We’re a one zucchini family

Some mornings I wake up and decide what I want the day to be like. Sundays are challenging at times. Chris leaves  early for meetings at church and it is up to me to get myself and 4 kids ready for church and out the door by 8:35. It takes at least 15 minutes to get them out the door and buckled in the van…in the summer.  I don’t think much more needs to be said about why Sundays can be a challenge.

I woke up this morning knowing I was not going to yell (that usually starts when that 1.5 hours I had to get ready passes by in  30 minutes and leaves me 5 minutes to get 4 kids dressed, find their shoes, get them to the van and remember to put my shirt on that I’m  “ironing” in the drier.) I did well this morning. I even gathered my children for a prayer before I threatened them with their lives asked then to get in the van. That was a first! I hope to do more of it.

Church was great today, as usual. I was even able to go to Relief Society meeting while the presidency and young women took over primary. It’s nice to get away from the kids for a bit and enjoy conversations with adult women. Imagine that!

I’m no good at fasting but tried today. The first Sunday of the month is fast and testimony meeting. No breakfast for me. The kids had some left over “brownies” that I made yesterday. I changed the recipe up a little but these Banana-Coconut Bars were really yummy.

Banana-Coconut Bars

1/4 cup silken tofu, lite or regular ( I used firm tofu…don’t laugh it’s all i had. Just beat it with the mixer as long as you can and it will get smooth crumbly)
3/4 cup brown sugar or Sucanat (brown sugar)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon rum (or 1/2 teaspoon rum extract)(I used maple…YUMMM)
2 large bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour(I used whole wheat…next time I will try white)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sweetened flake coconut

For topping:
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the top I just sprinkled my pre-made cinnamon sugar over it.

Preheat oven to 350F and oil or spray a 13×9-inch baking dish.

Mash or blend the tofu until smooth. Add the sugar and blend with a fork until creamy. Add the vanilla, rum, and mashed bananas, and stir well.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the coconut. Make a well in the middle and pour in the banana mixture. Stir only enough to moisten the flour (over-stirring makes them tough). Pour into the baking dish and put into the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.

Remove from the oven and while warm, cut into bars. Sprinkle the mixture of powdered sugar and cinnamon over the bars, reserving some to sprinkle onto the serving platter. Remove each bar and put it on the platter.

Gone in less than 24 hours!

For lunch I made another Curry-Coleslaw Cucumber sandwich.

Arnold’s Multi Grain Sandwich Thin
Layer of sliced cukes
Handful of baby spinach
Huge scoop of the curry coleslaw I made a few days ago. I’ll post that recipe soon.

Chris enjoyed his too.

After lunch I went to check on some of the zucchini. Chris picked a big one yesterday so I knew there were more. I came back in with 13 zucchini. Dinner??

I had seen a recipe I wanted to try so I started to search. WHY?? don’t I bookmark recipes I want to try? An hour later I found it…right where I knew it was. Well, it was worth the search cause it was a hit. Chris raved and thanked me for all the effort I’ve been putting into feeding our family better meals. It made me start to think about why I started this change.

First, I wanted to lose weight. And lose it in a healthy way…not by cutting out my meals so I can eat chocolate chip cookies all day.

I wanted to feel better…and THAT I do!

I wanted to stop eating so many boxed dinners and processed foods. And Burger King…I used to eat there at least once a week…3 times some weeks.

I was really inspired when we took our family camping trip to Moosehead Lake. As we were driving down the dirt roads to the camp ground started listening to a nutrition show on Dr Radio. I’ll have to do my research and figure out who it was but she was interviewing an author of a cookbook. Something along the lines of a southern comfort food gone healthy vegetarian cookbook. It’s bugging me I can’t remember…I will figure it out. The author said something along the lines of “if you can make a dead bird taste good you can makes vegetables taste better” It is so true. My meals have tasted so much better since I’ve started planning the meal around a vegetable rather than a pound of ground beef. It was a turning point.

I also have a friend who started a blog about her experience with CSA. This post helped confirm what I needed to do. I haven’t joined the CSA but I am not buying processed boxed foods. When I get groceries I leave with a cart full of veggies and fruits. I also have my gardens that are giving me an abundance to work with…such as those massive zucchini.

I had to start using them up and I remembered seeing a recipe that I thought I could adapt a bit. Found it on Katheatsrealfood.com

Summer Squash Gratin

  • 2 medium squash
  • 2 medium zucchini (or one giant one!)
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2/3C shredded cheese
  • 1/4C panko bread crumbs
  • basil, salt, pepper, oil

Directions are on the post.

I used a giant zucchini. I also diced up half a block of firm tofu into tiny chucks and sauteed it up with the garlic. I didn’t mix it in with the cheese and tofu garlic mix but layered them separately in the dish.

More of an after shot.

It was DELISH! The kids didn’t care too much for it but they loved the couscous I served with it.

12 more huge zucchini are sitting on my counter…Time to cut, blanch and freeze!

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