Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spelt Zucchini-Nut-Rasin Pancakes

Extended Life for: Raisins, Nut Mix and Garden Zucchini

My first issue of Vegetarian Times housed 5 great recipes for zucchini. I have already prepared the Zucchini-Tomato Gratin as published but took some liberty with the Sweet Zucchini-Ricotta Pancakes with Raisins and Walnuts which brings us to this gem of a recipe. Using some raisins we salvaged last spring and the nut mix from an abundance of salads we had late this summer I made these pancakes my very own!

4 cups grated zucchini
1 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup spelt flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup nut of choice
Butter or oil for cooking
Sprinkle zucchini with salt, stir to combine and let sit while you prepare the rest of the batter.
In seperate bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Whisk in ricotta and sugar. Stir in spelt, cinnamon and baking powder. Squeeze excess liquid from zuchinni. Fold in raisins, nuts, and zucchini.
Spray pan with oil or add butter. Place desired amount of batter in pan, let mix cook for about 3 minutes, flip and cook for another minute or two until both sides are crisp and golden.
Serve topped with favorite pancake topping or try vanilla yogurt with cinnamon sprinkled on top. Delicious, vegetarian and easy! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crab Apple Butter

Extended Life for: Laramie's abundant supply of Crab Apples

I am fortunate enough to subscribe to some wonderful magazines. One such magazine offered a small snipit on a website called whose concept is to inform citizens of fruit trees that are part of public property. Laramie is not at this time listed on the website, however it got me to thinking..."I've seen a lot of crab apples lately, I wonder if anyone has claimed them?" Then began my adventure. One afternoon, after work, I stopped by a local dentist office, inquired as to whether or not I could have their apples and received and enthusiastic "Pick til your hearts content!" And with the help of my friend Mark, that's exactly what I did.

Soon after, I began an internet search for the best crab apple recipe which I found at The following is my adaptation for their Crab Apple Butter. Enjoy!


A lot of Crab Apples (10-12 Cups)
4.5 cups of water or tea
7 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
2 Tsp. Nutmeg
2 Tsp. Allspice
1 Tsp. Ground Cloves


Wash crab apples. Place whole crab apple in stock pot with water, begin to simmer for about 45 minutes until apples are soft. Run soft apples and water through a seive, return to pot. Stir in sugar and spices then cook apple mixture on low heat for about 2 hours until thick. Proceed to can or freeze; eat or share.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cheesey Hummus Buns

Extended Life for: Hot Dog Buns and Hummus

Again, these ingredients simply exemplify the freegan in us.


4 Hot Dog Buns, Split
2-3 Tablespoons Favorite Hummus
1 Cup or so of Italian Cheese


Turn on broiler. Lightly grease broiler safe cookie sheet. Place buns on cookie sheet then spread hummus on each slice. Sprinkle cheese on top of buns. Place in broiler for about a minute, until cheese is crisp and buns are crisp.

(To see finished product, check out the photo of the Stuffed Zucchini on the dinner plate).

Stuffed Zucchini

Extended Life for: Zucchini, Onions, Garlic with Sun dried Tomatoes, Artichokes, Tomato

A couch surfer recently brought us the most gorgeous and gigantic zucchini, so we saved it from any Idahoan animals that may have come and snagged it. The artichokes are from a grocery store that offers goods which are past their expiration date or in the case of the artichokes, living in a dented can. As for the other goods, we salvaged them, it's the freegan in us.


1 Large Zucchini
1 Tomato, Diced
1 Can Artichoke Hearts, Drained and quartered
Spoonful of Garlic with Sun-dried Tomoto (or two minced cloves of garlic)
3/4 cups Balsamic Vinaigrette Marinated Onions
1/4 or so cups of Balsamic Vinaigrette
A few shakes Bread Crumbs
Italian Cheese of Choice
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to Taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut zucchini is half and remove seeds/pulp. Place zucchini halves in a baking dish (9x13), drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper place in oven while you mix stuffing.

In bowl mix tomato, artichoke, onions, vinaigrette, garlic and bread crumbs. Place half of mixture in each half of zucchini and drizzle with extra vinaigrette if desired. Sprinkle cheese on top.

Bake for about an hour or until tender. If you are using smaller zucchinni, check them after half an hour and continue from there. Enjoy with Cheesy Hummus Buns or pasta of choice!

Balsamic Vinaigrette Marinated Onions

Extended Life for: Onions

Occasionally we receive an overabundance of onions yet they are a favorite ingredient to many dishes in our household. I understand that in general if you simply peel back a few layers you will discover the type of onion desired for cooking. Nonetheless, I find it valuable to occasionally extend the life of foods and find new uses for them, this is now a favorite way for me to "keep" onions.

Simply find an empty wide mouth jar. Slice onions, place in jar. Cover with your favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette - whether store bought or home made the vinaigrette will help keep the onions and give them extra kick for sandwiches, burgers, pasta dishes, etc. Let your imagination run wild!

For my marinated onions I used yellow onions and the Balsamic Vinaigrette found in the Better Homes & Gardens cook book. I have used the onions as part of a Zucchini stuffing, pasta dish and various other dishes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Berry Banana Shortcake

Extended Life for: Bananas

Perhaps this is not the most impressive way to extend shelf life, however, it is currently the only food I have a picture of and therefore made it the most exciting to post.

Favorite Banana Bread
Whipped Topping

Place slice of Banana Bread on plate. Top with whipped cream and raspberries. Use fork to cut off piece of bread that is perfectly topped with cream and berries, enjoy the sweet flavors!

Why Extend Shelf Life?

Ever have a tomato that has a little bruised spot? A zuchinni that goes a little limp? Forgot about a bag of onions in the pantry? Or maybe you are aware of food waste in America. Not only in individual's households but by corporations as well. My passion is food. Baking and cooking are favorite pastimes of mine. Conservation and being a wise and thoughtful consumer are things that are becoming increasingly important to me.

Here, on Extended Shelf Life, I will record, if only for my personal advantage, the recipes I prepare with food that "should" be discarded. Of course, any recipe can taste equally delicious with the freshest ingredients, but then I'd be left to develop a new catchy blog title.

Enjoy and Extend,

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