Saturday afternoon: Vietnamese-inspired cabbage wraps and zucchini bread

Thanks to some traveling friends, we found ourselves the lucky recipients of two weeks of a local crop share. Quite abruptly, my feelings of jubilation (gorgeous free produce!) were overtaken by the conundrum of what to do with my pretty little green things–namely, copious amounts of nappa cabbage and zucchini. After much deliberation, I decided that zucchini bread, which I had heretofore never attempted, was in order. And to top it off (really, just to prime my palette for dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant), nappa cabbage wraps with a braggs-based dipping sauce.

IMG_0933
zucchini loaf
IMG_0935
cabbage “spring” role

The zucchini bread recipe came from Eating Well, but I adapted it pretty aggressively. Basically, I just needed a template recipe that didn’t use yogurt because I’m currently yogurt-deficient. I also didn’t want to use as much sugar was was suggested, so I reduced the amount and added some dates for extra sweetness without the extra sugar. And carob chips were an obvious addition.

Ingredients

2 cups grated zucchini

3/4 cup soymilk

2 large eggs

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup brown sugar

4-5 dates, pitted and diced (or processed)

2 tsp baking powder

2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup carob chips (or chocolate chips)

Method

preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a baking implement of your choice with oil

heat up your soymilk a little so it won’t harden the coconut oil

combine heated milk, oil, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl. whisk to combine all the ingredients. add the zucchini to this bowl and stir to combine.

in another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir.

Stir the dates in the wet ingredients and then add the dry. Stir until combined, and then mix in the carob chips.

pour the mixture into the baking dish and cook for about an hour (check it at 50 minutes). you want to be able to stick something thin into the bread and pull it out without residue. when its done, let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes, and then out of the pan for an hour (good luck with that…).

My thinking, after several servings, is that this bread would be better with even less sugar, so next time I’m going to try that. With the dates and the carob, it probably doesn’t need more than just a smidge of sweetener. Lesson learned.

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pre-wrappage
IMG_0936
post-wrappage

Onto the wraps! These are easy and adaptable to whatever you have around. I included carrots, radishes, green onion and cilantro. I soaked those ingredients in lime juice and then wrapped them up in cabbage leaves that I had bisected and de-spined (see above).

My dipping sauce was mediocre, to be honest. I didn’t want to add a ton of sweetener, so it was really, really tart. That being said, it still tasted fine. I mixed together braggs, diced ginger, rice vinegar, sesame oil, agave nectar, and chili sauce. Next time I’ll make a peanut sauce, since those are always the best. These were also devoid of tofu, unfortunately, due to a grocery-shopping list oversight. Marinated tofu strips would have been scrumptious. Next time.

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