Thursday, August 27, 2009
Chicken with mushrooms and zucchini:
1 lb chicken, cut into 1" chunks
cornstarch for dusting
1 Tbl vegetable oil
1 Tbl sesame oil
4 Tbl soy sauce
2 Tbl balsamic vinegar
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbl oyster sauce (the original recipe doesn't call for this)
1 package of fresh button mushrooms
3-4 small zucchinis, cut into 1" chunks
Lightly dust chicken with cornstarch. Heat oils in large skillet or wok and fry chicken until golden brown. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Add zucchini and mushrooms to pan and stir fry for a few minutes. Add soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and oyster sauce, and stir fry until veggies are fully cooked. Add the chicken back to pan and stir to coat with sauce. Serve over hot rice. I also through some cashews on top.
Chocolate zucchini bread:
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. sour cream (I use light sour cream) or plain yogurt
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
2 c. flour
3/4 c. cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2-2 1/2 c. grated zucchini
3/4 c semi sweet choc chips
Pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake at 325-350 for 50-60 min (or until toothpick comes out clean. Don't over bake). Let cool before removing from pan.
*since originally posting this recipe, I have found a way to cut out 1/2 of the butter and some of the sugar without sacrificing flavor. I think it may even be better than before (crazy). I have changed the recipe to the newer, healthier version.
Pumpkin zucchini bread:
3/4 c. oil or butter, softened
1 3/4 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 c pumpkin puree
2 c grated zucchini
3 c flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
11/2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
few dashes cloves
Add 3/4 c semi sweet choc. chips (optional). Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 325-350 for 45-60 min (take out as soon as that toothpick comes out clean... don't over bake). Let cool before removing from pan. For muffins: fill greased or lined tins almost to the top and cook at 350 for 16-20 min. for reg. muffins or 12-16 min. for mini muffins.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I made these last week and told Dave, "Call me crazy, but I really love these sandwiches." To which he replied, "I really love these sandwiches too." I turned up my hearing aid and asked for a repeat, but he really did use the word "love" in connection with vegetable sandwiches. I think that's a fair endorsement.
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red bell peppers
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 red onion
- 1 small yellow squash
- loaf of foccaccia bread, or other artisan bread, sliced however you prefer for sandwiches
- sliced or shredded Swiss or Provolone cheese
Preheat grill to high heat.
Slice zucchini and squash lengthwise, a little thinner than a quarter inch. Slice bell peppers and onions the same thickness as the squash. Toss in a bowl with olive oil. Arrange on hot grill with zucchini and pepper near the middle and onions and squash around. Grill for about 3 minutes each side, or until they start to blacken. Remove from grill.
To assemble sandwiches. Spread each side of bread with mayonnaise. Layer vegetables as desired, top with cheese, and 2nd slice of bread. You may want to use toothpicks to hold it together. Place assemble sandwich on grill over low heat and cook until cheese is melted.
Recipe from allrecipes.com
May I also recommend, for your zucchini eating pleasure:
Pineapple Zucchini Bread, Prudence Pennywise's version that is a bit healthier and less cake-like, so when you eat it for breakfast you don't have to feel guilty, and
Pasta with Squash and Garlic, just a simple, fast way to cook up some zukes on a busy night.
1 1/2 c. chopped zucchini
In a skillet heat olive oil on med. high heat. Add green onions, garlic and zucchini. Saute until zucchini becomes softened and garlic and onions are cooked. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Next, stir in couscous and cover with a lid. Remove pan from heat. Let sit for five minutes or until all of the chicken broth is absorbed. Fluff couscous with a fork and serve.
Friday, August 21, 2009
These muffins are a great change from the usual zucchini bread. They have just enough sweetness to make them kid friendly. Last time I made them I baked up a bunch in my mini muffin tin so they were the perfect size for little hands. Emily even suggested that I could make for her to take in her cold lunch. I found this recipe last year on this blog. Last time I checked she had 19 zucchini recipes so this website might be a good spot to check if you have a crazy amount of zucchini to get rid of.
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder (I upped it to 1 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup finely shredded zucchini
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional, I didn't do the nuts)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin tin cups with paper liners. Spray the paper liners with nonstick spray. (This is key, or the muffin will stick to the liner)In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar to blend them smoothly. Whisk in the oil and vanilla until blended. Use a large spoon to stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Stir in the zucchini, then stir in chocolate chips and walnuts (if using) until evenly distributed. Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into each paper liner. Bake until the tops are light brown and a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, about 23 minutes. If the toothpick penetrates a chocolate chip, test another spot.Cool muffins in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Using pot holders to protect your hands, invert the muffin pan onto a wire rack and tap the bottom to release the muffins. Turn the muffins right side up to cool for about 15 minutes and serve warm, or let cool completely, about 45 minutes.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Blackened Corn Salsa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups corn fresh or thawed, if frozen
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of one lime
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add corn and onion and cook, stirring from time to time, until corn and onion are blackened in places. Combine with other ingredients in a medium bowl and serve.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
4-(5-6 oz) boneless chicken breasts
1/3 cup canola oil
3 Tb cider vinegar
1 Tb chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
Flatten chicken to even thickness and set aside. In a small bowl, combine all other ingredients an mix well. Place chicken and marinade in resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate 1-2 hours. Remove chicken and discard marinade. It is VERY important to grill this on low heat. The marinade will scorch otherwise. That is also why it is important to flatten the chicken.
Serve with salad greens and ranch dressing. YUMMY!
Also, if anyone out there has any great ideas for healthy, filling on the go breakfasts, it would be appreciated. Happy cooking!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
1. Taco plate/taco salad... whatever you want to call it:
1/2 - 1 pound hamburger (whatever your preference)
1 can drained kidney beans
1 can semi-drained pork and beans (I know, sounds lame, but I think it works. If you don't stock your cupboards with pork and beans though, it's not a vital ingredient)
1-2 can tomato sauce (I use 1, if you like it more tomato-y, you may want more)
taco seasoning to your liking (I usually use about 1/2 a packet)
Brown burger, salt and pepper it, add all other ingredients and simmer a bit. We usually eat ours like this: layer of tortilla chips, meat, cheese, lettuce, ranch, etc... whatever you like on a taco salad.
2. Chicken and black bean quesadillas:
1-2 chicken breasts, cut up
1/2 - 1 can of drained/rinsed black beans
1 can green chillies
taco seasoning to your liking
Cook chicken completely in a little oil with salt and pepper, add the rest of the ingredients and heat through. Make quesadillas: tortilla, cheese, chicken, cheese, tortilla. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa... whatever you like. I also like to use this for a taco salad for yet another change.
I'm not coming empty handed. Here are a couple things I do:
I try to have frozen ravioli/tortellini on hand that I can cook, pour a bottle of sauce over and serve with a quick salad-I'll admit, sometimes the salad doesn't happen.
I also like to freeze chicken in a ziplock with marinade. I just freeze it in amounts that make one dinner for our family. (Be sure to label it) Then I can thaw it, grill/cook it, and serve it up with frozen veggies and one of those quickie rice dishes in a box.
I tried this Lemon and Garlic Grilled Chicken marinade last night. I found it on My Kitchen Cafe. Its totally easy and super yummy. It even passed the Hannah-test, which is MAJOR.
See, I'm not looking for gourmet. In fact, quite the opposite, the easier the better. Don't be shy. What may seem totally mundane and basic to you is probably something I haven't even thought of. Come on...who doesn't need some quickie-dinner ideas?
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I love Chicken Salad sandwiches – so I really enjoyed this pasta salad with the same flavors. My mom made this for a family gathering and I couldn’t stay out of it. Of course when I tried to make it for a party, it didn’t quite taste as good - but that is because I didn’t have all of the ingredients and so I substituted.
3 cups bow tie (farfalle) pasta
1 (16 ounce) bottle bottled coleslaw dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
4 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups seedless green grapes, halved
1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
2 cups thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 cups cashew halves
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain, and set aside. (Not an Al Dente fan - I usually cook mine for about 12 min )
- In a medium bowl, whisk together coleslaw dressing and mayonnaise.
- In a large bowl, combine pasta, chicken, grapes, celery and green onions. Stir in dressing, add salt and pepper if desired and mix well. Place the salad in the refrigerator to marinate for 2 hours, or overnight. Mix in cashews just before serving.
I don’t love onions – but these are pretty mild so I didn’t mind them. When I re-made the salad I didn’t add them and I think they needed to be there. Also I didn’t have enough mayo and so I added more coleslaw dressing and this made the salad a little too sweet. The other substitution I made was to use almonds instead of cashews – while almonds are tasty, they will never be as good as cashews.