Do you have any idea how many zucchini a single plant can produce in one season? It's a ridiculous number. I would go as far as to say a single zucchini plant can yield more zucchini than my entire neighborhood could consumer in a summer.
I didn't realize how prolific zucchini plants can be and I foolishly put 4 plants in my garden one summer. 😬 Needless to say, I became a door to door zucchini saleswoman that summer - pushing my wares on anyone who would accept them. When I wasn't able to give away my vegetables anymore, I started disguising my zucchini in delicious baked goods like breads and muffins. Not too many people turned down my freshly baked zucchini treats. (There's more than one way to get rid of extra zucchini.) 😂
I ate so much zucchini that summer that I thought I was going to turn green. I scoured the internet and cookbooks for new and interesting ways to prepare it. I only wish that I would have had this grilled zucchini recipe in my repertoire when I was drowning in the long green vegetable.
The delicious Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is the perfect compliment to this Grilled Zucchini. I love how delicious this zucchini really is without adding sugar or fat or cheese. A healthy zucchini recipe that tastes amazing. This might even be worth planting a single zucchini plant next year.
Check out this beautiful pepper that I found. (Is it weird to describe a vegetable as beautiful?)
Grilled Zucchini with Red Pepper Sauce
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
1 1/2 Tablespoons + 1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons sliced almonds
1 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
Arrange zucchini over sauce and drizzle with remaining sauce. Serve.
I have a feeling that this grilled zucchini was meant to be a side dish, but I turned mine into a main course. I served it alongside a spoonful of whole wheat couscous and triangles of toasted flatbread. It was a delicious way to incorporate more vegetables into our diet.
My relationship with avocados started out innocently enough. I enjoyed the creamy slices that were served alongside my street taco or floating on top of my bowl of tortilla soup. But slowly, over time, my love for the little green fruit grew into a full blown obsession. The beloved avocado has worked its way into my heart and now I just can't get enough of them.
Avocados are a staple in our house. I don't even bother adding them to my grocery list anymore - I just pick up 1 or 2 every time I go to the grocery. It seems pointless to question whether or not we NEED more. Of course we need more avocado and the thought of facing a day without an avocado in the house is just a little heart breaking.
I love freshly made guacamole and I adore avocado toast. I put sliced avocado on just about everything that I can - salads, soups, sandwiches, tacos, etc. They just make everything better. I've even put them in muffins and burgers. Oh, and if you happen to be my server at a restaurant - save yourself the trouble of asking - YES, I do want avocado with my meal. I know it costs extra - it's worth it. Bring me all the avocados in the kitchen, please.
If you're still teetering on the edge of admiring avocados and a full blown avocado obsession - do NOT make these avocado fries. The crispy panko crust over the warm, creamy avocado slice is absolutely ridiculous and will likely turn you into a super fan. These baked avocado fries are so good and I dare say that they're one of my very favorite ways to enjoy my favorite superfood.
Baked Avocado Fries
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup panko
I was first introduced to avocado fries at my favorite little Mexican restaurant. They serve perfectly browned, deep fried, panko crusted avocado slices as an appetizer alongside crispy tortilla rounds. They're just about the only deep fried fruit that I can see myself eating. I dare say that my baked (healthier) avocado fries are even better than the original deep fried version. You NEED these avocado fries in your life - trust me.
I am a quirky girl. There's no denying it. I have more than my share of undeniable, irrational and unexplainable quirks. I don't like to watch people brush their teeth. I park in the exact same aisle every time I go to the grocery store. I eat my dinner, one food at a time. And don't even get me started on the sounds that people make when they're eating and drinking. 😬 Quirky is an understatement.
One of the many quirks that most of you don't know about me is my aversion to eating meat off of the bone. I am a huge chicken lover but the thought of holding a chicken bone in my hands while eating the meat, makes me cringe. I'm convinced that my weird chicken eating animosity is directly related to the bone because I'm not at all opposed to holding food in my hands. I love burgers, tacos, crab legs and sandwiches. I can eat an apple out of my hand but for some reason, I can't bring myself to pick up a drumstick or a spare rib and eat it. 🍗
Wing eating purists would say that cutting the meat off of a chicken wing with a knife and fork diminishes the experience of eating them. I disagree. For starters, it takes a great deal of time to actually carve the meat from a tiny chicken wing and it slows my abnormally rapid eating speed to a more normal pace. I'm also not a fan of chicken skin (another quirk) so I can eliminate the skin and excess fat from by chicken by using utensils. And most importantly - I can coat every bite with wing sauce for maximum flavor and kick. Isn't that why we eat chicken wings after all?
So whether you're a chicken wing carver or a normal person without bone quirks, you will want to give these Grilled Chicken Wings a try. The brine makes them super tender and juicy. The grill adds that nice smoky flavor and the sauce - well - it's just awesome. These might just be the most flavorful and delicious chicken wings that I've eaten.
Grilled Chicken Wings
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 pounds chicken wings
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/4 teaspoons pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups wood chips, soaked in water for 15 minutes
4 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1/4 teaspoon salt
Transfer wings to a platter. Reheat sauce and toss with wings.
Please tell me that I'm not the only person in the world who doesn't like to eat meat off of a bone. There must other people who share this weird quirk. I'm trying to convince my family that it's so common that it's even been given a scientific diagnosis like "bone phobia." So if you're a knife and fork kind of wing eater like me, please let me know. I need your support.
Leave it to me to take a simple, four ingredient recipe like peach dumplings and make it harder. While most home cooks are busy trying to simplify recipes, I'm over here, modifying recipes so they take TWICE as long to prepare. 🤣 Although it appears to most that I'm simply tying to waste more time in my kitchen, I'm actually just trying to figure out how to get the best possible outcome from each recipe that I make.
The most basic peach dumpling recipes have four ingredients: peaches, crescent rolls, cinnamon sugar and butter. What could be easier? I've made this 4 ingredient dumpling recipe and I wasn't at all dissatisfied with my experience but part of the joy that I find in dessert, comes from the process of making it. I actually LIKE the feel of soft dough in my hands and the smell of peaches simmering on the stove. The investment in time that is takes to make homemade dumplings actually makes the experience of eating them, even more rewarding.
I'm certainly not going to be recipe shaming anyone for making the 4 ingredient peach dumplings. They're quick, they're easy and they're downright tasty. But if WANT to make your own dumpling dough and peach filling, you need to try this recipe inspired by America's Test Kitchen. For me, the results are worth the added effort but you decide for yourself. Oh and a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream is an absolute must for this scrumptious dessert.
1 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
4 large peaches, peeled and cut into 4 wedges
3/4 cup water
6 Tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup peach preserves
1 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Bake 45 minutes at 350.
Disclaimer: I'm fairy certain that the peaches used in this recipe came from South Carolina but for arguments sake, let's just say this is a peach recipe from the Peach State. 🍑
More plants - Less meat. Why is it so hard for me to keep this in mind when I'm menu planning? I've been trying to re-train my brain to eat more plants but my first instinct is still to choose a lean protein like chicken or fish and THEN plan the vegetables and side dishes to compliment the meat. It just seems completely unnatural to me to plan the vegetables FIRST and then come up with a lean protein side dish to accompany them. I really like vegetables, why is it so hard to make them a priority in my menu planning?
I'm trying to change my pattern of behavior by featuring a plant based - vegetable driven main dish on the blog today - stuffed portobello mushrooms. This nutrient rich meal is the perfect thing to get my mind off of meat proteins and onto more plant based vegetable forward meals.
I love these mushrooms so much and Ben and I really don't even miss the protein when I serve these for dinner. I haven't worked up the courage to serve these to my children yet because quite honestly, I'm not sure that my ego can take the scrutiny of their uncensored opinions. For now, I'll stick to serving these hearty mushrooms on nights when it's just the two of us.
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
1/2 cup + 1 T. olive oil
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 portobello mushroom caps, gills removed
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
10 ounces spinach
3 garlic cloves, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup basil leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest, grated
Bake 4 minutes at 475. Serve.
I have a hard time planning side dishes to go with these mushrooms though because I feel like they act as a main course and require no additional protein. They're also a great source of vegetables so I don't feel like I need to add any more veggies either. So what do I serve with main course mushrooms? Sometimes I serve fresh fruit and a healthy grain. Quinoa, wheat berries and farro are all good options for healthy side dishes for this delicious meal. Tonight - it was toasted pita bread and raw veggies. I'd love to know what you're serving with your vegetable, plant-based meals. Send me a comment.
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