Tag Archives: zucchini

Dressing Up Sardines and Bone Marrow!

Last night, I just didn’t feel like cooking something crazy. I was feeling L-A-Z-Y! I bought a few cans of sardines earlier to stock my pantry, so I decided to do something quick and simple to dress one of them up for dinner.

I buy Wild Planet Sardines in water. They are so good! I’ve always loved sardines since I was a kid.  As a health conscious adult, I appreciate them, since they are packed with nutrients, low in mercury, a great source of calcium and protein, and one of the only meats that works well coming from a can! I used to always get the brisling sardines (the smaller ones), but they’re getting stupid expensive and harder to find. Sometimes the normal ones, the larger variety that come three or four to a can, are weird, taste lower in quality, and sometimes have roe, which is usually kind of grainy and texturally weird for me. Wild Planet sardines are not any of those things, they are amazing. Not only are they ethically sourced, they are so very meaty, and as soon as you open the can, you can tell they’re fresh. From the texture and flavor of the meat to the color of the skin, these are by far, the best sardines I’ve seen.

Anyway, in a small pan I heated up some ghee and threw in

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Zucchini
  • Capers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Mushrooms

After having that going for a while I also placed the sardines in the pan. Once everything was cooked through and warm voila! Minimal chopping and cooking, high nutrition,easy, and delicious!

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I also roasted up some delicious marrow bones. I just put them in the oven at 350 degrees (I changed it to 400 degrees later on to make it go a little quicker). I roasted them in a foil lined, glass, square pan, until the marrow was bubbling and easily separated from the bone.

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I love marrow bones. The last time I had them was in a restaurant, when I went on vacation to Montreal. They are fatty of course, pure fat, so if you don’t like jiggly, slimy, fatty textures, you might be put off. It’s definitely worth trying though, they are a decadent treat! The flavor is rich, and creamy, and really buttery. Some people spread it on toast, I just eat it with a spoon, or suck it out of the bone. You really feel very primal sucking bone marrow from a bone….it’s awesome. I actually shared these with my dog. I ate as much as I could out of the bone, and nibbled at meaty bits. What was left, I held for my dog to lick and gnaw away at. Sharing bones with your dog….yup, doesn’t get much more primal than that. I say that in the most amazing, delicious, best of ways.

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A Simple Chicken and Zucchini dish, and Chicken Pineapple Kabobs

Here are two simple and tasty chicken dishes I made over the weekend. Since they were pretty easy, I didn’t really want to give either of them a WHOLE post but they were both definitely worth sharing (and making!)

Chicken And Zucchini

Chicken And Zucchini

First, is just a light and simple dish I threw together on Friday night after  getting home from CrossFit. A pleasant and sunny zucchini and chicken saute. My boyfriend loved it, and says that sometimes, the  best food, is really simple. I have to agree, as it let’s the light flavors compliment each other. All I did was throw some duck fat in a pan with some largely chopped zucchini cubes and a little garlic. I Seasoned with salt, pepper, and oregano, and let it go for a minute or two. They where large chunks, so I wanted them to cook a little before throwing the chicken in. Once they started to get shiny, but were not yet fully soft, I threw the chicken in. Lastly, I covered the pan, stirring occasionally, until everything was cooked through. It probably would make a good lunch too.

Pineapple Chicken Kabobs with Sweet Potatos

Pineapple Chicken Kabobs with Sweet potatoes

We had my friend over Saturday night, and invited him to eat dinner with us. He is enthusiastic about great food, but doesn’t really cook, and wants to eat healthier.  We all went for a trip to Whole Foods, for ingredients, and I thought this was a nice time to show him that healthy food can taste good, and get the boys involved in the process! Yay kitchen helpers! Really though, It’s an easy dish, and I just appreciated having people help chop things for a change. I hope he took away some ideas and inspirations with his belly full of yummy food! originally I wanted to make it with salmon, but since they didn’t have salmon steaks and our friend wasn’t a huge fan of fish, we switched the plan to chicken.

The Kabobs are made up of pineapple chunks, chicken breast, whole garlic cloves, onion, and cherry sized tomatoes. The order wasn’t so important, though I tried to keep the chicken bookended by the pineapple. I lightly seasoned them with salt, pepper, and paprika, and baked them in a glass pan at 450 degrees, turning once, until the chicken was cooked through. This took about 20-30 minutes. The skewers were also greased with coconut oil, and I put small dabs of coconut oil at various points along the length of each skewer, mostly on the chicken parts.

For the sweet potatoes, I put some duck fat in a pan, and sautéed over medium heat with some onion, until the sweet potatoes were soft and starting to caramelized. They were seasoned during the cooking process with cinnamon, paprika, salt, cardamom, and ginger powder.

Dinner was a huge success, and our friend really enjoyed eating healthy, yummy, food.

Oh! Here is another bonus! We ALSO made roasted artichokes! Growing up, I used to always have them boiled, or steamed, and my friend mentioned in the store while we were shopping, that he’s only had them boiled. Since finding this method, it has been my favorite go-to method for cooking artichokes. it is so easy and flavorful! Here is the link, as I follow this recipe every time, and always get stellar results!

http://pinchmysalt.com/how-to-roast-whole-artichokes/


ZukaBurger Casserole

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I wanted to make a layered bake, that reminded me of a burger. It’s not a saucy layered bake, though you do get some juices from the vegetables and meat. The Sweet potato layers make up the top and bottom like buns , and you have tomato and onion as toppings. I threw some zucchini in as a green instead of lettuce. I was really happy how it came out, and the layers hold together pretty well, which is sometimes a problem with saucier bakes.

Ingredients:

1 lb grass-fed ground buffalo or beef
2 sweet potatoes [peeled and sliced]
1 large tomato [sliced]
1/2-1 onion [sliced, keeping the rings together]
3 cloves garlic [chopped]
1 zucchini [sliced]
1 yellow summer squash [sliced]

  • Grease a glass 9×9 pan with duck fat. place a layer of sweet potato slices to cover the bottom.
  • Season the ground beef with a little salt, pepper, oregano, and maybe a little chili powder, and press lightly into the pan, covering evenly from edge to edge. [season however you would normally season burger meat]
  • Add the slices of onion on top of the beef, and sprinkle the chopped garlic around, Then place the tomato slices on top.
  • Cover with a layer of zucchini slices and finish off with another layer of sweet potatoes.
  • Rub top layer with duck fat and bake covered 300 degrees for 1 hour
    Increase heat to 400 degrees and bake an additional 30-60 min.

[optionally, you can probably start off at 400 degrees and cook for a shorter amount of time. I used the longer cook method because I wanted to leave it baking while I went to CrossFit. ]

ZukaBurgerCasserole 128

ZukaBurgerCasserole 127

ZukaBurgerCasserole 124


I’ve Been Absent – Have a Cocktail!

So I’ve been crazy busy, and trying to balance and juggle more things into my life (like getting back to practicing guitar and writing music consistently). I’ve been cooking really simple during the past week or so, or going back to old recipes, so unfortunately I’ve neglected you hungry healthy foodies out there. For this I apologize. I also just didn’t have the time to go through and upload the photos, as I was dealing with house maintenance and a lot of cleaning. Tomorrow, I should be putting up TWO recipes to try to make up for lost time and ask for the internet’s forgiveness.

To take the edge off your frustrations, here is a nice, simple, cocktail I made the other night. It has a nice savory note, and free of gluten and added sugars, so if you are allowing yourself an occasional drink this summer – give this one a try.

Lemon Berry Sage Fizzy

Lemon Berry Sage Fizzy

  • 1/2 cup Frozen blueberries
  • 3  Sage leaves (ripped or chopped)
  • 1/8 cup Lemon juice
  • 2 oz Bacardi
  • Fill rest with Seltzer

And if your hungry in the meantime, I’m going to link you back in time to a recipe I made the other night, to feed some hungry boy’s who were over during the week. My boyfriend’s brothers were vistiting (13 and 16 years old), and if there’s anything I’ve learned over the years being around boys, it’s that they can EAT. I picked up some chicken breasts from Raleigh’s Poultry Farm in Kings Park. The chicken is super fresh, free range, organic, and delicious. I’m really loving supporting local as much as I can, and the difference in quality, to me, is just instantly noticeable. The only difference this time, was omitting the olive oil in the marinade.

Click The Image to Go To The Chili Lime Chicken Recipe

Click The Image to Go To The Chili Lime Chicken Recipe

I served it with one of my favorite easy sides for the summer – Grilled Zucchini. Just slice zucchini lengthwise, and in a ziplock with a little duck fat, salt, pepper, and oregano. Then throw them on the George Foreman or grill until cooked through. After I took them off the grill, I drizzled them with some sesame oil and roasted sesame seeds. You could use olive oil as well, but the important thing is to drizzle it on AFTER you cook them.


Lemon Garlic Zucchini Boats

Here is a super simple, light, and refreshing zucchini recipe that can be used as a side, snack, or appetizer.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cut the ends off the zucchini and then cut lengthwise. You can cut the zucchini into smaller halves if you wish. Cut a slit down the center, and stick some thin slices of garlic inside. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Bake between 375-400 degrees for 30-45 minutes until the zucchini is cooked through.

ZucchiniBoats 099

Before Going in the Oven


The Works or The Kitchen Sink – A Mighty Good Salad

kitchensinksaladAlright, so here I am for round two today. I made this yesterday on a whim, while looking for a way to use some stuff in the ‘fridge. Not totally sure what to call this. I’ve seen them called “The Kitchen Sink” or “Garbage Salad”, and it reminds me of getting a sandwich (Blasphemy!) with “The Works”. Whatever you give it for a name, it’s good. Now, half the fun, is using ingredients that you’re trying to clear out, so technically, no two salads should turn out the same. But this rendition was really satisfying, with enough fat, protein, and vegetables, to keep me full. It makes a great lunch. It’s also perfect for a hot summer day, with its clean, mostly raw, ingredients. You can leave out the meat for a vegetarian version.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 Cucumbers sliced and quartered
  • 7 Medium Tomatoes quartered
  • 1 Zucchini sliced and cut into strips
  • 2 avocados cubed
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 can Trader Joe’s pitted green olives
  • 1 heart celery chopped
  • a few sprigs basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 chicken breast chopped up or shredded

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut amino
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1 can Cento brand sliced anchovies chopped

Other:

  • Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • oregano or thyme (optional)

That’s it. Prep is super easy. Just chop everything up and throw it in a bowl. Put together the dressing in a separate bowl, whisk it around, and then throw it in with the rest of it. Add in some seasoning – pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano or thyme, then Stir to combine. I used my hands to stir everything, It’s really easier that way.


Zucchini Layered Bake

I used to call this Zucchini lasagna, but without the cheese – it really is just a baked layered thing with zucchini and meat sauce. Anyway, depending on how big the batch is you’re are making, and how quick at chopping you are, It can be a little time consuming with the vegetable prep, but pretty easy and straight forward.

Ingredients:

3-4 zucchini

Meat sauce:
1# bison (Or Beef)
2 shallots
1 red onion
3 large cloves garlic
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 28oz can Cento crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
A bunch of fresh basil
A little Salt, pepper, ground ginger, cayenne pepper, oregano
1/8 ish cup coconut milk (Trader Joe’s, light)
1/8-1/4 cup chicken broth

In a pan, put a little sesame oil and add the onions, shallots, and garlic.

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Sauté for a few minutes until the onions begin to caramelize. Add the bison meat and let brown a little. Add the coconut milk and chicken broth, stir and let simmer a minute. Add the crushed tomato bay leaves,spices and stir. Let simmer on medium low while you prep zucchini.

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Cut ends off zucchini and slice length wise, cutting into long thin-ish strips.

Take the sauce off the heat and place a thin layer at the bottom of a 9×9 glass baking pan. Arrange a layer of zucchini slices.

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Add another layer of sauce and then place another layer of zucchini perpendicular to the previous layer. Alternate layers of zucchini and sauce, and finish with a sauce layer.

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Bake in a pre-heated oven (400) for 15 min uncovered, then turn the heat to 350, cover and cook another 20-30 min. Let rest 20 minutes before serving.

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