Top Secret Chocolate Mini Muffins (Secret Ingredients: Zucchini & Avocado)


I got gorgeous bright big green zukes from the farmer’s market and in my endeavor to make as many creative and clever dishes for my family, I came up these fantastically moist, super chocolate-y, extra healthy, kid friendly muffins with not just one secret ingredient – but two! Zucchini + avocado. It’s not because I want to hide healthy things in chocolate. These muffins are genuinely delicious!

makes 40 mini muffins

1 cup grated zucchini
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 scanty cup vegan sugar (I used non-GMO beet sugar)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 regular size avocado
1/2 scanty cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 flax eggs (1 flax egg = 1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water)

Using a box grater, grate the zucchini and place it into a strainer over a bowl. Salt with 1 teaspoon of salt and stir around. Let sit for at least 15 minutes if not longer and press out the water.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Make flax eggs and set aside. Mash the avocado.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl and mix lightly with a fork to combine. Add the zucchini, avocado, water, vanilla extract and flax eggs. Using a hand mixer, mix well until batter forms.

Use a small ice cream scooper to spoon the batter into the muffin tins. Bake for 25 minutes. Enjoy!

Tricolor Quinoa Salad Topped with Avocado, Radishes & Toasted Pumpkin Seeds


This salad is inspired by the Stuffed Avocado on the menu at Candle 79. In my version, I add cooked leeks and spring garlic to the zucchini and peas. The toasted pumpkin seeds and sliced radishes add something extra special but it’s the fresh lemon juice that makes it lunch perfection. Yum!

2 cups COOKED tricolor (or white) quinoa
1 leek
1 spring garlic
1 medium zucchini
1 cup frozen green peas
Sea salt, to taste

Toasted pumpkin seeds
Sliced radishes
Fresh lemon juice

To get about 2 cups of quinoa, cook 1 cup of uncooked quinoa. You might have some left over. Set aside when done or even better make it ahead of time.

Prep your mise en place. Dice the leek (and clean it well), the spring garlic, and the zucchini. Start by adding the leeks to the pan with a little water and when the leeks start to soften, add the garlic. Next, add the zucchini and a little water. Add the green peas and a little more water. Cook until bright. Season with a pinch of sea salt.

Mix the quinoa and the vegetables together.

Eat the quinoa salad just like this or top it with diced avocado, toasted pumpkin seeds, sliced radishes, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the top. Enjoy!

Strawberry Guacamole


This is a sweet and refreshing guacamole. Serve with toasts, chips, or salad.

1 avocado
1 dozen strawberries *
Red onion
Fresh cilantro *
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Dice the avocado. Hull the strawberries and cut in half (or if very big, cut into quarters.)

Small dice the red onion and chop the cilantro. Use as much as you want.

Place everything into a big mixing bowl and gently mix together. Add the lemon juice a a pinch of salt. Taste and adjust lemon and salt. Enjoy!

* CSA Week #4

Avocado, Capers & Pickled Red Onions on Toast


I love making my own pickled onions and we love them on this toast. I wish I could take credit for this combo but Martha Stewart thought of it first. It is outstanding and so easy to make. Lunch is ready in the time it takes to toast bread.

makes 3 toasts

1 avocado
The zest of 1/2 lemon
Pickled Red Onions
3 pieces of bread

Toast the bread. Mash the avocado and zest the lemon. Mix together with a dash of salt. Spread the avocado on the toast and top with capers and pickled onions. Enjoy!