Mushroom and zucchini orzo

4C1B36C5-C541-4161-83A2-07D17E415EC8This is a simple side dish or a meal in itself. Easy to make within 15 minutes, delicious and keeps well!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup orzo
  • 3 cups chicken stock (if youre vegetarian you can use vegetable stock or water)
  • 1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • Fresh herbs (I used parsley, rosemary and thyme…you can buy them in premade packets at Kroger FYI)
  • 2-4 TBSP olive oil
  • Salt/Pepper and garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Add 1 TBSP of olive oil to your skillet on medium high heat, pour in your orzo. Saute your orzo for about a minute to give them color.
  2. Add in your chicken stock and turn up the heat to boiling, add in your fresh herbs and salt/pepper. Once boiling, cover with lid and cook until stock is almost evaporated. About 6-10 minutes. Watch to make sure your orzo doesn’t burn if all stock evaporates.
  3.  While your orzo is boiling, in a separate skillet saute your zucchini and mushrooms in olive oil. Once they’re tender add to your orzo and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. (If your orzo or veggies are crunchy, it’s not done cooking.) Taste taste taste! Correct seasoning as needed.
  4. Cook low to low-medium for about 5 minutes or until ready to eat. Garnish with a little parmesan and enjoy.

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Midwest Ratatouille

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This ratatouille is a perfect meal, healthy, cheap and just a symphony of flavors.  It is basically a vegetable hash, in the midwestern sense. Best served with some bread to get all the juices.

Ingredients

  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • salt/pepper
  • 3-6 Tbsp olive oil
  • a dutch oven (aka casserole dish) or a deep sauce pan with lid
  • (may need extra tomato juice, so always handy to have some extra)

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop your eggplant. I dice my eggplant into quartered pieces about an inch in size, chop and put aside.
  2. Cut your summer squash and zucchini to match your eggplant. Put these vegetables in a bowl, mix and sprinkle with salt…and let set for 30 minutes.
  3. While your eggplant and squash/zucchini are sitting, you’ll chop your onion and green pepper. I cut these julienne style and set in a separate bowl.

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4. Back to your eggplant and squash/zucchini, dry off all pieces and then add 1 layer at a time to your skillet. Don’t over crowd, this may take a few skillet trips to saute it all.

5. Set your skillet on medium, add in 1-2 tbsp of olive oil and then add in one layer of your eggplant mix. You want to just lightly brown your eggplant and saute your zucchini–don’t burn/overcook. Once ready, set in a bowl to the side.

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6.  Once your eggplant mix is all sauteed and set off to the side. In the same skillet add in your green pepper/onion mix …more olive oil may be needed. Add in your garlic and cook until peppers and onions are tender. Don’t burn the garlic!

7.  While your pepper/onion mixture is cooking, cut up your tomatoes.

8.  Open your tomato cans, pour the juice in a bowl and cut your tomatoes julienne style. Once they’re all diced, pour your tomato juice and julienned styled tomatoes over the onion/pepper mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

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9. Cover and turn up heat to bring to a boil.

10. While your tomatoes are heating up, begin to finely chop your parsley.

11. Once your tomatoes are at a boil, uncover and we’re going to begin layering your casserole dish.

12.  Add  a layer of your tomato/onion/pepper mixture and sprinkle with parsley. Then add in a layer or eggplant/zucchini/squash, then tomato mixture sprinkle with parsley and continue layers until done.

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12. Put casserole on stove on a medium heat, cook for 20 minutes. Taste and correct seasoning as needed. Be sure to give it a little stir, to ensure that vegetables at the bottom are not burning. Vegetables should be tinder and if it seems dry, add in some tomato juice and adjust the seasoning.

Serve with warm bread and enjoy!

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Vegetable Marrow Farci

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The perfect meal for a Meatless Monday. I found this recipe in my Titanic cookbook, so we’re going old school here. Vegetable Marrow Farci, is pretty much fancy for stuffed zucchini boats. They’re easy to make, delicious even warmed back up and perfect for anyone watching their calories.

Ingredients

Will need a medium to large skillet and a baking casserole dish.

  • 2 large zuchinni
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup cooked rice ( I used a $1 whole grain, 90 second steam pouch from Kroger)
  • salt and pepper
  •  1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (Kroger has a can of these for 99cents)
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Instructions

  1. Cut your zucchini in half, length wise creating two long spears each. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Hollow out your zucchini, put the guts to the side because we will be using these again.
  3. Place your hollowed out zucchini shells into your baking dish.

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4. Put your skillet on medium to medium high, add in your olive oil and your red onions and garlic. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.

5.While these are sauteing, dice up the reserved zucchini guts.

6.When your onions are a nice translucent color (not burnt) add in the dried oregano, tomato paste and the diced zucchini reserves. Cook for about 4-5 minutes. While doing so prepare your mushrooms.

7.Turn up the heat a little and add in your mushrooms, cook for about 5 minutes or until your vegetables are a nice brown. Now stir in your vinegar, let it saute for a few minutes. This is when I put my 90 second rice into the microwave to warm up.veg2

8.Now remove  the skillet from the heat, stir in your rice–add in your salt, pepper and your Parmesan cheese. Taste, taste, taste–make sure its how you want it.

9. Now comes the fun part, you’re going to restuff your zucchini shells with your filling. Don’t pack too tightly.

10. Once your shells are filled sprinkle bread crumbs over the top, maybe a little extra parmesan and then poor on a little melted butter to get those breadcrumbs toasty.

11. Place in oven and cook for 40 minutes. The zucchini should be tender, like stick a fork in it soft.

Maybe top with some fresh basil and enjoy. This can be a dish all on its own or a great side dish.