Organic Corn and Zucchini with Fresh Herbs

Corn and Zucchini with Fresh Herbs

One of my favorite food items to buy at Trader Joe’s is their frozen Organic Super Sweet Corn. It is reasonably priced and I would prefer to have organic and non-GMO foods whenever possible. I always try to keep a bag or two in my freezer all the time. So when I saw this corn side dish recipe in America ‘s Test Kitchen, Cooking Fresh, 2015, I thought I would try it, since I already had two fresh organic zucchini in my refrigerator. The sautéed zucchini and corn are seasoned with fresh lemon juice, parsley, chives and basil. All the preparation can be done in advance, so it can easily be made during the busy work week. It makes a tasty, simple and healthy side for chicken, beef or fish!

Corn and Zucchini with Fresh Herbs

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small organic zucchini, diced
  • 3 cups organic frozen corns, defrosted
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, mince
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Using a 12-inch nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and cook for about 3 minutes, until softened. Add the corn and cook for about 2 minute, until heated through.
  2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, add basil, parsley, chives and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Serve. 6 servings.

Corn and Zucchini with Fresh Herbs

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Summer Garden Potato Salad

Summer Garden Potato Salad

While fall is just around the corner, I thought I would make this delicious no mayonnaise potato salad, before summer ends. It is so simple to prepare and the dressing is made with healthy extra-virgin olive oil! The potatoes and green beans absorb the flavor of the Dijon mustard. You can really taste the fresh herbs, especially the basil. This potato salad was adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, Cooking Fresh, 2015, and tastes even better the next day!

Summer Garden Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 8 ounces organic green beans, trimmed and cut 1½-inch pieces
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard and shallot in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside half of the dressing.
  2. Using a large saucepan, steam the green beans until crisp-tender. Transfer beans to the large bowl with the dressing.
  3. In the large saucepan, boil the potatoes, until they can easily pierced with a fork for about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Add the hot potatoes to the bowl with the beans and dressing. Gently toss to combine. Let stand for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Add the parsley, chives, basil and reserved dressing. If needed add more salt and pepper and serve. 6 servings.

Summer Garden Potato Salad

Cauliflower “Rice” with Coconut and Cilantro

Cauliflower "Rice"

I always thought that brown rice was healthier than white rice, but I was wrong. They both have the same 45 grams of carbohydrates and contain over 200 calories per cup. So I got really excited when I saw this recipe for cauliflower “rice” in Against All Grains by Danielle Walker, Victory Belt Publishing, 2014. Not only is cauliflower an excellent source of vitamins C and K and has antioxidant benefits, but it has less than 5.1 grams of carbohydrates and less than 29 calories per cup.

This dish makes a great accompaniment to beef, chicken or fish. It also a wonderful side dish for vegetarians! You can really taste the coconut flavor along with the cilantro. The honey adds a mild sweetness and the lime juice adds a slight tang! What is great about this dish is that you eat a lot of it without getting all the calories and carbs that you would get from rice!

Cauliflower Rice with Coconut & Cilantro

Ingredients:

  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 teaspoons organic coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon organic honey
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • Sea salt

Directions:

  1. Using a food processor or a grater, “rice” the cauliflower. (I chopped up the larger pieces that wasn’t grated).
  2. In a large nonstick frying pan, melt the coconut oil over low-medium heat. Sauté the cauliflower for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients. Add salt to taste. Cook cauliflower for about 10 minutes, until tender and liquid is absorbed. 6 to 8 servings.

Cauliflower "Rice"

Summer Squash with Garlic and Cumin

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We just got back from a very enjoyable trip, visiting family in Newport Beach and San Diego! Rich and I really loved consuming our family’s cooking, but it’s time to get back to healthy, but tasty eating! I found his delicious summer squash recipe in Against All Grain by Danielle Walker, Victory Belt Publishing, 2014. It’s made with summertime favorites, zucchini and yellow squash. The preparation is made easy by using the mandolin to slice the vegetables. Then the squash is sautéed with healthy olive oil and seasoned with garlic and cumin! It can’t get any simpler or healthier than that!

Summer Squash with Garlic and Cumin

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium organic zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tables organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground cumin
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Cilantro for garnish, optional

Directions:

  1. Using a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic, until slightly golden. Add the squash. Stir in ½ teaspoon cumin. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Transfer to a dish.
  2. Repeat, using the remaining ingredients. Return first batch of vegetable back to pan. Cook for another 2 minutes. Combine ingredients well and transfer to serving dish. 6 servings.

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Healthy Grilled Summer Vegetables

Healthy Grilled Summer Vegetables

Incorporating more healthy vegetables into our diets can be rather difficult, especially during a busy work week. I have found one simple way to do this! By taking advantage of the lovely summer produce available right now, you can grill them either indoors or outdoors. Luckily, I bought a great nonstick grilling pan several years ago, so grilling indoors is an easy option for me. A lot of the preparation can be done in advance, by slicing the vegetables ¼-inch thick and storing them in a food storage bag in the refrigerator. You can even prepare the seasoned olive oil, applied right before grilling, ahead of time too. This is such a simple and tasty way to eat more vegetables!

Healthy Grilled Summer Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • ½ small eggplant
  • 1 medium zucchini (8 inches)
  • 1 medium yellow squash (8 inches)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup Organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Organic oregano
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

DSC_2537Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly.
  2. Lightly brush the seasoned oil on the vegetables. If using a nonstick grilling pan, cook each side over medium heat for a few minutes, until dark grill marks appear. Serve immediately.

Healthy Grilled Summer Vegetables

 

Pickled Cucumbers

Pickled Cucumbers

I love dill pickles, but they contain a lot of salt and sugar. So when I saw the recipe, “Quick Pickled Cukes” in House and Homes, September 2014, I immediately decided to prepare it using Stevia, instead of sugar. What I like about making my own pickles is that I have control over the amount of salt and sugar. The pickles have a garlicky flavor with a subtle hint of dill. I love the crunch, the bite of the vinegar, and the ease of making it! Best of all, my picky husband liked them!

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Pickled Cucumbers

Ingredients:

  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar or 2 Stevia packets
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 large English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • Sea salt

Directions:

  1. Whisk together garlic, sugar and vinegar together in medium mixing bowl, until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add cucumbers and dill. Season with salt. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Stirring occasionally.
  4. Place cucumbers in an airtight container. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Drain liquid before using. Makes 2 cups.

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Roasted Organic Cauliflower

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I hate to admit this, but I never thought cauliflower as a very healthy vegetable, because it is white in color. I was so wrong! Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable and is in the same family as broccoli, kale and cabbage. It is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, has antioxidant benefits and contains over 9 grams of fiber per 100 calories.

After I learned about the health benefits of this white vegetable , I went to my grocery store and bought an organic cauliflower head for only 30 cents more per pound. I thought it would taste great roasted, but to make to even more flavorful, garlic and lemon juice was also added. So if you are ever in the mood for some healthy cauliflower, try this simple and easy recipe!

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Ingredients: 

  • 1 organic cauliflower head
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the cauliflower florets into 1½-inch pieces.
  3. Place cauliflower in a medium bowl and toss with grapeseed oil.
  4. On a parchment lined baking sheet, spread the vegetable. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the garlic. Then drizzle with lemon juice.
  5. Roast for 15 minutes, until lightly golden.
  6. Finally, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 side servings.

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