Garden

Yesterday I shared a picture of a large zucchini from our garden. It is that time of year when you are eating fresh vegetables. They seem to taste better when you get them fresh from the garden. Here is a picture of a large zucchini, some Early Girl tomatoes and a few tomatillos. The tomatillos are volunteers. We did not plant any the last couple of years but they keep coming up in the summer.

Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day

We planted one zucchini plant this year.  Usually you get more squash than you can eat. Not this year. We have only gotten 2 huge zucchini and a couple small ones.  It’s funny that we pick vegetables on Friday before going to work on the weekend.  Than on Monday we end up with this size of zucchini. How did we miss it on Friday?

Whether you grow your own zucchini or buy them at the store. Try this Zucchini Parmesan Crisps by Ellie Krieger, Food Network.

Cooking spray
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (¾ ounce)
1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Slice the zucchini into ¼ inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the oil. In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and a few turns of pepper. Dip each round into the Parmesan mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, pressing the coating on to stick, and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove with spatula. Serve immediately.

National Eat Your Vegetables Day

Just started my new driving job today.  The ideal job – work 2 days, Saturday and Sunday, then have 5 days off. Money is good and it is driving locally. This means my weekend posts will be done late in the day or maybe even skipped if I don’t get home in time.

Since today is National Eat Your Vegetables Day, I thought I would share this picture of a zucchini from our garden.  Bigger than a steak knife and tastes delicious.

Summer Squash

2 med. Zucchini squash
2 med. Pattypan squash
2 med. Yellow crookneck squash
¼ c. olive oil
4 green onions, white part, sliced
¼ tsp. dried basil
¼ tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. thyme leaves
¼ tsp. Rosemary
2 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

Rinse and scrub squash. Slice evenly.

On a cookie sheet place squashes, onions and seasonings. Toss with oil and place in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Before serving toss with vinegar. Salt and pepper as needed.

You can also do this on the stove top if desired.

Vegetable Lasagna

This recipe is is relatively easy to make and much lighter than regular lasagna with pasta noodles.

3 zucchini, washed, ends cut
Oil
2 Tbsp. Pork rinds, crumbled
15 oz. Can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. Italian seasonings
1 egg
½ tsp. Garlic salt
8 oz. Ricotta cheese
¼ c. chopped green pepper
¼ c. chopped green onions
2 ½ oz. Can sliced mushrooms, drained
15 oz. Can artichoke hearts, drained, sliced
1 Tbsp. Chopped basil or 1 tsp. Dry
1 c. shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 c. Shredded Parmesan cheese

Cut each zucchini lengthwise into ¼: slices. Pat dry with paper towels. Combine tomato sauce and Italian seasoning. Beat egg with garlic salt. Add Ricotta cheese.

 

 

Oil a 7 x 11” baking dish, then sprinkle with pork rinds. Arrange zucchini in dish. Spoon half of sauce on zucchini. Spread half the Ricotta mixture over sauce, half the green pepper, green onions, mushrooms, artichokes and basil. Sprinkle with half the Swiss and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat layers ending with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees F. about 30 minutes until heated through, cheese is melted and vegetables are tender. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Squash Chili

The cooler weather is here (we are only getting to 65 degrees Fahrenheit in Southern California – HaHa ) which means it is a great time for some chili.  This Squash Chili is a great vegetatian recipe.   Enjoy!

 

squash-chili-12 tsp. Olive or vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, peeled & chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
3 c. diced butternut squash
2 to 4 Tbsp. Chili powder
½ tsp. Dried oregano
1 to 2 tsp. Ground cumin
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
¼ to ½ tsp. Cayenne
¼ c. water
16 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
2 16-oz cans dark red kidney beans,drained & rinsed
2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes
2 small zucchini, chopped

squash-chili-5

 

Put a large pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Let the pot heat for a minute and when it’s hot add the oil. Add the onion, garlic, butternut squash, chili powder, oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes and cayenne. Cook on low heat until the onion is very soft, about 20 minutes. Stir from time to time, if it looks dry, add the water.

 

Add the beans and tomatoes, cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, uncovered,for 30 more minutes. Set aside to cool.squash-chili-9

Beef Stew

Fall weather is getting here with the cooler nights.  Here is a great beef stew recipe that’s easy to make and taste delicious! I prefer using a slower cooker. So do the garlic and beef in a pan on the stove top. Then place everything in your slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours.

beef-stew-32 lb. Cubed beef
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves, plus 6 cloves smashed
1 bay leaf
1 lg. Carrot, cut into 1” dice
1 zucchini, cut into 1” dice
1 onion cut into 1” dice
1 ½ c. beef broth
1 ½ c. red wine

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season the beef cubes with salt & pepper.

beef-stew-7

 

beef-stew-8

 

 

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven (or heavy oven-safe saucepan with a lid) on the burner over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook until lightly brown. Add beef, stir to coat with oil, and cook until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes each side.

 

 

beef-stew-11

 

Add smashed garlic, bay leaf, carrot, zucchini and onion, and stir. Add a pinch of salt if desired. Add broth and wine and stir.

Cover pan, transfer to oven and cook until meat is meltingly tender, 2 ½ to 3 hours. Transfer beef, vegetables and all liquid in a deep serving dish.

beef-stew-18