Posts Tagged ‘zucchini’
Summer nights are coming to an end. Get ready for cooler temperatures with this hearty slow cooker minestrone soup.
While I like to use my slow cooker year round, now is the time of year when slow cookers typically are used most. Not only has school started for those of you who are students or have kids but the temperatures are starting to decline. As such, the demand for easy weeknight dinners has increased and warm soups/strews are becoming more appealing. I may no longer be a student and do not have kids, but I can still appreciate a comforting soup on a cool night (whenever those decide to get here in TN).
Red Gold was nice enough to send me some of their tomatoes to play around with in my slow cooker. I figured since we are on the verge of summer and fall why not make a soup that takes advantage of the remaining summer produce? This minestrone is almost like the kitchen sink of soups, made with cannellini beans, onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, spinach, rosemary, pesto, and a can of Red Gold’s petite diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil. Just wait until those aromas smack you in the face upon arriving home after it cooked all day, you’ll want to dive right in there.
I also happen to have a Red Gold Apron to giveaway to one reader. To enter use the Rafflecopter at the end of this post and answer the prompt in the comments section. But wait, there’s more!
Red Gold is hosting a “Red Gold 2-a-day Crock-Pot Give-a-way” running from today September 17 through October 8 on their Facebook page. As the promotion title suggests, they will be giving away two Red Gold branded Crock-Pots every day during for three weeks. Click over to their Facebook page to enter: https://www.facebook.com/RedGold.
One year ago: Pumpkin Spice Pizzas
Have you had a chance to check out The New Southwest Cookbook by Meagan of Scarletta Bakes? If not then today is your lucky day because not only am I sharing a recipe from her new cookbook, but am also hosting a giveaway for one lucky reader to receive a copy!
To start, there’s a chapter which covers all the essentials for a southwest kitchen pantry as well as acceptable substitutions when you cannot locate a certain ingredient in a recipe, which I completely appreciated as sometimes it is difficult to find certain ingredients. Then there is a “building blocks” chapter covering all the condiments and foodstuffs seen in southwestern cooking from roasted chiles to homemade corn tortillas. Although it is not necessary to make your own tortillas, salsa, etc. from scratch, it certainly adds to the experience. I really want to try making my own tortillas once I get my hands on a tortilla press.
Browsing through the subsequent chapters, several recipes immediately struck me such as the fried sage smashed potatoes and the dulce de leche layer cake with sweet pecan “pesto”. The picture of that cake made me swoon, with pecan “pesto” dripping all over the place. But when I saw the pinto bean breakfast patty melts I knew it was time to treat myself to a hearty, spicy breakfast.
These breakfast patties were easy to throw together and I loved that they could be wrapped up before being cooked and saved for later since I typically only cook for myself. After being fried and topped with cheese, these patty melts were layered with spicy flavor – both in heat and spices. If you are a bit timid to spiciness you may want to consider removing the seeds from the jalapenos.
Want to win a copy? Use the Rafflecopter widget to enter after viewing the recipe below!
One year ago: Chewy Molasses Cookies
This week I took time off from bench work in the lab to start writing my dissertation, which is also why I have been commenting and tweeting less this week. I have two chapters nearly finished already because they are also two papers I am going to publish soon, but the intro required some serious attention so that’s what I am giving it. Of course that doesn’t stop me from enjoying a good meal during breaks especially when it is something quick and easy like this chicken. Feast your eyes upon this while I go write more jargon about Candida albicans drug resistance.
It’s amazing how much time goes by during the work day when you are starring at your computer screen, moving figures and text boxes around one pixel at a time in attempts to get everything fitted and sized nicely. This is how poster presentations are done in my world, in preparation for the upcoming research conference my lab is attending. And it’s a royal pain in my bottom. The scariest part is that even after making it pretty, my PI can undo everything by telling me to add one simple sentence, and thus offsetting everything. The horror! I feel like a magician by the end of it all because I will have more than once uttered the phrase, “There’s no way it is going to work”, and yet there it is in front of me. But for now I await the edits of destruction.
While I pull out my hair and eat plentiful amounts of dark chocolate covered mini pretzels (the most recent Trader Joe’s lab-obsession), I want you to sit back and enjoy a good healthy meal. How about some zucchini stuffed with Italian turkey sausage? I cannot be alone in still experiencing 98 degree weather despite the name of the month stated on the calendar, which means some of you probably still have some zucchini around from your garden (of which I am jealous). If not, it’s a good thing they invented a thing called the grocery store ;-).
About two months ago I bought one of those starter kits at Target, found in the dollar spot. And after much patience I finally used it for the first time in this recipe. It needs to grow faster because I want to use it all the time! Thankfully my parents have a bunch in their garden so I can avoid hacking mine down to much. It’s still just a little thing.
Thanks in part to my homegrown basil, this zucchini ribbon pasta is a great summer dish. It is light, fresh and full of vegetables. I even used tomatoes from my parents garden. I am really going to miss having access to a garden once my time in Knoxville comes to an end.
Frequent flyer miles irritate me. I have been flying all over the place this year on Delta, including to Europe, and I still have not stocked up enough to be bumped up to whatever the next level is from the bottom. I sometimes think that frequent flyer mile programs are only meant for business folks who travel for their jobs. Which seems unfair since their job is paying for all of it anyway. And speaking of frequent flyer miles, assuming it wouldn’t be as much of a pain to stock up on how about frequent driver miles? My time in the car has greatly increased as of late and I feel like there should be some compensation for it. I’d take even a free CD of my choice to keep me entertained and awake. Music provides safety.
But I digress. Let’s talk about soup. Yes soup in the middle of this hot, gross summer. For some reason when you call it “chowder” it becomes summer appropriate and sounds more appealing. This corn chowder uses corn freshly cut from the cob and there’s even a mix of zucchini and orzo to top it off. This was one batch of leftovers I didn’t mind eating for a few days in a row.
Despite waking up at 5:30am every day this past weekend to play with yeast (not the baking kind), I had a pretty nice weekend. It’s amazing how much I accomplished in the little amount of free time that I had, and how relaxed I felt by Sunday night. Even got in a lovely phone chat with my friend Amber back in Columbus. It’s the little things that keep me going :-). Especially since as I write this, it is 10pm and I am doing that graduate student research thing at lab.
This recipe serves one person and it’s quick and easy to prepare. Perfect match for my mission to not produce any leftovers before I head out of town, in combination with my sparse time. It was also my first time ever using fresh ginger, and smells amazing! I never want to use dried ground ginger again. Which brings me to a question, how do you store ginger root? Is it supposed to be refrigerated or left out on the counter?
After admiring many recipes on myassigned blog for the Secret Recipe Club this month, Bewitching Kitchen, I chose this recipe because it uses Meyer lemons since I had yet to try them for myself. However, that task remains to be completed. I am not convinced they exist since they are impossible to find where I live. I’ve been told that they are typically only available in the January/February months, but that did not stop me in my unsuccessful hunt of every grocery store in Memphis. Therefore, this dish was made with just regular lemons. One day, Meyer lemon, you will be mine.
But as luck would have it, this dish was quite wonderful with just a common lemon. I am not sure what it would’ve tasted like otherwise, but the lemon flavor along with the zucchini and ricotta were perfect together. And as Sally suggested, I was not shy with my addition of freshly ground pepper. In case you didn’t know lemon and pepper get along great.
Please take a moment to check out Wilde in the Kitchen’s Bake Sale benefitting Relay for Life. And bid on my “Big, Fat, Chewy Multichip Cookies” or any of the other delicious treats up for grabs!
I enjoy both traditional and nontraditional pizzas. But with how frequently I have pizza for dinner it’s refreshing to have some very different options out there.
So now it is time for a very nontraditional pizza. There is no tomato sauce or even pesto, instead the sauce is sweet Asian chili sauce. To continue with the lack of tradition, it’s topped with zucchini, peanuts and cilantro. The only things not out of the ordinary are the chicken, mozzarella and basil. But do not fear the unexpected because your taste buds will love this – that is if you are into nontraditional pizzas and Asian flavors.
In other news, I am off to a wedding in northern NJ on Friday followed by a day trip to NYC and then snuggles with my nephew Luke in Boston! Consider this your warning for baby pictures appearing next week.
After accidentally buying a zucchini instead of a cucumber while shopping for chicken gyro ingredients and already having another, I ended up with too much zucchini. What is one to do with all of this zucchini? When all else fails just turn that healthy little vegetable into a baked good, right?
From the original recipe I found on Smitten Kitchen, I substituted half the oil for applesauce and just used walnuts for the add-in. The result was a super moist bread with a little crunch from the nuts. What a perfect use of extra zucchini. I even slathered on some whipped honey a friend gave me. Might have put a little too much on there, but so good!
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1-3/4 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
3 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips or a combination thereof (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans, liberally. (Alternately, line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.)
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla.
- Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt, as well as nuts, chocolate chips and/or dried fruit, if using.
- Stir this into the egg mixture. Divide the batter into prepared pans.
- Bake loaves for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Muffins will bake far more quickly, approximately 18-22 minutes.
Source: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen