Southwest Stuffed Peppers

I’m always looking for a way to sneak in more veggies.

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I think simple swaps are the key to making healthy eating easy.

Take these stuffed peppers for example. I love love love Mexican food, but all the chips, tortillas, and delicious rice can create a carb overload when you’re trying to eat a more balanced diet. Continue reading

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Roasted Veggie Pizza Rolls

With Lent over, and Easter behind us, I can eat cheese again. (YAY!)

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When did I realize exactly how difficult it was for me to give up cheese?

When my boyfriend and I went to this tiny, hole-in-the-wall pizza place that has the best garlic cheesy bread ever, no joke, and after eating a plate full, we contemplated ordering another before we started on our pizza. Continue reading

Palestinian Musaka’a

If there was a reason for me to consider vegetarianism, this would be it.

Unfortunately, pulled pork exists, so that’s not really an option. But hey, a girl can dream, right? Continue reading

Zucchini Tots with Spiced Mayo

If you’re like me, you love yourself some tater tots. Fries are great but, let’s face it, though they are both children of the potato, there’s something about their little barrel shape, crispy outsides, steamy insides, and perfectly dip-able round bottoms that blows fries out of the water. (Except waffle fries…that’s a tougher battle.)

If I needed any further proof, a whole array of hot dishes have been centered around the tater tot. Possibly only in Minnesota, but still, can fries claim such culinary achievements?

However, if you are also like me, you do not like what tater tots do to the way your jeans have chosen to fit you today.

Continue reading

Zucchini Fritters with Garlic-infused Yogurt

Stop the presses!

I’m interrupting today’s regularly scheduled dessert post to bring you something better.

And it’s made with vegetables.

I know, I just saw the pigs fly by my window too, but seriously guys – you’ve got to try these. Right now. Go to your local farmers market, buy some zucchini, clear your schedule and make some zucchini fritters.

Continue reading

Zucchini Boats with Cheesy-Basil Mousse

Growing up, zucchini was one of those foods that fell in the “yucky green vegetable” category. Had these appeared before me at age 5, I might have reconsidered my feelings on zucchini.

The herbed cheesy filling compliments the sweetness of the baked zucchini. But be careful not to over cook these boats, or they’ll sink under the weight of of their creamy filling. Continue reading

Ratatouille!

Why did I decide to try making ratatouille? To be perfectly honest, I’ve wanted to try it (homemade or otherwise) since I saw the Disney/Pixar movie. I mean really, an adorably animated rat living in Paris who loves to cook? Totally up my alley. Especially when you add in the necessary feel good message that if you keep trying you can achieve your dreams.

I fall for that stuff every time.

In the movie (spoiler alert!) ratatouille is the dish our furry friend makes to melt the heart of the mean old food critic. It’s considered a risky move because it’s a simple peasant dish, and is that really what you want to serve the most highly regarded food critic ever?

I decided to make some myself and find out. And yes, it’s pretty darn good. I would definitely make this recipe again. This is a wonderful dish for anyone with a bumper crop of tomatoes hanging around. It also let me experiment with eggplant, something I had never cooked with before, which always makes for an exciting day in my kitchen!

Ratatouille – recipe modified from Food & Wine, Oct. 2011

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 6 large garlic cloves
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 large yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 pounds of tomatoes, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 cup of loosely packed and shredded basil leaves
  • lemon zest of one lemon
  • lemon juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
Directions:
1. In a large casserole dish or Dutch oven (and I mean large, this nearly didn’t fit in the pan I used and I made a huge mess all over the stove top) heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add the eggplant and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add 1/3 of the garlic and cook for another minute. Remove the eggplant from the dish and pour it into a bowl. *Note* this recipe is done in batches to speed up the cooking (and therefore eating). I promise eggplant tastes better than it looks.
2. While you’re cooking the eggplant: add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a second pan and let it heat up. Then add the zucchini and yellow squash and cook over medium heat until lightly browned in spots, or about 5 minutes. Add another 1/3 of garlic and cook for another minute. Remove the zucchini/squash mixture and add it to the bowl with the eggplant.
3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the original casserole dish and let it heat up. Add the onion and the red pepper and cook over medium heat until softened, about 7 minutes.. Add the remaining garlic and cook for another minute.
4. Add the tomatoes to the onion and pepper mixture along with 2/3 of your basil and the reserved vegetables you previously cooked. (Now you see why we needed the big dish!) Cook the whole mixture, stirring to combine throughly until the tomatoes have broken down and all the vegetables are tender. A fork should easily pierce your largest piece of eggplant. That will take about 15 minutes.
5. Stir in the remaining basil along with the lemon zest and juice. Remove from heat, spoon into bowls, sprinkle with feta cheese and dig in! This dish is great with a light Sauvignon Blanc. We enjoyed it with a bottle of Mohua, 2010.