Tag Archive for Zucchini

Baked Egg Rolls

Pork Egg Rolls

My family loves Chinese food, and who doesn’t love a good egg roll? The only thing I’m not a fan of is that they are fried and greasy. So…I decided to try my hand at baked egg rolls to see how they would taste. Delicious! You will not even miss the fat or clogged arteries!!!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time – 18-20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 package egg roll wrappers

1 lb. ground pork sausage

4 scallions, chopped

2 zucchini, shredded

Stir Fry Sauce (just use your favorites)

1 egg

Soy Sauce for dipping

Preparing Baked Egg Rolls:

Brown pork in medium skillet until no longer pink. Add scallions and zucchini. Saute for 3 minutes. Add stir fry sauce and mix well. Remove from heat and let cool. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Crack and beat the egg in a small bowl.  Take an egg roll wrapper and place it on a work surface on the diagonal. Place about a tablespoon of mixture on the bottom third of the wrapper. Brush with the beaten to moisten slightly. Roll from the bottom, making sure you pinch in the sides as you roll.  Place on a pan and repeat with remaining ingredients. Brush the outside with the egg as well. 

Pork Egg Rolls

Bake for 18-20 minutes (oven temperatures and times will vary). Turn at 9-10 minutes for even cooking. Dip in your favorite soy sauce. 

Pork Egg Rolls

Variations:

Put whatever kind of filling in here that you like. Try this chicken filling that I have used for lettuce wraps if you don’t want to use pork.

 

Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

When I was trying to figure out what type of vegetarian chili to make for New Year’s Day, none of the recipes I saw completely appealed to me. So what did I do? I combined several recipes and threw in a few extra ingredients for fun! The result was delicious…and spicy!! Consider yourself warned! What I love about this dish is that you can very easily make it your own depending on your specific tastes. Since it was New Year’s Day, I threw in some black-eyed peas and greens. When I make it again throughout the year, I likely won’t use the black-eyed peas and will add more of another type of bean. 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 30 min; Cook Time – 3 hours

Ingredients:

6 T. olive oil (better yet, garlic infused oil if you have it)

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

5 celery stalks, chopped

2 green peppers, seeded and chopped

2 red peppers, seeded and chopped

4 zucchini, cut into cubes

1 can chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped

2 T. chili powder

2 T. dried oregano 

4-28 oz. cans diced tomatoes with liquid

1 can black beans, drained

1 can red kidney beans, drained

1 can chiles

1 can sweet corn, drained

1 can black-eyed peas, drained

2 bags baby kale

Shredded Cheddar Cheese (optional)

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Large Pot

Preparing Vegetarian Chili:

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and next 5 ingredients. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the chipotles AND the adobo sauce, oregano, and chili powder. Mix well. Add the tomatoes and simmer, uncovered for 60 minutes. Add all of the beans, corn, chiles and kale. 

Spicy Vegetarian Chili

Simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Serve hot. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired. 

Vegetarian Chili

Variations:

You can use whatever beans and greens you like. I used the black-eyed peas since it was New Year’s Day and every good Southern knows you need black-eyed peas and greens on New Year’s Day for good luck! 

Got Leftovers?:

Double bag the leftovers in freezer safe resealable bags and it will last through the winter! 

Corn, Tomato and Zucchini Salad

When you are cooking a lot of heavy food for a meal, it is nice to have something light that also tastes really good. For the 4th of July, I was cooking a lot of BBQ. I had both BBQ ribs and pulled pork and both of those are pretty fatty and really heavy. Add baked beans and mac ‘n’ cheese and everyone is going to feel so full they won’t enjoy the rest of the evening. So, lighten’ it up!

Here is a great and simple salad using fresh from the garden ingredients.

Level of Difficulty:Easy
Time Required:Prep Time – 30min

Ingredients for 8-10 people:

5 ears of corn

1 pint of grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 large zucchini, diced

Juice of 3 limes

3 T Olive oil

1/2 red onion, finely diced

2 jalapenos, finely diced

salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne to your taste

Preparing Corn, Tomato and Zucchini Salad:

Cut the corn off the cob and place in a small pot with about 1/2 cup of water. Place on high and stir a couple of times until the corn turns a bright yellow, maybe 4-5 minutes. Remove, drain and let cool.

While that is cooling, cut your tomatoes, zucchini and jalapenos. You can then juice your limes, add the olive oil and spices. Add in the corn and stir together. Give it a taste and add spices to meet your liking but remember that cayenne usually gets hotter after it has a chance to blend.

Serve cold with all your favorite summertime meals. Delicious!

cold picnic salad

Variations:

I varied this from a Food Network recipe I saw that called for cucumber. I did not have any cucumber so I added the zucchini instead. I think it tasted better but nothing wrong with cucumber!

Sauteed Baby Squash

I did it! I finally “pulled a Melissa”! If you have been following our blog for a while, you know that I try to limit the trips to the store that I make in any given week and have a “weekly menu” set for my family. I deviate from it, but not often. Melissa, on the other hand, will go to the store almost on a daily basis and buy ingredients for dinner “that just look good.” Then she goes home and whips up something delicious. 

I have found and embraced The Dekalb Farmer’s Market. That place is like the Mothership to me. If you live anywhere near Atlanta, you really should check it out. It’s truly amazing. Anyway, when I went a few weeks ago to mostly buy herbs, spices and wine, I decided to check out the produce section. I came across these amazing looking baby squash. I just HAD to buy them. I was already buying fresh basil (because Melissa hasn’t helped me plant my herb garden yet..ahem) so I thought I would make sautéed baby squash for dinner that night. There really is something to be said about eating FRESH ingredients. 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min; Cook Time – 5-10 min.

Ingredients:

Baby Squash (enough for your family)

3-4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced

1 T. fresh basil, chopped

1. T. Extra Virgin Olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Preparing Sauteed Baby Squash:

In a medium saucepan bring water to a boil, add the baby squash for a couple of minutes, take out and plunge in an ice cold bath (a process called shocking). Drain. Heat oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and basil and cook for 30 seconds. Add the squash and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to coat with garlic and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste!

Sauteed Baby Squash

Important Tips:

Don’t overcook the vegetables. Cook them just enough so they are hot but still crunchy!

Way to go Denise! Those little baby squash are so adorable. And, I’ll get over there and plant that herb garden for you!! Really! ~Melissa

Baked Zucchini Fries

baked zucchini fries

Denise made zucchini crisps some time back, but it is summertime now and zucchini is at its peak for the coming months. My zucchini plants are starting to produce some fruit and I can’t wait to make the baked zucchini fries. Ok, so they are not French fries but they are a nice substitute with some great flavor. Better yet, zucchini fries are a fantastic appetizer and a great side dish too. Even kids love them!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required:Prep Time – 10min; Cook Time – 10-15 min

Ingredients:

2 zucchini

1 cup panko

1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

salt

pepper

cayenne or chili powder depending on how spicy you like it

1 egg

1/4 cup water

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Parchment paper

How to make baked zucchini fries:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare an egg wash with a beaten egg, water and some salt and pepper and chili powder.

Mix the panko and parmesan cheese. Add a bit of chili powder and/or cayenne to taste.

Cut the zucchini into thirds, then cut each third into 6 strips.

Salt and pepper the zucchini. Sprinkle with chili powder or cayenne.

Dredge the zucchini through the egg wash and then into the panko-parmesan mixture.baked zucchini fries

Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Repeat for remaining zucchini fries. Cook until crisp.baked zucchini fries

Serve with anything from sriracha aioli for a little more zing.

Grilled Appetizers

appetizer with prosciutto and ricotta

Grilled appetizers are some of the best appetizers that we make…and we make some pretty good ones!! Not only do we love the taste of these appetizers, but we also love that there is no mess in the kitchen from having to cook them. By the time the appetizers come off the grill, the “prep mess” is all cleaned up and the kitchen is ready for entertaining! Well….I guess that’s if you are a “clean as you go” kind of cook like I am! 

Here is a list of grilled appetizers that are always a hit with family and friends:

Pita with Tomato, Olives and Feta

Spinach, Tomato and Prosciutto Stuffed Mushrooms

Chicken Wings with Ranch

Peach Prosciutto and Ricotta Crostini

Beef Tenderloin Sliders

Zucchini Flatbread with Boursin Cheese

Bacon Wrapped Figs

 

 

 

 

 

Stuffed Zucchini

stuffed zucchini

A great vegetarian main dish

When I cooked for church this past Sunday, I added a vegetarian main dish in addition to the meat loaf for those who just did not want a hunk of cow on their plate. I was trying to decide what to cook when I remembered a dish served in The Coca-Cola Company’s headquarters cafeteria sometimes (I used to do some work for TCCC in a prior life). I decided to recreate it a bit on my own and it turned out well.

Healthy, vegetarian, gluten free and yet still tasty!! How about that!

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep Time – 20min; Cook Time – 25 min

Ingredients for 6:

3 zucchinis

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup lentils

14 oz diced tomatoes

4 oz diced green chiles

1 t garlic powder

salt and pepper

2 cups marinara sauce

1/4 cup cheese of your choice

How to make stuffed zucchini:

Add 1 cup of lentils to  3 cups of salted water or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to simmer until liquid is absorbed and lentils are tender but not mushy. Set aside.

Drain and rinse a can of black beans and add to a bowl. Add the diced tomatoes and some of their liquid. Add the lentils and the garlic powder. Stir. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a spoon and scrape out some of the insides to make a little ‘boat’. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

vegetarian main dish

In a baking dish, add about 1 cup of the marinara to cover the bottom of the dish. Place the zucchini on top. Fill the boat with the black bean mixture. Top with a the remaining marinara and a little bit of cheese.

vegetarian main dish

Bake about 25 minutes until zucchini is at the desired level of doneness. I like mine a bit more crisp so 20-25 minutes works well.

stuffed zucchini