Going Healthier

I have two main food-related goals for the year:
1) Get all of us eating more fruits and veggies (not such a problem for Island Girl who will literally eat anything, but a HUGE problem for the rest of the Island Family).

2) Incorporate one meat-less meal a week. This should help in the eating more fruits and veggies category. Island Dad will just have to suck it up and deal with it. He'll thank me in the end, right?

So, tonight was my first go at the meat-less meal (not vegan, mind you, just no meat).

From Taste of Home Magazine, we tried out Black Bean Cakes with Mole Salsa.

1 can (15 oz. Black Beans), rinsed and drained
1 egg, beaten
1 cup shredded zucchini (1 small zucchini)
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin

Salsa Ingredients
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
3 Tbsp. grated chocolate
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 to 2 tsp. minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 tsp. honey.

In a small bowl, mash beans. Add the egg, zucchini, bread crumbs, cheese, chili powder, salt, baking powder and cumin; mix well. Shape into six patties; brush both sides with oil. Place on a baking sheet.

Broil 3-4 inches from the heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until a thermometer reads 160*.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine all salsa ingredients. Serve with black bean cakes.

My modifications: 

I inadvertently left out the baking powder and cumin. Would not have known a difference at all, though they were likely more dense without the baking powder. Even without the cumin, these were still VERY flavorful, especially when eaten with the salsa.

In the salsa, I left out the chipotle peppers (I have not been able to eat them at all since I was pregnant with Island Boy 3 years ago). I also left out the cilantro, mostly because I can't ever use it all up when I buy it, and also because Island Nanny doesn't care for cilantro. The salsa was still plenty amazing without either one, and Island Boy even managed to eat a few bites of "chocolate tomatoes" and "chocolate peppers". And this is a child who NEVER eats raw vegetables (I "forgot" to tell him that there was zucchini in the "cakes"....oops!)

Now, I did also over-buy on the zucchini. So, I made Zucchini Sweet Potato bread!
I based my recipe off of the zucchini bread recipe from the Joy of Cooking (Rombauer, Becker, & Becker, 2006, p. 628).

Zucchini Sweet Potato Bread
1.25 all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups grated zucchini  (squeezed of excess moisture)

Preheat oven to 350*. Combine first four ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, eggs, sweet potatoes, vanilla, and salt. Blend well. Stir in the dry ingredients. Stir in zucchini with a few swift strokes.

Pour into a greased 9 in. x 5 in. loaf pan. Bake 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.

With the addition of sweet potatoes, this turned out amazingly moist, and so, so yummy!


  1. We do a lot of meatless meals. It's just healthy and economical. There are tons of good recipes, and with most of them I don't feel like you miss the meat a bit.

  2. We started doing meatless for most of the week now. It really is not as bad as Jeff thought it would be! Hope Island Dad likes it in the end :)