ZUCCHINI WITH RAVIOLI

This is a great tasting dish for all of those zucchini left in the garden. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Ingredients

 

* 4 small zucchini, sliced into 1⁄4-inch rounds

* 2 tablespoons olive oil

* 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes

* 2/3 cup freshly and finely grated Parmesan

* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

* 2 tablespoons kosher salt

* 2 cloves garlic, crushed

* 1 pound cheese ravioli (preferably fresh)

* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat­leaf parsley

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400° F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the zucchini in a large

baking dish in a single layer and drizzle with the oil, chili flakes, and 3 tablespoons of the

Parmesan, then season with the pepper and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt. Add the garlic and

roast for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through, until tender and just golden brown.

Meanwhile, add the ravioli and the remaining salt to the boiling water. Return to a boil,

stirring frequently to prevent the ravioli from sticking. Cook the ravioli for 3 minutes after

they begin to float. Drain and place in a large bowl. Toss gently with the roasted zucchini,

half the parsley, and half the remaining Parmesan. Serve immediately with the remaining

parsley and Parmesan.

Grape Salad

Refreshing-Grape-Salad(photo from kopycat.com)

This is the easiest salad ever that has been posted several places online and now even pintrest. I am not sure where I found the original recipe from but you will love it! It is very easy and has very few ingredients.

Ingredients:

2 pounds of grapes (take off the vines)

Use some red and green for visual appeal

Dressing:

1 package of softened cream cheese

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup toasted pecans

1 1 /2 teaspoons real vanilla.

Mix the dressing in a large bowl. Add the grapes and stir well. Chill well before serving.

avocado jalapeno dip

Avocado & Jalapeno Dip

Using up garden produce at the end of the season is always fun. I used my recently pickled jalapenos in this recipe.

Ingredients:

3 nice and ripe avocados, chopped

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 cobs of corn (cooked) cut off cob

1 small red onion or 2 large shallots finely chopped

1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, finely chopped

1/4 cup real mayonnaise (or make your own)

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 lime juiced

 

Put all ingredients, except corn in bowl, mash avocados and mix well. Add corn. Add sour cream and mayo. Add more if needed. Store in tightly covered container in fridge for up to one week. Garnish with a red pickled jalapeno, or chopped red pepper.

Serve with large  tortilla chips (the scoop type work well, pictured above)

Eggplant Spread with a Kick

This recipe started out as one from a friend. I tweaked it and made it into a chunky spread that you can use for bruschetta, pita chips or spread on a  tortilla and add some lettuce, cheese and chicken.

spicy eggplant spread.jprg

Ingredients

1  very large eggplant or 4-8 smaller ones (finger varieties)

1 large clove or 2 small clove garlic, minced

1 lime juiced

1 heaping tablespoon tahini paste

1/2 teaspoon or more of salt

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/8-1/4 teaspoon dried Chipotle pepper powder (or more if you like heat)

1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes

1/2 medium onion

1 large pepper, coarsely chopped

1 large tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley

Extra virgin olive oil

Rub eggplant with olive oil and set on grill until soft. Set aside, cover with tin foil. Let cool enough so you can handle and scrape off the eggplant from the peeling.

In food processor, put garlic, lime juice, tahini, salt, cumin, onion, chipotle, parsley and eggplant. Do not add the cherry tomatoes yet. Puree until fairly smooth. Add the cherry tomatoes and pulse to chop coarsely.

Take out of food processor, taste and adjust seasonings. Then add chopped pepper and tomato. Add extra parsley if desired, drizzle in about 1-2 tablespoons olive oil.

The size of the eggplant may make a difference. Put more in if you feel there is not enough substance to the spread. If you cook too many you can always make another kind of dish.

This tastes better the second and third day as the flavors blend more.

 

 

Mango Black Bean Salsa

Salsa is one of my favorite things to eat in the summer with all the fresh garden vegetables. Mangoes are in season and fresh cilantro is abundant.

mango black bean salsa

Ingredients:

2 mangoes, chopped

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Mix all together. Serve with chips.

Puff Pastry, Strawberry and Cream Dessert

recipe adapted from: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/strawberry-puff-pastry-dessert

strawberry fluff desssert

 

This dessert is very light and creamy. Served cold this is a very refreshing dessert when berries are in season.

Ingredients:

1 package frozen puff pastry

5 cups sliced fresh strawberries, divided

2 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1  small box instant vanilla pudding

2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped

chocolate syrup (optional)

 

  • Thaw one puff pastry sheet (save remaining sheet for another use). Unfold pastry; cut lengthwise into three 3-in.-wide strips. Cut each strip into thirds, making nine squares.
  • Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  • Place 3 cups strawberries in a blender; cover and puree; set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Add cream cheese and vanilla and pudding; beat until smooth.   Stir in the puree. Fold in whipped cream.
  • Split pastry squares in half horizontally. Line an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. dish with bottom pastry halves, cut side up; spread with half of strawberry cream. Top with 1 cup of sliced berries. Cover with pastry tops, cut side down.
  • Spread with remaining strawberry cream. Sprinkle with remaining berries.  Or heap with even more fresh berries and drizzle chocolate syrup over each serving. 
  • Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.

 

Kale, Strawberry and Almond Salad

kale salad

Summers best fruit is here! Strawberries, well at least one of the best. Kale is up and ready to pick. Here is  a simple salad with an orange vinaigrette.

 Add a little feta or goats cheese if you like. I also tried this with a basil oil and it as good to me. Freshest strawberries make this salad taste the best. Pick your own

at a local grower or check your famer’s market for the kale and strawberries.

Ingredients:

Bunch of raw kale

Fresh strawberries. sliced, use as many as you want

Toasted almonds, as many as you like

Vinaigrette:

1 small orange, zested and juiced
1/2  lime, zested and juiced
1 tsp of honey
1/4 cup of olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Add all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette into a bowl or measuring cup and whisk well. Set it aside.

If using young kale, use the entire leaf. If larger kale, tear out the stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash in a salad spinner.

In a salad bowl or large bowl, layer the kale, sliced strawberries and sprinkle on toasted almonds, drizzle with vinaigrette.

You can also make this plate by plate. Just layer on a plate and drizzle with the vinaigrette, no need to toss.

Drop some cheese on if desired. Enjoy the taste of summer!

 

Artichoke and Mozzarella Cheese Bruschetta

artichoke bread
This is an  ooey, gooey tasty appetizer.

Ingredients

2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 (14 oz) can or jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar and/or  mozarella cheese blend
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup sour cream
1 large shallot, finely minced
1 small loaf ciabatta bread
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

fresh chives (from your garden)

Instructions

Preheat broiler, and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, melt the butter until foamy. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, and stir in artichoke hearts, mozzarella, cheddar, Parmesan, sour cream and shallot until combined.
Slice the bread lengthwise. Place the bread halves on the prepared baking sheet, cut side up, and spoon the cooled cheese and artichoke mixture overtop, add a sprinkling of chives. Broil until cheese is melted and bread is hot.Sprinkle more fresh chives over each piece.

 

Cut each half into six pieces and serve right away, while the cheese is still warm.

Spring Salad with Asparagus, Radish, Fennel

asparagus radish salad

I am so happy to see the first asparagus spears popping through the ground. It won’t be long for fresh asparagus! I came across a recipe last year and adapted it with other  ingredients to make it a different kind of salad now. Here is the site: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/recipes

This is one of my favorite salad recipes for raw asparagus. You can always cook the asparagus if you do not like it raw. But raw is better for you. So give it a try!

Ingredients:

1 bunch of asparagus, sliced at an angle as thin as possible. You could also shave it with a mandolin.

about 8-10 radishes, thinly sliced

1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced or shallots

1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted

1/2 to 3/4 cup feta cheese crumbles

Walnut Oil Dressing

zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or one lemon)

1 tablespoon pear infused vinegar or white vinegar

2-3 tablespoons walnut oil

2 -4 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped (optional)

3 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

Other options for add in to salad:

hard boiled eggs, avocado, micro greens

How to:

For salad: Rinse off vegetables well, chop off tough ends of asparagus. Using a knife or mandolin or vegetable peeler, shave asparagus or cut at an angle into small strips.  Add rest of ingredients to a large salad bowl.

Make dressing:

Put all ingredients into a mason jar and shake well or put into food processor and blend until smooth.

Toss salad with dressing, adding any other add-ins to the salad as desired.

So crunchy! The cheese adds a tanginess that blends well with the dressing and other vegetables.

 

Burritos with Black Beans, Chicken, Peppers

What is better than a fast supper? Nothing, try this with left over chicken, you could add what ever other veggies you like. These can also be frozen, cut in half for two servings.

vegetables2014-04-01 06.26.13
2014-04-01 06.29.56

Ingredients

  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 cup corn (frozen, or fresh)
  • 1.5 cup mozzarella or Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 1 cup cooked rice (Optional)
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped (or use frozen when not in season.
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fajita seasoning
  • juice of half a line
  • 8 medium flour tortillas
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2 chicken breasts cut into small strips or pieces brown slightly in pan, season with salt and pepper and a bit of garlic powder.
  1. Heat a large skillet to medium heat, add the peppers, onion, garlic, corn, cilantro, butter, juice of the lime, and spices, saute for 2-4 minutes on high. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. To make the wraps, Lay tortilla flat on plate or counter, add ¼ cup of the bean mixture, 2 tablespoons rice, 2-3 tablespoons cheese. Be sure to leave about 2-3 inches from the corners. Wrap burrito by folding over the edges. Continue this for all 8 burritos.
  3. After the burritos are wrapped heat a large skillet or pan, add 1 teaspoon oil, place the burritos on the skillet for 1-2 minutes on each side until they are golden and crispy. For the “ridges” use a griddle that has the ridged lines.

Oatmeal, Toffee, Chocolate Chip Bars

2014-03-23 01.59.52

Who doesn’t like a treat now and then. This is a good bar recipe to freeze. I had to make bars for an event and made these a week ahead and cut them up and shrink wrapped them and they really were like taking them out of the oven by letting them come to room temperature before eating. Use the best quality ingredients you can buy.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/3 cups (8 oz. pkg.) HEATH BITS ‘O BRICKLE Toffee Bits, divided
  • 3 cups quick-cooking or regular rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup(2 sticks) unsalted  butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

2. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.

3. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Set aside 1/4 cup toffee bits. Stir remaining toffee bits and oats into batter (batter will be stiff). Spread batter into prepared pan; sprinkle reserved 1/4 cup toffee bits, chocolate chips, coconut and almonds over surface.

4. Bake 20- 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Add more nuts and chips on top if desired.

Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 24 to 36 bars.

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