Monday, July 20, 2009

Veggie Slices (vegetarian dinner #3)

I decided to make quite a meal for dinner on Sunday. I decided to make a Zucchini Cheesecake recipe that Gretchen and I saw last week on 101 Cookbooks. Gretchen made it last week and I couldn't wait to try it out. I also read tons of cookbooks that my co-worker Jenn brought in last week and found a Super Salad Pizza from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I first started on the Zucchini Ricotta Cheesecake (adapted from 101 cookbooks)

First, I shredded the zucchini using a box grater and then squeezed out any extra liquid in a strainer. I also used a springform cake pan to make it easier to get out when its done!

-3 medium to large zucchinis, unpeeled & grated
-1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
-1/2 cup freshly shredded Mozzerela
-2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
- zest of one lemon
-2 large eggs, well beaten
-1/4 cup Boursin cheese, mixed in

Preheat oven to 325F degrees, racks the middle. Butter/oil a 7-inch springform pan.

In a strainer, toss the shredded zucchini with the salt and let sit for ten minutes. Now aggressively squeeze and press out as much moisture as you can. Set aside.

In the meantime, combine the ricotta cheese, Mozzerela cheese, garlic, chives and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Stir in the eggs and continue mixing until well combined. Now stir in the shredded zucchini. Fill the springform pan with the ricotta mixture. Place in the oven and bake for sixty minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool five minutes, then release the cake from its pan. Then if you have the time, you can let it cool, otherwise, dig in like we did!

I think this was very good, but I think it needed something else, maybe something spicy or sun-dried tomatoes or more salt? hmmm, but I still liked it.

At the same time I made a Super Salad Pizza.


- 1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package (1 sheet) frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 3 cups torn mixed greens
- 1/2 Red Pepper, sliced
- 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 4-ounce container (1/2 cup) semisoft cheese with garlic and herbs
- 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
- 1 to 2 teaspoons milk (I used skim)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I probably used half this amount)
- 1/2 of a medium medium avocado, peeled and sliced


1. On a lightly floured surface roll pastry into a 12-inch square; cut into a 12-inch circle. Place pastry on a 12-inch pizza pan or large baking sheet. Use a fork to generously prick pastry. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden (pastry will shrink). My oven was at 325 so I had to cook this a little longer.

2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl combine the greens, red pepper and tomatoes.

3. For dressing, in a small bowl stir together the semisoft or cream cheese, mustard, and enough milk to make of drizzling consistency. Drizzle half of the dressing over the greens mixture, tossing to coat.

4. Sprinkle 1-1/2 cups of the mozzarella cheese evenly over the crust. Bake until the cheese melts. Spoon greens mixture evenly over melted cheese. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for a few minutes more or until cheese melts. Arrange avocado slices on top. Cut into wedges. Serve at once with remaining dressing.

And here is my lovely dinner plate! Delicious!

In addition (because I couldn't stop with just two dishes), I also made Healthy Cookies adapted from 101 Cookbooks.

-2 large bananas, ripe, and well mashed
-1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
-1/2 cup of olive oil
-2 cups of oats
-1/2 cup of flax seed
-1/3 cup of coconut
-1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
-1 teaspoon of baking powder
-1/2 bag of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, flax seed, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips. The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don't worry about it. (This was a great tip, because I was getting worried!)Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes.

I REALLY liked these and will definitely make these again. I do think they needed something else to make it more sticky- maybe egg, maybe also some sugar to make them a bit sweeter. Dave thought they tasted 'healthy' and they would taste better for breakfast, which was a good idea. I ate one for breakfast and I ate the a slice of the Zucchini Cake and a slice of the Pizza Salad for lunch!

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