Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Veggie Overload!

As mentioned last week, my veggie bin is an overstuffed monument to good intentions. 

Every time I think I have a handle on it, I'll do something crazy like making a spontaneous after-work trip to the DeKalb Farmers Market (how much do I love that place).Of course, I overbought. :)

So with wonderful things like tomatoes and zucchini in high season, here are a few of the things I'm making this week to use up some of the goodies in the drawer.

Zoodles with Red Pepper and Goat Cheese
This is about as easy as it gets. If you don't have a spiralizer gadget to make zoodles, this actually does taste just as good with diced zucchini. And if you want to bulk it up a bit, it also works great tossed in with some cooked rotini and a splash more oil and vinegar for a hot or cold pasta salad. 

how to make it (per serving):
1 smallish zucchini, spiralized or diced
1 mini sweet pepper (red, yellow or orange), finely diced
2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
drizzle of olive oil

Saute the zucchini and pepper together with a little bit of olive oil until the veggies start to soften and brown. Sprinkle with sugar and drizzle vinegar on top. Continue cooking until veggies are slightly browned (less if you like more crunch). Stir in goat cheese crumbles and serve immediately.

Barefoot Contessa's Panzanella
Ina Garden is my ultimate foodie crush. I love just about every one of her recipes I've tried, but this may be my favorite. I could just about live off this stuff. It's that good. I like to make it with grape tomatoes cut in half, and I usually go a little lighter on the peppers and capers. One shortcut I often use are these frozen garlic cubes, that I usually get at Trader Joe's. I keep a package or two in my freezer at all times. They work anywhere you need fresh minced garlic, and they really taste fresh, not like the nasty old-sweat taste of the jarred stuff. They also make frozen basil... if you don't have fresh basil to toss in with the salad, just add a cube or two to the vinaigrette in this recipe and it works fine. Also, while frying the bread as directed is amazing, it does soak up quite a bit of oil. If you want to be a little healthier, you can mist the bread cubes lightly with an olive oil mister and bake them in the oven at 300 degrees, stirring once or twice until the bread is browned and crunchy to your taste. Also, if you want protein over delicious, toasty, garlicky carbs, you can skip the bread and add a can of drained, rinsed chickpeas for a different take.


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