Zucchini Bread: 7/24/2015: 1 hour

This recipe for paleo zucchini bread had a great flavor, but the texture in my version was off. My family grows our own zucchinis, but sometimes we miss one and the extra watering makes them HUGE and they have a lot of excess moisture. It took me almost 30 minutes to grate the zucchini because it was so large that it ended up making 2 loaves of zucchini bread. Although I tried to squeeze a lot of the moisture out, I should have used the nut milk bag I have to squeeze more of the zucchini water out because this bread turned out WET. I cooked it for almost twice the recommended amount of time until the top of the bread looked perfectly browned, but the inside was still very soggy. The flavor was a perfect combination of cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla, but the texture was so off from normal bread that it was kind of hard to eat.

Next time for this recipe, I would make sure to squeeze the zucchini out with a nut milk bag to strain the liquid out and dry the zucchini out. If this has too much moisture, I could also dry out the zucchini by putting it in the oven at a low temperature for a short amount of time to evaporate some of the water. I would also speed up the time by using the food processor to blend up the zucchini rather than grating it by hand because that was very time consuming. Additionally, I made this without the nuts because my mom doesn’t like nuts, but for the added carbs I would include pecans or walnuts next time (probably pecans because I think they compliment a pumpkin flavor better).

Banana Nut Paleo Muffins: 7/23/2015: 30 minutes

This recipe for banana nut muffins was one of the first times I made a baked good on paleo that both looked and tasted completely normal. The texture for this muffin was perfect, which is unusual because sometimes paleo muffins can have a very spongy texture because of the number of eggs used. It was also really flavorful and I felt like I was eating healthy (which may be deceiving but I’m on paleo so something slightly less healthy is still okay).The nut flavor was somewhat subdued which I liked because I’m not a huge fan of the taste of almonds, and it complimented the banana very well. Also, the muffins were really moist which was great. Overall I would probably incorporate something like raisins and cinnamon next time to step up the flavor and make it taste more like cinnamon raisin bread. This would also be a really good base for a bread in general because although it does have a strong taste the flavors can mesh easily with other ingredients.

Honey Mustard Chicken: 7/22/2015: 1 hour

This recipe is from the magazine Cook in Season by Clean Eating under Baked Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs. The recipe states that it is 45 minutes of hands on cooking time, but because I simplified the recipe to only include the chicken and some sauteed vegetables this only took me 30 minutes of hands on time. I made a large batch of this recipe because we had a lot of chicken in the fridge defrosting that needed to be used, and because we were having a few people over for dinner. I marinated the chicken and cooked the vegetables while my dad cooked the chicken outside. This was my first time touching a raw chicken breast, which was a VERY strange feeling to say the least, but the marinate turned out perfectly. The chicken was very moist and captured both the sourness of the mustard and the sweetness of the honey. I have made this several times since then because it is relatively easy to prepare last minute and it tastes really good with a simple side. I think a saltier side would go better with this dish because there isn’t a lot of salt in this dish (the chicken really only has honey mustard and honey flavor!). I originally only marinated the meat for 4 hours instead of the recommended 8 hours, but with a second trial I found that I liked the chicken better when it was marinated for 8 hours because it absorbed more of the moisture and it had a stronger marinade flavor. The time I included for this was also the time it took me to make this recipe the second time so I could experiment with changing the different marinade time and cooking the chicken in the oven instead of on the barbecue. In general I like the barbecue flavor more because it adds a smokiness to the meat, although the oven helps the chicken retain more of the moisture.