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Summertime Pizza

It all started with a pizza craving.  Gooey cheese, fattening meats, naughty for you crust..mmmmm. But I digress.  I wanted pizza and I was going to have it (and have it healthy).

In my CSA box this week was some basil and some summer squash.  I had a left over tomato from the prior week’s box.  I decided to forgo the traditional tomato sauce and use part-skim ricotta and the fresh basil.  I loaded it up with veggies, and sliced apple chicken sausages and topped with a very light sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.  What I got was nothing less than amazing.

The ricotta was so creamy and when you got a bite of the fresh basil..Heaven (seriously).  The veggies were beautifully crisp and fresh.

The produce from Highcross Farm is so gorgeous and so delicious, I really feel spoiled being a CSA member.

Supplies:

  • 1 tube (I know, I know) pizza crust
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 shallot sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 good handful mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Fresh basil
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tub part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 links chicken sausage (I used apple)

Preheat oven to 450.  Shape pizza dough on a greased cookie sheet according to package instructions.  Bake for 10 mins.  You want the edges to be at the point where they are just starting to turn brown.  Pre-baking your crust will prevent it from getting soggy from the vegetables.  Take out of the oven, but leave the oven still on.

Spread ricotta cheese over the crust and sprinkle whole basil leaves over the ricotta.  Sprinkle with garlic powder.

Layer your vegetables and sausage anyway you wish.  Sprinkle with grated parmesan and bake until the mushrooms and zucchini have just about to soften and the sausage is heated through.  For me it took about 15 or so minutes. Keep an eye on it.

If you feel your crust is getting too dark before your pizza is done, cover it with pieces of tin foil.

I enjoyed mine on my deck with a nice glass of wine.  I love summer.

 

 

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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Zucchini Carpaccio

It’s been hot in Wisconsin. Unbearably hot.  Even though I have central air in my house, the heat sucks all my motivation away when I get home from work.  The last thing I have wanted to do was turn on my oven. The grill is our best friend during the summer.

I’ve made a lot of salads this past week using almost everything in my CSA box.  Salads work for me.  They are quick to make, and they fill me up during the day preventing me from hitting the vending machine at work.

My boyfriend made some chicken on the grill and asked me to make a side dish.  I took my last lonely zucchini and decided to make a carpacchio.

What is a carpaccio you ask?  Technically it is raw beef or fish thinly sliced and dressed with a sauce.  I’m not a fan of raw meat or fish so I took poetic justice and substituted with zucchini. I dressed it up with a honey-lemon dressing that was so thick and luscious, I had to make more to store in the refrigerator to use during the week.

Supplies:

  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced with a very sharp knife or mandolin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons honey
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • black pepper, freshly cracked if you can
  • pepitas or pistachios

Slice your zucchini as thin as you can get it while keeping the piece intact.

(Yes, I am aware that I am in dire need of a manicure) 🙂

Set your zucchini slices off to the side and make your dressing.

Whisk together the oil, lemon juice and honey until well combined.  You should get this beautiful, golden dressing.

Plate your zucchini on a serving platter, drizzle with dressing.  Top with cracked black pepper and pepitas.  I garnished mine with a little bit of lemon zest.  If you feel the need to add salt, go ahead.  I thought it was great without. It’s all a matter of preference.

This is a nice alternative to a lettuce salad.  You know it’s good when your picky eater asks for seconds.  Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Zucchini-Coconut Bread w/ Coconut-Lime Glaze

It has been a whirlwind month for me.  My boyfriend went in for routine surgery just to find out he has cancer.  Malignant Melanoma to be exact.  Two surgeries, buckets of tears, and a whole lot of worry later I find solace in my kitchen.  My sanctuary, my oasis. Oasis had me thinking of sun, which had me thinking of palm trees, which led my mind to coconut. Inspired!  I perused the internet looking for something tropical.  Something a little different, but not really (if that makes sense).

I found a recipe that was coconutty, lime-y and best of all, called for zucchini (which just so happened to be in my CSA box this week). Score! I found the recipe here. I knew this recipe was a keeper when I couldn’t stop sticking my finger in the batter bowl.

Let’s talk about the glaze. Oh that glaze!  A perfect balance of sweet and tart. I love how the coconut and the lime play nice together.  The recipe makes lots of wonderful glaze and I let every last drop ooze down the sides and all around the loaf of bread.  Sublime is putting it mildly.

This recipe is easy. I know, I say that all the time. It’s true.  I whipped this together in less than 30, let it bake for 60, scarfed down a piece in less than 1 *blush*

Supplies: (Recipe copied and pasted)

  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar (you might want to increase the amount, if you like yours more sweet)
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups ripe zucchini, grated (about 2 zucchinis)
  • 1/3 cup plain Low or No-Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Rum or Rum Extract (I don’t have rum, so I used coconut extract)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2/3 cup flaked sweetened Coconut
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan.
  2. Cream butter and sugar then beat in eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add zucchini, yogurt, vanilla and the rum. Beat until well blended.
  4. Stir in coconut and all dry ingredients until just blended. Don’t over stir.
  5. Spoon batter into loaf pan.
  6. Bake for about an hour, or until toothpick comes out clean from the middle of the bread.
  7. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so, then transfer to serving plate.

For the glaze:

  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Rum or Rum Extract (again used coconut extract)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh squeezed Lime Juice
  • Milk to get glaze to the right consistency (you can use coconut milk, in case you have that in hand)
  • Zest of 1 lime
  1. Mix all ingredients except milk in a medium bowl. Add milk until it becomes a thick but smooth glaze. Set aside.
  2. Toast coconut under the broiler until just browned. Set aside.
  3. Drizzle glaze over bread. Top with toasted coconut and lime zest.

I used the largest bread pan I had, I suggest you do too. My batter came a little over the sides. No biggie.  I also added the zest to the glaze itself instead of sprinkling it on top to give the glaze an extra lime punch.

I really hope you try this and love it as much as I did.  If you change it up, I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Warm Eggplant & Summer Squash Bruschetta

I love, love, LOVE bruschetta.  I normally go for the typical tomato, basil, mozzarella bruschetta.  This time I decided to go with a super chunky, ultra rustic, warm bruschetta to put atop my fresh loaf of Italian bread.

This is rich and full of flavor without being too heavy for a summer dish.

I think I used 90% of my CSA box with this recipe.  This was a total experiment that pleased me to no end.

This recipe makes quite a lot, so grab a big loaf of fresh bread, a handful of good friends, a beverage of your choice and ENJOY.

Supplies:

  • 1 large zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow squash, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium sized egg plant, roughly chopped
  • 1 small can of diced tomatoes, juice and all
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, peeled and you guessed it, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 c red wine of your choice
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 handful fresh basil. I received some beautiful lemon basil in my box this week.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • S & P to taste
  • Fresh bread, toasted
  • Grated Parmesan, optional

In a large dutch oven sweat your diced onions in heated olive oil.  Sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sautee until fragrant.  You want to be able to smell the garlic, but be careful not to burn the garlic.

Once you are able to smell the garlic add the squash and egg plant.  Sauté until they start to get golden brown.

Add the wine, tomatoes and basil and let simmer for about 3o minutes; stirring often.You want the liquid to reduce by half. Salt and pepper to your taste.

The squash and eggplant will be soft and you will be left with this delectable sauce to sop up with your bread.

Top your toasted bread with some bruschetta and top with grated parm.

Side note:  If you can get lemon basil, I suggest you do so.  The aroma and flavor it gives this dish is out of this world. Sublime.  If you want a little heat, go ahead and add some crushed red pepper flakes or thai chilies.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

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Looking for something different to do with zucchini?  Look no further. I found a recipe here, and I was not disappointed.  This bread is wonderfully dense and oh so choclaty. 

What you need:

  • 1 1/2 c. shredded, raw zucchini
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1/2 c. granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 c. light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in the center of the oven.  Grease, or spray with nonstick vegetable spray, a 9×5×3″ loaf pan.  Set aside.

Grate the zucchini using a medium sized grater.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the oil, sugars, eggs, and vanilla extract until well blended – about 2 minutes.  Fold in the grated zucchini. 

Add the flour mixture, beating just until combined.  Then fold in the chocolate chips. 

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55-65 minutes.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2009 in chocolate, zucchini

 

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Spicy Zucchini and Shrimp over Linguini

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The zucchini in my HighCross Farm CSA box this week was phenomenal.  It has been a busy weekend, so I’ve been pressed for time.  I wanted something good and healthy for dinner, but didn’t want to spend a lot of time on it.

I threw this together and it was awesome.  The zucchini was nice and soft, the shrimp perfectly cook and the spice…WOW!  Very good.

Supplies:

  • Zucchini, chopped
  • Shrimp, uncooked, shelled and deveined
  • Linguini, cooked (I used Barilla whole wheat linguini)
  • Red pepper flakes, to your liking
  • Hot sauce (I used the pimp of hot sauce…Franks), to your desired liking
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Italian flat leave parsely for garnish
  • (I threw in a handful of left over asian greens…very optional)
  • S & P to taste

In a large skillet heat olive oil and butter until butter melts.  Add garlic and sautee until garlic starts to get soft.

Add zucchini and sautee unti it is just starting to get soft.  Add shrimp and cook until orange in color and opaque. 

Add S/P, red pepper flakes and hot sauce.  Put over cooked linguini, garnish with parsley and enjoy.

 I didn’t put measurements on most of the ingredients.  I like to freestyle and I encourage you to as well.  I like a lot of heat in my dishes so I was heavy on red pepper flakes and hot sauce.  The best part of this recipe is you can control how hot or not you want this dish.  Either way it’s going to taste great.

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Posted by on August 16, 2009 in shrimp, zucchini

 

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Egg White Omelette with Asian Greens & Zucchini

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Eating healthy, I have finally found out, doesn’t have to suck.  I really am enjoying this life style change.  That is exactly what it is…a life style change.  I have changed the way I live my life.  I wish I had done it sooner.  Coulda..woulda..shoulda.  But enough about that.  On to the food.

I used to balk when someone mentioned eating an egg white omelette.  To me the egg whites were the slime and all the good stuff was in the yolk.  I didn’t realize how very wrong  I was.

This omelette is incredibly light and not greasy at all. 

The supplies:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 or whole piece of provolone cheese, cut up
  • 1/2 c chopped zucchini
  • 1 c chopped asian greens
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • S & P to taste
  • Cooking spray

Spray cooking spray on the bottom and sides of a small frying pan.  Sautee zucchini, garlic and greens until soft (but not mushy, you want bite to them still).  Set aside.

Respray the same pan you cooked your veggies in.

In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer beat egg whites until soft peaks form.

Place your fluffy egg whites into frying pan.  Do not be alarmed when you see this…

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My egg whites came up to the tippy-top of my pan.  That is a good thing, you will have a nice thick and fluffy omelette. 

Cook on medium high heat and keep an eye on the bottom.  When you see the bottom of the omelette start to turn golden brown sprinkle the veg mix and cheese over the top. 

Flip one half of the omlette over the other and let cook for about 5 mins.

Slide onto a plate and enjoy. 

The inside…

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Look at that gooey cheese. 

I had mine with a side of turkey bacon and two slices of Healthy Life Wheat Bread.

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Posted by on August 15, 2009 in Uncategorized

 

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