Tag Archives: zucchini

Black Bean Kimchi Quinoa Salad

7 Dec

black bean kimchi quinoa salad

Okay, I know I just posted about quinoa bibimbap, and yet here I am posting another recipe using both quinoa and kimchi. But this recipe doesn’t follow traditional Korean flavors; instead, there’s great fusion going on here with the incorporation of black beans and zucchini. In fact, you could take this recipe even further from your usual Asian flavors by seasoning it with a more traditional salad dressing instead of the mix of rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar I use here. The black beans and zucchini are a surprisingly good match for the fermented flavors of the kimchi, and the overall effect is a great meal option that’s healthy but not boring.

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Mushroom Bourguignon

13 Aug

mushroom bourguignon

I think mushrooms are one of those ingredients that can be pretty polarizing. Some people love mushrooms, and others can’t stand them. Personally, I’m a big mushroom fan – they’re just packed with umami! For any other fungi aficionados out there, here’s a great recipe that showcases the meaty, earthy flavor of mushrooms as the main star of a French-inspired stew. As I’m not a vegetarian, I used bacon fat and beef stock to add extra meatiness, but you’ll be just fine with olive oil and mushroom or vegetable stock. I found this bourguignon very satisfying on a rainy day, and it’s sure to make for great comfort food for other mushroom lovers out there.

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Shaved Squash Salad

23 Jul

shaved squash salad

Yet another simple summer recipe – only a few ingredients, but it still feels exciting. This was my first time eating raw squash, and I was pleasantly surprised by the taste, crisp and nutty. Combined with a tart lemon dressing, salty cheese, and the crunch of pistachios, the resulting salad is amazingly flavorful. But it’s still light enough to leave you feeling good afterwards. Great for a quick lunch or to bring along on a picnic.

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Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad

9 Jul

roasted vegetable quinoa salad

This quinoa salad feels just perfect for summer so long as you can brave turning your oven on (although the vegetables can also be grilled). Not only does it take advantage of the overflowing summer vegetables, but it’s delicious served at room temperature or cold, so it makes for a refreshing side or meal on a steamy summer day. You can use whatever herbs you have around (either basil and mint, both so notoriously prolific, would work here, and I used a combination of thyme and oregano), and feel free to add a little goat cheese, feta, or parmesan, too. Easily adaptable and full of flavor, this is a versatile recipe that’s definitely worth having up your sleeve.

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Thai Basil Stir Fry

25 Jun

thai basil stir fry

Can I tell you what I am most excited about in my garden this year? Thai basil. A sweet basil cultivar used not only in Thai cooking, but also in Vietnamese, Laotian, and Taiwanese cuisine, this variety has dark purple stems and a distinctive anise flavor. Here’s the very first dish I cooked using fresh Thai basil from my garden. A simple vegetable stir fry with zucchini, carrot, and mushrooms, finished off with a fistful of Thai basil leaves and a simple Thai sauce. Garlic, shallots, and bird’s eye chiles (which are quite spicy, by the way, so cut back if you don’t have a very high spice tolerance) help to round out the flavors in this addictive stir fry. This could easily be adapted to whatever vegetables you like, but don’t even think about leaving out or substituting the Thai basil. It can usually be found in large bunches at Asian markets (which is also your best bet for fish sauce and bird’s eye chiles). Once you try this stir fry, don’t be surprised if you find yourself seeking out Thai basil whenever possible and wishing for your very own plant.

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Ratatouille

8 Jun

ratatouille

It feels like we are positively barreling into summer. I love watching the gardens in my neighborhood steadily grow, plants spreading out and reaching high. Of course, my focus is always on the food, and I can’t help but smile as I start to see the tangled squash vines (not in my garden, unfortunately, as I can’t bring myself to plant them again after watching them take over and then subsequently die by root disease before producing a couple years ago) and the small fruits forming behind the wilting flowers on tomato and pepper plants. In anticipation of the most prolific summer days, when the produce is cheap and overflowing, here is a great simple ratatouille recipe to make the most of some of those delicious vegetables. I’ve left eggplant out of my version here, but feel free to include it (make sure to salt the eggplant and let it sit before using), and I’ve chosen to include mushrooms instead, which are a little less traditional, because I like the meatiness they add. Oven roasting adds a little extra depth and brings out the natural sweetness of the squash and bell peppers. This stew can be a great side or vegetarian (vegan, actually!) entree. I served mine with Tuscan braised white beans – I know, mixing my Italian and my French food here, but it was a great combination.

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Kimchi Omelet

23 May

kimchi omelet

When I was younger, I could wake up and go hours without eating. In fact, the thought of eating right after waking up made me feel slightly queasy. Lately, however, this has changed drastically. These days, I often wake up to the sound of my stomach growling. I need to eat as quickly as possible so often opt for oatmeal (cooked the night before) or yogurt. But sometimes I need a change of pace, and this kimchi omelet was a perfect addition to my morning rotation. The eggs and zucchini make this wonderfully filling, while the kimchi’s flavor means spicing is effortless. And, of course, it’s quick and easy to make. I can’t resist serving this omelet with a couple slices of bacon (which I always find to be a great complement to kimchi), but it’s absolutely delicious on its own as well.

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Thai Red Curry Vegetables

19 Oct

Now that you have some Thai red curry paste (if you didn’t make your own, feel free to use a store-bought version), it’s time to cook a Thai red curry. In this rendition, I used the vegetables I had on hand which happened to be mushrooms, cabbage, and zucchini, but this recipe is incredibly versatile and you can easily use your favorite veggies or chicken – just think about what you’ve liked in past Thai curries you’ve eaten! My curry here doesn’t look too visually appealing (that’s because I didn’t use enough red bell peppers in the curry paste), but the taste is still spot on.

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Zucchini Risotto

9 Sep

Zucchini Risotto

I’ve declared this week Zucchini Week. Harvest those last zucchinis in your garden or buy them up at the farmers market and grocery store on sale, and make these delicious recipes! See my Zucchini Chard Gratin and Zucchini Fritter Stacks from earlier this week.

This recipe is a great transition from summer to fall. Prepare for the cooler weather with the flavor of dry hard cider and the richness of aged cheese in this creamy risotto. The basic method for cooking risotto is also surprisingly easy and a good technique to have under your belt, as it can stand up to many adaptations. Despite what you may have heard about risotto, don’t worry about stirring constantly; you just need to stir enough that the rice is cooking evenly and the pan never gets dry.

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Zucchini Fritter Stacks

7 Sep

Zucchini Fritter Stacks

I’ve declared this week Zucchini Week. Harvest those last zucchinis in your garden or buy them up at the farmers market and grocery store on sale, and make these delicious recipes! See my Zucchini Chard Gratin from Monday and come back Friday for another zucchini recipe.

I made these zucchini fritter stacks as a lunchtime meal, but I think they would be amazing as an appetizer or party snack. The fritter itself is crispy with lots of flavor from the zucchini, cheese, and beer. Add tomato and avocado slices on top (and some bacon and extra cheese, of course) and you have a delicious combination of textures and tastes. You can deep-fry the fritters, but I don’t like using that amount of oil (it seems like a waste (although you can filter and save the oil), and the more hot oil there is, the more scared I am of getting burnt), so I use a shallow-fry technique here.

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