My friend, Meghan, raved about this recipe for Farmer’s Market Skillet: http://pinterest.com/pin/91901648617177047/. She wrote “I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed veggies this much AND I’m not a quinoa fan… but LOVED this”. As someone who sometimes needs to force herself to eat veggies as a good example to my toddler, I was intrigued.
I picked up all my ingredients at Trader Joe’s and got started with preparations. The recipe called for a 25 minute prep of the quinoa, but I just followed the directions on the box. So it only took about 10 minutes. The rest was easy peasy. I used season salt on the zucchini to quicken the process and,since I hate onions, I used dried onions.
I have to agree with Meghan on this one. This recipe was delicious. My husband and toddler both gobbled it up. And, as a matter of fact, so did I.
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small zucchini, quartered and sliced (or half a large one)
2 ears sweet corn, kernels cut off the cob (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 green onions
salt & pepper
1 vine-ripened tomato, chopped
1/2 cup feta
2 Tablespoons chopped basil
For the Honey Lemon Vinaigrette:
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
1 garlic clove, microplaned or finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan. Add rinsed quinoa and place a lid on top, turn the heat down to medium-low, then cook until the broth is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 25 minutes. Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the Honey Lemon Vinaigrette in a jar or bowl, then shake or whisk to combine and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add zucchini, sweet corn, and green onions, season with salt and pepper, then saute until barely tender, about 4 minutes. Add cooked quinoa and half the Honey Lemon Vinaigrette, then stir and cook for 1 more minute.*
- Add remaining vinaigrette, tomatoes, feta cheese, and basil to the skillet. Stir well, taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
I invited my friend, Tawny, over for dinner tonight. Because I was feeling brave, I decided to try another new meal, Baked Ziti and Summer Veggies: http://pinterest.com/pin/91901648616737878/. I followed the recipe to a “T”, only substituting Rigatoni Noodles because that is what I had on hand. The meal looked and smelled delicious. But taste wise, I would probably only give it a “B”. It was a little dry. If I make Baked Ziti and Summer Veggies again, I’ll add a tomato sauce to the Ricotta cheese sauce.
I’m a mom to a very active 18 month old. I have a couple “Mom Friends” and we schedule playdates for our little ones. During a recent playdate I was telling my friend, Jennifer, about my cooking challenge. She likes to cook, so she suggested that we cook together sometime. I jumped at the chance.So we looked around Pinterest and Jennifer found a recipe for linguine with zucchini pesto, roasted pine nuts and dried tomatoes: http://pinterest.com/pin/91901648616799440/.
Upon first look, I would have guessed it was too difficult. And had too many steps. I’m still a beginner, afterall. But Jennifer was confident we could make it.
We met at Jennifer’s apartment. Our kiddos played and colored while we cut and sauteed the zucchini. I learned a lot from cooking with Jennifer. Little things, like adding salt to the zucchini, will speed up the process of cooking. And Jennifer had made pesto before so she added a few things to the recipe. Such as fresh basil, which was not included in the recipe we found, but is apparently used in most pesto recipes. She also suggested we add chicken to the recipe.
The end result was DELICIOUS. And both our kids loved it too! That was the really kicker. You just never know with kids. And Jennifer suggested we double the recipe so that we had enough for both our hubbies as well. And we had PLENTY of leftovers.
PASTA WITH ZUCCHINI CREAM AND A SUN-DRIED TOMATO AND PINE NUT TOPPING
400 g pasta
8 small zucchini
3 whole sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
3 tblsp pine nuts
1 clove garlic, optional
chili pepper in flakes and powder
extra-virgin olive oil
Cook the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking you slice the zucchini and slowly cook it in olive oil, chili pepper and the garlic cut in 4 until the zucchini is golden.
Put the zucchini, garlic and some of the olive oil in a blender and run it until they are smooth and creamy.
Mix the freshly cooked pasta with the zucchini cream and serve topped with the chopped sun-dried tomatoes and some pine nuts.
I pinned a recipe for Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats from a friend a couple weeks ago. And tonight I decided to give it a try: http://pinterest.com/pin/91901648616704086/. I’ve never tried anything like this before. I rarely even cook with Zucchini. But this recipe was surprisingly easy and tasty too. Though the zucchini boats alone were not very filling. We served them with a side of pasta.
Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- 1 1/4 cups of marinara sauce
- 4 (31 oz total) medium zucchini
- 1 tsp oil
- 1/2 small onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 14 oz lean Italian chicken sausage
- 1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella
- 8 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Preheat oven to 400°. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4″ thick. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside.
Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water.
Place 1/4 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 12″ baking dish, and place zucchini halves cut side up.
In a large saute pan, brown sausage, breaking up as it cooks into smaller pieces until browned; set aside. Heat oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook on a medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook about 2-3 minutes. Combine with sausage and cook a few more minutes.
Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with 1/3 cup cooked sausage, pressing firmly. Top each with 2 tablespoons each of sauce, 1 tablespoon each of shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 teaspoon each of parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through.
This recipe is from: http://www.skinnytaste.com/