frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.  Pipe a swirl of frosting on top of each cupcake.  Sprinkle with sanding sugar in yellow and/or green.  Top with a marshmallow candy.  ( The candy I found at the grocery store is called “Mallo-Licious”).   I also think tiny palm trees would make a great topping too.—–next time!

SOURCE:   Adapted from a recipe in The Cupcake, by Angela Drake

Making Homemade Pizza

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like pizza.  Do you?  But it’s hard to please everyone as they all have their favorites.   Well, with my family I have pretty much solved this problem.  I make pizza at home, and everyone can choose their own topping.  Depending on what I have on hand, I present them with 3-4 choices, and we go from there.

Today, I am going to share with you the three most commonly chosen pizzas at my house.  They all start the same way with the basic crust. Depending on how much time I have to prepare, I use one of the following types:

  1. Made from scratch pizza dough.( Please see separate post for my dough recipe)  Again, I rely on my bread machine to make a basic dough, which produces about  2 pounds.  I do this periodically, and freeze it in 1 pound balls.  Defrost at room temperature, stretch to fit your pan, and you’re ready to build your pizza.
  2. Frozen dough from the grocery store.  Defrost and use as described above.
  3. Preformed pizza shell like BOBOLI.  This gives you the option of making one 10″ pie, or choose a package with 4 smaller individual pies.

Always prepare your pan in advance.  This can be a pizza pan, a pizza stone, or large baking sheet.  Mist or brush with olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with corn meal. This is optional, but it gives the crust a nice crunch.  Roll or stretch the dough to fit the pan.  Note:  yeast doughs like to fight you; the more you stretch them the more they seem to shrink back. To  win this fight, take it slow.  Stretch a little, wait, let it rest.  Stretch some more,wait, let it rest.  Be patient, and you will win.   Try to have as uniform a thickness as possible.  There will be some air bubbles throughout. They are what give lightness to your crust.  Before layering on the toppings, mist or brush the crust with olive oil, especially the outer margin, so it will brown nicely.       Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pizza Deluxe

  • 2-3  links Italian Sausage, hot or sweet, casings removed
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 large onion, cut in half, then into wedges
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 1  cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheese ( pizza blend is good, or any combination you prefer)
  1. In a large skillet crumble the sausage and ground beef together, and cook until browned.  Remove meats to a bowl, and drain pan, leaving a small amount of drippings.
  2. Place peppers and onions in skillet over medium heat and saute until beginning to soften.  Add mushrooms. and cook 2-3 minutes more.  Remove from heat.

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3.  Spred the basil pesto evenly over the dough. Top with the marinara sauce.

4.  Add the cooked meats over the sauce.

5.  Top evenly with the vegetables.

6.  Before topping with the cheese, I like to sprinkle a little dried oregano, and red pepper flakes over the vegetables.

      Top with cheese(s).

7.  Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Kickin Chicken Pizza

  • 5-6 slices bacon, cooked crisp, drained and broken into small pieces
  • 1 tesp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce–your choice
  • 4 oz. pepper-jack cheese
  •  1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded.  (Rotisserie chicken is good here)
  • 8 oz. Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/2 tesp. red pepper flakes, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Follow directions given above for pan preparation.  Mist dough crust with olive oil.  Set aside.
  2. Heat a medium skillet on med-high, cook bacon, drain and crumble.  Reserve 1 teaspoon bacon drippings, add 1 teaspoon olive oil, swirl to coat pan.  Saute onions and peppers until tender crisp, add garlic and continue sauteing for 40-45 seconds or until garlic is aromatic.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside.  Spread BBQ sauce over crust, leaving a small margin at edges. Layer ingredients in the following order:  pepper-jack cheese, shredded chicken, onion-pepper mixture, Mexican cheese blend, top with crumbled bacon and red pepper flakes, if using.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.

Hawaiian Pizza

  • 1 cup Alfredo Sauce with Cheese  (like Classico)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup cooked ham steak, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh or canned pineapple, in chunks
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked crisp, and broken into small pieces

 Prepare pizza crust and pan as directed above, misting with olive oil, especially the edges.

1. In small sauce pan, heat Alfred0 Sauce, thinning with 1/4 cup milk.   Add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, and mix until smooth.

2. Spread Alfredo Sauce mixture on pizza crust, leaving a small margin at the edges.

3. Top with ham pieces, pineapple chunks and bacon pieces.

4. Sprinkle on remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.

5. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until browned.