Garlic-Parm Quinoa and Zucchini

3 05 2016

You know how sometimes you just need a quick side dish? Well, here’s one right here to add to your arsenal – quick and healthy quinoa and zucchini with just a few ingredients.

Garlic-Parm Quinoa and Zucchini

The following serves 3-4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2.5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, cut down the center lengthwise and then into moons
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup grated parmesan

Cook quinoa with 2 cups chicken stock according to package directions. Reserve the 1/2 cup for later.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and zucchini and saute until starting to brown and soften, flipping once, 5 minutes or so. Add the butter, garlic and salt to taste and continue to saute until butter is melted and garlic is fragrant, another couple of minutes. Add the cooked quinoa and the rest of the chicken stock, and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and add the cheese, cooking and stirring another minute or two until the stock is absorbed and everything is combined. Taste, and season with salt as needed.

Pasta Salad With Pineapple-Zucchini Salsa

21 06 2015

This pasta salad is light, fresh and super tasty – great for serving in the summer! I love taking ideas I see on in my fav cooking shows or magazines and making them my own. This recipe is a great example, thanks to the Food Network’s The Kitchen for the pineapple-zucchini salsa idea!

Pasta Salad With Pineapple-Zucchini Salsa

Pasta Salad With Pineapple-Zucchini Salsa

The following serves 6-8 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and The Kitchen):

  • 2 small to medium-size zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 of a peeled and cored pineapple
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 lb gemelli pasta
  • 2 small to medium-size shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger (save yourself time and use it from the tube)
  • 2 tsp finely diced jalapeno or your favorite hot sauce, use more or less depending on how much spice you like
  • 6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Tbsp Champagne or Chardonnay Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro or mint
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat grill to medium. Grill the pineapple and zucchini for a few minutes on each side until beginning to char. You still want the zucchini to have a little crunch. Remove from the grill and set aside. Once cool enough to handle, diced the pineapple and zucchini and add to a large bowl or casserole dish. Toss with the cucumber, and season lightly with salt and pepper to taste.

In a small bowl, whisk the shallots, ginger, jalapeno or hot sauce, oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add dressing to the pineapple-zucchini mixture and toss to combine.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Season with salt and cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and return to pan to cool slightly.

Add the slightly cooled pasta to the dressed pineapple-zucchini mixture. Add the cilantro or mint and toss everything well to combine. Season with a little more salt and pepper to taste if needed. You can also add more oil or vinegar if you’d like.

Store covered in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

Swiss Chard Rolls With Cauliflower Rice, Zucchini and Sunday Sauce

23 06 2014

I’m pretty jazzed with my creativity for tonight’s meal using Fresh Fork Market Swiss chard and zucchini from our share last week, as well as left over garlic scapes from the week before.

To save myself time during the week, I make homemade pasta sauce on the weekends, jar it up and store it in the fridge (hence the name, Sunday sauce). You could use store-bought sauce or make a quick marinara for this meal instead.

Overall this dinner is pretty easy, deliciously savory and loaded with healthy veggies – perfect for meatless Monday!

Swiss Chard Rolls With Cauliflower Rice, Zucchini and Sunday Sauce

The following serves 3-4 depending how many rolls you make (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard leaves, large stem ends cut away and rinsed
  • Salt
  • 1/2 small head of cauliflower florets, riced (see below)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2-4 garlic scapes, finely chopped or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 small zucchini, small diced
  • Couple leaves of basil, chopped
  • Pasta sauce or marinara
  • Asiago cheese, shredded
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Lay kitchen towels on baking sheets near your stove. Using tongs, dip one Swiss chard leaf at a time into the boiling water and blanch for 10-20 seconds (continue to hold with the tongs for easy removal). Remove from the water and place on the kitchen towel to dry. Repeat with the remaining leaves. Once you’re done with all the leaves, lightly pat the tops with a kitchen towel. Waste not tip: if you have some smaller leaves that you can’t roll, tear them up and throw them into the filling while it cooks.

To rice the cauliflower, place the florets in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped and the cauliflower has the appearance of grains of rice.

In a large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic scapes and a pinch of red pepper flakes, cook until fragrant, a minute. Next add the cauliflower rice and saute a few minutes. Finally, add the zucchini, mix well and cook another 5 minutes or until the zucchini begins to soften, stirring occasionally. Season with salt to taste and add the basil. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Spray a casserole dish with some non-stick spray. Spoon some of the pasta sauce onto the bottom of the casserole.

Using a large cutting board or dry surface on your counter, work on stuffing and rolling the leaves. Carefully lay one leaf flat with the largest part facing you (be careful not to rip the leaves). Place about a 1/4 cup or more of the cauliflower-zucchini filling in the middle of the largest part of the leaf closest to you (the amount of filling depends how large your leaves are, you don’t want to over-stuff so just eyeball it). Sprinkle with a little asiago cheese and roll up like a burrito, tucking the sides in first, then rolling up. Place seam-side down in the prepared casserole and continue to stuff and roll the rest of the leaves. Note, the size of your rolls will depend upon how large your leaves are.

Top the rolls with a little more sauce and asiago cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbly. Garnish with more basil if desired and serve with parmesan cheese and a side salad.

If you have leftover filling, put it to good use! Mix it with a little pasta sauce and cheese and enjoy it for lunch the next day.

Chicken and Tuscan Zucchini Sauce With Lemon Kale Salad

6 03 2014

This is my 300th recipe! To commemorate this post I’m sharing a delicious, rustic Tuscan supper, which I had on my mind all day. 🙂

The idea for this simple one-pot dinner is based loosely off a pasta dish from Rachel Ray. To continue the Tuscan theme, and to round out the meal – serve this with a simple kale salad.

Here’s to the next 300 recipes…mangia!

Chicken and Tuscan Zucchini Sauce With Lemon Kale Salad

Chicken and Tuscan Zucchini Sauce With Lemon Kale Salad

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat, with inspiration from Rachel Ray):

  • 2 large (or 4 small) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • Few leaves fresh basil, chopped
  • Kale, stemmed and chopped
  • Lemon
  • Crusty multigrain bread

Heat a Tbsp of oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste and add to the pot to saute. Brown chicken, a few minutes per side. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add another Tbsp of oil to the same dutch oven and add the zucchini, and lightly brown a few minutes (untouched). Then add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stirring for 1 minute to heat through. Add the wine and basil and simmer over low heat 5 more minutes. Nestle the chicken back in the sauce and cook for another 5 minutes, turning once, ensuring chicken is cooked through.

For a simple kale salad….toss a few leaves of stemmed and chopped kale with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Mix/massage well with your hands, and allow the kale to sit in the dressing for a few minutes to tenderize before serving.

Divide chicken among plates, top with zucchini sauce and serve with crusty bread. Enjoy with the kale salad.

Asiago Zucchini-Quinoa Pilaf

4 03 2014

I’ve seen cheesy zucchini rice, quinoa or a combo of both floating around pinterest lately. Decided to give my own version a whirl. This low-carb side includes an extra serving of veggies, and can be made quickly. Serve alongside a protein or salad for a simple weeknight supper.

Asiago Zucchini-Quinoa Pilaf

Asiago Zucchini-Quinoa Pilaf

The following serves 4 as a side dish (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa (use pre-washed to save yourself time)
  • 2 cups reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 heaping cup asiago, shredded
  • 1 – 2 Tbsps non-fat half and half
  • Couple leaves of fresh basil, chopped
  • Handful of parsley, chopped

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add quinoa and toast, 2 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Next add the chicken broth, stir together, and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook 10-12 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, shred zucchini with a box grated or food processor. If using a food processor, you may want to do this in a few batches to make sure the zucchini remains chunky and not pureed.

Once quinoa is cooked, add the zucchini, cheese and half and half, and cook over low heat for another minute or so, stirring constantly until the cheese is melted and zucchini is warmed through. You can add more half and half if needed, but the zucchini will give off some of it’s liquid as well. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper as desired.

Garnish with basil and parsley, and a little more cheese. I had a few slices of multigrain baguette that I crushed up on top for some crunch, but no worries if you don’t have any. Serve zucchini-quinoa along with a protein of your choice or a salad.

Zucchini “Ravioli” or “Lasagna” With Turkey and Kale Filling

19 02 2014

The idea of using veggies as an understudy for pasta ravioli or lasagna is brilliant. I’ve seen pics for this all over pinterest, but the blog I finally stumbled on to check out the how-to for the ravioli, was CupcakesOMG!. Her how-to pics using squash are fab, so much so, that I’m not going to recreate them, I’ll just link you to them here.

I used zucchini instead of squash, and went rogue on the filling and the sauce, but don’t feel confined to either of our recipes – use whatever filling and sauce you’d like. Once you get the ravioli or lasagna technique down, the variations are endless!

I set out to make the ravioli tonight, however I underestimated how long it would take. It’s not hard, it’s just a little time-consuming. So after making a few of the ravioli, I switched my game plan and built a zucchini lasagna out of the remaining ingredients and baked them both together. Below I show both options…both are equally delicious!

Zucchini "Ravioli" or "Lasagna" With Turkey and Kale Filling

Zucchini “Ravioli” or “Lasagna” With Turkey and Kale Filling

Zucchini "Ravioli" or "Lasagna" With Turkey and Kale Filling

Zucchini “Ravioli” or “Lasagna” With Turkey and Kale Filling

The following serves 3-4:

  • 4-5 small-medium zucchini
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 cup packed chopped kale
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shredded sharp provolone
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400.

Cut ends of the zucchini off and slice down the middle so you have two halves. Using the narrowest setting on your mandolin, slice the zucchini into long, flat strips.

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add half the diced onion and saute for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add half the minced garlic and saute until fragrant. Season lightly with salt to taste. Add ground turkey and raise the heat to medium-high. Saute, until meat is cooked all the way through, about 5 minutes. I used a little homemade sausage seasoning to add some extra flavor to the meat. You can skip this step, but here’s the recipe for the seasoning I use:

While the meat cooks, make your sauce. In a saucepan, add another Tbsp or so of oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the rest of the diced onion and cook for a few minutes until soft. Add the rest of the minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes, cook for another minute. Add tomatoes, bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper to taste, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Off heat, add parsley and use an immersion blender to puree the sauce slightly.

Meanwhile, add kale to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add ricotta, 2 Tbsp grated parmesan, salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth. Once the turkey is cooked through, remove from heat and mix in the kale-ricotta puree.

Assemble the ravioli by just barely overlapping two strips of squash next to each other lengthwise. Do the same over the middle of the first two strips, but perpendicular, creating a cross or “t” shape. Spoon the turkey/kale filling in the center of the cross, then bring all the ends of the squash strips together, overlapping each other, to create a square-looking “ravioli”. Check out the blog linked above for specific how-to pics.

Spray a casserole with non-stick spray and put a little of the tomato sauce on the bottom (just enough to coat the bottom). Next, place the ravioli seem-side down. If making the lasagna instead, lay strips of zucchini end to end, across the whole casserole dish, on top of the sauce. Add a layer of the meat mixture, top with another layer of zucchini. Add the remaining meat and top with a final layer of zucchini (from bottom to top it should be zucchini, meat, zucchini, meat, zucchini). Add a layer of sauce on top of the zucchini and finish with a layer of shredded provolone.

Regardless if you’re making ravioli or lasagna, cover casserole with foil and bake for 15-25 minutes, or until zuchini is tender and the filling is warmed through. Remove foil and bake uncovered for another 5 minutes.

To serve, dish out ravioli or lasagna and top with a little more sauce if desired. Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve with a salad.

Roasted Corn and Zucchini Soup

5 11 2013

This is a light, yet hearty soup. It has different textural components thanks to the crunchy bacon. And because it comes together pretty fast, it’s a great fall-time, weeknight dinner option.

Roasted Corn and Zucchini Soup

Roasted Corn and Zucchini Soup

The following serves 2-3:

  • Turkey bacon, chopped
  • 2 small bags of frozen corn
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • Half a large onion, chopped
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic (use more or less depending how much you like garlic and the size of the cloves)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Ground thyme
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Non-fat half and half

Preheat oven to 425.

Chop up a few strips of turkey bacon and saute in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove to a paper towel.

Coat corn, zucchini, onion and garlic with the drippings from the bacon, along with salt, pepper, a little ground thyme and a pinch of red pepper flakes. If there wasn’t enough bacon drippings you can add a little olive oil as well. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or so, turning occasionally.

While the veggies roast, heat the chicken stock in a large pot. Reserve some of the corn kernels to use as garnish, then add the rest of the roasted veggies to the pot of warm stock and puree with an immersion blender (or transfer to a food processor or blender to puree).  Put the soup back over a low heat and slowly add in a little half and half (one good turn of the pan). Taste and season with salt and pepper.

This addition is optional: for a little more substance, I decided to add some sautéed salmon to this dish. I keep a bag of frozen salmon burgers in the freezer for quick weeknight meals. I crumbled up one of the patties, seasoned it with salt, garlic powder and paprika and sautéed in the skillet I used to cook the bacon.

To serve, I put the salmon crumbles and some of the reserved roasted corn in a large soup bowl, then topped with the soup and garnished with black pepper and bacon bits.

Grilled Marinated Chicken Drumsticks With Zucchini and Squash Parmesan Crisps

7 10 2013

I buy a lot of zucchini and squash because it’s a good value, but I’m constantly trying to think of new ways to prepare it! This is a healthy spin on making veggies “fries”. Make this dinner even easier by marinating the chicken the night before 🙂

Grilled Marinated Chicken Drumsticks With Zucchini and Squash Parmesan Crisps

Grilled Marinated Chicken Drumsticks With Zucchini and Squash Parmesan Crisps

The following serves 2-3 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 package of chicken drumsticks (about 8 per pack), bone in and skin on
  • Kosher salt
  • Lemon zest
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow squash, sliced
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs

Prepare the chicken the night before. Season drumsticks liberally all over with salt, lemon zest, paprika, garlic powder and dried rosemary (just eyeball everything, goal is to make sure chicken is well seasoned). Add seasoned chicken to a resealable plastic bag and add two Tbsps or so of olive oil. Massage to coat the chicken with the oil. Seal bag and refrigerate overnight. Turn the bag over in the fridge in the morning and continue marinating throughout the day.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, preheat a grill to medium-high. Also preheat the oven to 450 and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and put on the grill (be sure to remove from the fridge about 20 minutes before grilling to allow to come to room temp). Grill the chicken, turning every 5 minutes, until cooked through 20 to 25 minutes. Remove chicken from grill, tent with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the zucchini and squash into 1/4-inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini and squash with oil, about a Tbsp or so and season with salt and pepper to taste. In a separate bowl, combine the Parmesan and bread crumbs. Dip each round into the Parmesan mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with chicken.

Grilled Salmon With Pesto Over Zucchini, Corn, Spinach and Tomatoes

2 09 2013

This is such a tasty and fresh summertime meal, kids! With several layers of flavor and texture, you’ll think you spent way more time on this dinner than you actual did…this is a must try 🙂

Grilled Salmon With Zucchini, Corn, Spinach and Tomatoes

Grilled Salmon With Pesto Over Zucchini, Corn, Spinach and Tomatoes

The following serves 2 with leftovers (compliments of Rachel Ray and This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 salmon filets, skin or skinless
  • 1 bag of frozen corn
  • 2 small zucchini, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Handful of scallions, chopped
  • 1 small bag of spinach and arugula, separate the spinach and arugula
  • 2 Tbsp butter (or I can’t believe it’s not butter spread)
  • Dry, white wine
  • Good handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh herbs such as basil and mint, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pesto

Preheat grill to medium.

Season salmon with salt and pepper. Grill until done to your likeness, turning once half-way through. Remove from grill and let rest a minute or two.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the corn and lightly brown, 3-5 minutes. Add the zucchini, scallions, red pepper flakes and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook to soften, 3-4 minutes. Deglaze the pan with some dry, white wine – a good turn of the pan. Be sure to scrape up any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pan. Add spinach and wilt, a few minutes. Next, add the butter and stir to melt, creating a creamy sauce. Remove from the heat and toss with tomatoes and herbs.

In another bowl, toss the arugula with some olive oil, fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Do not overdress.

To serve: Divide zucchini-corn mixture among plates. Top with a piece of salmon, then top salmon with some pesto (I had just made pesto from all the basil in my garden, but you can use store-bought as well). Next, divide dressed arugula to top each salmon piece.

Herbed Ricotta Pasta With Peas and Zucchini

24 07 2012

Everyday Food magazine gave me the idea for this easy, breezy weeknight meal, but I made it my own by switching up a few of the ingredients. That’s one thing I love about keeping food magazines around the house, they offer quick ideas that help spark my creativity!

Herbed Ricotta Pasta With Peas and Zucchini

The following serves 2-3:

  • About 2 cups dried pasta – pictured here is Ditalini, but use whatever short pasta you have
  • 1 heaping cup of frozen peas or corn
  • 1 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 heaping cup of grated parmesan, plus more for serving
  • About a cup of fresh herbs such as basil, parsley and mint; torn (combo of about 1/2 to 3/4 cup basil, 1/4 cup parsley and 1/8 cup mint)
  • 1 small hot pepper, de-seeded and diced or a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat grill to medium.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. When there’s about 3 minutes left in the cooking time, add the peas or corn to the water. Continue to cook the pasta and peas or corn the last three minutes until the peas or corn are tender. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, then drain.

While the pasta is cooking, grill the zucchini halves until just slightly charred – about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from grill and set aside until cool enough to handle. Cut into cubes.

After you drain the pasta and peas or corn, add the ricotta, 1/2 cup of the pasta water and parmesan to the pot where you cooked the pasta. Stir together gently, then add the torn herbs, diced pepper or pinch of pepper flakes and salt to taste. Stir to combine. Next add the pasta, peas or corn and chopped zucchini to the sauce and toss everything to combine. Add more pasta water if necessary to help the sauce coat the pasta. Taste and season with more salt if necessary, and pepper.

Serve with more torn basil and parmesan.