Archive for Vegetables and Fruits

Haricots Verts with Prosciutto

I’m always looking for new ways to make vegetables for my family. I could eat just about any vegetable cooked any way, but I am challenged with getting greens into the kids. I gave these haricots verts with prosciutto a try with the hopes that the kids would eat them since they were similar to garlic green beans, with a few extra yummy ingredients. After I assured them that the prosciutto was not plain ham, they dug right in! 

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

Ingredients:

1 pound haricots verts, trimmed

4-6 slices prosciutto (skin on), diced

1 tsp. olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 c. panko breadcrumbs

Kosher Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

Lemon Wedges (if desired)

Preparing Haricots Verts with Prosciutto:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the haricots verts. Cook about 3-4 minutes. Drain and immediately put them in an bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process. Drain again and dry thoroughly on a paper towel.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the prosciutto and cook until crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, drain on a paper towel. Add the garlic to the drippings in the pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the panko and cook, stirring constantly until toasted, about 1 additional minute. 

Add the haricots verts back to the skillet and mix all ingredients well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired. 

Haricots Verts with Prosciutto

Important Tips:

Don’t forget to “shock your green beans”, otherwise they will end up mushy. 

Variations:

If you don’t have prosciutto, you could substitute bacon or pancetta for the meat. 

Meal Ideas:

I served this with balsamic chicken breasts and a simple baked potato.

 

Cabbage Steaks

I saw another recipe on Facebook this, this time from Health is Wealth, and knew I had to try it. This one was for cabbage steaks! I thought it needed a bit more garlic than the original recipe called for and also needed less cooking time, so the below recipe is how I cooked them. That’s the great thing about cooking…adjust the quantities and amounts to suit your particular tastes! 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min; Cook Time – 1 hour

Ingredients for 4:

1 large head of cabbage

8 gloves of garlic, crushed

Olive oil

Kosher Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

Preparing Cabbage Steaks:

Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Pull outer leaf/leaves off cabbage.  Cut cabbage into 1″ thick slices. Rub both sides of cabbage with crushed garlic (Make sure you actually rub it in…don’t just sprinkle it on). Using a pastry brush, brush both sides of each cabbage slice with olive oil. Sprinkle each side with a bit of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Cabbage Steaks

Roast 20 minutes. Carefully flip the cabbage steaks and roast for an additional 20 minutes until edges are brown and crispy.

 

Melon with Thyme and Parmesan

In my household, hardly anyone likes melon. It doesn’t matter if it is watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew or some other kind of melon, they just don’t like it. I, for the life of me, don’t get it. Certainly I can understand why people say they don’t like honey dew because you so often get served the hard, tasteless, unripen version. But good, cold, ripe, sweet, and juicy melon is delicious!

This is an elegant way to serve it and make it taste even better. There is something about the nutty parmesan cheese that makes this a dish you’ll go back to for seconds and thirds!

Level of Difficulty:Easy (only thing ‘hard’ is getting a ripe melon)

Time Required:Prep Time – 30min; Cook Time – 1 hour

Ingredients for about 6 servings:

1/2 honey dew, canary or cantaloupe melon

Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 T fresh thyme leaves (lemon thyme if you have it)

Fresh cracked black pepper

4 oz Parmigiano Regianno Cheese

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Vegetable Peeler

How to make melon with thyme and parmesan:

Pick a good, ripe melon. Wash your melon. Slice it in half. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Remove the peel. The links here will provide more detail on picking, washing and peeling a melon if you need it.

Slice the melon thinly into about 3 inch strips. The thinner the better really. I’ve had versions of this at a restaurant where they called this a melon carpaccio.

Place on a  platter.

Drizzle lightly with the olive oil. Crack some fresh pepper on top. Add your fresh thyme leaves.

Using your vegetable peeler, shave thin but long strips of the parmesan and add on top.

Oh my is this a fresh summer treat!!

melon with thyme and parmesan

Important Tips:

Get a fresh melon and serve cold.

Use the real deal for the parmesan. Powdered or already shredded is not going to cut it for this dish!

Variations:

Change out the melon variety or dry small amount of rosemary instead of the thyme.

My kids absolutely love melon. This is something they would eat for sure!! ~Denise

Roasted Okra and Tomatoes

Roasted Okra and Tomatoes

Like a true Southerner, I love okra! A friend of mine (other than Melissa) has a beautiful garden. The other day, she gave me a bunch of okra and tomatoes. She had told me that she recently made stewed okra and tomatoes for her husband and it was delicious. Fast forward a couple of days…the kids are starving when they get home from school, and I had about an hour to get them fed, make sure homework was done, and out the door to volleyball practice. I wanted a little something to eat, but not what I was making the family. I looked at the fresh produce sitting in my basket and thought, “Let me try roasted okra and tomatoes!” This dish really could not have been easier to make or more delicious to eat!!

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5 minutes; Cook Time – 20 minutes

Ingredients:

Fresh Okra, desired amount, cut in half lengthwise

1-2 plum tomatoes, diced

Olive Oil

Slavo Salt, or you favorite seasoning salt

Preparing Roasted Okra and Tomatoes:

Preheat oven to 425 Degrees. Put okra in a large mixing bowl. Add just enough olive oil to coat the okra and add a few shakes of Slavo Salt. Mix well and put on baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, put the tomatoes in a small mixing bowl. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the tomatoes and add a bit of Slavo Salt. Mix well. Add the tomatoes to the okra and roast for 5 minutes. That’s all!!! 

Important Tips:

Make sure you don’t cook the tomatoes and the okra together the whole time. If you do, the tomatoes will be very mushy and watery!

 

 

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

Roasted Edamame

A while ago, we gave you a recipe for Roasted Chickpeas, which was VERY well received. Out of the blue a few weeks ago, my husband asked if I could make roasted edamame the way I make the chickpeas. After I got over my initial shock regarding his request, I eagerly took on the challenge. How could that NOT be delicious if you like edamame? I made them almost exactly the same way as the chickpeas, I just cooked them less since they are smaller. Yet another healthy snack brought to you by McNack’s Kitchen. 

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min; Cook Time – 20 min

Ingredients:

1 frozen pack of edamame, shelled

2 T. Olive Oil

1 1/2 T. Original Slavo Salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Preparing Roasted Edamame:

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees. Defrost the edamame as directed and drain. Place in mixing bowl. Add olive oil, Slavo Salt, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Mix well. Place on baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes.

Roasted Edamame

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.