When relaying the story of how I burned my nose, I mentioned that I was salvaging some vegetables. What I didn’t explain was that I had to come up with several recipes on the fly to salvage a whole bunch of fruit and veggies. My family had been on a fruit and veggie fast. We soon decided (three days into the fifteen day trial) that we simply couldn’t live without grains, legumes, and nuts. So I had to repurpose a lot of produce.
That’s where Mark Bittman‘s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian iPhone app came in extremely helpful. I own the cookbook, but it is still in storage in Virginia, so last fall I bit the bullet and paid the $5 for the app. Most I’ve ever paid for an app, and totally worth it. But I digress.
On the app, you can search for things by ingredient, meal type, keyword, etc. So I just started punching in all the fruits and veggies I wanted to find creative ways to preserve. I’ll try to share the things I made over the next couple of days.
By far, even better than the vegetable broth, I think, were the zucchini and walnut muffins. It came from the “Fruit-and-Nut or Vegetable-and Nut Bread” recipe on the app (or in the book), using the instructions to modify it into muffins.I doubled the recipe, mixed the batter, and threw them into the oven. I pulled them out thinking they looked a little more yellow than when my Lita (Cuban grandma) makes zucchini bread. I let them cool and moved on to other things (like burning my nose while making vegetable broth).
My dad came home and I offered him a muffin. He took a bite and said, “Wow, these are good. Even better than Lita’s zucchini bread.” I looked at him in shock. To say something is better than my Lita’s cooking or baking is a bold statement of culinary excellence.
I finished up my cooking and cleaning in the kitchen and finally grabbed for a muffin. Now, I’m not one to brag too much about how things I cook turn out. But as soon as I bit into that muffin, the first thing I thought was “oh my goodness, these are the best muffins I’ve ever had.”
I made 24 of these muffins on Friday. I’d offer you one, but between me and my two parents, we’ve eaten all but one (and I’m sure that last one will be someone’s breakfast tomorrow). Thanks Mark Bittman, I can’t wait to try this recipe with other vegetables too.
Buy the app. Or the cookbook. The food is good.