Listen, things are busy around here, so I’m not going to write a long-winded post. For some reason I feel you’re not sad about that. And honestly, I’m cool with that. I simply want to bring you this awesome recipe so that you have it in time for the holidays. So here it is, my recipe Easy Roasted Root Vegetables!
There’s something magical about cookbooks, right? Those glorious pictures! That delicious food! I love them so much! And when I find one that I really like, I want to dance in the streets and sing out loud. Well, ok, that may be a bit “Disney” of me, but it’s true! And the feeling came to me recently when I discovered Bowls of Plenty by Carolynn Carreno.
Does your family love pasta? I have 2 big pasta lovers in my household. And I grew up with a brother who could’ve probably housed an entire pound of spaghetti all by himself. Me? Not so much. Sure, I like pasta, but it’s not up there on my favorite foods list. So how do I fulfill my family’s pasta needs? I compromise with pasta salad!
Tired of butternut squash soup? Have you made millions of butternut squash “noodles?” Need a new recipe for using up that beautiful winter vegetable? I’ve got the perfect recipe for you! These Butternut Squash Rosti are just what your belly is calling for, I promise!
“You can pickle that!”
decree Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein – from the show Portlandia
Perhaps you haven’t seen this episode of one of my favorite shows. If you haven’t, Google it, because it’s hilarious. The premise is that you can pickle anything. And they mean anything from dropped ice cream cones to parking tickets. The skit is genius and I love it.
Eat More Salad + Mango Edamame Salad Recipe
I know, that sounds a little bossy, “eat more salad!” But, I really think you should. Why? Well, because my guess is that you’re not eating as many servings of fruits and vegetables as you should!
Oh, don’t get upset, I’m not mad at you, I’m just trying to bring some awareness to what you’re putting in that body of yours. The statistics back me up when I say that you’re not getting enough – to the tune of that 85% of us aren’t getting our 2 1/2-cup equivalent servings of vegetables each day! Don’t believe me? The newest Dietary Guidelines for Americans discusses our deficit and encourages us to shift to a diet that places more focus consuming vegetables.
“Wow! What are those?” That was my exclamation to the man behind the Froggy Meadow Farm table at the Green City Market here in Chicago on Wednesday. He looked at me kindly, appreciating my enthusiasm and happily replied, “lemon cucumbers.” Clearly I was curious, so I asked him to give me the low-down. Turns out lemon cucumbers are actually an heirloom variety of cucumber. They are round and yellow like lemons, but taste like very mild cucumbers. He informed me that the best way to enjoy them was to cut them like a pie versus slicing them. My face must have look puzzled, so he further explained that cutting them this way gives you a better ratio of skin to flesh to seeds.
That made sense to me, so then I asked him how to pick a good one and he instructed me that the lighter yellow cucumbers are younger and therefore have a thinner skin, but they are not as sweet as the older, darker yellow-colored cucumbers. “It’s a matter of preference,” he told me, if you like a thinner skin, go with the light yellow, but if you want a sweeter cucumber and don’t mind a thicker skin, go with the darker yellow-colored cucumber. I asked him to pick one of each for me. He rang me up and as I handed over my $1.50, I thanked him profusely then excitedly made my way home, eager to sample my new-found treasures.
I couldn’t wait to get home and try these little guys. I dove right in, cutting them into wedges, then slices. I did notice the thicker skin when cutting the darker cucumber, but it wasn’t absurdly thick. A taste test revealed that I actually liked both versions. The thinner skin is nice, but I kind of enjoyed the crisp, crunch from the thicker skinned cucumber. It was a toss up for me, both were delicious! Now, what to do with them???
Try my ideas below for lemon cucumbers or be creative and come up with your own!!!
- Swap them for green cucumbers in Greek salad or other salad recipes that call for cucumbers.
- Eat them like an apple and enjoy them whole.
- Cut them into wedges and serve with other crudite as a great snack or appetizer
- Grill them and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt and crushed black pepper
Summer means simplicity. On a 90 degree day here in Chicago, the last thing I want to do is heat my house up with the oven. So, that means I need to be cooking creatively. For moments like these, I turn to the grill. Sure, it’s hot, but that heat’s outside, where it belongs.
While some people use their grill mostly for steaks, burgers and brats, I tend to use mine more for vegetables. Sure, I love a good flank steak or turkey burger, but grilled vegetables are just plain good food. Plus, they are the perfect addition to almost any meal.
Which brings me to my Lemon Garlic Quinoa with Grilled Vegetables. It’s a recipe that starts with a dual purpose marinade. Yes, it’s a marinade, first and foremost, adding tons of flavor to the vegetables, but it’s also used to season the quinoa. Who doesn’t love making something once and using it twice!?
Here’s the best part! This is a dish you can feel good about serving your family and guests. It’s a nutritious food gift from me to you. All wrapped up in vitamin-rich vegetables, fiber-rific beans and perfect-protein quinoa. So grab a bowl and fill it up and put a bow on it. Enjoy your gift (but don’t eat the bow!)!
A simple summer meal that satisfies.
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 4 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed seeded and cut into planks
- 1 zucchini, cut into planks lengthwise
- 1 yellow squash, cut into planks lengthwise
- 1 red onion, cut into 1/2 inch round slices
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed, or about 1 3/4 cup cooked garbanzo beans 1/2 cup basil, thinly sliced
To make the marinade
- Combine the mustard, lemon juice, garlic, black pepper and olive oil in a jar. Screw on the lid and shake well to combine. Alternatively, place the mustard, lemon juice, garlic and black pepper in a small bowl and whisk together. Stream in the olive oil, whisking until fully incorporated. Pour half of the mixture into a re-sealable bag and add the pepper, zucchini, squash and red onion. Cover the remaining marinade and refrigerate. Re-seal the bag and massage marinade into vegetables. Place in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
To cook the quinoa
- Place quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Season with salt and reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered for about 15 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid. Set aside.
To grill the vegetables
- Preheat grill to medium high heat. Clean grill grates and brush lightly with vegetable oil. Remove the vegetables from the bag. Place the vegetables on the grill and cook vegetables on both sides until grill marks form, about 5-10 minutes per side. Remove from the grill.
To make the dish
- Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl and toss with the reserved marinade. Chop the grilled vegetables and add to the quinoa, along with the lemon zest, chickpeas and basil. Stir and serve.
- Makes 8 cups
- Serving Size: 6
- Calories: 378
- Sugar: 7
- Sodium: 176
- Fat: 16
- Saturated Fat: 2
- Unsaturated Fat: 13
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 48
- Protein: 13
- Cholesterol: 0