Archives for category: veggies

Italian Zucchini UNpasta Salad

The zucchinis in our garden are growing like, well, zucchinis in August, ha. I love using my spiral cutter to turn them into noodles AKA zoodles. This recipe is simple, delicious, and is a great make-ahead option since the more it marinates in the dressing the more intense the flavors become. It has all the usual ingredients of an Italian pasta salad — red onions, black olives, oregano, basil, salami, olive oil, red wine vinegar, cheese — minus the pasta! It’s a great recipe to keep on hand for summer potlucks because it is sure to be a crowdpleaser.

Italian Pasta Salad without the pasta - Spiralized Zucchini noodles
This recipe is adapted from the cookbook Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci, and she uses a fancy big ol’ spiral cutter called “The Inspiralizer.” However I just use a basic GEFU Spirelli Spiral Slicer. No matter how you slice it (pun intended) spiral cut zucchinis are an awesome low-carb alternative to pasta.

Alrighty then. Here’s the recipe…

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 medium zucchinis, spiral cut into “noodles”
  • 1 can (14 oz.) quartered artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry
  • 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved (I used a combination of red and orange)
  • 5 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 3/4 c. sliced salami
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 c. sliced black olives
  • 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • fresh basil, minced, to taste (I used 4 large leaves)
  • Parsley, chopped, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

In a large bowl combine zucchini, artichokes, tomatoes, mozzarella, salami, onion, and olives.

In a separate bowl, whisk these together to make the dressing: vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, parsley, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

Pour the dressing on top of the salad ingredients and toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until the dressing starts to soften the zucchini. Serve chilled.

 

 

spiral slicer

ZUCCHINI NOODLE CAPRESE SALAD

Ahhhh the spiralizer. I love this kitchen gadget. You can turn veggies like zucchinis, cucumbers, and carrots into awesome healthy low-carb dishes. Turn zucchinis into noodles = Zoodles!

Here’s an easy no-cook salad that’s perfect for summer veggies from the Farmer’s Market or your garden. It has the delicious flavor of a traditional Italian caprese pasta salad, but without the pasta.

ZUCCHINI NOODLE CAPRESE SALAD

Zucchini Caprese Salad

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 medium zucchinis, cut into spiral “noodles”
  • 1 c. cherry tomatoes (I used a combination of orange and red)
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/3 c. thinly sliced basil leaves
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • salt & pepper, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

Place zucchini and tomatoes in a mixing bowl.

Make the marinade in a separate bowl by combining the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, and garlic.

Pour marinade over the zucchini and tomatoes and stir gently to combine. Place in fridge to marinade for 10-20 minutes (the longer the zucchini marinates the more flavorful it will become).

Remove from fridge, add the cheese and basil to the bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, and serve.

recipe adapted from Inspiralized by Ali Maffucci

Here’s a fun and easy muffin-tin recipe: mix up frozen hash browns with some cheese and melted butter, then bake.

Cheesy Hash Brown Cups- Easy Muffin Tin Recipe

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 16 oz. frozen shredded hash browns (I used a package that had onions, and green and red peppers mixed in)
  • 4 Tbs. melted butter
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • optional add-ins: crumbled bacon bits, cubed ham, sliced mushrooms, etc.

WHAT YOU DO:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease muffin tin (or spray with nonstick spray).

Mix all ingredients in a bowl then spoon into muffin pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until crispy around the edges, remove from oven, and serve.

Muffin Tin

Cheesy Hash Brown Cups in a Muffin Tin

 

 

IMG_20160302_221704_159000

One-Pot Beef and Guinness Stew Recipe

Easy freezer-friendly beef stew. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or anytime you crave warm comfort food. Just start everything in a dutch oven or heavy pot on the stove, and transfer the whole thing to the oven.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 4 lbs. beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 lbs. small potatoes (I used a mixture of red and yellow), cut into chunks
  • 2 white onions, diced
  • 32 oz. beef broth
  • Irish stout beer – I used one 11-oz. bottle of Guinness Extra Stout
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper, for seasoning
  • 16 oz. frozen baby peas, thawed

WHAT YOU DO:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In a heavy pot or dutch oven (5-quart size or so) on the stovetop, toss beef with flour and stir in tomato paste. Add potatoes, onions, broth, beer, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat, occasionally.

Cover with lid and place pot in oven. Cook until meat is fork-tender, approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Stir in peas, then season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

TO FREEZE: Prepare according to recipe. Cool, then divide into a few containers, label, and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw, reheat, and serve.

adapted from marthastewart.com

 

One-Pot Pork Chops with Matchstick Apples & Warm Greens Recipe

I love one-pot meals! Here’s a twist on pork chops and applesauce – instead of applesauce, julienne an apple into matchsticks and toss with chickpeas and warm arugula and spinach.

This recipe makes two pork chops, but you can adjust it of course to make more.

One Pot Meal - Pork Chops with fresh apples and warm greens - Not your Momma's Pork Chops and Applesauce Recipe!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 bone-in pork chops (approx. 9 oz each)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 5 oz. mixture of arugula and spinach, leaves torn
  • 1 Gala apple, cored and cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tbs lemon zest (tip: use a rasp grater, or a vegetable peeler to make strips then chop into small pieces)

WHAT YOU DO:

Sprinkle pork chops on both sides with salt (a teaspoon or so), and season with pepper.

Heat EVOO in a large high-sided saute pan over med-high heat. Add pork chops.

Reduce heat to medium, and cook until browned around the edges, about 4 mins. Flip, and cook 3-4 more minutes. Transfer chops to a plate.

Add chickpeas to pan and cook for 2 min. Working in three batches, add arugula/spinach mixture and cook, stirring, adding additional batches as the leaves wilt. Sprinkle with approximately 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, then season with pepper to taste. Remove from heat, and stir in apple and lemon juice and zest. Serve with chops.

 

Number of Servings: 2

 

recipe adapted from “One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals from Your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Stockpot” Martha Stewart Living

Here’s a show and tell of my lunch 🙂 I sauteed fresh veggies in a teaspoon of EVOO, and added some red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and garlic. I added a serving of whole wheat penne pasta, but have done this with feta, chicken, brown rice too. I included the estimated nutrition information, WW points, and the 21 day fix container counts for each option.

Choose Your Own Adventure Veggie Toss - includes nutrition info for a ton of options and 21 Day Fix contianer counts - pasta, chicken, feta, brown rice

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 c. (which is 1 green 21 Day Fix container) fresh asparagus, cut into pieces

1/2 c. (1/2 green container) portabello mushrooms, sliced

1/2 c. (1/2 green container) cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

To taste: lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and minced garlic.

Options:

  • 1/2 c. (1 yellow container) cooked whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1/2 c. (1 yellow container) cooked brown rice
  • 3 oz. (1 red container) baked chicken
  • 1/4 c. (1 blue container) crumbled feta cheese

WHAT YOU DO:

In a saucepan, saute the EVOO, veggies, and garlic. Add lemon juice and red pepper flakes to taste.

Mix in your pasta, rice, chicken, or feta to desired temperature, and serve.

Veggie Toss - choose your faves - includes nutrition info for 21 Day Fix container counts and nutrition info for each option

Estimated Nutrition Info for Fresh Veggies sauteed with your favorite option - 21 Day Fix and WW friendly

Here’s a healthy, low-carb, pizza option: instead of crust, use roasted eggplant slices. This is similar to my earlier zucchini pizza recipe, except this has a homemade sauce. It takes a little longer to prepare but it’s worth it! You could also add your favorite vegetable or meat toppings to these.

Roasted Eggplant Pizza Recipe

I didn’t have Italian Seasoning, so I make my own little combo of herbs, as you will see. 

Eggplant Pizza Recipe

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 globe eggplant, around 8 ounces or so
  • 1 Tbs. salt, for drawing water out of eggplant
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, for brushing eggplant before roasting
  • For sprinkling on eggplant before roasting: 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning (*or see note below for what I did)
  • 1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2-3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning blend*
    (*note: I didn’t have Italian seasoning so I made my own combination, to taste, with dried basil; dried oregano; dried parsley; garlic powder; onion powder; black pepper; and red pepper flakes.)
  • Optional toppings when serving: red pepper flakes, garlic powder, parmesan cheese

WHAT YOU DO:

Cut off both ends of the eggplant; then cut 3/4 inch thick slices. Put eggplant slices on a double layer of paper towels and sprinkle both sides generously with salt. Let the salted eggplant sit for 30 minutes or so, to draw out the liquid.

While the eggplant is sitting preheat oven to 375°F.

Also while the eggplant sits, make the sauce. In a large saucepan or skillet, heat 2 tsp. EVOO, adding the garlic and sauteing just until it becomes fragrant (don’t let it brown). Add tomatoes, dried Italian seasoning (*or whatever combination of herbs you want), and let the sauce cook at a low simmer until it’s thickened, breaking up the tomatoes with a fork as it cooks. Add water as needed, a few spoonfuls at a time as the sauce cooks, keeping it hot until you need it for the eggplant slices.

After 30 minutes, wipe eggplant dry with paper towels, which will also remove most of the salt.

Mist a baking sheet with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray (I used parchment paper), lay eggplant slices on, brush the tops of the eggplant with EVOO, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning (*or your own herb combo mentioned earlier).

Roast eggplant for 25 minutes or so, making sure not to overcook them, which would make them soggy.

While eggplant roasts, combine grated Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

After eggplant pieces are done, remove from oven and turn oven temperature to broil.

Spread a few spoonfuls of sauce on the top of each eggplant slice, and top with cheese. Place under broiler for 1-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve hot, with optional toppings.

recipe adapted from kalynskitchen.com

Roasted Eggplants Pizza Recipe - slice evenly then let sit with salt to remove excess moisture

Roasted Eggplant Pizza Recipe - make an awesome red sauce with tomatoes, garlic, EVOO, and herbs

Roasted Eggplant Pizza Recipe - roast slices then top with sauce and cheeses, then broil

Roasted Eggplant Pizza - top roasted eggplant slices with sauce and cheeses then broil

Roasted Eggplant Pizzas Recipe - sooooo delicious

Use a baking sheet for awesome eggplant pizzas

Here’s a show and tell of my lunch. And an easy light meal idea; it’s more of a “no recipe” recipe. 🙂 It has whole wheat pasta tossed with veggies sauteed in olive oil and garlic, sprinkled with soy sauce and lemon juice.

Whole Wheat Pasta Tossed with Veggies - the 'no recipe' recipe!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • whole wheat spaghetti (however many servings you want to make)
  • a few teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) for sauteing the veggies
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • fresh vegetables, washed, cut and sliced (2-4 cups depending on how many servings you want) — I used asparagus, mushrooms, onions, yellow squash, zucchini, and bell peppers.
  • soy sauce
  • fresh lemon juice

WHAT YOU DO:

Prepare spaghetti noodles according to package directions.

While noodles are boiling, heat EVOO and garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Add veggies and sautee until tender.

Drain noodles, and place on serving dish. Top with veggies, then sprinkle on some soy sauce and lemon juice to taste. Stir to combine, then serve.

Here’s a batch of pesto I made with some basil from the garden. I used pine nuts, which are pretty expensive, but I’ve since learned you can use walnuts, pecans, or even almonds instead. It keeps in the fridge for 1 week, or you can freeze in freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays for up to 6 months. Also you can adjust the olive oil so the pesto is as thick or thin as you like. It’s great for pasta, or even as spreads on flatbread crackers, or on sandwiches as a spread.

Fresh pesto - just basil, garlic, parm cheese, olive oil, and pine nuts. Soooo easy I can't believe I used to buy it instead of making it myself.WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 3 Tbs. pine nuts
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil (+ more if you want to thin it out)

WHAT YOU DO:

In a food processor: combine basil, garlic, pine nuts, and cheese. Add olive oil as it’s running until emulsified. To make it thinner, add olive oil until it reaches desired consistency. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 1 week. Or place in freezer-safe containers (or ice cube trays) to store for up to 6 months in the freezer.

5 ingredient homemade PESTO. Keeps for 1 wk in the fridge, or freeze for up to 6 mos.

 

Here’s an easy snack I made with a zucchini from our garden: Cheesy Baked Pizza Bites

Delicious Zucchini Pizza Bites - cheesy baked goodness. Low carb and great meatless option. Can also top with veggies, or other fave pizza toppings.

WHAT YOU DO: Slice a zucchini, and place the slices on a foil lined baking sheet. Top with marinara sauce (or pizza sauce) and shredded Parmesan cheese. Broil in the oven for 3-5 mins, or until cheese starts to bubble and brown.

Zucchini Pizza Bites - slice into coins then top with pizza toppings.

Zucchini Pizza Bites - top with sauce, cheese, and favorite toppings.

Zucchini Pizza Bites - low carb and great meatless option. Bubbly, baked, cheesy goodness.

Zucchini Pizza Bites - low carb. Add fave pizza toppings. Bubbly, baked, cheesy goodness.

Have a few extra minutes to make a similar recipe? Try this Roasted Eggplant Pizza. It has a homemade sauce, and is awesomely delicious.

Roasted Eggplant Pizza Recipe