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Spring is here, which means warmer weather and bountiful veggies. Among my favourites is the zucchini. I like the sweetness and how good it can taste even with minimal cooking. This recipe was on my to-make list for a while, so I jumped at the chance when we had a party for a friend who was about to be ordained as priest. Like pikelets, these look best if they are uniform, but if you’re anything like me, I have yet to master the art of uniform blobs of batter in the fry pan. Fear not, these are so delicious I am sure there will be another opportunity to practise my ladelling and flipping skills so that my fritters will be round like the moon.

Recipe Notes:

  • The recipe called for 3 zucchinis, but I used 2.
  • I omitted the shallot, parsley, oregano and nutmeg because I am averse to herbs and spices.
  • The fritters took 8 minutes to cook each side, rather than 1 1/2 minutes.
  • Next time, I would add more flour, because I found the fritters were too soft
  • I served this with homemade┬átzatziki. The flavour pairing is so good!

Zucchini Fritters (from Good Taste Magazine)
Makes 16

3 (about 400g) medium zucchini
75g (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
40g (1/2 cup) parmesan, finely grated
3 shallots, ends trimmed, thinly sliced
1 egg, whisked
1/4 cup fresh continental parsley, chopped
2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 tsp olive oil

Trim the ends from zucchini. Coarsely grate the zucchini. Place in a colander and squeeze out as much excess moisture as possible. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in self-raising flour, parmesan, shallots, egg, parsley, oregano, salt and nutmeg.

Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Drop four 2-tablespoonful measures of zucchini mixture into pan. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with 2 tsp olive oil and remaining zucchini mixture.

Tzatziki

1/2 cucumber, small dice
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced

Mix together and serve with patties. Any leftover can be used as dip.

I find that muesli bars a a quick way to satisfy a rumbling stomach. The only problem is, with the amount of sugar in some of the commercial muesli bars, they should be classified as candy bars. Having said that, I’ve eaten my fair share, and I can’t believe it has taken this long to dawn on me that I should make my own. However, after seeing this recipe, I was enlighted, and proceeded to make healthy, delicious muesli bars without any artificial flavourings and ingredients which I don’t know how to pronounce. These are great for breakfast and as a snack any time of the day.

My recipe is based on Laurie’s
recipe on Carpe Season. I have adapted it to suit what I had in the pantry.

Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

Makes 8 square bars

INGREDIENTS
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cups corn flakes
1/3 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 tablespoons flax meal
1 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds)
1 cup dried fruit ( I used dried apricots and dates)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup maple syrup (I’m a fan of 100% pure maple syrup)
1/4 cup peanut butter (I used natural peanut butter – ie 100% peanuts)
1/4 cup water

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 180c.

Line a square baking tin with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, including the nuts and dried fruit. Mix with a spoon.

In a separate bowl, mix together the maple syrup, peanut batter and water. If the peanut butter is a little stiff, heat the mixture in a saucepan until melted. Pour the wet ingredients over and dry and stir with a wooden spoon.

Pour the granola mixture into the prepared baking pan and press it down with a spoon. Place into the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes.

The granola bars will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.

So I hear you thinking – why am I showing you these boring pieces of flat bread? Don’t be fooled – these tortillas are bursting with flavour. They have come about from me always looking out for quick items I can take to work for breakfast, because I can be fussy in some many ways and this is one of them. I heartily dislike (someone told me never to use the word hate) having cereal and toast for breakfast – which does not leave me with many options.

So I thought of this when I was looking at the supermarket catalogue. Why not tortilla, cheese and hotsauce? Cheesy tortillas is good with soup, but by itself, it can be a little plain, so why not add hotsauce? Oh, I admit it, I know that eating a spicy tortilla at 8am in the morning is not everyone’s idea of breakfast but this is so delicious you may wish to rethink that. Your coworkers may be looking at you strangely as you hold on to your tortilla, but you’ll know you are getting carbs, calcium, protein and eh….capsaicin (found in chilli) – just what you need to start the day. Another great thing is, no washing is needed, as it is all made on the sandwich press. If you really can’t stomach it, they are great for after school, after work, with drinks and anytime you are feeling peckish.

Cheesy Hotsauce Tortilla

2 tortillas
half slice of tasty cheese
A few dashes of hotsauce

1. Turn on sandwich press. Place one tortilla on hotplate (bumpy side down).
2. Break cheese into small pieces and spread evenly on the tortilla. Splash with a few drops of hotsauce and cover with second tortilla.
3. Heat for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted. I like my tortilla to be limp, but if you prefer it to be more crispy, heat for 4-5 minutes.

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