Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

It’s dessert and vegetables at the same time! This chocolate zucchini cake is moist and delicious and perfect for any occasion.

Serves: 8-12


1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup applesauce

1 egg (beaten)

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 cups shredded zucchini

Corn on the cob
    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare your 9X13 pan by lightly greasing it with butter or spray oil.  Then add about 1/4 cup of flour and gently shake the pan side-to-side to cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer.  Discard excess flour.
    2. Cream butter and sugar together (with an electric mixer)
    3. Add applesauce, egg, vanilla, almond milk, mixing a little after each addition (it will be a bit lumpy)
    4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt
    5. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients a little at a time
    6. Shred zucchinis until you reach 2 cups.  If there is a lot of water, drain a little bit (but don’t press the zucchini), and then add it to the other ingredients
    7. Pour the mixture into the prepared 9X13 pan.
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      Neely’s Meadow Apple Pie

      Neely’s Meadow Apple Pie

      It’s Fall! And what a wonderful time to enjoy fresh-picked apples! In our mountain neighborhood the Neely’s have a beautiful meadow full of apple trees. During our afternoon walk we can’t help stopping in to gather a few juicy apples. Having gathered a bit more than a few, it just seemed like a perfect time for homemade apple pie. (This recipe is adapted from Food Network.)

      Serves: 8



      For Dough:

      2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

      4 teaspoons sugar

      1/4 teaspoon fine salt

      14 tablespoons cold butter, diced

      1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons cold water


      For Filling:

      2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

      3 pounds baking apples, we used ones we picked in Neely’s meadow

      2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie

      1/4 cup unsalted butter

      1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

      Generous pinch of ground nutmeg

      1 large egg, lightly beaten

      Basket of Apples
      1. (Note: we use the store-bought pie pastry rounds) Make the dough by hand. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles yellow corn meal mixed with bean-sized bits of butter. (If the flour/butter mixture gets warm, refrigerate it for 10 minutes before proceeding.) Add the egg and stir the dough together with a fork or by hand in the bowl. If the dough is dry, sprinkle up to a tablespoon more of cold water over the mixture.
      2. Make the dough in a food processor. With the machine fitted with the metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles yellow cornmeal mixed with bean size bits of butter, about 10 times. Add the egg and pulse 1 to 2 times; don’t let the dough form into a ball in the machine. (If the dough is very dry add up to a tablespoon more of cold water.) Remove the bowl from the machine, remove the blade, and bring the dough together by hand.
      3. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.
      4. Make the filling. Put the lemon juice in a medium bowl. Peel, halve, and core the apples. Cut each half into 4 wedges. Toss the apple with the lemon juice. Add the sugar and toss to combine evenly.
      5. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer, about 2 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the apples soften and release most of their juices, about 7 minutes.
      6. Strain the apples in a colander over a medium bowl to catch all the juice. Shake the colander to get as much liquid as possible. Return the juices to the skillet, and simmer over medium heat until thickened and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.
      7. In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the reduced juice and spices. Set aside to cool completely. (This filling can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated or frozen for up to 6 months.)
      8. Cut the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough into a disc about 11 to 12 inches wide. Layer the dough between pieces of parchment or wax paper on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.
      9. Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
      10. Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with one of the discs of dough, and trim it so it lays about 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pan. Put the apple filling in the pan and mound it slightly in the center. Brush the top edges of the dough with the egg. Place the second disc of dough over the top. Fold the top layer of dough under the edge of the bottom layer and press the edges together to form a seal. Flute the edge as desired. Brush the surface of the dough with egg and then sprinkle with sugar. Pierce the top of the dough in several places to allow steam to escape while baking. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
      11. Bake the pie on a baking sheet until the crust is golden, about 50 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving. The pie keeps well at room temperature (covered) for 24 hours, or refrigerated for up to 4 days.

      Cook’s Note

      You may freeze the uncooked pie, but don’t brush it with egg or dust it with sugar beforehand. Place the pie in the freezer for 30 minutes, to harden it slightly, and then double wrap it with plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 6 months. When ready to bake, unwrap the pie and brush it with egg and sprinkle it with sugar. Bake, from the frozen state, until golden brown, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

      Chef Harriet Cook

      OPL Good Life Analyst Harriet Cook shares a favorite recipe.

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      OPL Plant-rich Recipes

      Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

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