Zucchini Tater Tots.

These are 100% Pinterest-attributed. I was innocently scrolling, they showed up in my feed, my mouth started watering, yadda yadda, and I made these to go with dinner tonight. My favorite part about this recipe is the itty bitty ingredient list. Literally, including salt, you use 4 ingredients. Four. Unless it’s a banana, I rarely eat something with so few ingredients. Both my kids liked ’em, even though I had to convince my six-year-old to chew the whole thing up and swallow before he made his final judgment (thumbs up). Something we didn’t do was let these babies cool on a cooling rack, which probably would’ve allowed them to crunch up. They were pretty crunchy when they were piping hot, but I piled them into a bowl before they had a chance to release their steam. Word to the wise: don’t do that. Even soft, they were still really good, but crunch is good too.¬†

3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, rinsed, and chopped into 1″ pieces

1 large zucchini, grated

2 tbsp high-heat oil (I used avocado oil), divided

Sea salt

Place potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly, and cook until potatoes are just fork tender. A little firmness is good. Drain; set aside to cool slightly. Place shredded zucchini in a thin towel or cheesecloth and squeeze out water until mostly dry. Using your hands, combine zucchini, potatoes, 1 tbsp oil, and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl, mashing potatoes until only small chunks remain. Shape into small 1″ cylinders or rectangles and place on a well-greased cookie sheet. Dab tops with remaining 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Remove from oven and move tots immediately to a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Cornmeal Pancakes.

I looked at my archives (something I should probably do more often, it turns out) and found I have another cornmeal pancake recipe that I claimed was the best ever. It probably is pretty great, but I have zero memory of it. So if you’re just joining the fun, choose what you like or just stick with this one. They both work! This recipe achieves the texture I look for in a cornmeal pancake. I like tasting the graininess of the cornmeal, and the savory quality offset just slightly by the honey is perfect. We ate them with chili like you would eat cornbread with it, but change the setting and they make a great addition to breakfast or an appetizer spread!

2 c cornmeal
2 1/2-3 c boiling water
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 c honey
1/4 c vegetable oil

Dump cornmeal into a large bowl. Slowly pour boiling water over cornmeal, allowing the water to hydrate the granules. Using a spoon, gently stir mixture to make a paste, being sure all the cornmeal is moistened. Allow to sit 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto a well-oiled heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat, spreading the batter out to make a flatter cake. Flip pancakes when slightly browned just around the edges and flatten with the spatula. Cook about 1 minute more and remove to a cooling rack placed on a tray in a warm oven. Serve hot! Can be used as an appetizer with a savory salad on top, or to compliment chili.

Almond and White Bean Hummus.

No tahini? Improvise with almond butter! I like the mild flavor of the white beans and the goodness of raw garlic and olive oil. The almond butter provided the glutamates needed to make this white bean “spread” a true hummus!

 

1 can white beans, rinsed

1 1/2 tsp almond butter

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

3-4 tbsp olive oil

 

In a food processor, blend together beans, almond butter, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper until mostly smooth. Leaving processor running, drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency is achieved, pausing to scrape down sides occasionally. Serve with veggies or as a spread on a sandwich.

Chili Lime White Bean Hummus.

I’m posting this despite the mountain of dishes and 3 loads of laundry calling my name. Because of my bad choices, I require you to make this hummus as soon as possible. It’s positively divine when dipped with tortilla chips. I was a good girl and mostly used green peppers, which are good too. My strongest recommendation is to season this dish using my measurements and then taste, taste, taste! Be sure to adjust to your liking. I shocked myself and added more lime before adding more salt. It was a winning decision! Hummus away!

 

3 cans* navy beans, drained and rinsed 

Juice of 5 limes

1/4 c olive oil

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp sea salt

 

In a blender, combine all ingredients with the exception of the olive oil. Pulse until beans have a smooth texture. Scoop into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil; stir gently until oil is mostly mixed with the beans. Garnish with a sprinkle of chili powder and a lime wedge. Serve with vegetables or chips.

 

*I used 2 c dry navy beans, soaked them overnight, and simmered them for an hour. Then I drained & rinsed them before dumping them into the blender.

Italian Cucumber Sandwiches.

My sister-in-law made these for a family event using cucumbers she grew in her garden. I ate …a lot of them. I loved them. I couldn’t chalk it up to any one thing: was it the fresh and exotic (“Dragon’s Egg”?!) cucumbers she had used? Was it the rye bread? Was I just hungry?? It might have been all of the above. Either way, I highly suggest you add this to your appetizer repertoire, especially if you’re having me over. I’ll help you eat them. All.

 

1 package Party Rye Bread

2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced

1 stick butter, softened

1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened

1 package dry Italian dressing mix

Dried dill

 

Prepare a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Line the cookie sheet with the slices of rye bread. In a small bowl, mix together butter, cream cheese, and dressing mix. Spread about 2 tsp of the cream cheese mixture on each slice of bread. Top each with a cucumber slice and a small sprinkle of dill. Serve immediately or wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Seed Salad.

This is a totally unoriginal recipe, but I have no idea where it came from besides being a family favorite for ages. PLEASE make this. It’s summer! It’s delicious! It’s salad! If you bring it to a party (which I highly recommend you do), I guarantee you won’t have leftovers.

 

Salad:

1 bag cole slaw mix

1 bag broccoli slaw mix

1 lb cooked bacon, broken into small pieces

1/2 c red onion, chopped

1 can Lachoy rice noodles

8 oz salted sunflower kernels

8 oz sliced almonds

 

Dressing:

1/2 c olive oil

6 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp sea salt

6 tbsp white wine vinegar

 

In a large bowl, toss together the salad ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until well-blended. Pour dressing over slaw mix and toss until all the slaw is coated evenly with dressing. Allow to stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving. Stir gently before serving.

Kale Chips.

By now, many people have tried these delectable & healthy delights, but if you haven’t, now’s your chance. I crave kale more than any other food, which means my body must need it. Kale is chock-full of nutrition. I tear leaves of it into soups & throw it into smoothies. Eating it in the form of chips, however, is by far my favorite way to enjoy it. I’ll usually eat a whole batch of it & half of a subsequent one. The basic principle of this recipe is about one tablespoon of olive oil per kale leaf and crunchy, large-grain salt to taste. I love the many different textures I experience in a batch: crunchy, airy, chewy. You MUST try them!

 

3 large kale leaves, rinsed

3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the large, thick stem from the center of each kale leaf; discard stem. Tear leaves into 2″-pieces and place in a medium bowl. Drizzle olive oil and salt over leaves & toss to coat. Arrange leaves in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and eat immediately.