Saturday, August 17, 2013

This Summer We: cooked some really good food

You knew it was coming, didn't you?  We enjoy good food, so of course I'm gonna talk about it ;)!

I mentioned the other day about the cute little round zucchini that we grew in our garden.  Today, I'm going to share the recipe I came up with for cooking them.  It was so... good!

I like a very detailed recipe, so that's what you're gonna get.  If I don't write down every detail, I will forget about the one thing I didn't put down.  Here goes...

Stuffed Globe Zucchini (using 8 zucchini)
1.  put quinoa in rice cooker using same amount of water and setting as white rice (salt the water for flavor), it will cook while you are doing the next steps ***follow instructions on quinoa package for washing the grains first

how the quinoa looks when it's done

2.  wash and cut the top from squash-scoop out the insides.  chop the squash you scooped, discarding any large seeds, and set aside in a bowl.  I almost the tops, you'll need them later!
3.  dry your little squash "bowls" off with a paper towel and then rub them with olive oil.  bake them upside down on a foil lined pan @ 350* for 15 min.  then set aside until you are ready to fill them
4.  on the stove top combine the chopped squash you saved, chopped onion (I used 2 big ones), salt, pepper, and garlic and stir fry in olive oil.  after a few minutes, add 2 or 3 large chopped tomatoes and simmer on low.  when lightly browned (just a touch) add a can of mushrooms with juice.  simmer on low until slightly reduced

5.  your quinoa should be done by now, add about a half a rice cooker (or until it looks good to you) to the pan of veggies you have simmering on the stove.  sprinkle it all with parmesan cheese (again, to your preference) and stir everything up to mix

6.  spoon mixture into the pre-cooked zucchini bowls, put their tops back on, and bake @ 350* until the squash are tender (just don't overcook them or they'll be mushy)

7.  remove tops, cover with shredded cheese and return to oven til melted.



I had looked online for a recipe, and the ones I found called for some form of ground meat or sausage.  We don't eat very much meat, and didn't have any on hand.  Quinoa is an excellent source of protein, so that was our substitute for meat...the other ingredients were all things that I had on hand in my kitchen that sounded like they would be good together.  We all enjoyed this dish...I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more of the little round zucchini so that we can make this again :).

With the other half of the quinoa, I made a stir-fry the next day.  Again, meatless because the protein is already there from the quinoa :).  I cut several large yellow onions in thin strips...tossed those, a bowlful of sugar snap peas from our garden, and some minced garlic in a pan.  Stir-fried the veggies in olive oil til crisp-tender, then added freshly ground pepper, soy sauce, and some raw tupelo honey.  Added the already cooked quinoa and mixed it all up.  Quicker than making sandwiches and so much better :)!  

Our abundance of yellow squash from our garden sparked another recipe creation.  This one is super simple...just wash the squash, cut off the stem and blossom ends, and slice the whole thing in half so that you have two long sides.  Line your pan with foil, spray your squash with olive oil (yes, much easier than trying to drizzle and rub from a bottle, but that would work too), and fill up your pan with the squash cut side up.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and a little onion (powder, minced, whatever you have).  Sprinkle with plenty of shredded cheese...we like colby jack.  Bake @ 350* until just tender (still firm, you don't want mushy).

the first time I made it, I almost didn't get a picture in time :) good.  My kids all like it, too :).

I was a little quicker getting a picture this time, still not quite fast enough ;)

This baked squash was our main meat, only the cheese (cheese has protein, right?).  Serve it with a big green salad and you have a quick, easy meal using fresh summer veggies :).

My friend shared a delicious corn salad recipe with us that has been a big hit this summer.  I'm not too sure how healthy it is, but it tastes wonderful :).  I'm not gonna type it out, just click HERE for the recipe.  I do tweak it a little...I like to use green onions instead of purple, much milder...I also do half regular corn and half steam crisp mexicorn, just because.

Ok, last recipe.  This next one was a total "need to buy groceries, cook whatever is in the pantry" kinda meal.  Our new favorite pizza...

Naan, creamy pesto sauce (we like Target's brand), a little colby jack cheese, fresh tomatoes (salt & pepper), green onions.  Seriously delicious.

First slice the tomatoes and spread them out in a colander over the sink.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, the salt will draw out some of the juices from the tomato...this will keep your pizza from getting soggy.

Spread the pesto sauce on the naan, sprinkle with cheese, top with prepared tomatoes and onions, and bake til melty and bubbly. Couldn't be simpler.

The result?  Happy kiddos...

I even got a thank you note for this one :)...


I know these recipes are all simple and that is exactly what I like about them.  Simple, fresh, veggie goodness :).

Do any of you have a favorite summer recipe?  I'd love to hear about it...

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