Tag Archives: zucchini

Simply Delicious Beef Tacos

20 Jul

IMG_1946Me gusta tacos! This meal is perfect for health conscious awesome people like yourself who want to quickly put a meal on the table. This entire meal took less than 30 minutes (45 if you make a more difficult side dish) to make, so don’t let the ingredient list fool you, it’s mostly just dried spices. And, if you have a set of extra hands, it will take you even less time.

 

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs grass-fed ground beef

4 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp paprika

20 turns cracked black pepper (or 1/4 tsp)

1 tsp cilantro, chopped (or to taste)

2 scallions, chopped

8 chives, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 cup water

1 container butter leaf lettuce (organic, triple-washed)

Garnish: avocado, salsa, black olives, mango salsa, guacamole, etc.

 

Directions:

1. Brown the meat in a skillet and drain the fat. Add all of the spices, cilantro, scallions, chives, lime and water to the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. While the beef is browning, throw together your side. I made a salad of chopped zucchini that I let sweat and patted dry (learn how here), chopped red bell pepper, avocado and Whole Foods mango salsa (for a homemade recipe, try this). Rinse and pat dry the butter leaf lettuce so it is ready to go.

3. Layer the ends of two butter lettuce leaves and fill with the taco meat and any garnishments you like.

4. Enjoy with friends, family or in solitary peace on your porch.

 

Serves 6

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Mediterranean Salad with Toasted Walnuts

30 Jun
Perfect summer side dish

Perfect Summer Side Dish

My muse for this dish was a Turkish recipe I saw in Organic Gardening magazine. I added more vegetables, replaced the parsley and dill with mint and chives and removed the sugar. However you choose to modify this dish, do not omit the toasted walnuts. Just saying…

 

Ingredients:

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 bunch asparagus

1 pint snow peas

3 chives, minced

1 scallion, chopped

4 zucchinis

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup raw walnut pieces

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives

black pepper to taste

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

fresh mint, to taste

 

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 400°. Clean vegetables, place tomatoes in a large glass mixing bowl (after patting them dry) and set aside the remainder of the vegetables.

2. Fill large stock pot with 1 inch of water and place metal steamer inside. Bring water to a boil. While water is boiling, cut asparagus in half and chop snow peas’ tops off. Place in pot and steam for 6 minutes. Remove and place in an ice bath or run under cold water. Pat dry and place in mixing bowl.

3. While asparagus and snow peas are steaming, mince the chives and chop the scallions, placing them in the bowl.

4. Using a mandoline, slice the zucchinis in 1/8 inch thick rounds. Place in a separate mixing bowl and mix with 1 tsp sea salt. Let them sweat for 10 minutes. Pat dry and place in large mixing bowl with the other vegetables.

5. While zucchinis are sweating, place walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes. Then, cut kalamata olives in half and add to the mixing bowl.

6. Add olive oil and black pepper to the bowl. Mix well.

7. Serve garnished with toasted walnuts and ribbon-sliced mint.

 

Serves 4-6

3 Ways to Enjoy Asparagus… (and why it makes your pee stink)

12 May
Chicken Zucchini "pasta" with sauteed asaragus, cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives.

Chicken Zucchini “pasta” with sautéed asparagus, cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives.

This delicate spring green is one of my favorite vegetables, but it is in season for such a short time that I binge eat it–enjoying every last bite and not-so-much enjoying every last drop of stinky pee (more on that later). My parents have always grown asparagus in their garden, but you can find it at any Farmer’s Market stand or in the grocery store.

 

Since it is delicate, you have to be careful you don’t cook it into a fine mushy consistency and kill all of its flavor and health benefits… a few of which include fiber, folate (helps brain function), vitamins A, C, E and K, chromium (helps regulate blood sugar levels), cancer-fighting and age-defying antioxidants, and it is a diuretic which is awesome for anyone who suffers from edema or any heart-related disease.

 

Here are three quick and simple ways to enjoy asparagus.

 

1. Steamed. Place half an inch of water in a large stock pot and then place a metal steam basket in the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. While water is boiling, clean and cut asparagus stalks into 3-inch pieces, making sure you snap off the rough ends. Place in stock pot and steam for 7-9 minutes depending on how thick the stalks are. When finished steaming, use a hot pad to take the basket out and place the asparagus in a cold water bath to cool and retain color. Pat dry and serve.

 

2. Roasted. Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Snap off rough ends, wash and pat dry asparagus, then toss with coconut oil, sea salt and pepper to taste (garlic is nice too). Lay asparagus on a cookie sheet, ensuring they do not overlap. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until asparagus is crisp and tender.

 

3. In Stuff. Now that’s descriptive, isn’t it? Once you clean it and snap off the ends, you can toss it in egg bakes, frittatas or saute with mandolin-sliced zucchini for a light olive oil based veggie pasta (see photo). Yum!

 

…. And why does it make your pee so stinky? Well, when our body digests asparagus, it breaks down a chemical, asparagusic acid, into a sulfur-containing compound. When that baby is airborne, watch out ’cause your pee is gonna stank. That sulfur compound becomes a gas at room temp, rising out of your urine and into your nose. However, only 25% of the population reports stinky asparagus pee which scientists believe is linked to a single gene mutation, meaning you have an extra special sniffer if you can detect that pungent odor. Yay you!

Farmer’s Market Frittata

5 Aug

IMG_1665Frittatas are my lazy answer to healthy and inexpensive cooking. I throw in everything but the farmer in this protein, vegetable and fiber packed dish. Got something from your local CSA and you have no clue what it is? Chop it up and throw it in a frittata. Why not?

Ingredients:

2 red bell peppers, diced

1 bunch green onions, sliced

4 baby zucchini, diced

2 carrots, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb spinach, chopped (or 1 lb package frozen chopped spinach, thawed)

2 T fresh basil, chopped

1 T fresh oregano, chopped

10 free range eggs

8 egg whites, free range eggs (or 1 carton of organic 100% liquid egg whites)

black pepper to taste

sea salt to taste

coconut oil

Directions:

1. Sauté bell peppers, green onions, zucchini, carrots and garlic in coconut oil for 5-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Use coconut oil to grease an 9×13 glass baking dish. (That’s right, this is a super lazy frittata. No fancy “cooking it on the stove, then placing it in the oven.” Some may categorize this as an “egg bake.”). Preheat oven to 325°.

3. Whisk eggs and egg whites together. Add remaining ingredients, making sure sautéed vegetables have cooled so they don’t cook the eggs. Pour into glass dish.

4. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

5. Enjoy plain or serve topped with sliced tomatoes, avocado, kalamata olives or a touch of goat cheese.

Serves 4-6

Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Bell