Zoodles with Peanut Sauce

I bought a spiralizer at a school fundraiser yard sale for $1 and now that it is summer and zucchini is pleniful, it’s a perfect time to use it to make zoodles (zucchini noodles).

I haven’t had much luck with growing zucchini in my garden. This year, I planted some zucchini in a bucket on my deck and so far have only gotten 2 zucchini from it. They were kind of funky-looking, but tasted great as zoodles.

I have worked on perfecting my Peanut Sauce for years and I think I have finally nailed it. This stuff is great on all kinds of noodles (rice noodles, spaghetti, zoodles, etc…) and as a sauce for grilled chicken (think Satay) and Summer Rolls.

The Peanut Sauce recipe includes a paste made from a clove of garlic. This is an excellent tutorial on how to make garlic paste with a knife. This is how I do it:

Zoodles with Peanut Sauce

Special tool needed:  spiralizer

1 tablespoon (or less) of mild-tasting oil (I used canola)
4 medium-sized zucchini, ends trimmed, spiralized
1 carrot, peeled and grated
prepared Peanut Sauce (recipe below)

fresh cilantro
crushed peanuts

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spiralized zucchini and shredded carrots and cook, tossing often with tongs, until tender (but not mushy). Turn off the heat and add the peanut sauce to the zoodles. Toss to coat. Serve topped with fresh cilantro and crushed peanuts. Can be eaten warm or cold.

Peanut Sauce

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced and made into a paste with the side of the knife’s blade (see tutorial video above)
1 – 2 teaspoons sriracha
juice of 1/2 lime
warm water (about 1/2 cup)

Combine the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, garlic past, sriracha, and lime juice. Add water, a little at a time, until you reach a somewhat thick, but pourable consistency. You want it just so that it coasts the noodles but isn’t too thick or too thin. Refrigerate any leftover sauce.


Chicken with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

Chicken with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

One of the blueberry bushes in my yard is heavy with blueberries right now. Being a fan of savory fruit sauces, I used some of the fresh berries to make this dish for dinner tonight. It was really, really good. Served alongside some roasted fingerling potatoes, this was a meal worthy of a special occasion.

Fresh Blueberries sm

This recipe makes enough sauce for four generous servings. If you are cooking 2 chicken breasts, only use half of the sauce and save the remainder for another time. I think it would be excellent on salmon.

Chicken with Balsamic Blueberry Sauce

2 – 4 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely chopped Vidalia onion (or favorite sweet onion)
1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen should be a fine too)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey (you may want to add an additional tablespoon of honey if your blueberries are not very sweet – taste the sauce and adjust as necessary)
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400º F.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides. Place the seared breasts in a baking dish and place in the oven.

Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet the chicken was seared in (no need to clean it out). When the butter is melted, add the finely chopped onion. Cook, stirring, until softened and starting to caramelize. Add the blueberries and cook for 1 minute. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Keep warm.

Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken breasts and return them to the oven until cooked through, about 10 more minutes.

Serves 2 – 4.


Cream of Cabbage and Potato Soup

Cream of Cabbage and Potato Soup

Cabbage. So much cabbage. I have gotten 4 or 5 heads of green cabbage in my CSA boxes this season. I’ve been struggling to come of with new ways of using it. I have fallen back on old favorites like stir fries, Fried Cabbage, vegetable soups, Southeast Asian Cabbage Salad, Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup, and Coleslaw. I also made Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (which I will blog later). And, I made this soup.

I was really happy with how the soup turned out. It was delicious! It reminded me of my Cream of Cauliflower and Potato Soup. That is a good thing.

I sprinkled a little shredded cheddar cheese over my first bowl of soup. It’s a wonderful compliment to the flavors of the cabbage and potatoes. The soup is also wonderful without cheese.

Cream of Cabbage and Potato Soup with Cheese

Cream of Cabbage and Potato Soup

3 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 head green cabbage, cored and shredded
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 large potatoes (or 6 smallish), peeled and diced
7 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1 cup half & half or cream
salt and pepper, to taste

cheese (cheddar, Swiss, Edam, etc…), shredded (optional)

In a soup pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cabbage and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the diced carrot, diced potatoes, and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the half & half and season with salt and pepper. Serve. Sprinkle with shredded cheese of your choice, if you desire.


Summer Squash and Corn Casserole

Summer Squash and Corn Casserole 2

Squash Casserole is a Southern staple. This is the best one I have ever made. Ever. I went all out with the addition of mayonnaise, sour cream, and lots of cheese, foregoing previous attempts at trying to make squash casserole healthier. It tasted so good. It really needs those ingredients to make it rich and creamy. The extra calories are worth it!

I love the addition of corn. It’s sweetness compliments the squash so well. I used pattypan squash from my CSA share for this particular casserole. You could use yellow squash and/or zucchini instead (or in combination).

Summer Squash and Corn Casserole

Summer Squash and Corn Casserole

6 – 8 summer squash (yellow or pattypan), sliced and cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups frozen (or fresh) corn kernels
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup breadcrumbs + 1/4 cup for topping
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cook the sliced squash in salted boiling water until tender, but not mushy, about 5 – 8 minutes. Drain well in a colander. I press the squash down with a spoon to remove as much moisture as possible.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and starting to brown. Add the minced garlic and cook a few more minutes. Turn off heat.

In a large bowl combine the drained squash, browned onions and garlic, corn, mayonnaise, sour cream, breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Pour into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs over the top.

Bake in the 350 oven for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.


Stewed Yellow Squash and Tomatoes

Stewed Yellow Squash and Tomatoes

This dish just screams, “summer!!” And it’s perfect for those summer months when you are overrun with squash.

You can make this with zucchini instead of yellow squash or with a combination of both. You can also use fresh tomatoes instead of canned, but you may need to add a little bit of water to the skillet with them.

Stewed Squash and Tomatoes

Stewed Yellow Squash and Tomatoes

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 medium yellow squash, cut into bite-size chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the squash and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the squash is just tender (but not mushy), about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook one minute longer. Next, add the diced tomatoes and their juices. Lower the heat slightly and continue to cook, stirring often, until most of the liquid has cooked out and the squash has reached the desired tenderness, approximately 5 minutes. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.


Collard Greens Slaw (2 Ways)

Collard Greens Slaw 2 Ways

Last week when I posted the Pickled Collard Greens recipe on my Facebook page, a friend of mine commented that she liked Collard Greens Slaw. I thought the idea of making slaw with collards was interesting, but didn’t get any details from her.

Today, I decided to try making slaw with collards. I had a couple of bunches of collard greens from my CSA in the fridge that I need to use. For the sake of experimentation,  I made two different dressings, my basic coleslaw dressing and the dressing that I used on my Broccoli Salad. I mixed up a bowl of collards, red cabbage, carrot, and green onions. The combination of the green, purple, and orange colors is so beautiful! I divided the mixed veggies and dressed 1/2 with one dressing and half with the other dressing. Honestly, both resulting slaws were good. My husband preferred the vinegar-based slaw and I slightly favored the mayo-based slaw. I thought the slaws were best eaten the day they were made.

Collard Greens Slaw (2 Ways)

1/2 bunch collard greens, washed, dried, center rib removed, thinly sliced
1/4 head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 large carrot, shredded
2 green onions, thinly sliced
dressing of your choice, recipes below

Combine the collards, red cabbage, carrot, and green onions in a large bowl. Add the dressing, tossing well to coat the veggies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Creamy Collard Greens Slaw

Mayonnaise-Based Dressing

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl.

Vinegar Based Collard Greens Slaw

Vinegar-Based Dressing

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the ingredients in a small bowl.


Pickled Collard Greens

Pickled Collard Greens

I get the most amazing collard greens from my CSA. Sometimes I get an overwhelming amount of amazing collard greens from my CSA. It’s a challenge I gladly accept. I’m always trying to think of interesting ways to prepare them. This morning I put a Boston Butt pork roast in the crockpot with dinner plans for pulled pork sandwiches on homemade Focaccia bread. I was staring into the fridge and the idea of pickling the collards popped into my head. I have pickled mustard greens before and enjoyed using them as a condiment. Why not collards? Y’all, they turned out so good. They were excellent on the pulled pork sandwiches. I kind of wish I had made a double batch.

These sweet and sour collard greens would also make an excellent side dish. Just cook the collards until tender (about 20 minutes longer than stated in the recipe) and serve warm. I could easily drink the pickling/cooking liquid. : )

Pickled Collard Greens

1 large bunch of collard greens
2 cups water
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Wash and chop the collard greens. I usually remove the center ribs from the leaves before chopping.

In a pot over high heat, bring the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the chopped collards and cook for 5 (for crunchy collards – these are actually better after a few days in the fridge) to 20 (for use right away as a condiment or side dish) minutes. Let the collards and pickling liquid cool and then transfer to a large Mason jar. Refrigerate at least several hours (a couple of days is even better) before use.