Monday, July 25, 2011

Zucchini Time!

Wait - this is how seeds work?

I loooove zucchini season! Our squash plant suddenly started producing this week so we've been digging out all our old zucchini recipes from last summer. We threw some on the grill the other night (delicious) and tonight we sauteed them up for part of an overall pasta dish. This is a very simple, and cheap meal for a summer night!


    -3/4 lb. pasta
    -1 TBSP olive oil
    -3 zucchinis, sliced thinly
    -2 cloves of garlic, minced
    -1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    -1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    -1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

  1. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water for later.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add zucchini and1/2 tsp salt, saute until tender and starting to brown. Add garlic, chickpeas and red pepper. Saute an additional 2 or 3 minutes.
  3. Add pasta, reserved pasta water and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese to skillet. Stir to combine. Serve with remaining parmesan sprinkled on top; take care to evenly distribute the chickpeas as they have a tendency to sink!
Looks a little bland but it doesn't taste it!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Most Beautiful Meal of Them All

There may not be anything more pleasurable than flipping through a new cookbook for the first time. Luckily for my bank account, I have recently reunited with my local public library who has tons of "new to me" cookbooks! This recipe comes from a cookbook I picked up at the library a few months ago. The final product is quite good, but there are many different pieces to the meal and in order to get the timing down, it's probably best to make it with a friend. In addition, the recipe can be split into individual pieces and utilized as a part of another favorite recipe. I plan to utilize the tofu-cooking technique in the future and the ginger sauce would go great with some simple stir fried veggies and rice. The recipe as-is creates a truly impressive looking and tasting plate of food!

Tofu Steaks
    -1 package firm tofu, pressed and cut lengthwise into 4 slices
    -1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    -2 TBSP dry breadcrumbs
    -1/4 tsp dried thyme
    -1/4 tsp dried dill
    -1/4 tsp salt
    -1/4 tsp paprika
    -1/4 tsp black pepper
    -1 large egg, lightly beaten
    -2 TBSP olive oil
Ginger Sauce
    -1/3 cup rice vinegar
    -1/3 cup sugar
    -1/2 cup water
    -2 TBSP soy sauce
    -1 TBSP cornstarch
    -1/4 cup water
    -1 TBSP minced peeled fresh ginger
Stir Fried Veggies
    -1 TSP olive oil
    -1 yellow bell pepper, cut in strips
    -1 cup snow peas, trimmer
    -1 plum tomato, chopped
    -2 cups hot cooked angel hair pasta
I know that's an intimidatingly long list of ingredients, so let me distract you with this big picture of the finished product!

  1. Combine flour, breadcrumbs and dry spices in a shallow dish. Dredge each tofu steak in flour mixture. Dip in egg; dredge again in flour mixture. Heat 2 oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu steaks, cook 3 minutes on each side.
  2. Combine vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Combine cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; stir into sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute or until thick. Remove from heat, stir in ginger.
  3. Heat 1 tsp oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper strips and snow peas; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add tomato; stir-fry 1 minute.
  4. Serve vegetables, tofu and ginger sauce over pasta.