Zucchini and Corn casserole

Are you searching for a new side dish that incorporates vegetables in a different way?  I think I found one from the Six Sisters.  If you are not familiar with them, there are just that, six sisters with busy lives and families.  Some of their recipes are just fantastic.  This one I happened to find in magazine published last Fall 2016. (Six Sisters Stuff)  As usual, I adapt the recipe for our taste, but followed the same preparation technique, and the casserole was very tasty.

Here is how I prepared this side dish.  Gather olive oil, 1/3 red onion, garlic in a tube, 2 medium to large zucchini, cubed, one bag frozen corn, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella,  1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, and salt plus black pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  On the cooktop, saute oil, onion, garlic to taste, and cook until the onions become tender.  Add in the zucchini and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes until the vegetables are browning.  Add corn, cheese, salt and pepper.

Place into a ceramic casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Serve while hot.

Any leftovers can be stored very easily with a new product I found at the home and housewares show.

Lidlover lids can be used with ceramic, stainless, glass, bamboo, plastic or even with plates.  They can be used to cover dishes in the oven up to 400 degrees.  They are BPA free and made of high quality food grade silicone. More about the product can be found on their website at http://www.LidLover.com

Watch for these products coming this year to stores.  Additionally, they will be featured on QVC this May. I have been using them for the past few weeks and they are an amazing new product.

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Zoodles with a spiral slicer

I finally purchased a Paderno spiralizer slicer and it has been a wonderful addition to my kitchen tool collection.  My three blade slicer is able to cut vegetables very quickly into angel hair noodles, shoestrings and even spiral cut strands.  My first attempt at using the tool was extremely successful, as I made zucchini noodles in place of pasta one evening for dinner.

I sautéed the zoodles with some sliced mushrooms, seasoned with black pepper and parsley flakes in one tablespoon olive oil. I cooked the zucchini noodles until soft and served with pasta sauce.  The noodles were extremely tasty, and confirm the recent enthusiasm from many chefs for using this spiral slicer.

I will be experimenting with apples, potatoes, carrots and cucumbers in the coming months. The slicer is an interesting way to prepare and cut these foods for appealing presentation and to increase food excitement.

For more information on this slicer, it can be purchased online at Williams Sonoma cookware.

Sauteed fresh corn and zucchini

A week ago, I wanted to serve fresh corn again for dinner since it has been so tasty this year.  My husband loves fresh corn season, and sometimes I don’t feel like corn on the cob. So, I found a recipe for a saute which was simply delicious.

I used margarine instead of the butter in the dish, and it was perfect. It took about ten minutes to prepare and was a wonderful side dish for chicken that evening.  I highly recommend making this dish with fresh corn.

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Here is a recipe that I adapted from allrecipes.com from this summer.  Gather these ingredients:  1/2 stick butter, 1/2 cup diced white onion, 2 cups chopped zucchini, 3 ears of fresh corn with kernels removed, salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the margarine in a large skillet on the stove and cook the onion first.  Add the zucchini next and cook about 5 minutes.  Finally, add the corn, salt and pepper and cook for another 4 minutes until hot for serving immediately. This was a delicious side dish to serve with any meat entree.

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grilled zucchini

Most of my grilled vegetable posts have been recipes made with a variety of mixed vegetables.  And, when I usually grill zucchini, I have sliced the vegetable into circles to accompany the other vegetables in the dish–following the rule that equal sized ingredients cook evenly.

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Recently, I have been grilling strips of zucchini with great success.  I would have to say that the most difficult part of this recipe comes when slicing the zucchini into even portions.  Using a mandoline cutting tool is the best method, though ribbons of zucchini would burn on the grill.  It is important to have just the right strip size of the zucchini, about 1/4 inch thick.

This past week, I seasoned the zucchini with olive oil, dill weed, salt, pepper, parsley flakes and a mixed herb blend.  I prepare the zucchini in a bowl and then add to the grill already seasoned.

This is a perfect quick side dish to accompany any barbecue dinner.

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cherry street market –a wonderful fall experience

Last Friday, we took a relaxing Fall drive Up North to Traverse City Michigan.  I certainly do love Northern Michigan and will never give up an opportunity to experience wonderful food, shopping, and of course the Lake.  The weather was lovely and the air was filled with the crisp cooler weather that has rolled into our state.  I enjoyed every minute of the day, especially my stop at the Cherry Street Market in Kalkaska. ( http://www.cherrystreetmarket.com/)

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The vegetables and fruits were overflowing the shelves into bushels and pecks for sale.  The apples, squash, concord grapes and pie pumpkins were beautiful.  I love everything about a farm market.  I love that it is outdoors. I also love that the produce looks and tastes better than anything available at any local grocery store.  The romaine lettuce is deep green.  The corn is super sweet.  The apples are crisp and perfect without any blemishes. I love that I don’t have to “pick through” the pile, because every specimen of fruit or vegetable is picture perfect.  The freshness factor is overflowing.

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I purchased two large bags brimming with fruits and vegetables for $17.  This amazes me, as produce is so expensive at the grocery store. The abundance is breathtaking and the atmosphere is charming.  I love the harvest season and everything about farm produce.  I encourage everyone to have a small garden.  For those items that cannot be grown at your home due to hours of sun available in your yard, or even just space, I encourage supporting local growers in your area.  I have never been disappointed with the quality or the selection at the end of a growing season.

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fall squash casserole

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAnother fall comfort food which adapts well to a casserole dish is squash.  I recently tried making this dish with a mixture of zucchini and yellow squash.  It was very tasty and could be adapted to include other herbs and seasonings as desired. Over the years, I have used several recipes to perfect this dish.

This past week, I used chives, basil, thyme, salt and pepper for this dish. I had these herbs growing in my home garden.  This side dish could be served with any fish, chicken or beef entrée.  It is smooth and creamy.  And, is especially tasty for children who may not typically like to eat squash.

to make this recipe:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Precook the two cups of sliced squash on the stove top in a steamer.  When the squash is tender, add the following ingredients to combine:  1 egg, 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 1 1/2 cups of shredded white or yellow cheddar cheese, and herbs to taste.

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Place into a ceramic baking dish and top the casserole with 1/2 cup additional shredded cheese and a decoration of chives, thyme or parsley.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until browned. Serve while warm.  This dish will serve 6-8 guests.

 

baby zucchini

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on a quick trip to the Whole Foods Market, i happened to find baby zucchini.  what a cute product. usually zucchini are ripe when they are approximately eight inches in length. zucchini are nutritionally low in fat and calories, and a good source of Vitamin A, folate and potassium.  if you are interested in controlling your blood pressure, this is a good vegetable choice for you.

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these tiny zucchini are just the perfect size for a variety of dishes.  i chose to use them traditionally and sautéed them with onions for a simple vegetable side dish.  the zucchini were tender and tasty served with garlic and herbs, salt and pepper.  i used about one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on the cooktop, and in a matter of a few minutes, the vegetables were cooked.

served with grilled chicken, this vegetable was delicious.

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