A couple weeks ago I was gifted some produce – some monster produce. I’m not sure there’s anything better than free produce from someone’s garden. It’s home grown, local, and most importantly, free. This bag o’ veggies included what might be the world’s largest zucchini, seen here with a “normal” zucchini for comparison.
I had been abstaining from baking since the kitchen here isn’t really set up for it, but what’s a girl to do with a huge zucchini, especially with a fantasy football draft and a PPK meetup that weekend? Make chocolate zucchini muffins, that’s what. I found some great looking recipes online, but I wanted to keep the ingredient list to a minimum since I’d have to buy everything new, right down to flour. So I settled on this recipe, which is actually a brownie recipe. I figured if they tasted good in a pan surely they would also taste good in muffin form. Problem was, the batter didn’t come together at all. There wasn’t nearly enough liquid, it was kind of like a big lump of chocolate sugar and flour, which really isn’t that bad…but it wasn’t bakeable. So I added just over a cup of soy milk (I had doubled the recipe), and lo and behold they baked up pretty well. They weren’t exactly brownie-ish and they weren’t exactly muffin-ish, but they were mighty tasty.
I had more batter than the pans would hold, and I was just going to keep it in the fridge to eat raw later (ah, they joys of eggless batter), but I decided to see if it would bake up after sitting around for a half hour. Sure did! The second batch even had nicely rounded tops.
At the aforementioned PPK meetup I got to try golden watermelon! I have a slight aversion to regular watermelon for reasons we won’t discuss here, but this golden watermelon was great. I’m glad I got to try it. (Look at that beautiful grass! There were geese all over the park too.)
Back to the veggie present. Here’s the rest of what I got, along with the remainder of the zucchini.
With these goodies I made ratatouille, which I had never tried before. It was good but a little bland, so I added a splash of balsamic at the end and that did the trick. Served with chickpeas over whole wheat couscous.
BF had an interview in San Francisco on Tuesday, and I remembered that there was a farmers market at the Ferry Building on Tuesdays. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance. I spent about an hour walking around and looking at everything, and ended up with all this for $23! Whole wheat pain au levaine, bell peppers, long beans, baby bok choy, fresh tofu, hot banana pepper, white nectarine, dapper dandy pluot, salad mix, purslane and radishes in the bag, and fingerling potatoes.
I didn’t set out with anything in mind because I wanted to try some new things, but a few meals came together as I went along. Dinner that night was a salad that I wasn’t entirely certain would work. Fortunately it came together fantastically.
Salad mix, purslane, lentils, roasted radishes, red and purple peppers and grapes with goddess dressing. The sweet and savory with the contrast of textures was right on. Plus, anything tastes good with goddess dressing. A word on roasting radishes: They’re really good, try it! Just don’t cut the pieces too small as they shrink a lot while cooking.
Here’s what purslane looks like, if you’ve never seen it. It’s supposedly really good for you, high in vitamins and omega-3′s. I liked it raw but have also heard of people sauteing it. It’s hard to describe the flavor. There’s definitely a strong flavor, but it’s not bitter like arugula.
The next meal from my farmers market greatness was tofu scramble with the hot banana pepper, red bell pepper and zucchini, steamed long beans (cut into shorter beans), and roasted fingerling potatoes. I knew I’d love the fingerlings. BF said they were kind of like homemade french fries. The outsides toughens up while the insides stay nice and soft.
And lastly, a “what do I have left in the fridge?” meal, braised sesame eggplant and baby bok choy. This was just okay. My Chinese-style food always seems to be lacking just a bit in the flavor department. I like to think it’s because I don’t use msg.