Making the Most of Summer

by Nina Z


How is it already the end of August!? While I've enjoyed my summer Fridays and the extended evening light, I'm ready to say goodbye to stifling hot subway stations and hello to my sweaters and booties.

As I wait for cooler days, I'm still going to enjoy one of my favorite parts of summer: farmer's market produce. 

I needed to make sure none of this went to waste - I'm only one person and can only eat so much kale - so, I whipped up food I could stick in the freezer:

- Kale pesto with basil, walnuts + goat's milk pecorino
- Zucchini pancakes with chives, green onion + lemon zest

I'm actually not a huge fan of zucchini, but they looked so cute and perfectly green... I couldn't pass them up! And frying them in coconut oil couldn't make them taste worse, right?

These little cakes are super simple to make, AND they're gluten- and dairy-free, so they're a hit with all your friends who can't eat this and that.

Here's what you'll need for 14-16 small pancakes:

  • 2-3 small/medium zucchinis, grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt (for zucchini)
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 2 TBS green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 TBS chives, finely chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon + 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt + pepper (+ red pepper flake) to taste
  • coconut oil (for the pan)

Place grated zucchini in a colander, sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt over zucchini and toss to coat. Let zucchini sit for 10 minutes to let some water drain out. Wring zucchini out with paper towel, fine towel, or cheese cloth. You may need to do this in batches.

Combine zucchini, eggs, green onions, chives, lemon zest + juice, and salt + pepper in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.

Heat coconut oil in a large pan (preferably deep to avoid splattering) over medium heat. Make sure coconut oil is covering bottom of the pan.

Spoon in 2-3 TBS batter and flatten with spatula. Cook for 3 minutes until golden brown, and flip. Take out of the pan and place on a plate/pan lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil. Repeat until you're all out of batter!

I'm not gonna lie... I ate a few standing over the pan while I was cooking. But, the rest I let cool, wrapped tightly in foil, stored in a ziplock bag, labeled, and stuck in the freezer for future lazy/easy meals. To defrost, take the pancakes out of the freezer in the morning, leave in the fridge, and they should be set to heat up that evening.

I did the same with the pesto: I separated into batches, kept one in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. And then I enjoyed a maybe-too-large bowl of pasta after a busy day of work, gym + errands:

Here's to spending more Saturdays at the farmers market, and reaping the benefits even weeks later!


Reflections

by Nina Z


It feels like I blinked and the trees went from lush green to tinged with yellow and orange, and the air shifted from hot to cool and crisp. Sweaters and boots and apples, oh my!

The last two months were a whirlwind, barely leaving me time to get to the gym, let alone spend time creating delicious treats in the kitchen. Things are settling down - kind of - so I'm taking this opportunity to reflect on the end of summer and the beginning of fall. What better way to do this than through pictures? Make sure to check out the comments in each picture - there may be a quick recipe hiding there!

My first lobster roll on Fire Island was a delicious success!

My first lobster roll on Fire Island was a delicious success!

I was so excited to get my hands on a fresh coconut finally at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, BK, NY!

I was so excited to get my hands on a fresh coconut finally at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, BK, NY!

Exploring Madison Square Eats - Spicy Pork Bibimbap left my mouth on fire, but so worth it

Exploring Madison Square Eats - Spicy Pork Bibimbap left my mouth on fire, but so worth it

The easiest pancakes you'll EVER make: 1 banana (mashed), 1 egg, 1/2 cup old fashioned oats, splash of vanilla, and a splash of (almond) milk; mix well in a bowl; heat griddle on low-medium heat and cook pancakes until no longer liquid on the inside; high protein, high fiber, low effort!

The easiest pancakes you'll EVER make: 1 banana (mashed), 1 egg, 1/2 cup old fashioned oats, splash of vanilla, and a splash of (almond) milk; mix well in a bowl; heat griddle on low-medium heat and cook pancakes until no longer liquid on the inside; high protein, high fiber, low effort!

The famous apple cake, the first one of the year! Head over to www.smittenkitchen.com and look for Mom's Apple Cake. My only variation was to add the zest of 1 lemon and 1-2 TBS fresh grated ginger to the batter.

The famous apple cake, the first one of the year! Head over to www.smittenkitchen.com and look for Mom's Apple Cake. My only variation was to add the zest of 1 lemon and 1-2 TBS fresh grated ginger to the batter.

Brunchin' in Gloucester, MA at Sugar Magnolia's. That's multi-grain bread with egg, arugula, goat cheese and fig preserves. I definitely have to re-create this masterpiece.

Brunchin' in Gloucester, MA at Sugar Magnolia's. That's multi-grain bread with egg, arugula, goat cheese and fig preserves. I definitely have to re-create this masterpiece.

The Blue Stone Pizzeria in Waterbury, VT. Local beer, local produce, fresh wood-fired pizza... perfection. There's three different kinds of mushrooms, local goat cheese and basil on that glorious pizza! Switchback to wash it all down.

The Blue Stone Pizzeria in Waterbury, VT. Local beer, local produce, fresh wood-fired pizza... perfection. There's three different kinds of mushrooms, local goat cheese and basil on that glorious pizza! Switchback to wash it all down.

Unbelievably spoiled and grateful to have eaten at The Hen of the Wood in Burlington, VT. This was only a portion of the meal: grilled octopus, romaine salad with sheep's milk pecorino, radishes, and a walnut vinaigrette. If you have the chance to go, GO!

Unbelievably spoiled and grateful to have eaten at The Hen of the Wood in Burlington, VT. This was only a portion of the meal: grilled octopus, romaine salad with sheep's milk pecorino, radishes, and a walnut vinaigrette. If you have the chance to go, GO!

Visiting the new tasting room at Switchback Brewery. We were told to sample from the bottom of the state to the top: the classic Switchback Unfiltered Ale, a new Brown Ale, a new Citra Pils, and a Roasted Red Ale. The classic will always be my favorite.

Visiting the new tasting room at Switchback Brewery. We were told to sample from the bottom of the state to the top: the classic Switchback Unfiltered Ale, a new Brown Ale, a new Citra Pils, and a Roasted Red Ale. The classic will always be my favorite.

Spent my last few hours in Vermont walking and taking in the foliage with one of my closest friends, Sara. It looks like a candy bowl of leaves!

Spent my last few hours in Vermont walking and taking in the foliage with one of my closest friends, Sara. It looks like a candy bowl of leaves!

Feeling thankful for the food, the friends, and the family during the shift of the seasons.