Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Tomatoes and Feta

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  • 12 grape tomatoes
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1 lemon, squeezed
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 dried red chili

Turn on the oven broiler. Cut a dozen grape tomatoes in half, sprinkle with a bit of olive oil and some kosher salt. Stick them under the broiler and let them cook until they are browned.

Meanwhile, put a little olive oil in a pan and toss a dried chili pepper in the oil and let the pepper heat and flavor the oil. You will smell the chili in the air. You can remove the pepper and the zucchini will be flavored by the oil without getting too spicy.

While the oil is heating, go ahead and spiralize two zucchinis. If you don’t have a spiralizer, just slice them as thin as possible. Spiraling is fun, though. Toss the zucchini in the oil, squeeze the juice of the lemon on the zucchini. Add some salt and pepper.

(If you are using an inexpensive hand-held spiralizer, do not cut off the zucchini stem since you cannot process the entire length of the zucchini. Instead, leave it on so you waste less of the vegetable.)

To serve it, put the zucchini on the plate, add the tomatoes on top, then sprinkle the feta on top, add some salt and pepper. Makes one dinner serving or two side dishes.

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Chicken & Rice Soup

Chicken and Rice Soup

A small soup made with reserved broth and chicken from a whole fryer. For this, I added some rice that I had made separately. Use your favorite rice-making method. My preferred way to make rice is to rinse 1 cup of rice and put it in a kettle with 1.5 cups of water and a half teaspoon of salt. Make sure it has a tight lid. As soon as the water is at a heavy boil, I remove from the heat, leaving it covered to cook in its steam for 15 minutes. This makes a relatively dryer rice than some people like, so if you like softer, moister rice, use two cups.

In a kettle, saute 2 TBSP of yellow onion in 1 TBSP of olive oil. Add 1 clove of garlic and some fresh thyme. Stir in 1/2 cup of chopped chicken and 2 mushrooms sliced. Add 1 tomato, diced and 1 very small zucchini, sliced. Pour in 3 cups of chicken broth and 1/2 cup of rice. Salt and Pepper to taste. Let cook until the vegetables are done. This still makes 2 servings, but for a soup, that’s a pretty small batch.

Portobellos Stuffed with Lamb Sausage and Zucchini

Portobellos stuffed with Zucchini and Lamb Sausage

So there’s a bit of a cheat in this recipe. The butcher at New Seasons had Gyros seasoned lamb sausage on sale. It comes with onions, garlic and spices already in the sausage – all ready to cook. It was on sale for 5.99/pound.

I turned the oven on to 400 Fahrenheit.

I used a single 1/4 pound patty for this recipe. I diced up 1/2 of a small zucchini and mixed it together with the lamb sausage.

I cleaned two portobello tops, removing the gills and the stem which I reserved for an omelet tomorrow. I rubbed a bit of olive oil on the top, and spread the zucchini/sausage mix into the caps. I put them in a pan and put them in the preheated oven and let cook about 20 minutes.

They were not quite done, but it was time to put a bit of provolone on top. I sliced about 1/2 ounce of provolone and spread the very thin slices across the top and let cook until the cheese browned and served with a Charred Tomato Salad.

It was delicious, hearty and satsifying with that wonderful earthiness of mushroom and the aromatic flavor of seasoned lamb.

Lemon Chicken & Zucchini Salad

Lemon Chicken & Zucchini Salad

This is not really a time-intensive recipe, but it does need to be planned ahead. I spent about 10 minutes preparing it last night and less than 10 minutes making it for today’s lunch.

Last night:

I sliced one zucchini on the thinnest setting of the mandoline, took the stacks of sliced zucchini and cut them into thirds giving me two inch long thin slices that I tossed in a bowl. I then sliced 1/2 onion on the same setting. I tossed about half the sliced onion in the bowl with the zucchini. Then I zested a lemon and put the zest in with it as well. I cut the lemon in half and squeezed half the lemon into the bowl. I added 1/2 tsp of cumin, some salt and pepper and put a lid on the bowl, shook it a bit to distribute and put it in the fridge.

I got out a baggie and squeeze the other half of the lemon juice in their. I put the other half the onions in as well. I added 2 tsp of olive oil and a raw chicken breast. I sealed it up and put it in the fridge. Whenever I walked by the fridge, I would open it up and give the chicken and the zucchini a little shake to keep it marinating on all sides.

Today:

I heated my skillet to med-high with 2 tsp of olive oil. I cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces of so and let them saute, turning once – about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, I chopped up some butter lettuce and put it in a bowl with the zucchini and tossed it all lightly. I added a small handful of almonds and dried cranberries. When the chicken was done, I tossed it in with salad and served immediately.

The lemony flavor infused the meat and the zucchini and the lemon acid made the zucchini as tender as if it had been cooked while keeping its fresh flavor. It was delicious and easy – even though it does require planning.

Southwestern Bean Salad

  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1 16 oz. pkg of frozen corn
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion, sliced thin and chopped
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 3 zucchini
  • 2 jalapeño or a can of diced green chiles
  • 3 lemons, reamed
  • 3 TBSP of olive oil
  • 1 TSP cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • Mix together and let sit overnight before serving. This makes a lot, but it keeps very well as it’s acidic and has no dairy or meat in it. The flavor is spicy and tart with the fresh taste of lemon giving it a lovely bite.

    Vegan Wheatberry Salad for Potluck

    Vegan Wheatberry Salad

    This makes a potluck-sized batch of Wheatberry Salad. It’s very similar to the salad I have made before, but I didn’t have all the same ingredients. The thing is, the basics of wheatberries, chopped onions, cilantro, lime, cayenne and olive oil can serve as a base for a salad with all sorts of different vegetables, though I would not choose soft veggies.

    Start with the wheatberries. Rinse 2 cups off in cold water and put in a skillet with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, put the lid on and let simmer about an hour until it’s cooked. It will still be toothsome, but tender. Put in a colander, rinse in cold water, rest inside a bowl and let stand in the fridge overnight so all the water drains away and it gets a little dry.

    Next day dice and chop up a bunch of veggies. In this iteration, 1 whole yellow onion (about two cups), 1 cup of cilantro (or more), 4 carrots, 4 celery stalks, 2 zucchinis and 2 tomatoes. Finely dice a jalapeño. Mix all in a bowl. Squeeze 4 limes (Yeah, I know, I had limes but no red peppers!) and add about 1.5 to 2 tbsps of olive oil. Add 1 to 1.5 tsps of cayenne. This totally depends on how much heat your want. I wanted heat, so I added 1.5. Stir together, adding salt and pepper to taste. This will be a bit over-spiced, but you can taste the profile. It’s just easier to mix and blend evenly before you add the wheatberries.

    Finally, add the wheatberries and stir. Cover and let marinate at least 2 hours before serving.

    Tomato-Zucchini Tortellini

    Tomato-Zucchini Pasta

    In a saute pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 diced garlic cloves, 2 tbsp chopped onion and 1 serrano pepper diced small. Saute until tender and add 3 chopped mushroom and 6 oz of ground turkey. Saute until brown.

    Start water boiling for tortellini. Add and cook until they all float.

    Add 1 diced tomato and 1 chopped zucchini and juice of 1/2 fresh lemon to the mix in the saute pan. Cook down to a sauce and stir in cooked tortellini.

    Pork Shoulder Steak, Pommes Maxim Aus Herbes and Zucchini Ribbon Salad

    Pork Shoulder Steak, Pommes Maxim aux Herbes, Ribbon Zucchini Salad

    I made the salad first since I wanted it to marinate in the lime juice to soften it just a bit. First I sliced 1 yellow squash and 2 zucchini lengthwise using a mandoline for thin 1/8th inch slices. The yellow squash was much bigger than the zucchinis so it’s really equivalent amounts. I also cut the yellow squash slices in half so they were about the same length. I slice up 1 tomato to add a bit of color and tossed in some pecans. For the marinade, I squeezed two kaffir limes, added 1 TBSP of olive oil, 3 minced cloves of garlic and about 1 tsp of cayenne. Mixed and poured over the salad. I made it in a plastic container with a tight cover which I put on and shook the salad vigorously to ensure it was all covered and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving. This has a fresh, bright flavor with a dash of heat at the end. Whenever you season a salad like this with cayenne, underseason at first, because the heat grows. Funny thing! I had some salad for a tv-watching snack later in the evening and when I set the bowl down, my cat ate up all the lime/cayenne sauce. I kept expecting him to freak at the heat, but he didn’t.

    For the potatoes, I trimmed off the tops and two sides to make a nice, rectangular shape that was flat for the mandoline and sliced 8 long, thin slices at about 1/4 inch. (Next time I make them I will try 1/8th). I used PAM olive oil spray and sprayed my baking sheet layed down 4 slices, sprayed them lightly, laid down some fresh tarragon leaves and another slice on top, sandwiching the tarragon between the slices of potato. I sprayed lightly with olive oil and put them in the oven to bake at 250° for 45 minutes. I turned them up to 350° for the last 10 minutes to give me some more browning. Pommes Maxim are usually made with butter, not olive oil. I tried this option to see if i could make a slightly healthier version. It still tasted delicious, but butter gives you a much nicer brown without crisping the potato quite so much.  The potatoes are also more translucent, revealing the herbs more clearly. Butter and olive oil don’t react to temperature the same way, so I assume that is why. With olive oil, it’s still tasty and delicious, but not quite as pretty, so if you want pretty, go for the butter.

    To serve with it, I simply fried a nice pork shoulder blade steak, about 5 minutes on each side with a bit of salt and pepper.

    Veggie Couscous

    This is my clean out the fridge cous-cous casserole as basically it’s a quick cook up of everything that was left in the vegetable drawer before going shopping.

    couscous & veggies

    I heated 1 TBSP of olive oil and tossed in 1/2 of a small onion, diced and 1 jalapeño pepper, diced. I  chopped up some zucchini and red peppers and tossed them in. I added some salt, pepper and cumin ad let them cook. I tossed in some Israeli couscous and water to cook it in, turning up the heat so it simmered. I chopped up some black olives and tossed them in right before it was done. I served with some fresh cilantro on top.

     

    Stuffed Banana Peppers, Turkey Hash & Roasted Broccoli

    Peppers Stuffed with Zucchini & Basil, Roasted Broccoli & Turkey Hash

    First, I heated the oven to 450 and tossed a few spears of fresh broccoli in to roast. I sprayed them with olive oil spray and put them in my paella pan. I made sure to leave one side of the pan clear of any oil so I could add the peppers later to finish.

    In a skillet, I sauteed 1/4 onion and 1 clove of garlic, minced, in 2 tsp of olive oil. I added  4 ounces of ground turkey to saute. I took two small new potatoes I had boiled earlier and sliced them finely and added and sauteed until done. When the oil was fully absorbed, rather than adding more oil, I added 1 TBSP of water to keep everything from sticking, putting the lid on with the steaming water made the flavors blend together beautifully.

    While the onions were sauteeing for the has, I started the peppers by slicing the tops off three banana peppers and cleaning them out. I nuked them for 30 seconds in the microwave so they were soft and pliable when I stuffed them The stuffing is one small zucchini grated with about 1 TBSP of roaste red pepper, chopped fine, 1/4 of sour cream, salt, pepper and dill weed. I added them to the pan in the oven and when the hash was done, so were the the broccoli and peppers.