Categories
Breakfast Vegetarian

Breakfast Calabacitas (Mexican Zucchini and Corn with Eggs)

Calabacitas have been on my mind a lot lately because the garden is in full production mode and I have lots of fresh veggies, especially squash, tomatoes, and peppers. These ingredients just so happen to make up one of my summer favorites: calabacitas.

I can’t seem to get enough of them right now, so it’s not totally shocking that I began craving them at all hours of the day, including breakfast. I thought to myself the other day, “why aren’t calabacitas commonly served at breakfast?” So I fried up some eggs and topped calabacitas with them, warmed up some tortillas, and what a magical breakfast this was! Not only is this breakfast super tasty, it’s also very healthy. This breakfast will definitely be served up in my house from now on!

Ingredients:

4 eggs

2 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 poblano pepper, diced and seeded

1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, diced and seeded (optional: if you like heat)

1 15 oz. can of corn, drained

2 roma tomatoes, diced

2 large zucchini, diced (can also use yellow squash)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp. New Mexican chile powder

¼ c. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. oregano 

½ c. water

½ c. sour cream

¼ c. cotija cheese or shredded cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish with cilantro, green onions, or any other favorite toppings and serve with warm tortillas

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, poblanos, and serrano/jalapeno peppers. Cook for 2 minutes until soft. Add the corn, tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, cilantro, chile powder, cumin, oregano and cook for 5 minutes. Add water and cook until water is reduced and vegetables are soft, about 5 more minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the sour cream and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. 

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Fry the eggs. While the eggs are cooking, divide the calabacitas onto four plates. When the eggs are cooked to your liking, top each plate with a fried egg and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy hot!

Categories
Sandwiches Vegan Vegetarian

Greek Marinated Tofu Pita Sandwiches

Pita sandwiches are one of my favorite things to make for dinner because they’re always full of delicious toppings and flavorful fillings. I happen to be a fan of using baked tofu in them because it’s yummy, full of protein, vegan, and very inexpensive. This Greek marinated tofu is full of all of the same flavors you would recognize from chicken gyros or Greek marinated chicken: garlic, lemon, olive oil, and spices – but it’s vegan. No yumminess is sacrificed by the vegan-ness of this sandwich, I swear. 

I like to serve this tofu on a warm pita with all of my favorites: hummus, tzatziki sauce, fresh veggies, and feta cheese. If you follow a vegan diet, you can eliminate the dairy or use vegan dairy alternatives to create your masterpiece.  

Ingredients:

1 package of extra firm tofu, drained

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Juice from one lemon

3 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. dill

Salt and pepper

Serve with:

Warm pita bread

Tzatziki sauce

Hummus 

Feta cheese

Cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, onions

About 30 minutes before marinating, drain the tofu, wrap it in a kitchen towel and press it. You can do this by placing a plate on top of the tofu, and then a heavy item, like a stock pot, on top of the plate for about 10 minutes. This will help remove excess water from the tofu. 

Cut the tofu into slices and place in a glass bowl. Add all other ingredients and mix together very carefully with your hands. Marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the tofu slices on a lined baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes. Carefully turn the slices over and cook for another 15 minutes or so, or until the tofu is lightly toasted and a bit crispy around the edges. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 

Serve on a warm pita with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Categories
Fish/Seafood

Grilled Honey-Soy Salmon

When it’s winter time, I often forget how amazing grilling outside is: not much prep or clean up, and great food in a short period of time. Maybe it’s because the thought of going out to the grill in freezing temperatures causes me to erase all memories of summertime happiness and grilling. Anyway, I’m very happy that it’s grilling season and that I can make most of my meals quickly and easily outside in my lovely backyard. 

This grilled honey-soy salmon is delicious and basically requires no prep, other than mixing it into some marinade. It’s super yummy and simple to make, and it pairs perfectly with grilled veggies – so no cooking in the kitchen is necessary. It only takes a few minutes to make this healthy and lip-smacking meal, so maybe I could actually grill this meal during the winter. Somebody, remind me later! 

Ingredients:

3-4 wild-caught salmon fillets, skin on

¼ c. soy sauce

Juice from ½ lemon

3 Tbsp. honey

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Salt and pepper

Place the salmon fillets in a glass container with all other ingredients, mix together with your hands, and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours prior to cooking (or any amount of time up to overnight). 

When it’s time to cook, spray or brush the grill grates with oil and then heat to medium. Cook the salmon skin-side up for 3-4 minutes, turn over, and then cook the other side for 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper if you’d like. Enjoy!

Categories
Sides Vegan

Marinated Grilled Zucchini

This recipe for marinated grilled zucchini is simple, but there’s a little trick that makes grilled zucchini tasty: marinating it. This super-fast, incredibly easy recipe just requires a few minutes of your time prior to grilling and trust me – the very small extra step makes all the difference. 

This marinated grilled zucchini is flavorful, firm but tender, and so much more delicious than you thought grilled zucchini could be. The specific herbs in this recipe are only a suggestion, so if these aren’t your favorites, swap them out for the ones you love. This preparation method might result in you actually enjoying the huge overload of garden zucchini that is likely at your fingertips right now instead of dreading having it AGAIN. Hey, we’ve all been there. Hope this helps!

Ingredients:

3-4 small zucchini, ends removed and quartered lengthwise

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Juice from ½ lemon

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 tsp. oregano

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley

Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large glass bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours prior to grilling.

When you’re ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium high heat. Place the zucchini onto the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.

Categories
Vegetarian

Wild Mushrooms on Toast with Picante Provolone

I have been obsessed with mushrooms lately. This year in Colorado, wild mushrooms are abundant and foragers are finding tons of morels, chanterelles, and porcinis in our forests. I spent the entire weekend hiking and mushroom hunting, and they are everywhere. I feel like a kid on a treasure hunt out there, and since I adore mushrooms, the rewards are better than gold. I am learning so much about different types of mushrooms, and it’s all so exciting for my food-obsessed mind.

You don’t have to live near a bumper crop of mushrooms to make this amazing wild mushroom toast, but if you do . . . you’re in luck. More and more stores are carrying gourmet mushrooms, so they are becoming so much more accessible for cooks. This recipe for wild mushrooms on toast with picante provolone is swoon-worthy. The delicate, earthy mushrooms cooked in butter, garlic, garlic, and herbs are heavenly on their own, but when you top some crusty bread with the mushrooms and add a deliciously strong cheese, you’ve got a flavor masterpiece. 

Be on the lookout for more mushroom recipes soon. I’m out there hunting, and I’m not stopping until I’m a mushroom expert. Or at least until the season is over. 

Ingredients:

2-3 slices of crusty bread

1 8 oz. package of mixed wild mushrooms (I like Chef’s Sampler by Mycopia), roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. butter

¼ c. dry white wine

3 tsp. Herbes de Provence

3-4 slices of picante provolone 

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to broil. 

Toast the bread very lightly until it is very light tan. Set aside on a lined baking sheet.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, Herbes de Provence, and white wine and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the wine has mostly cooked out. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. 

Top the toasted bread slices with the mushroom mixture. Add cheese slices to the top of the mushrooms. 

Broil in the oven for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is browed. Keep an eye on the mushroom toasts because oven temps can vary. Enjoy hot!

Categories
Salads Vegetarian

Watermelon and Cucumber Salad with Feta

Ahhhh, summer: the season for fresh, crunchy, water-filled fruits and vegetables that make your body feel so hydrated and your mouth as happy as a pup at the dog park. Watermelon and cucumber happen to be two of my favorite refreshing summer treats, and they go together like peanut butter and jelly. Maybe better.

This vibrant salad combines the sweetness of watermelon, cucumber, and mint with the salty tanginess of lemon and feta cheese (and just a tiny bit of salt). And it’s just plain delicious. Enough said. 

Ingredients:

4 c. watermelon, cubed

2 c. cucumber, quartered

Juice from ½ lemon

2 Tbsp. mint leaves, chopped

⅓ c. feta cheese, crumbled

Salt to taste

Add the watermelon and cucumber to a large serving bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice in and mix. Add the mint leaves and feta cheese. Season with a pinch of salt and mix together. Serve chilled.

Categories
Sandwiches Vegetarian

Spiced Chickpea Gyros

I love gyros of all kinds: lamb, chicken, cod, and yes . . . I love vegetarian versions too. If you follow my blog, you know that I am a huge fan of chickpeas. They are so wonderfully salty, meaty, and satisfying, which makes them the perfect addition to a veggie-packed gyro sandwich. 

To start, these chickpeas are truly delicious on their own. But when you add them to warm pita bread, cover them with tzatziki sauce, feta cheese, and cucumber salad, these are bomb. There’s no other way to describe them. Make these for meatless Monday for a quick weeknight meal, or just about any other time you’re craving gyros. 

Ingredients:

1 15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. cayenne 

Salt and pepper to taste

Serve with:

Warm pita bread

Tzatziki Sauce

Armenian Cucumber Salad

Feta cheese

Kalamata olives, tomatoes, hummus, or any favorite gyro topping

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and make sure they are fairly dry before cooking them. 

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the chickpeas and cook for 5-6 minutes or until they begin to brown a little. Add all of the other ingredients and cook for 1-2 more minutes, or until the spices are fragrant. Season with salt and pepper. 

Serve on pita bread with your favorite gyro toppings!

Categories
Salads Vegetarian

Armenian Cucumber Salad with Feta Cheese

If you have never had the pleasure of eating an Armenian cucumber, you need to add them to your veggie garden seed shopping list for next year. I was lucky enough to be given a seedling for an Armenian cucumber plant this year, and I will never go without these beauties in my garden again. 

This simple salad showcases the unique sweetness of Armenian cucumbers without overpowering the flavor with unnecessary and forceful ingredients. It’s perfect as a side dish or as a topping for a pita sandwich. If you can’t find Armenian cucumbers, you can substitute English cucumbers. Or perhaps this will persuade you to plant some Armenian cukes next year, which is what I’m hoping you do! 

Ingredients:

1 large Armenian cucumber, chopped (you can also substitute 2 English cucumbers)

¼ c. shallot, finely chopped

¼ c. feta cheese

2 tsp. olive oil

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Pinch of fresh dill, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

Combine the cucumber feta cheese, olive oil, and vinegar in a serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper, toss, and serve cold!

Categories
Sauces/Dressings/Broth

Classic Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki sauce is one of those toppings that tastes great on so many things: salads, sandwiches, grilled meats, veggies. We all love tzatziki sauce on falafel and gyros, but it is good enough to be enjoyed on a fresh pita with nothing else to distract from its deliciousness. 

Traditional tzatziki is popular all over the Middle East, Mediterranean, North America, and Europe for a good reason. It’s fresh, healthy, and full of flavor. And because you can make it in just a few minutes, there’s no need to ever purchase the pre-made versions in the stores. 

Ingredients:

1 c. plan Greek yogurt

¼ c. cucumber, finely diced

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tsp. Oregano, finely chopped

1 tsp. mint, finely chopped

1 tsp. dill, finely chopped

Juice from ½ lemon

Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Categories
Fish/Seafood Pasta

Smoked Salmon Carbonara with Zucchini Noodles

Often in the summer, I find myself wanting to lighten up some of my favorite meals. When I’m hot, the last thing I want is to feel overly full (although admittedly, I don’t seem to mind that feeling in the winter). I had a craving for spaghetti carbonara, but didn’t want to feel the heaviness of that meal. My garden is already proving to be extra generous this year, so I have zucchini practically coming out of my ears. 

I came close to making straight-up carbonara with zucchini noodles. Then a (possibly) strange thought entered my brain, which is totally normal for me. I was thinking about how the smokiness of bacon tastes so amazing in carbonara when I realized that hot smoked salmon has that same smoky flavor without all of the extra fat. I decided to go for it, and when I tasted this dish I wondered where it had been all of my life. It’s definitely going on rotation during high zucchini season from now on. So yummy, and about as guilt-free as carbonara gets. 

Ingredients:

3 large zucchini, spiralized 

1 Tbsp. olive oil

5 eggs

1 c. shredded Parmesan

4 oz. hot smoked salmon, crumbled

4 cloves of garlic, minced

½ c. peas, fresh or thawed

¼ c. fresh parsley, for topping

Salt and pepper

Cook zucchini noodles in a large skillet over medium high heat until they are tender. If necessary, you can add a little bit of olive oil. Make sure to let all of the liquid cook off the zucchini noodles. Remove from heat, drain if needed, and set aside. 

Separate the eggs and yolks from 4 eggs. Set aside the yolks for later. Whisk the egg whites and extra egg in a bowl. Add Parmesan and whisk until combined. 

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and peas and cook for one minutes.

Add the zucchini noodles to the skillet and quickly pour the egg/Parmesan mixture. Stir quickly to combine and remove from heat. 

Divide into four bowls. Top each bowl with an egg yolk and season with salt and pepper. Then, top with parsley and additional Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!