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zucchini

Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce

Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce

Earlier this week, I received an “OMG” message from one of my coworkers, followed by a link to a version of this zucchini noodle recipe. In an instant, it was on my must-make list. I mean, obviously that’s how you treat a recipe that gets sent at 10p.m. with an OMG note written in all caps. Wouldn’t you agree?

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I love the simplicity of this recipe and the seasonality of it. The sauce itself is just a handful of ingredients but is rich in flavor from fresh roasted tomatoes. It’s tangy and gets a nice touch of cream from the cream cheese – but not in an overly rich, alfredo-like way that would for sure overpower delicate zucchini noodles.

Instead, I found the two went quite well together.

Zucchini Noodles

You’ll see this recipe is quite saucy. I added an additional zucchini to the instructions below, but would recommend picking up a baguette as well to sop up its piquant flavors. This will also help to bolster what is naturally a fairly light meal. Add a side salad, and dinner is complete.

Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce

What are your favorite ways to use zucchini noodles? I’ve enjoyed this recipe, and also peanut sauce variations, but am always looking for new ways to utilize them…especially as I head off to my parent’s house this Sunday, and sneak away with some of their garden’s green glory 😉

Hit me with your best zucchini noodle recipe!

Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce

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Eggs Simmered in Fresh Summer Sauce

Eggs Simmered in Fresh Summer Sauce

One of my favorite dishes this time of year is a fresh sauce filled with all of the garden’s golden ingredients. Summer sauce always tastes a little sweeter, with herbs that cut through the acidity with a touch more confidence, and veggies that add texture you just can’t find in supermarket sauces. It’s comfort meets clean eating at its best.

Eggs Simmered in Fresh Summer Sauce

Summer sauce needn’t be a recipe reserved solely for pasta, and in fact, I find sometimes I prefer it elsewhere. Like on sautéed and buttered zucchini noodles or a crusty slice of sourdough scattered with feta and basil.

Yet, used to simmer fresh-from-the-farm eggs undoubtedly ranks at the top of my preferential usage list. This is a breakfast – and sometimes lunch and dinner – I will reach for whenever the ingredients present themselves.

Luckily, it’s August, so that means this is showing up in my skillet quite often.

Eggs Simmered in Fresh Summer Sauce

This particular version is similar to a shakshouka, but with the inclusion of some extra garden power from grated zucchini. That being said, it’s not quite as delicate and sweet as traditional shakshouka, but it’s certainly as fresh and possibly slightly more flavorful. Feel free to vary it given the veggies you might have on hand. I’ve also kept this version on the chunky side, but you could certainly give it a pulse in the blender or food processor to go saucier. If you have super fresh/local ingredients though, I might advise against this.

Eggs Simmered in Fresh Summer Sauce

Be sure to keep an eye on the eggs once you crack them in. They can go from an over-easy yolk to a solid state in a flash as they near that final finishing point.

When they do get to that resting state you love, remove your eggs and sauce from the heat and plate it on up. I like to add blue corn tortilla chips for a nice texture and color contrast, sometimes crunching the chips straight on top of my eggs. You could also pair this with your favorite bread to sop up all the juices.

Cheers to doing summer breakfast right.

Eggs Simmered in Fresh Summer Sauce

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Vegetarian Pad Thai with Zucchini Noodles

Vegetarian Pad Thai with Zucchini Noodles

Hey there. It’s been awhile.

Since my last post, the sunset has shifted. The weather began following suit. And the official mark of spring stands just a handful of days away. (!!!)

I am feeling good about what’s to come.

Vegetarian Pad Thai with Zucchini Noodles

In these last weeks of winter that have been rolling on by, I’ve been working on my first photo assignment for a cookbook. The experience has been fun. Full of learning. And food. And photos and taste-testing and excitement…all of which have pushed my own blog a little to the wayside.

However, last week wrapped the final day of shooting, and so now I return. To my own cooking, and my own blog, and my own urges for warm-weathered recipes, even if they’ve arrived just a tad too early.

It’s still winter jacket weather here in Philly…hence why these zucchini noodles got a quick saute on the stove. I may be ready for spring, but I’m not quite ready for raw zucchini noodles. You can go that route if you choose. Although, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.

Peanuts

Here, zucchini and/or summer squash replace the noodles in traditional Pad Thai for a lighter version full of bright, spring vibes. The quick cook-time they get in the skillet draws out their flavor, and softens them up just a bit before they get paired with crunchy red cabbage, and an array of other flavorful accompaniments.

That’s one thing in which this Pad Thai does not fall short – flavor. Feel free to add a little Sriracha to play up its spice, and use a combination of nuts, like peanuts and cashews, if you so choose. Tofu could be a nice addition as well.

Cheers to ringing in the new season with a bowl full of color – you with me?!

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Ratatouille with Herb Corn Topping

Ratatouille with Herb Corn Topping

After last post’s summer-in-a-bowl, I was immediately ready for round two.

When the growing seasons’s at its prime, produce combinations fare to rarely ever bore me. As [insert singer of your choice here] says, “Gotta get it while the gettin’s good.”

In the August, the garden is good, and my fork is gettin’ it.

Ratatouille with Herb Corn Topping

Ratatouille remains a yearly favorite. It’s easy. It’s flexible. It’s quick, healthy, beautiful, and a million other adjectives.

To it, you can add chickpeas. You could add eggplant. You could add fresh thyme, pair it with bread, or top it with cheese. None of this I did. But you could, if you so please.

That’s the beauty of ratatouille.

Ratatouille with Herb Corn Topping

For my ratatouille, I generally do a combination of summer squash, tomatoes, onions and eggplant. I didn’t have eggplant available this time around, but I did have corn, so I whipped up this fancy-but-not-actually-fancy topping.

The corn adds an extra sweetness and crunch, which pairs well with the creamy grains placed beneath it. It’s also adds just one extra summery touch to a bowl full of already natural August goodness.

Ratatouille with Herb Corn Topping

Again, when veggies are fresh and local, you really needn’t do much to them but put them together and let their flavors swim free. Ready in 45 minutes or less (depending on your grain choice), this recipe lends itself well to a weeknight meal that’ll leave you feeling great. Pair with a side of protein, or sprinkle some toasted walnuts on top and call it a meal. Then most importantly, let your fork get in on that good.

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Zucchini Noodles with Summer Sauce and Avocado Cream

Zucchini Noodles with Summer Sauce and Avocado Cream

Pasta la vista wheat noodles. There’s a new, much lighter, more summery, awesome-sauce pasta in town. And it goes by the name of Zucchini Noodles.

Today, I’m sending a hello to the early August garden. With it is coming a hello to noodles in my bowl that allow me to go in for seconds, maybe even thirds, without feeling weighed or wheated down.

The zucchini noodle is one that’s taken the Internet world by a rage, and I’m coming with it –and for good reason, too.

Zucchini Noodles with Summer Sauce and Avocado Cream

Similar to my coconut flake mission I described for this recipe, my mission for finding a julienne peeler to make these noodles was not a short one. Many steps were taken, and many stores were visited for the making of this recipe. Fortunately, no humans were harmed, even after a slight hangryness set in.

Apparently in Philadelphia, kitchen stores like to take off the very same days that this girl likes to create a big, food-filled mess in the kitchen. So on Sunday, off I went by foot to three different places across the city until I finally came across the right peeler to craft this recipe. Well worth it, I assure you.

I also assure you it shouldn’t be that hard to find the tool you need for zucchini noodles, nor will it be expensive. Most kitchen stores have julienne peelers, which do the trick, and mine cost me just $8. You can also use a tool called a Spiralizer, but don’t ask me about the specifics. I chose to go for the cheaper and smaller option, i.e., the peeler.

Zucchini Noodles

You should find the julienne peeler rather easy to use. Simply place your zucchini on a flat surface, and slide its blade from one end to the other. Repeat until you get down to the end.

I placed my leftover zucchini scraps that didn’t make it through the peeler right into the blender to make my avocado cream. Just give them a quick chop, and they should easily meld into the cream.

With a bowl full of the whole summer garden – sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, fresh herbs – this is a good place to start the zucchini noodle marathon that’s bound to follow. Here, you get a whole bunch of fresh ingredients to keep things light, but also a richness from the avocado that pulls it all together. For presentation purposes, keep it all separate like pictured below. But you’ll definitely want to give everything a good mixing with your fork before diving in. Let me know what you think!

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