Parmesan Zucchini Dippers

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I never ate zucchini very much at all until I moved to Turkey. It’s such a fixture in the Turkish diet that I now eat it almost every day. In addition to being able to be eaten raw in salads, spirilized into a pasta, or soaked in a citrus sauce, zucchini is relatively mild in flavor and is thus very versatile in the kitchen when cooked. Baked, fried, boiled in a soup, or broiled, it’s hard to get bored of this vegetable. It pairs well with mostly everything! This recipe uses Parmesan cheese and oregano to season the zucchini and tomato sauce for serving in order to satisfy a pizza craving, without the bread, bulk and guilt. A pizza snack.

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There are so many reasons why this dish glows.

Zucchini: has only 36 calories and 10% of the recommended daily allowance of dietary fiber in just one cup, lowers cholesterol by attaching to bile acids and aiding in digesting fat, contributes to “regularity”, prevents cancer with its high antioxidant content, aids prostate health, is high in manganese (19% of the recommended daily allowance in one cup), lowers blood pressure, is anti-inflammatory with its vitamin A and C content, and prevents heart attack and stroke.

Parmesan Zucchini Dippers

by Aylin @ Glow Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchinis
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil, enough to evenly cover zucchini disks
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • Dash of salt and pepper

Instructions

Begin by slicing the zucchini width-wise into 1/4-inch-thick disks.

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Place on a baking sheet covered with extra-virgin olive oil. Brush the exposed sides of the disks with oil so that both sides are evenly covered.

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The olive oil will help the Parmesan cheese to stick to the surface.

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In a small bowl filled with the Parmesan cheese, press both sides of the zucchini so that each has a thin layer of flakes.

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Just like this:

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Repeat this for each disk, one at a time, and place them back on the baking sheet.

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Bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until the Parmesan has melted and browned to a near crisp.

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Season with oregano, salt and pepper while still hot and serve with your favorite warmed-up tomato sauce for dipping.

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Enjoy!

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Quinoa Cakes & Flax Egg Tutorial

Have you ever made a flax egg? Sounds kind of strange, but many vegan recipes call for a flax egg to replace a real egg. I’ve never made one until very recently and it had always sounded weird and complicated to do, but it takes a mere minutes and the process comes in handy whenever I want to up the glow of any dish I’m making. Like quinoa cakes with homemade ketchup!

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Before we get to the quinoa cakes, let’s get the glow down:

Flax seeds: fight diabetes, has a high amount of cancer-protective compounds lignans (up to 800 times the amount as in any tested plant food) and alpha linolenic acid, fights constipation with its soluble and insoluble fiber content (one ounce of flax provides 32% of the US daily allowance of fiber), combats inflammation with its Omega-3 essential fatty acids, prevents menopausal symptoms with its estrogen-like phyoestrogens, fights heart disease by reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol, boosts the immune system, improved Alzheimer’s symptoms, and helps brain function and overall mood.

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Quinoa Cakes

Before preparing the quinoa cakes, make yesterday’s recipe. For the quinoa cakes, all you have to do is add 2 more ingredients to the Rainbow Quinoa Salad: 1 flax egg and 3 tbsp of oat flour.

For the flax egg:

Take one tablespoon of flax seeds, grind them up, put them into a bowl with 3 tablespoons of water. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes.

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You will notice that the water congeals and becomes jelly-like. Almost like an egg white.

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That was easier to do than I thought!

For the quinoa cakes:

Add the flax egg to the Rainbow Quinoa Salad.

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Fold in the oat flour. If you have oats, simple food process the oats until they are fine like flour.

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Mix the quinoa thoroughly with the other ingredients. Shake into little palm cup-sized patties. Place delicately on a baking sheet, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, or until the patties hold together and are crispy on the outside.

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When they are finished cooking, they should look like this:

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Serve on a plate with some homemade ketchup to dip. Enjoy!

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Grab and dip!

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Hot Second Homemade Ketchup

This simplified homemade ketchup, though an accompaniment, deserves a post of its own, only because it replaces an otherwise sugar and salt-intense alternative, which we could all do without. But, truth be told, many of us can’t – ketchup is a side piece to many of our favorite grub. What’s a burger without it? Subpar. Hotdog? Meh. While living in Germany, I remember dousing everything I ate for the first 2 or 3 months in an ocean of ketchup, because I felt like there wasn’t enough oomph to anything I ate. Once I got used to the simpler palette, I no longer needed the ketchup overdose to be satisfied, but I still love the taste and have always wanted to recreate a healthier version of it. However, if I’m going to make ketchup myself, it sure as hell better be easy as 1,2,3. And it is!

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So here it goes. And, for the sake of all that glows, this is the dish on ketchup’s most salient component.

Tomatoes: are an abundant source of antioxidants (especially lycopene, which is enhanced by slight heating) protecting against prostate, cervical, stomach, pharynx, oesophageal, breast and mouth cancers, reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and tryglycerides in the blood, are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium and iron, counter the effects of cigarette smoke with its coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid content, improve vision, keep the gut healthy, lower hypertension, alleviate diabetes, contribute to healthy sin, prevent urinary tract infections, and prevent gallstones.

So, yeah. Tomatoes are no joke. Keep dipping…

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Homemade Vegan Ketchup

by Aylin @ Glow Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (or agave)
  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Easy as 1,2,3.

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Serve in a small dipping bowl or cup.

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And serve with just about anything, but most notably – fries.

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No proper recipe needed here. Simply cut 1-2 sweet potatoes into sticks, season with salt and pepper, coat with olive oil, and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, or until they are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Before cooking, you can also season them with garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, or any other spice that tickles your fancy.

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And voila!

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Enjoy!

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Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Pink Cauliflower Dip

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Sometimes the only thing that makes  a vegetable appealing is everything…but it. A flavorful dressing, sauce, or dip can make the difference between a blah, force-fed meal and one that you inhale in 5 minutes flat. This dip ensures the latter.

I hate cooking with cauliflower and broccoli. Sure, I love their taste (nothing beats a broccoli and cheese [and lots of it] casserole), but they’re tough, often a hit-or-miss in terms of cooking properly, and can get messy when preparing.

But, I found that by steaming in a covered saucepan with only 1-inch deep water boiling at the bottom, cooks these cruciferous vegetables quickly and hassle-free.

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I either eat them as such, seasoned with salt, pepper, nooch (nutritional yeast), and butter or I puree them to make something a bit more creative.

Pink Cauliflower Dip

by GK

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, steamed
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives (leave some for garnish)
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 roasted beet
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Tonight, I tossed the cooled-down, steamed cauliflower (an entire head) with 1/2 roasted beet, 1 tbsp chopped chives, 2 tbsp chopped basil, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp mustard, the juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper and 1/4 cup of high-quality extra-virgin olive oil.

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The texture is creamy, but light. The taste has an overtone of “what is that?!” (but totally in a good way). The mustard cuts the neutrality of the cauliflower and the garlic – to say nothing of its stellar color – gives it enough oomph to make it gather a crowd on any dinner table or appetizer spread at a party.

This recipe’s flavors are more pronounced when cold, but it pairs wonderfully with white fish or used as a thicker salad dressing for otherwise uninspired greens.

My dip was in good company, aside some broccoli that had been steamed and cooked with garlic. Garnish with chives.

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Enjoy this versatile dip!

xo Aylin