I’ve had requests for family-friendly green recipes. Here are two that have passed not only my kids palates, but those of their pickier friends.

1. Zucchini-Chocolate Whole Wheat Cake

I got this one from the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book, which is pretty much my default cookbook for an afternoon project. Our farm share overloaded us with Zucchini recently, and I decided to give it a shot. It was well worth it.The kids loved it, and so did everyone at Martin’s office. It made a LOT of cake. NOTE: I skipped the glaze and granulated sugar and the cocoa powder in the batter.

Here it is:


2.5 cups traditional whole wheat flour

.5 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

.5 tsp. salt

1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

.5 cup granulated sugar

.5 cup butter

.5 cup buttermilk

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups shredded or chopped zucchini

1 cup chocolate chips


.5 cup heavy cream

.75 cup chocolate chips

2 tsp corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease pan or pans.

To Make the Cake: Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together the sugars and butter (or oil) in a large mixing bowl til smooth. Add the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add half the dry ingredients, stirring until evenly moistened. Stir in the zucchini, then the remaining flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 15 minutes. If you have used a tube pan, lightly loosen the cake around the edges and center of the tube by pulling it away from the pan with your fingers or running a thin flexible spatula down the sides, then put the rack on top of the pan and flip everything over. Remove the pan and cool the cake completely. If you’ve used a 9×13 pan, you can either serve it from the pan or invert the cake onto a serving platter and drizzle with chocolate glaze, if desired.

To make the Glaze: Heat the heavy cream to a simmer, and pour over the chocolate chips in a bowl. Stir in the corn syrup, and keep stirring until there are no more lumps and the mixture is smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cake, if desired.

2. Crispy Kale Chips

My husband makes this. I don’t know where he got the recipe, but I do know that my toddler will dive across the table with a wild cry of lust whenever a plate of this stuff appears at dinner.

Wash some kale (or chard, or whatever dark green leafy stuff your farm share has deluged you with). Dry it. Cut the leaves into thirds or quarters. Pour “a small puddle” of olive oil into a dish. Carefully coat the leaves. Sprinkle with salt, to taste. Spread them out on a baking sheet and put them in the oven at 400 degrees.

While this sounds simple, Martin says there are a few tricks to make it great:

– turn the leaves once in awhile during the baking, so that they don’t get overdone on one side.

– be sure they are really dry, as water clinging to the leaves makes them soggy instead of crispy. (he confesses to sometimes not washing the ones he cooks, but suggests that washing it and letting it dry for a spell should be fine)

– be sure they are truly coated in oil, as dry bits will burn while the others become wonderfully crisp.

Happy (green) eating!