Showing posts with label summer squash. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer squash. Show all posts

18 September 2015

Roast All The Things: Chicken Thighs & Summer Vegetables

End of the week, no idea what the weekend may bring, and the crisper drawers still hold far too much highly perishable produce. What to do? Roast them. With some chicken. Because not everyone wants a big plate of roasted vegetables for supper. Weirdos.

The package of boneless skinless thighs I used contained five thighs -- we had two apiece for supper and I enjoyed the remaining one with a bunch of the leftover vegetables for lunch the next day. Obviously, serving sizes are arbitrary so ymmv.

Roasted Chicken Thighs & Summer Vegetables

Yield: 3 servings


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small yellow (crookneck) squash, sliced into thick coins
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into thick coins
  • 4 oz quartered small red potatoes
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and thyme
  • Olive oil


  1. Brush baking pans with olive oil. Distribute chicken and vegetables among pans, trying not to crowd. Season generously.
  2. Roast, uncovered, in 45°F oven for 25-30 minutes or until chicken has reached 165°F and potatoes are tender.

23 January 2015

Easy Turkey Cutlet Parmesan

Another easy Pantry Challenge supper! Turkey Parmesan(ish) -- using turkey cutlets from the freezer, leftover tomato sauce, and a bunch of veggies that were starting to look the worse for wear. Delicious and easy, it would definitely be worth making again.

Turkey Cutlet Parmesan

Yield: 2


  • 1 oz liquid egg whites
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 oz shredded Parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend
  • 4 turkey cutlets
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce


  • To a shallow bowl or pie plate, add the egg whites. To another shallow bowl or pie plate, add the panko, Parmesan, and seasoning blend.
  • Dip cutlets into the egg whites, allow to drip off a bit, then dip into the panko mix.
  • Bake cutlets at 450F° for about 15 minutes.
  • While the cutlets bake, sautéed diced zucchini and onions in a little olive oil until the onion is golden, then add tomato sauce, and leave to simmer until the cutlets are done.
  • Serve sauce over cutlets.

17 December 2013

Creamy Lemon Cheesy Zucchini

Philadelphia Cooking Crème was on sale so I picked up a tub of the Savory Garlic flavor because we like cream cheese and we like garlic ... so why not give it a try? I decided to add the crème to the Lemon Cheesy Zucchini I'd made for December's Eating the Alphabet Challenge and turn the dish into a gratiné de courgettes (zucchini gratin).

Creamy Zucchini Gratin

Also, you know, The Husband isn't keen on zucchini (or most vegetables that aren't carrots, corn, peas, green beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumbers, white potatoes, onions) so I thought adding a creamy sauce and more cheese couldn't go amiss. As he said it was "okay" and ate his entire serving, I consider this dish a success.

I thought it was pretty good -- maybe a touch salty from the cheese and cooking sauce, but the lemon helps balance that somewhat and the zucchini was still nicely firm despite being sautéed and then broiled.
Creamy Lemon Cheesy Zucchini
Serves 2 generously as a side dish

1 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz baby zucchini, halved lengthwise
6 Tbsp grated Parmesan
[4C Homestyle Parmesan Romano]
4 sprigs thyme, chopped
zest 1 lemon
Freshly cracked pepper, as desired
4 Tbsp Philadelphia Savory Garlic Cooking Crème

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the zucchini, cut side down, and sauté for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and toss with the 4 tablespoons Parmesan, Cooking Crème, zest, thyme, and lots of black pepper.

Pour into a greased small baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Broil until bubbly and browned.

Creamy Zucchini Gratin
I served this with sautéed lemon pepper chicken breasts that I drizzled with 2 tablespoons Cooking Crème, sprinkled with grated Parmesan, and broiled until golden.

The Cooking Crème reminded me of garlicky Alfredo sauce and, while perfectly okay, was not something I feel I need to purchase again. Unlike the adorably twee baby zucchini, which I will buy again and again and again ...

15 December 2013

Eating the Alphabet: Z is for Zucchini

So we've come to the end of another Eating the Alphabet challenge. December's ingredients were X, Y, and/or Z. I went with zucchini, because I kept seeing these little packs of adorable baby zucchini in the produce section and I was dying for an excuse to buy them. (I know, I did zucchini last year ... there's just not a lot of XYZ ingredients and I like zucchini a lot).

You can make this dish with regular-sized zucchini, of course. You'll just need to cut them into strips about the same length and thickness of your ring finger.

I did not remove the stems from the baby zucchini as they are perfectly edible. Also, very cute cooked with the stems intact and, sometimes, I just crave cute.

Baby Zucchini
Ahhh! So cute! I must eat you all!
Lemon-Cheesy Zucchini
Serves 2 generously as a side dish

1 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz baby zucchini, halved lengthwise
4 Tbsp grated Parmesan
[4C Homestyle Parmesan Romano]
4 sprigs thyme, chopped
zest 1 lemon
Freshly cracked pepper, as desired

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the zucchini, cut side down, and sauté for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and toss with the Parmesan, zest, thyme, and lots of black pepper. Serve.
Lemon-Cheesy Zucchini

While the dish served two as a side with grilled chicken, it would also make a fine lunch for one zucchini lover if paired with a little crusty bread spread with soft goat cheese and maybe some thyme honey ... drools.

The still-firm zucchini is marvelously nutty and the tart lemon zest helps balance out the salty cheese. If you prefer softer zucchini, just flip the zucchini after three minute cooking time and cook the other side for an additional three minutes.

And that's it! We're done with the 2013 Eating the Alphabet Challenge. Wrap-up post coming in January and then we begin again in February! A is amaranth? B is for bok choy? It's anyone's guess!

04 September 2013

Five Ingredient Tilapia

The Husband is very fussy about fish. He says he doesn't like "strong tasting" fish, but he loves salmon and tuna. Tilapia is okay, but flounder is not. Catfish is sometimes okay and sometimes totally repellant. Haddock was a disaster. As was mahi-mahi and swordfish -- I guessed those two wouldn't go over well, but felt I should demo them just in case.

So we're a salmon/tuna household with a bit of tilapia thrown in, every now and again, for variation. Problem is, I don't really know what to do with tilapia and tend to make it pretty much the same way every time -- baked tilapia smeared with a little mayonnaise mixed with stuff and sprinkled with bread crumbs/panko.

Tilapia & Summer Squash

Five Ingredient Tilapia

2 tablespoons light Italian dressing
1½ Tbsp light mayonnaise
½ Tbsp Dijon mustard
8 oz tilapia fillets
2 Tbsp seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 450F°. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or foil (I reused a bit of foil).

Whisk together dressing, mustard, and mayonnaise. Light brush over both sides of fillets. Sprinkle bread crumbs over top of fillets. Bake 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
If you like a "spicier" tilapia, feel free to omit the mayonnaise and use two tablespoons of Dijon. The Husband had a traumatic experience with what had to have been a mislabeled jar of Dijon -- looked like "normal" Dijon but tasted like wasabi -- and is now a bit skittish of the stuff.

I served the tilapia with my "Parmesan Roasted Summer Squash," substituting one-inch lengths of scallion instead of the red onion, because I wanted a meal I could stick in the oven and walk away from and the squash happens to cook at the same time and temperature as the tilapia. The scheduled sautéed chard and carrots, while undeniably delicious, require a bit more attention.

Tilapia & Summer Squash

Yes, that is my manky-looking pizza stone at the bottom of the oven. It lives in the oven full-time and, supposedly, helps regulate the oven's temperature.

I buy recycled aluminum foil, mostly because single-use things like cling wrap and plastic storage bags irk me, but it still seems silly to toss aluminum foil in the recycling bin after one use. For the past year or so, we've been reusing our aluminum foil. If it's a bit dirty after use, we just wipe it down with a damp sponge and put it aside for its next culinary adventure. Since we usually use foil for thing like frozen burritos, a square of foil can last quite a long time. Is this weird?

31 August 2013

Parmesan Roasted Summer Squash

Pork chops were buy one, get one at Price Chopper last week and my cunning plan was to grill one package and freeze the other ... but I forgot to put a package in the freezer when I came home from the shop and, whoops, it was at its sell-by date by the time I did remember. So we had grilled pork chops twice in one week after going months without eating any pork. (It's not that I've been avoiding pork so much as I just don't think about it).

Friday Supper

Rather than marinate the pork chops overnight, I rubbed the chops with a mixture of McCormick Grill Mates Southwest Marinade and brown sugar. I'd stocked up on Grill Mates a few weeks ago when they were on sale for 80¢ a piece. Yes, I could make my own marinades and rubs from scratch, but I can't be arsed. Anyway, the marinade-cum-rub was easy and gave the chops a nice smoky sweet 'n spicy flavor.

I served the chops with roasted summer squash and pilaf. The pilaf was a boxed mix prepared following the low fat directions where three tablespoons of water replaced the one tablespoon of fat normally used. The pilaf cooked up fine without the oil and it certainly didn't taste like anything was missing. I'm not sure why I was surprised the rice turned out fine as, when I make rice from scratch, I don't use any added fat and that rice always comes out fine.

The roasted summer squash turned out fantastic and I'll definitely make squash this way again. If you don't have access to Boxed Goodes' Allium Salt, something like Penzeys Fox Point Seasoning would also work well.
Parmesan Roasted Summer Squash
Serves 2 generously

2 6-inch yellow squash, slicked thickly
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares
1 small red onion, quartered and pull into pieces
Cooking spray
Boxed Goodes Allium Salt (coarse sea salt, chives, onion, shallots), as needed
Black pepper, as needed
Grated Parmesan cheese, as needed

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment. Lay vegetables flat on pan. Lightly spritz vegetables with cooking spray. Sprinkle them with allium salt, pepper, and Parmesan.

Roasted Summer Squash & Friends

Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until they are tender. Turn on broiler and broil until cheese browns and peppers begin to char.

12 August 2013

Cheesy Pasta with Summer Vegetables

This started out as a Betty Crocker recipe ("Cheesy Rigatoni with Eggplant Sauce"), but I didn't have all the right ingredients and there were other ingredients I wanted to use, because it was the weekend and time to clean out the fridge.

Pasta & Summer Vegetable Bake

My pasta dish came out much less saucy than Betty Crocker's -- probably because I used fresh tomatoes and a slightly pureed can of diced tomatoes instead of the actual tomato sauce called for in the original recipe.

Chopped Vegetables

I also peeled the eggplant, because I don't have a lot of experience cooking eggplant and most of the recipes I've seen say to peel the eggplant so I just went with majority rules. (This is my first year growing eggplant and, since my plants seem prolific, I hope/expect to be a dab hand at eggplant cuisine by the time autumn comes).

While I thought this dish was pretty delicious -- cheesy and well-seasoned with lots of yummy vegetables -- The Husband declared it merely okay (for something full of aubergines and courgettes and completely lacking in meat). So, as always, ymmv.
Cheesy Pasta with Summer Vegetables
Serves 4 generously

7 oz uncooked whole grain rotini
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup diced red onion
3 small eggplants (Fairy Tale Hybrid), peeled and cut into chunks
1 small zucchini, cut into chunks
½ large red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend
14½ oz can diced tomatoes, lightly pureed
[ my immersion blender]
8 oz shredded mozzarella
1 oz grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper, as desired

Heat oven to 350°F.

Cook and drain pasta as directed on package, using minimum cook time.

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large deep skillet (I used my chicken fryer). Cook onion, eggplant, tomatoes, and zucchini in oil, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender (about 5 minutes). Stir in tomato sauce and pasta (this is why you want a big skillet).

Cover your skillet (foil or a lid) and bake for about 15 minutes. Uncover, top with cheese, and broil for about 5 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.

Pasta & Summer Vegetable Bake

07 August 2013

One Pan Chicken & Summer Squash

Came home from work, covered in poison ivy (not nearly as awesome as bees, thank you), with no real desire to put supper on the table but still unwilling to let the produce drawer compost itself ... so I threw this together out of odds-and-ends and was pleasantly surprised by the results.

Summer Squash Salsa Chicken

If you had a lot of fresh tomatoes on hand, you might want to chop up a few and use them to sub out the salsa. You'd need to add seasonings, of course, but a bit of rub would probably do.

This is also a great way to use up not-very-good grocery store corn as all the other flavors help smooth over its failings.
One Pan Chicken & Summer Squash
Serves 3 (or 2 plus tomorrow's lunch)

3 4-oz boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
Southwestern-style chicken rub, as desired [Just Cook's Ancho Chicken Rub]
1 6" zucchini, chopped
½ small onion, chopped
Kernels from 2 ears of corn
1 cup salsa [Green Mountain Gringo's roasted garlic salsa]
Coconut oil or whatever cooking oil you prefer

Preheat oven to lowest setting (mine has a "warm" setting).

Rub chicken generously. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, cook chicken in oil about 3 minutes per side or until golden brown on outside and no longer pink in center. Remove chicken to oven.

Cook zucchini, onions, and corn in skillet for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in salsa. Reduce heat to medium; cook 2 minutes longer or until thoroughly heated.

Serve chicken and vegetables over cilantro rice.

10 September 2012

Zucchini, Pasta, & Stuff

I'd planned on stuffed zucchini for Sunday dinner, but one of my zucchini developed a horrible squishy spot and could no longer fulfill its duties as a boat for holding delicious sausage, cheese, and mushrooms. So, instead, I made pasta sauce from all the stuffed zucchini ingredients and served them over whole grain penne!

Sunday Night Pasta

Maybe not as awesome as stuffed zucchini, but still quite tasty and filling.
Very Vegetable Tomato Sauce

9.6 oz pkg Jimmy Dean pre-cooked turkey sausage crumbles
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced small
2 small zucchini, diced small
1 cup sliced mushrooms, chopped
8 oz can low-sodium spaghetti sauce
14 oz can Muir Glen fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Tbsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend
2 cups whole grain elbow macaroni, cooked as you like
½ cup grated Parmesan

Saute shallot, garlic, mushrooms, and carrot in a little olive oil until fragrant and shallot is translucent. Add zucchini, sausage crumbles, seasoning blend, fire-roasted tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until sauce is thickened.

Stir in pasta and a quarter cup of Parmesan. Serve sprinkled with remaining Parmesan.

Serves 4.

06 September 2012

Too Much Produce: Summer Squash Enchiladas

I bought too much produce this week -- everything looked really good, so I picked up more than I needed and ended up with a fridge packed top to bottom with vegetables. (I know, it's a terrible problem. Right up there will cancer and poverty).

The thing is, I hate waste and I was very much afraid that some of it would go to waste before we got around to eating it. My mother taught me nothing goes in the bin if it can be helped and I still live by that.

Summer Squash Enchiladas

So, behold! The Enchiladas of Squash-y Goodness which used up two squash, a shallot, and an ear of corn ... thereby freeing up enough crisper space that I can kinda-sort see the bottom now. If I squint and angle my head just right.

Summer Squash Enchiladas

1 small zucchini, diced
1 small summer squash, diced [save cob for chowder]
1 ear of corn, shucked and kernels shaved off cob
1 shallot, minced
2 cups enchilada sauce
4 small flour tortillas
2 oz Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Sharp Light cheddar, shredded

Preheat oven to 400°F. Swirl ½ cup enchilada sauce around bottom of square baker to coat.

Heat a nonstick skillet. Add vegetables and ½ cup enchilada sauce and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until onion is translucent.

Spoon ½ half cup squash mixture down the middle of each tortilla. Top with 1 Tbsp shredded cheese. Roll up and place, seam down, in the baker.

Summer Squash Enchiladas

Top with remaining cup of enchilada sauce and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. If you like your enchiladas brown and bubbly, as I do, then broil for about 3 minutes. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving (I didn't wait and mine broke when I scooped them out).

Serves 2.

These were really good and I wish I'd made more! Even The Husband liked these and I was sure he'd complain about the lack of meat.

13 August 2011

Squash Season: Swiss Chard Bean Soup

Despite this week's to-ing and fro-ing I did manage to do a little cooking. Namely, I made soup. And such soup! I made a pot of Taste of Home's "Swiss Chard Bean Soup" with Swiss chard, crookneck squash, and herbs from my garden and it was delicious -- light, yet flavorful and filling, and so easy.

Swiss Chard Vegetable Soup

Ingredients: one pint diced cherry tomatoes (instead of drained canned diced), Swiss chard, zucchini, crookneck squash, carrots, red onion, garlic, organic low-sodium vegetable broth (instead of chicken), low-sodium cannellini beans, quick-cooking pearl barley (to thicken), fresh thyme, fresh oregano, salt, fresh ground black pepper.

Since I was using fresh tomatoes instead of canned, I cooked the tomatoes with the zucchini, crookneck squash, and onion then prepared the rest of the soup as directed and the whole thing was still ready to eat in less than thirty minutes!  While I wasn't planning on eating it the same day I made it, it was still really nice to have made a big pot of soup in a jiffy. I portioned the soup out into one-cup containers and took it to work (or ate it for breakfast) all week.  Wasn't the least bit sick of it by Friday!

While I did think the soup was a little both-y, I just threw a handful of quick-cooking barley in with the beans and it thickened up quite nicely. Next time, I might just doubled up on the beans and give half of them a bit of a mash before adding them to the pot. I might also try substituting low-sodium vegetable juice for half of the broth.

Would I make this soup again? Of course! And probably sooner rather than later as the garden is going mad producing squash and chard.

03 August 2011

Squash Season: Easy Squash Sauté

For Sunday supper, we had Trader Joe's Cabernet Beef Pot Roast with rice, gravy, and sauteed shredded zucchini. The slow cooker instructions for the roast said to brown it, then put it in a slow cooker with half a cup of water, and cook it on low for ten hours or so. Being lazy, I did not brown the roast, but just plonked it in my slow cooker with half a cup of wine and a handful of crushed dehydrated onion slices and parsley. The roast came quite tasty despite the lack of browning and I'd quite happily purchase it again. (I'm not sure I'm becoming a better cook, so much as a lazier one, but what the hell).

Sunday Supper

The sautéed zucchini I served was based on a recipe from Marian Morash's Victory Garden Cookbook (Knopf, 1982) and was dead easy to make. I just shredded a small zucchini, squeezed it out in a tea towel, and then sautéed it in butter with salt, fresh ground pepper, and basil from my garden for about ten minutes. The zucchini had tender, buttery, almost creamy texture and I nommed it up. The Husband was not so keen -- too much pepper, not enough butter. Bah.

The Victory Garden Cookbook offers several possible variations on this recipe including one in which the sautéed zucchini is cooked with heavy cream and curry powder! I love creamed spinach so I'd really like to try this variation next, but I'd better plan an alternative vegetable for The Husband ...

I know what he'd say! He'd say "More whoopie pies, woman, and less zucchini!" Hmm. Zucchini walnut whoopie pies with cinnamon cream filling? Too weird?

30 July 2011

Squash Season: Farmers' Market Corn Toss

Friday, I came home from work hopping mad thanks to some last minute passive-aggressive shenanigans on the part of a coworker. Oh, I was full of the angries when I arrived home. Ranted at The Husband. Ranted at The Cats. Ranted at my summer squash as I went chopchopchop ... and by the time I was done chopping, I was calm. (And, yes, I still had all of my fingers). Have I found the Zen of Zucchini?

Slicing and Dicing

What was all that chopped squash for? For Kraft's "Farmers' Market Corn Toss." As my summer squash were fat with seeds, I hollowed them out with a spoon before slicing them into crescents.  My parsley plant wasn't looking too good (rather the swallowtail caterpillars ate it than I did, anyway), so I used a combination of fresh basil and parsley, plus liberal amounts of salt and black pepper. I also cheated terribly and used a can of low-sodium corn instead of fresh corn. I know, I've lost all my cooking cred now. It's summer. Corn is in season. There's a farm stand five minutes from my house and yet I used canned corn. The shame!

Farmers' Market Corn Toss

The deliciousness! The combination of flavors and textures was extremely good and went very well with the marinated steaks and rice we also had for dinner. Indeed, I so enjoyed the way the corn toss mixed with the rice that I could have skipped the steak entirely. I will certainly make this recipe again -- with fresh corn, of course!

Friday Supper

26 July 2011

Squash Season: Zucchini Meatloaf

For Sunday's supper, I made Pillsbury's "Zucchini Meat Loaf." I tweaked the recipe a little by using 85% lean organic ground beef, liquid egg whites, whole wheat salt-free seasoned bread crumbs, salt-free ketchup, and Stonewall Kitchen's blue cheese herb mustard. And, while the recipe doesn't say to, I seeded my zucchini before shredding it -- just cut the squash into four wedges and scooped the seeds out with a spoon as if I were seeding a cucumber. I also wrapped the shredded squash in a tea towel and squeezed it until I couldn't get any more moisture out. Squash contains a lot of water, you know, and I didn't want a mushy meatloaf!

Zucchini Meat Loaf 1
Pretty colors!

Zucchini Meat Loaf 2
Makes me want to sing "great green gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts ..."

Zucchini Meat Loaf 3
Eh, a lot less pretty now.

Zucchini Meat Loaf, 4

While this zucchini meatloaf was very easy to make and baked up moist and filling, it was a little on the bland side. I did double the glaze recipe as it did not adequately cover my entire meatloaf, and the glaze had good flavor, but the meatloaf could have benefited from heavier seasoning. Next time I might use a teaspoon of salt-free Italian seasoning blend and a liberal sprinkle of black pepper instead of the half teaspoon of oregano called for in the recipe.

22 July 2011

Squash Season: Easy, Cheesy Casserole

Earlier this week, I made the cheesiest and most delicious squash casserole I've ever made. Seriously, it was so good, The Husband went back for seconds and he's not all that keen on squash. I modelled my casserole on Pillsbury's recipe for Zucchini 'n Hamburger Casserole, but I used organic 94% lean ground turkey, homegrown crookneck (yellow) squash, salt-free Italian seasoning blend, and organic mozzarella. I also sliced the squash very thin (about as thick as a quarter) as I wanted everything to melt together into delicious squashy-rice-tomato-cheese goodness.

I admit I was a little worried about using a can of soup, because I thought it might make the casserole too salty or runny, but it worked out fine. Yes, the casserole was a little runny when it first came out of the oven, but I let it sit for fifteen minutes before serving it and it set up just fine. As for sodium, 680mg of salt spread across six servings does not make for a salty casserole.

Casserole Straight From the Oven

Doesn't it look good? All cheesy and tomato-y? Like a square squash pizza? Who wouldn't want to eat that? And, if you're poo-pooing it because you think whole fat cheese = death fatz, you could use reduced-fat or fat-free mozzarella but I can't guarantee the cheese will melt properly under the broiler.

The recipe doesn't say to broil the casserole, but I did broil it for about five minutes at the end to make the cheese all golden and bubbly. Frankly, since I got over my fear of broiling, I now stick everything under the broiler if I possibly can!

Delicious Squash Casserole

Oh, yeah, I am making this again. Soon, very soon, my little squashes.

19 July 2011

Squash Season: Quick Zucchini-Tomato Sauce

It's early enough in Squash Season that I'm excited about cooking with summer squash and looking forward to trying out new recipes. I predict that, by the beginning of August, summer squash will have lost much of its charm and I'll be chasing my coworkers around, pressing sacks of unwanted squash upon them. Oh, they'll love me then!

Sunday night, after a weekend of heavy-duty weeding and mulching, I was too tired to haul out a cookbook and try a new summer squash recipe. So I threw a bunch of stuff together in a pan and made a quick zucchini-tomato sauce to go over sauteed chicken cutlets. It was surprisingly good for a spur of the moment dish and I look forward to making the sauce again. I suspect it would be good with grilled pork tenderloin or, obviously, pasta.

Sunday Night Chicken

Quick Zucchini-Tomato Sauce

1 lb zucchini, seeded and chopped into small (dime-sized) chunks
½ cup diced red onion
1 Tbsp olive oil
14.5 oz can Muir Glen fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 Tbsp fresh basil chiffonade
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large skillet, add zucchini and onion and cook until onion is translucent and zucchini is crisp-tender. Add crushed tomatoes and cook until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat, stir in remaining ingredients. Serve over chicken cutlets or what have you.

22 September 2009

Squish Squash Tomato Pie

Finally got around to making a yummy tomato and squash pie last night. My version was inspired by recipes from Gooseberry Patch: Family Favorite Recipes ("Tomato Pie"), Taste of Home's "Summer Squash Pie" and Paula Deen's "Tomato Pie."

Squash & Tomato Pie

Squash & Tomato Pie

1 baked 9-inch pie shell (I use a refrigerated crust)
2 small crookneck squash, sliced into quarter-sized pieces
1 medium zucchini, sliced into quarter-sized pieces
1 small sweet onion, diced small
1 cup cooked corn
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and sliced
1 tsp Tastefully Simple's Garlic Garlic
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 cup shredded Cabots Hunter's/Seriously Sharp Cheddar
1 cup light mayonnaise
1/3 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place the tomatoes in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes.

While tomatoes drain, sauté squash, corn, and onion in a non-stick skillet until onion is translucent and squash is tender (not squishy).

Sprinkle a little cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano on the bottom of the pie crust. Pour squash, corn, and onion into crust. Sprinkle with seasonings. Top with sliced tomatoes.

Combine mayonnaise and cheddar. Spread over top of pie. Sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake for about 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and delicious. Let sit about 15 minutes before serving.
The Husband flatly refused to have anything to do with this pie, but I thought it was quite delicious. I am perfectly happy to have the whole pie to myself!

21 August 2009

Chicken & Posh Squash

Recently I made "Mediterranean Chicken & Vegetables" from Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks #335 (Money Saving Meals). The recipe is pretty straight forward and could easily be adapted to use many different summer vegetables.

Chicken & Zucchini (Courgette)

Ingredients: chicken thighs, zucchini (courgette, if you want to be posh), bell pepper, red onion, dried rosemary, olive oil, lemon juice, S&P.

I made a few tweaks to the original recipe based on the ingredients I had on hand and the amount of energy I wished to expend. I:
  • Used boneless skinless chicken thighs, instead of bone-in, skin-on ones
  • Crushed the garlic rather than chopped it (smash with knife or go choppychoppy? Hulk smash!)
  • Omitted the red potato, because I chopped all the veg the night before
  • Also made the marinade the night before
  • Baked everything all higgledy-piggledy in the pan rather than separating the chicken from the vegetables
(The recipe was all insistent the ingredients not marinate more than six hours so I went with 4.5, but I don't see why the chicken couldn't marinate overnight).

Overall, we liked this recipe. It was all garlicky and lemony and good and we will be eating it again. Next time, I might even throw in some halved cherry or plum tomatoes just before I pop the pan in the oven.

18 July 2009

Fast & Easy Rotini-Kielbasa Skillet

Rotini-Kielbasa Skillet

"Rotini-Kielbasa Skillet" from Better Homes & Gardens Every Meal Easy (Meredith Books, 2008).

Ingredients: pasta, kielbasa (from freezer), onion, zucchini, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes.

An easy and delicious thirty-minute meal which doesn't go weird if you double the amount of zucchini. Easily vegetarianized by substituting chunks of portobello mushroom for the kielbasa.

13 July 2009

Farmers Market Bounty Tortellini

I made "Ravioli with Summer Vegetables" from Better Homes and Gardens Every Meal Easy (Meredith Books, 2008) for supper and it was pretty darn good and so very easy.  I wasn't sure The Husband would go for it, but he nommed it all up!

Farmers Market Bounty Tortellini

Ingredients: refrigerated tortellini, summer squash, cherry tomatoes, garlic, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), spinach.

Very easy to make! I didn't have any Roma tomatoes so I used half a pound of halved cherry tomatoes and the dish tasted just fine.

If I were to make this again, I would use more garlic (of course!) and swap the black pepper out for crushed red pepper flakes.