Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Thursday, April 10, 2014

DIY Africa

 Sometimes you just gotta roll your sleeves up and start in the kitchen from scratch.  If you live in Africa, that sometimes changes to almost-always.  Occasionally, I just have a hankering for something and it requires a number of preparation steps ahead of time to achieve the end goal.

Every afternoon, sometime around 4pm, I have a grumble in my belly that tells me it's tea time.  Sometimes I have coffee for tea time, sometimes decaf tea and often times a big glass of chilled water.  In my mind, the real reason for tea time is the tea time treats.  My treat of choice has varied widely over the past year; first it was a rusk, then a piece of pumpkin bread.  Right now I prefer to indulge in a sliver of zucchini bread and/or a small tea cup full of African Sunrise granola and a few dollops of greek yogurt.

After about a minute of Googling zucchini bread some months ago, I settled on this zucchini bread recipe that had like 4-point-something stars and 4,000-something reviews.  I trust recipes like that.  I read tons and tons of those 4,000 reviews and found some ways to help make aforementioned zucchini bread a little less like cake and a lot more friendly to the waistline.  Below I'll post the modifications to the zucchini bread recipe I made.  I won't post a review on the zucchini bread recipe based on the many modifications I made because I can't stand it when people do that....

I spent morning nap time yesterday grating zucchini.  But, our electricity was out nearly all day yesterday for some unknown reason, so I was unable to bake my bread.  Today I began my preparations by first making apple sauce.  Although, because I had a number of mealy peaches in the fridge that were no good on my morning cereal, it turned out to be more like peach sauce with a hint of apple.

While my peaches and apples cooked on the stove top, I was busy grating potatoes to make hash brown casserole for dinner.  The menu tonight was inspired by our time working at Cracker Barrel.  CB grilled chicken tenders and hash brown casserole with fluffy fruit salad on the side.  The secret to CB grilled chicken tenders?  Marinated and pan-grilled in Italian salad dressing.  That's it.  Anyway, back to the casserole, hash browns aren't exactly a South African thing.  Thus I was left to make them myself.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy that was (thanks again to Google).

So, my zucchini bread.  Once I completed the peach/apple sauce by pureeing it with my immersion blender, I whipped this batter up:

* 3 cups flour (1 cup white, 2 cups wheat)
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 3-4 tsp cinnamon
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup oil
* 1/2 cup apple sauce
* 3 eggs
* 3 tsp vanilla extract
* 4 cups grated zucchini

And I would've loved to add some nuts but alas, I didn't have any.  The recipe makes two loaves.  My modifications make it just sweet enough but not overly so.  And I tried to pack in as much zucchini as possible and it's absolutely delicious.

While my bread baked, I prepared the hash brown casserole to wait in the fridge until dinner.  After that, I worked on the fluffy fruit salad.  Then I started chopping veggies for my new favorite lunch of choice (based on this recipe):

I added chopped fresh garlic, some extra roasted cauliflower I made last night and a bit of salt and ground pepper.  Instead of vegetable oil, I used EVOO and then I used half white and half whole wheat pasta.  I am so glad I have leftovers in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch.

Thankfully Little Lady took a long morning nap so I was able to get almost all of this completed while she was asleep.  My back ached when I was done and I was sure ready to sit down, but it feels nice to get a lot accomplished in one day.  And I was very happy to sit and enjoy my tea time snack today....

Hope you'll DIY and give one of these recipes a try.


1 comment:

  1. Dad loved the veggie pasta. Well, we all did, but especially Dad. ;)