Sunday, March 22, 2015


Using zucchini as a substitute for pasta noodles or cucumber as a substitute for vermicelli noodles is one of the options used by people who are reducing their consumption of grains.  To make zucchini or cucumber look like noodles you either have to use a julienne peeler or one of the gadgets being sold in your favourite kitchen store.  I do have a julienne peeler in the kitchen drawer but the temptation to try a spiral slicer was too great to overlook.

I have been wanting to try to make zucchini noodles for a while and while at one of my favourite kitchen stores yesterday I went looking for a spiral slicer and purchased one.  There are a number of different products on the market and I bought a simple hand crank slicer.  The slicer has four different widths depending on the thickness you want.

The picture doesn't capture the hand crank coming out from the top of the container.  It is simple tool to use and will create a bit of fun for me in using different vegetables in recipes.

The zucchini noodles in the colander is from one medium sized zucchini.  I used two zucchinis to make the noodles.


Using two zucchinis, julienne or spiral slice them into noodle like strands.  Place them into a large colander and salt them.  I used over half a teaspoon of salt.  Toss the zucchini noodles so that they are well coated.  Let the colander sit in the sink for about 30 minutes.  The salt will make the zucchini sweat and draw out the moisture.  After thirty minutes rinse the noodles thoroughly in the colander with cold running water.  Let the noodles sit in the colander for about five minutes.  

Place the noodles on a few sheets of paper towels or a clean dish towel and damp dry them to remove excess moisture.  If you have the time, you can place the noodles, uncovered, in the colander and place in the fridge for up to two hours.  This will help dry them out.  They can also be stored for a few days in a covered container in the fridge if you are not using them right away.  I found the tip about letting the zucchini noodles dry in the fridge from a cookbook "Well Fed 2" by Melissa Joulwan.  She has a number of great recipes and wonderful tips in her cookbook.

Heat a non-stick pan on medium high heat.  Saute them for several minutes.  Remove them from the stove and add to the hot pasta sauce you are using.  Or you can add a bit of flavoured olive oil to the noodles while they are still in the pan.  You can also add some shredded Parmesan cheese just before removing them from the pan for a simple pasta dish.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


While at Costco today, one of the samples being given out was a type of breakfast cookie.  There are a number of variations of breakfast cookies and some are more healthier than others.  The DH was slightly tempted in buying a package of these cookies but I told him that I would make a batch this afternoon.

The breakfast cookie reminds me of a hermit cookie.  A hermit cookie includes the usual flour, oatmeal, butter, sugar, eggs, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and dried fruit.  A breakfast cookie can include most of the same ingredients but some of the dried fruit ingredients are interchanged with seeds, nuts, chocolate chips, and coconut.  There are also breakfast cookies that are flourless, no eggs, coconut oil instead of butter, dates exchanged for the sugar and so on.

The cookies can be made gluten free and vegan friendly if desired.  I didn't add the cranberries or raisins.  I used splenda instead of sugar and oil instead of butter or margarine.  Because I used oil the cookies are more crumbly.  I would have preferred to have used butter or margarine but didn't.  Lessons learned.  Regardless, the cookies are very good and will be eaten with pleasure.

Mixing batter in the bowl.

I experimented and used two different kind of liners to bake the cookies.

Cooling before sampling begins.


1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup ground flax seed
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup softened butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar or splenda
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup raisins or cranberries or half and half
1/2 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a small bowl mix the flour, flax seed, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  In a separate larger bowl mix together the wet ingredients.  Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and combine the cookie batter.  Using the mixing bowl from the flour mixture, combine the oatmeal, chocolate chips, cranberries, seeds and coconut.  Mix well.  Add the oatmeal mixture to the cookie batter and combine but be careful to not over do it.

Using non stick baking sheets, you can line them with parchment paper or silicon baking sheets if desired.  Take a tablespoonful size of batter, less than a golf ball size and drop onto the baking sheet.  I first shaped the golf ball size batter with my hands before putting it on the baking sheet and then slightly flattened it.  Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, remove, let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes and then place the cookies on a cooling rack.  Makes about 36 cookies.