Category Archives: zucchini

Poor Girl Pizza

I really think summer ’12 is going to go down as one of the craziest of my life.  What’s my excuse now for not posting in a while?  Oh, you know, I got invited very last minute to attend my sister’s elopement (word?) in Nashville.  No big deal.  Then my niece ended up coming to Bloomington so I’ve been taking her out to eat instead of cooking.

I did,  however, make these pizzas for her after an especially exhausting day.

The great thing about using tortillas is that they can make the tortillas nice and crisp by preheating them in the oven while you prepare the other ingredients.  Oh, and a 12 pack of corn tortillas costs $0.59.  No joke (El Millagro from Chicago).

The other great thing about these pizzas is that any leftover ingredient in the fridge tastes great.  Got left over pasta sauce? great! Leftover salsa?  That works out perfectly, too.  You can literally do anything- alfredo, salad dressing, olive oil…at some point they become flat breads and not pizzas though 🙂  My other favorite thing about these is that sometimes I just don’t want leftovers.  I can make as many as I want and not worry about storing the rest in the fridge.

So, anyway, now that I’ve told you all the reasons I’m in love with these pizzas, I suppose I’ll tell you what I did.

Poor Girl Pizza

-preheat the oven to 400 degrees
-place as many tortillas as desired on a pizza pan and let the tortillas heat while the oven preheats
-chop whatever vegetables you would like (aka leftover CSA veggies) (I used zucchini, onion, garlic, and tomato)
-take the tortillas out of the oven, spread pasta sauce on tortillas
-top with slices of mozzarella cheese (or goat, or parmesan, or whatever strikes your fancy 🙂 )
-add your veggies
-season with salt, crushed red pepper, and fennel
-bake in oven for 5-10 minutes

Total Cost: $4.13 (or $0.59/pizza)
7 tortillas: $0.34
-1/2 organic zucchini: $0.50
-2 small organic onions: $1.00
-2 cloves of organic garlic: $0.30
-1/6 jar of pasta sauce: $0.33
-1/3 lb mozzarella: $1.67

7 were enough for 2, so I’d say you can’t beat that.

Organic Whole Wheat Gnocchi with steamed CSA veggies

Yikes, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted!

I’m writing from the comfort of my porch, borrowing (stealing) my neighbors comfortable patio furniture, and relaxing from what has been a whirlwind July.  This past weekend I ran Great Lakes Relay- a 300 mile relay race across northern Michigan.   Needless to say, I haven’t been doing much cooking, and when I have it’s been the same old things I’ve already blogged about.

view from my porch

Well, not last night.  Last night I made one of my favorite meals in the world- gnocchi.  I’ve been getting these great potatoes lately from the CSA, but I’ve been boiling them almost immediately and never saving myself enough for pasta.  I vowed last night to take the time to make my favorite meal.

Along with the potatoes, I’ve also been getting a good number of cucumber, zucchini, onion, cherry tomatoes, and garlic.  I decided to steam the veggies and toss them over the pasta.  I typically make pesto, but I didn’t have any basil, so I threw in walnuts, olive oil, parmesan cheese, and dried basil in hopes of a pesto deconstruction.  It didn’t really work, fyi.  In the end, I tossed in some mediterranean sea salt (thanks Becca!) and that made my meal much better.

Organic Whole Wheat Gnocchi

-chop and boil enough potatoes to make 1-1/2 cups mashed potatoes (I prefer to mash potatoes with milk only and omit the butter for this recipe)

chieftan potatoes!

-Once you have 1-1/2 cups of mashed potatoes, stir together with 1 egg and 1/4 tsp salt (I use tea smoked sea salt)
-Stir in 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour.  Sometimes I need to add more flour, up to ~1/2 cup more, if the dough is too sticky.
-roll the dough into long thin logs

it doesn’t matter if this looks perfect if you’re going for the “rustic” look 🙂

-using a pizza cutter, cut the pasta into “pillows”


-place the pasta into boiling water and let boil until they rise to the top of the water.

-While you are making the pasta, steam your veggies.  This can be done in the microwave, a steamer, or a rice cooker (thanks, Jill!)
-chop 1 zucchini, a handful of baby tomatoes, and an onion


-Once the pasta and the veggies are finished, toss together with olive oil, grated parmesan cheese, basil, crushed walnuts, salt, and any other seasonings you desire.

Bon Appetit! (only to be said in a Julia Child -esque way)

Total Cost: $6.91
-7 organic chieftan potatoes: $2.00
-1-1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour: $0.39
-1 egg: $0.17
-1 organic zucchini: $1.00
-handful of organic baby tomatoes: $0.50
-2 organic baby onions: $1.00
-1 clove organic garlic: $0.10
-grated all natural parmesan cheese: $1.00
-handful organic walnuts: $0.75

This meal comfortably fed 2, plus there were leftovers!

Zucchini Pasta

This freaking heat has really been getting to me lately.

As a result, I have no appetite for anything heavy.

I picked up my CSA yesterday and had 4 zucchini, 5 cucumbers, a bag of chieftan potatoes, and basil.  With the extreme drought and high temps (2+ weeks straight of 100+ degree weather) the CSAs haven’t been quite as bountiful.

With the basil, I absolutely wanted to make pesto, but definitely didn’t want heavy pasta.  Instead, I opted to make zucchini pasta.  I had done this before with eggplant and figured it would work with zucchini, too.

The pesto was fantastic, plus I got to use my mortar and pestle!!  Overall, the “pasta” turned out pretty well.  The only downside is that this takes some time, because you’re supposed to let it drain.  I personally don’t know if this really makes a different or not.

Zucchini Pasta with Walnut Pesto

Zucchini Pasta
-using a potato peeler (or a mandolin, or whatever you want), thinly slice the zucchini
-place zucchini slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let sit for 30 minutes

-after 30 minutes, rinse and cook in boiling water
-cut red potatoes into quarters, and boil with the zucchini

Pesto

-using the mortar and pestle, smash a clove of garlic
-add fresh basil leaves and continue to smash the leaves and garlic, add olive oil as needed
-add walnuts until you reach the desired consistency
-add salt, to taste

Normally pesto has parmesan, but I didn’t have any.  I really don’t think it made a difference.

To go with this, I also added some goat cheese and chicken I had cooked and previously frozen.

Total Price: $8.60

-4 organic zucchini: $4.00
-1/2 package organic basil: $2.00
-1 organic garlic clove: $0.10
-handful organic walnuts: $0.25
-4 organic chieftan potatoes: $1.00
-organic goat cheese: $0.25
-1/2-ish pound organic chicken: $1.00

I had no idea this ended up being so expensive.  I suppose what I have found is that grains are certainly cheaper than fresh vegetables.  Obviously  I think this has a lot to do with the recent weather, as the shares haven’t been as large lately.  oh well.

 

Zucchini!

Being from Indiana, I know a thing or two about zucchini.

1. In the right environment (Indiana), it will grow like crazy.

2. It’s super versatile.

3. There are far, far better things you can do with this veggie than just delegate it to zucchini bread (even though that’s a good option!)

I’ve been hesitating to blog lately because I haven’t done a great job taking pictures, and, well, I hate blogs without pictures.

To overcome that, I’m going to post a stock photo of a zucchini to make myself feel better

I’ve been getting HUGE zucchini in the CSA lately…we’re talking zucchini the size of my forearm.  Literally.  So far I’ve done three things, each pretty different.  I have a recipe for chocolate zucchini cake, which I’m looking forward to trying, so stay tuned for that.  Each zucchini recipe I’ve made would be great for a gathering, especially the two salads I’m going to share.  The roasted zucchini would make a fantastic side dish with fish or tofu.

Pasta Salad with Zucchini, Cucumber, Garlic Scapes and Chard

-cook one package fettuccine (or whatever pasta is available)
-sautee 1 chopped zucchini, 5 garlic scapes, and 2 stalks of chard in olive oil
-when pasta is done cooking, add olive oil and vegetables
-stir in goat cheese, until pasta is coated
-add salt and old bay seasoning; continue to stir
-add 1 chopped cucumber

Total Price: $4.00
-1 box fettuccine: $1.00
-1 organic zucchini: $1.00
-5 organic garlic scapes: $0.25
– organic chard: free (garden!)
-organic goat cheese (Trader Joe’s): $0.75
-1 organic cucumber: $1.00

This pasta salad feeds a ton; I took it to a cookout and had enough left over for lunch and dinner

Fresh Zucchini/Cucumber/Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese
-chop one zucchini, one cucumber, 2 large strawberries, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (I used aged, but normal b-v would work too)
-top with goat cheese

Total Price: $2.80
1 organic zucchini: $1.00
-1 organic cucumber: $1.00
-2 organic strawberries: $0.50
-organic goat cheese: $0.30

This was a perfect, single serving salad for me after a hot day when I just wanted something light.  Walnuts or almonds would also be great.

Roasted Zucchini “crostini’s”
-slice 1 large (this was the forearm sized zucchini)
-using a garlic press, press one large garlic clove into a small bowl filled with 1/8-1/4 cup of olive oil (alternatively, you can just finely chop the garlic)
-toss zucchini slices in olive oil, being sure zucchini is coated with both oil and garlic
-lay zucchini slices out on a baking sheet
-lightly salt and add a small dollop of goat cheese to the middle of each slice
-roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes

parmesan cheese also goes really well with this recipe

Total Price: $1.85
-1 organic zucchini: $1.00
-1 organic garlic clove: $0.10
-organic goat cheese: $0.75

 

Also, in case you were wondering: