Thursday, June 26, 2014

Baked Zucchini Chips




I received a phone call from a dear friend to ask about a recipe of baked zucchini I served over a year ago.  Wow!  That felt good, I made an impression from that long ago!  That evening I served baked zucchini, beets and sweet potato chips.  I used various seasonings that I liked.  The key here is to use what you love.  Cumin, garlic salt, Mrs. Dash, Tony's, paprika, sesame seeds etc., whatever inspires you.  Most importantly, slice them thin!  Mandolin is imperative, unless you have the patience of Job.  I clearly do not.  God Bless my scary friend the mandolin!  I spent big bucks on you to get the very best and you rewarded me one Easter by taking off part of my thumb.  Lesson learned, BE CAREFUL, use the guard!!






So here my dear friend, just for you!

Baked Zucchini Chips
The Chef in My Head
  • zucchinis (beets, sweet potatoes etc.), sliced very thin with a mandolin 
  • cooking oil spray (I used olive oil)
  • salt (or any seasoning you prefer, I love Tony's)
Preheat oven to 225°F. 
Thinly slice the zucchini. I used the thinnest setting on my mandolin. Place the zucchini slices onto a baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper. Very lightly spray with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt or seasonings of your choice
Depending on your oven, bake for 35-45 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn. When done, remove chips from baking sheet and place them on a plate and let cool.

Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: serves 2-4



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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Super Easy Broiled Salmon

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We have been eating a ton of wild caught salmon filets lately and loving it!  For someone that grew up fishing the Gulf of Mexico this is astounding.  

Here's why!

  • Research suggests that eating oily fish once or twice a week may increase your lifespan by more than two years, and reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 35 percent
  • Compared to those in the lowest percentiles, those with omega-3 blood levels in the highest 20 percent were 27 percent less likely to die of any cause; 40 percent less likely to die of coronary heart disease, and 48 percent less likely to die of an arrhythmia
  • If you want to maximize health benefits from fish, steer clear of farmed fish, particularly farmed salmon, and even more specifically genetically engineered farmed salmon, which may end up being approved within the next two years—especially if you’re seeking to improve your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio
  • The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fat of wild salmon is far superior to farmed. Whereas farmed salmon has a 1-1 ratio of omega-3s and omega-6s (due to its “junk food” diet), the ratio for wild sockeye salmon is between 6 and 9 to 1, which is a more ideal ratio
  • Avoid Atlantic salmon, as salmon labeled "Atlantic Salmon" typicallly comes from fish farms. Look for “Alaskan salmon,” and “sockeye salmon,” as Alaskan sockeye is not allowed to be farmed and is therefore bound to be wild. Source
My daughter gave me this fool-proof, super delicious broiled Salmon recipe.  Trust me, NO ONE can mess this up!!!  It's so easy, it's a tad embarrassing to even devote a post to it, but here it is!!  The key with the perfection of this recipe is that you put the salmon in a COLD oven, then turn it on and set your timer. CANNOT FAIL!!  Comes out perfect, moist and delicious!

Broiled Wild Caught Salmon
The Chef In My Head from Elise Nicole K (amazing woman, mommy, surfer, artist etc)

1 Wild Caught Salmon Filet (your choice of size)
Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
(Or your favorite seasoning, here's mine below!)
Adams Reserve Smokey Sweet Potato

Cover baking sheet with foil for easy clean up.  Lightly spray foil with olive oil and set aside.
Rinse salmon filet, pat dry and place on foil.   Rub a little olive oil on filet and season.

Place baking sheet in COLD oven.  Turn oven to 400 degrees, set timer to 20 minutes!
That's it!  Perfection!


Fantastic with a salad and grilled asparagus and great for your heart!!
Enjoy!













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Spicy Bread & Butter Pickles



Bread and Butter pickles are just a recipe for a sweet sour pickle.  They got the name "bread and butter" during the great depression when fresh cucumbers were eaten for lunch with bread and butter, and a cheap source of what was considered a vegetable back in the day.  Moms could grow the cucumbers, serve them fresh as long as they lasted without refrigeration, but then had to pickle them to make them last all the rest of the year.  In the summer cucumber sandwiches were very popular, thin slices of cucumbers on bread with butter ~ very English.  But what then to do with the leftover garden produce??  Well pickle it of course!!

While we know now that cooking destroys many of the vitamins in any food product, back then they did not know that.  So they used the bread and butter pickle as a substitute for fresh cucumber sandwiches.  Which they seriously thought were nutritious.  On that note, you will notice this recipe calls for removing the pot of sugary/vinegar with the cucumbers in it, from the heat as soon as it comes to a boil.  This, along with the ice bath before hand, helps to insure a crisper pickle.  And speaking of heat, spicy heat that is, these have a good kick to them.  Well Darlin, we are from Texas after all....


Spicy Bread and Butter Pickles
The Chef In My Head


Makes about 12 quarts

22 medium sized cucumbers, but into 1/4 inch slices
6 onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, finely diced
1 orange pepper, finely diced
1 banana pepper, finely diced
2 jalapeño peppers, quartered lengthwise and sliced in thin strips
6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
4 Tbl red pepper flakes
3/4 C pickling and canning salt
3 C apple cider vinegar
5 cups sugar
2 Tbl mustard seed
1-1/2 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp celery seed
2 tsp ground turmeric


Mix sliced cucumbers, peppers, garlic, onion and salt in a large bowl.  Cover all ingredients with water and add ice to the top of the bowl.  Let stand for 3 hours.

In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery ceed, red pepper flakes, cloves and turmeric to a boil.

Rinse and drain the cucumber/vegetable mixture and add to the hot vinegar solution.

Remove from heat just before boiling so that you do not cook your cucumbers.

Fill sterilized jars with the pickles, add jar lids and rims, and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.  New to canning? Click here!

You can eat these right away if you can't help yourself, but they are MUCH better a couple of weeks later!! Great as gifts!!



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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Cacao Coffee Zucchini Cake



I just found this recipe through an old friend on Facebook and with an abundance of fresh zucchini from my garden, I couldn't resist!  Of course, I am not capable of leaving a recipe as it is, I modified it to my liking.  I hope you like it too!  Moist and oh so delicious!  Take the time to click on the links for cacao powder and cacao nibs!  They are an amazing super food with the wonderful taste of pure raw chocolate but soooo much better for you.  I love the nibs in this recipe because they retain their crunch!



Cacao Coffee Zucchini Cake
The Chef In My Head adapted from JF Jules

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded fresh zucchini (approximately 1 zucchini)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (heat until not solid)
  • 1/4 cup brewed organic coffee, cold 
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated raw sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white (straight from my chickens this morning)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/8 cup cacao nibs
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
Preheat oven to 350° F (static) or 325° F (convection). Lightly oil a 9×5 bread pan.
Shred the zucchini using a fine shredding disc on a food processor or a hand shredder. Measure 1 1/2 cups and set aside.
Beat together oil, brewed coffee, sugars, egg and vanilla. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients until incorporated, then whip together until smooth, approximately 1-2 minutes. Stir in the shredded zucchini.
Once the zucchini is integrated, pour into prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center has no wet crumbs on it when removed. Depending on whether your pan is metal or glass, the bake time may be longer or shorter, so repeat the toothpick test if needed.
Remove to cool on a wire rack and remove from pan after cooling for 15 minutes.



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