Categories
Breakfast Vegetarian

Squash Blossom and Goat Cheese Frittata

Squash blossoms are one of those things that are ubiquitous in backyards during the summer. Many of us like to grow squash because it can pretty much grow everywhere. The squash blossoms that show up on these amazing big-leafed plants are not only beautiful, happy flowers, they also tell us that our harvest is coming soon. Most people never think about picking and eating the blossoms, but they are one of the most delicious, tender parts of the plant. Who knew you had such a delightful ingredient growing in your yard?

There’s a trick when it comes to harvesting squash blossoms: you want to eat the male flowers and leave the female blossoms on the plant because those are the ones that produce your food. How do you know the difference? The male flowers have long, skinny stems attached to them and the female flowers have a bulb-like protrusion underneath the flower. Simply find the male flowers, cut them below the flower, remove the spindly pieces under the flower, and get rid of the stamen (it’s bitter). Run the flowers under cool water to clean, and they’re ready to be eaten. It’s that simple!

This squash blossom and goat cheese frittata is full of drool-worthy summer ingredients that are perfectly matched. The richness of the shallots and zucchini paired with the eggs and the tender sweetness of the blossoms and goat cheese are fuel for future daydreams about this meal. This frittata is simple and fast to make, but tastes like absolute heaven and looks pretty fancy, which is a nice little bonus.  

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 shallots, chopped

1 c. zucchini, chopped into small pieces

6 eggs

½ c. milk

6 large squash blossoms or 8 small 

2 goat cheese

¼ c. green onions, chopped

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Combine the eggs and milk together in a bowl and whisk together. Season with salt and pepper and combine again. Set aside. 

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet and cook the shallots and zucchini together for about 5 minutes, or until they are lightly browned. 

Make sure the shallots and zucchini are fairly evenly distributed in the skillet and then pour the egg mixture over the top. Allow the eggs to cook for about a minute until it begins to set around the edges. Then, take a rubber spatula and run it around the edges of the skillet so that the frittata doesn’t stick to the edges. Cook the frittata for another 3-4 minutes, or until the eggs are fairly set on the bottom. 

Remove from the heat. Arrange the squash blossoms in a circular pattern on the top of the frittata. Crumble the goat cheese and sprinkle evenly on top. 

Place the frittata in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on it, though, because you want to make sure the top is set but you don’t want it to be overcooked! Once the top is set, remove from the oven and allow the frittata to rest for about 5 minutes. 

Top with green onions, slice, and serve! 

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
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
Sides Vegetarian

Calabacitas (Mexican Zucchini and Corn)

Calabacitas, a classic Mexican vegetable dish made from cooked zucchini, corn, onions, and other flavorful add-ins, is the epitome of comforting summer food. Calabacitas is one of those foods that is beloved by so many people in this part of the world for a good reason. It’s bursting with color, health benefits, and palate pleasing flavors. If you grew up eating calabacitas, you probably have some very happy memories of summer dinners with family or perhaps eating these at your grandma’s house. 

Calabacitas is commonly served as a side dish alongside meat, chicken, or fish, but it is also a terrific vegetarian main dish or filling for tacos. It’s also delicious topped with a fried egg and is a very nutritious way to start your day. However you serve this dish, smiles will definitely be on the menu. 

Ingredients:

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

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. Enjoy hot!

Categories
Pasta Vegetarian

Pasta alla Greca (Greek-Style Pasta)

Greek AND Italian flavors melded into one pasta dish? Yes, please! This pasta alla Greca is definitely not for the faint of heart. If you don’t like loads of robust and super amazing flavors, you should definitely move on. But if you like olive oily, garlicky, briny foods, this is the ultimate pasta dish. Eating this makes you feel like you’re dining seaside in the Greek islands, when in reality most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry. 

Not only is this pasta lip-smacking good, it’s also ready to eat in less than 30 minutes. An extra bonus is that this pasta alla Greca is vegetarian and full of healthy ingredients, so I ask: what’s stopping you from making this tonight?

Ingredients:  

1 16 oz. package of pasta

1 6.5 oz jar of artichoke hearts, quartered

1 7 oz. jar of sundried tomatoes, chopped

¼ c. kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

1 Tbsp. capers

3 cloves of garlic, minced

Juice from 1 lemon

¼ c. fresh parsley, chopped

Handful of baby arugula (optional)

2 Tbsp. olive oil 

1 c. feta cheese

Red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. 

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the garlic for 1-2 minutes, or  until fragrant and lightly browned. Be careful not to burn it. 

Add the garlic and the oil to the pasta. Add the artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, olives, capers, and lemon juice and stir to combine. Add the arugula, parsley, and feta and mix together quickly. Season with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!

Categories
Salads Vegan Vegetarian

Moroccan Cucumber Salad with Olives

When you’re feeling like it’s just too hot outside to cook, this fresh and cool Moroccan cucumber salad is what you need. Not only does it only take a few minutes to throw together, it is also so crisp and invigorating served alongside just about any main dish. 

This refreshing salad is simple, but demonstrates a complexity of sweet, briny, and herby flavors. I like to serve this salad with Moroccan-spiced chicken or fish because the cucumbers really balance the heat. So tonight make this salad, sit outside, fire up the grill, pour a glass of wine, and have a lovely  evening. Ahhh, I love summer. 

Ingredients: 

2 cucumbers, sliced and quartered

¼ c. kalamata olives

2 tsp. white vinegar

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. agave

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. thyme

Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients except for the olives in a large serving bowl and stir to combine. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Add the olives before serving. Enjoy!