It is zucchini season. Finding delicious ways to eat this vegetable is quite easy. It’s subtle sweetness and versatile texture lend it to be delicious eaten raw or cooked. This recipe for “Summer Squash Bake” is currently my favorite way to eat zucchini, but some other options include: sauteed with onions and spinach, in a green curry, made into flax crackers, or puree into soups (adds a nice viscosity without cream).
This potato salad is dairy free and egg free, but full of flavor lent from garlic, shallots, and a hint of lemon. Makes a great summer side dish to pretty much anything. 🙂
about 16 red potatoes cooked in salted, boiling water until tender
1/4 c. minced shallot
5 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 c. chopped parsley
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
3 tsp sea salt
zest from half a lemon
juice from 1 lemon
dash black pepper
Clean red potatoes and place in a large pot. Cover with water and a hefty pinch of sea salt. Bring to boil and cook until tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain and let cool, until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, prepare dressing by combining remaining ingredients into a bowl, mix thoroughly. Cut potatoes into eighths and return to boiling pot. Cover with dressing, stir to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour to overnight and serve.
Over the years, I have acquired certain tips from good cooks to hone my own skills in the kitchen. From my dad, I learned that the best salad dressings, are the ones you make yourself. He always makes his own salad dressing, one reason is: he can control the ingredients that go into it. His salad dressing contains extra virgin olive oil and no added sugar. Extra virgin olive oil is cold pressed, first pressed oil that comes from olives. Mediterranean cultures have been using this oil for centuries, meaning it is a traditional food that humans have thrived on for longer than time since the industrial revolution. Extra virgin olive oil is a healthy fat, it is full of monounsaturated oils and vitamin E. It is best used as a finishing oil or salad dressing because it is sensitive to heat.
In following suit of my dad, who is health conscious, I started making my own salad dressing about ten years ago. My versions have evolved over the years, but has always been delicious (at least that is what my husband says. He drinks the dressing that collects at the bottom of his bowl after he has finished his salad). Here is my latest version.
1/4 c. dijon mustard
1/4 c. raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 and 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. Salt, Pepper, Garlic
Reuse an old oil or vinegar bottle and add the ingredients to it using a funnel. Shake vigorously until the dressing is smooth and emulsified.
1 mini cucumber, cut into half moons
1/2 c. of watermelon, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 spring fresh mint, leaves removed, minced
1/8 tsp. jalapeno, minced (less or more depending on your heat tolerance)
1/2 tsp. sherry vinegar
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste
Combine everything and stir gently to coat. Taste. Add a touch more sea salt to bring out flavors if needed. Made for one, but easy to quadruple. Goes well with anything grilled.
My sister-in-law makes some fantastic green beans using a similar technique, but I have snow peas to cook, so snow peas it is. Her beans and these snow peas are garlicky, spicy, smokey, salty, and perfect as a side dish to pretty much anything.
Heat pan over medium heat. Add coconut oil and sliced garlic with a touch of salt. Cook for 30 seconds. Add snow peas, a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Saute for 2 minutes stirring beans to coat with oil, then put a lid on and cook covered for 5-7 minutes. You do not need to stir the snow peas once covered, it adds a nice flavor if they develop a little char on the underside. Snow peas will turn bright green when cooked, they will be “teeth tender” but still contain a slight give, do not over cook.
1 T. sea salt
1/2 tsp each: garlic powder, black pepper, chili powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 rack of baby back ribs, preferably pastured and/or humanely raised
Rub ribs with rub at least 1 hour prior to cooking or apply to ribs and allow them to sit in the fridge overnight. Put ribs in roasting pan with about 1/4 c. of water and cover pan with tin foil. Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours. During the last half hour, apply your favorite bbq sauce, return to oven. After 4 hours is up, remove from oven, apply another coat of bbq sauce, turn oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 15 minutes to add a caramelized coat of sauce. Allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes, before slicing. Slice into sets of three, though, hopefully, they will fall apart easily. This was a large dinner for two, and they were so good, I am not sure I would had wanted to share. Serve with summer sides like: Watermelon, Garden Greens with Radish Salad, and Roasted Red Potatoes or Potato Salad.
2-3 stems of Rosie basil or sweet basil, leaves removed and larger leaves torn smaller
4 c. mixed greens
Layer greens in a large bowl and top with everything else. Dress with Stacey’s Salad Dressing or drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar and sea salt and black pepper to taste. Then toss to combine. Serves 2-4.