Lemon Zucchini Bread with Lemon Glaze

I’ve been on this obsession to cook bread lately. When I moved into our new place a little over a month ago, the previous tenants had left a bread dish in the cupboard. Being still a young college student without many cooking utensils and baking equipment in the kitchen, I’ve never owned a “fancy” bread dish. Well I took advantage of someone’s trash and made it my treasure. Yes, if you’re wondering, I washed it first! 😛

I’ve utilized the bread dish by making several loaves of the best banana bread ever, and by request from a room-mate zucchini bread came to life. To be honest, I had never had zucchini bread. Do not ask me why, but zucchini + bread just did not seem like a compatible match to me. But, my room-mate insisted so of course, I gave in.

So, I browsed through a couple of recipes online until I stumbled upon a Lemon – Zucchini Bread. YEah, that sounds amazing doesn’t it? I was like…fresh? YEAH! Lemons = Fresh. The perfect way to spice up a traditional Zucchini bread. This also gave me the opportunity to let me rely on natural ingredients for fantastic flavor. There is so much flavor in lemons. The juice..and the ZEST! Zesting a lemon can be a wonderful experience. Not only does it bring beautiful bright color to your dish but it also brings a pleasant lemony aroma to your kitchen that is beyond refreshing.

Overall, this is a recipe I am so glad that I stumbled upon and will definitely be making it in the future. Oh, did I fail to mention it comes with a lemon glaze that is the perfect icing on the cake to this wonderful dish? 😉 Enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups – Flour
  • 2 Tsp – Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp – Salt
  • 2 – Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup – Vegetable Oil
  • 2/3 Cup – Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup – Buttermilk
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Cup – Grated Zucchini
  • For the Glaze: Juice of 1 Lemon/ 1 Cup – Powdered Sugar

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees & Grease your bread pan.
  • In a large bowl, mix your flour, salt, and baking powder.
  • In a medium bowl, beat 2 eggs then add in oil and sugar. Blend well.
  • Add in your buttermilk, lemon juice, lemon zest. Blend well.
  • Then fold in your grated zucchini!
  • Add this mixture to your dry ingredients and mix well, but don’t over-mix!

  • Pour your batter into the bread pan and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  • While the bread is cooling, make your glaze.
  • In a small bowl, mix the juice of 1 lemon with a cup of powdered sugar.
  • Let the glaze set and then serve.

My Week as a Vegetarian

Delightful Discoveries is Vegetarian Friendly!

A class project led to something I once believed would be the ultimate challenge – a vegetarian diet; let’s just say, it didn’t turn out to be much of a challenge at all. Coming from a former lover of meat – that juicy flavorful porterhouse or a zesty lemon pepper chicken – as I’ve grown, my desire of meat has depleted somewhat. As I grow older I notice my strong desire for fresh. I’m quite sure how to explain it; I desire fresh foods from fresh ingredients. Meat lately just seems to be lacking the ability to pack that special punch to my taste buds. Who knows, maybe I’m turned off by the unhealthy facts surfacing and surrounding red meat?

A vegetarian diet was never something I really considered. A past fear of mine always would resurface. . .could I really live without meat? As I’ve grown, of course my fear has decreased.

A class project led to the challenge of a vegetarian diet. I was assigned to either stop, start, or change something within my life for the course of 7 days. Food seems to be a primary factor within my life, why not try a vegetarian diet?? I did allow myself the exception of dairy because I cannot live without cheese and it as my main source of calcium.

Well I went forward with my challenge and guess what?! I was successful! I breezed through my week as a vegetarian, dodging any bothersome obstacles. I was able to really reflect on my diet and eating habits – some of my findings were pretty surprising! I really had no strong desire to consume meat products and I feel great!

While reflecting on my diet and eating habits over my week as a vegetarian, I was able to learn some fascinating facts about myself. Most significantly, the fact that I do not really consume that many meat products. The only meat I really consume is chicken breast; white meat is always better than red meat! For the most part, I was basically already living a semi-vegetarian lifestyle!

The question is now that I’ve experienced a vegetarian lifestyle, should I stick with it? Could I give up meat forever? This is a question that I do not yet have an answer for. When you’re a cooker and an eater like myself, giving up meat may end up with a lack of experiences. So, maybe I am not ready yet? After my week of change, I know that I no longer have a fear of lack of meat, and could possibly consider a vegetarian diet in the future!

Some Helpful Tips:

Either way, my week as a vegetarian was very beneficial. From someone who has experienced this type of diet to someone who may be considering it, here are a few tips I learned while eating a vegetarian diet, as well as some healthy alternatives to your everyday diet:

  • The importance of protein – The only issue I felt during my week as a vegetarian was my small problem of feeling full. Be sure to stock up on your beans and nuts. Protein is your friend. Trade in those burgers & try my delicious Veggie Black Bean Burgers. Also if you are looking for a fun chili, trade in the traditional for my delightful Veggie Black Bean Chili. Whatever it may be, remember to eat your beans!! Also, go to your local market and buy yourself a good large can of mixed nuts.
  • Overload on your Greens – Veggies, Veggies, Veggies! If you’re looking for that fresh that I love, go to your produce section at the market and load up on those greens! Pick yourself up a head of broccoli, bag of carrots, several green bell peppers, cucumbers, etc. A great tip is to substitute your chips for chopped cucumber with a side of ranch.
  • Trade your sweets for fruit – Fruit is your friend kids. It truly is. Nature’s candy is truly much better than mans. Try cutting up your apples and sprinkling them with a dash of brown sugar and cinnamon. Whenever you feel your sweet tooth going nuts, go cut yourself up some fruit. My best tip here is to go to your local market and buy whatever is in season. If you absolutely cannot live without the sweets, add a few semi-sweet chocolate chips to your bowl of apples or other cut of fruit.
  • A Vegetarian Diet can be inexpensive – Coming from a college student on a budget – this diet can be done without breaking the bank! Many people shy away from healthy foods because of high prices, they do not realize that some healthy foods are really cheap! Like I said before, buy your produce that is on sale! Also, many name brand products are available generic for much cheaper with the same great taste.

I had a great experience eating a vegetarian diet and applaud anyone who lives this lifestyle. I have posted several tasty vegetarian recipes on Delightful Discoveries and trust me, you can expect to see many more! I also plan to add a vegetarian category to my recipe selection so those dishes can be easily accessible.

If you are looking for some tasty Vegetarian dishes check out these recipes on my page:

  • Broccoli & Cheddar Soup with Macaroni
  • Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
  • Black Bean Veggie Burgers
  • Randy’s Veggie Pizza
  • Black Bean Soup
  • & Many many more 🙂

Broccoli & Cheddar Soup with Macaroni

A recipe inspired by rainy days while wandering the market – Broccoli & Cheddar Soup with Macaroni will be the perfect remedy to your rainy day. While this has always been my favorite soup, the added ingredient of macaroni really does something wonderful to this dish. The cheesy goodness mixed with the flavorful broccoli & other ingredients will not only satisfy your taste buds, but warm you up on those cold & rainy days. Also, an added bonus of this recipe is the health benefits; it is very low in fat and calories and is also vegetarian friendly!

Broccoli & Cheddar Soup with Macaroni:

Ingredients:

  • 8 Oz – Dry Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 1/2 Cups – Onion (Chopped)
  • 2 – Carrots (Chopped)
  • 1 – Celery Stalk (Chopped)
  • 3 Cloves – Garlic (Chopped)
  • 1 Tbs – Butter (Melted)
  • 2 Tbs – Flour
  • 3 Cups – Vegetable Broth (You can also use Chicken Broth)
  • 1 Cup – Milk
  • 2 1/2 Cups – Broccoli Florets (Chopped)
  • 2 Cups – Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 Tbs – Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Instructions:

  • In a large pot, begin melting your butter.
  • Begin chopping up your celery, carrots, onion, & garlic.
  • Begin sauteing in pot over medium low heat for 5 minutes or until soft.
  • Boil your macaroni in salted water until tender; Drain, set aside.

  • Add in flour & pepper and stir until smooth.
  • Slowly add in your broth & milk while whisking constantly.
  • Set to medium-high heat until it comes to a boil then cover and cook on low for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add in broccoli and parmesan cheese; stir well. Cook uncovered until broccoli is cooked & soft.

  • Add Cheddar mixing well until cheese melts, then immediately remove from heat.
  • Add in cooked macaroni and add salt & pepper.

Garnish with cheese & a side of cheese bread! Enjoy!