End of Summer Veggie Salad with Carrots, Avocado & Corn

Salad with Heirloom tomatoes, Avocado, Corn and Sautéed Carrots

Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes, Avocado, Corn and Sautéed Carrots

I’m still in the summer time mood as the weather is still lovely here; high 70’s, warm breezes, and blue blue skies. It makes me crave a salad using produce from my local Farmers’ Market. Stone fruits are on their way out, to my deep regret, but we still get Heirloom tomatoes and fresh corn, plus excellent avocados, a staple in our household. I also had leftover carrots that Rick had sautéed, with some herbs and a bit of cayenne pepper mix. Putting the cool tastes of the tomatoes, lettuce and avocado and the spice of the carrots tossed with a lemon, olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette resulted in a satisfying combo of sweet, tang with a bit of heat.

What is good about this recipe is it’s flexibility–you can use many kinds of produce in the salad, including leftover veggies, such as sautéed carrots, corn, or if you have grilled eggplant, squash, zucchini, or other grilled or cooked veggies, refrigerate; or marinate them in a mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then refrigerate, and mix with your favorite greens such as butter lettuce, arugula, romaine or spinach. Add chopped avocado, red onion, fresh herbs and your favorite dressing (mine is a simple blend of olive oil, balsamic vinegar with a squeeze or more of lemon), and your salad is ready.

If you want a heartier dish for lunch, add leftover cooked chicken or salmon, or canned tuna, and you’ve got a great meal. Serve with whole grain crackers or toast and you, your family and guests will be well satisfied!

 

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • Lettuce– (I used butter and red leaf)
  • 1-2 Heirloom tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 small or 1/2 large avocado–chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels (I used 1/2 of a leftover corn on the cob)
  • leftover cooked or grilled veggies–sliced carrots, in this case
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 1/3-1/2 C. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 fresh lemon (if this is too lemony for you, reduce the amount. I love lemon!)
  • Wisk dressing ingredients together.
  • Let greens sit in refrigerator for at least 15 min before serving–without dressing. *
  • Garnish with fresh chopped herbs, chopped red onion, nuts etc. (your choice!)

* Tip: you can put oil on salad and then refrigerate, but not vinegar or lemon juice as these will cause the greens to wilt. After taking greens out of the fridge, add the dressing. Toss greens with dressing, then add veggies and garnishes–so the they don’t all sink to the bottom as they are heavier than the greens.  Also retain some of the dressing and pour over the top to serve.

Enjoy!

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End of Summer Zucchini and Tomato Sauté

Onions, Zucchini and Tomatos in a pan

End of Summer Vegetable Saute Ingredients

Tomatoes, Zucchini, Onions in a pan

Summer Vegetable Saute

Summer Vegetable Sauté

If you’re lucky enough to have a bounty of tomatoes (my favorite!) and zucchinis, this is a tasty and very easy side dish.

I’m originally from Ohio, and we had great weather for growing tomatoes. Come September, the crop was often still abundant, and we were finally ready to do something besides eat them raw or on BLT’s. After making spaghetti sauce, and perhaps canning, this dish is one of my favorites to serve along side roast chicken and grilled fish.

Basically it’s three main ingredients; chopped onions, zucchini and tomatoes. The cooking is simple–sautéing in stages; you can put this together and serve in less than an hour. It can be cooked in advance, refrigerated and then reheated. (I suggest reheating in a pan–not microwaved.) What’s especially good about this dish is that it combines these wonderful summer vegetables and keeps their fresh tasting integrity, while the combination adds a lot of flavor.

Easy, low carb and very delicious!

INGREDIENTS (serves 3-4 with leftovers)

  • 4-6 diced zucchinis (depending on size and how many you want to make–this is easily doubled)
  • 1/2 -1 cup chopped onions
  • 4-6 tomatoes (again, or more– as many as you want to make)
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • Fresh herbs–thyme, basil, etc. (your choice–I prefer thyme)
  • salt-free seasoning/pepper to taste
  • Optional: a squeeze of lime or lemon juice

TO DO:

1. Chop onions, dice zucchini to approx. 1/2″ pieces, cut tomatoes into quarters, or smaller, depending on the tomato size..

2. Preheat a saute pan to med.high heat, add olive oil

3.  Add the onions and sauce (no cover) for approx 4-5 min. until slightly brown and soft; of course, stirring as they cook.

4. Add zucchini–sauté another 5-6 minutes, until softened (if you like them slightly crunchy, taste for firmness to your taste).

5. Add tomatoes  and sauté another 2-4 minutes, until they are softened and skins separate.

6. Mix all together with herbs and seasonings to your taste, and a few drops of lime of lemon if you like.

Very simple, very fresh tasting–your family and guests will thank you!

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Summer Squash with Secret Sauce

I posted this last year but have had an abundance of squashes, so thought it is a good idea to post again. We’re still enjoying the last of the summer. (Actually, September/October is our real summer- June, July and August are usually foggy and cool here by the ocean); except this summer which was unusually warm— say global warming anyone?

A mix of squash, onion and ketchup sautéed in pan

Delicious sautéed squash and onion dish

Sautéed squashes and onion with ketchup

German Secret Sauce

Which brings me to this recipe for your remaining summer zucchini/squash harvest – plus what’s still available at farmer’ markets. You can use any type of soft skinned winter squashes just as well. This family favorite is a great side dish for roast chicken, broiled fish or almost anything you serve.

I first enjoyed this recipe when I was visiting my mom’s cousin Erica in LA in the eighties. My mom and her cousins Hans and Erica were born in Germany- escaped here during the war. Erica was an excellent cook. This dish surprised me as I had no idea that the “sauce” was nothing but ketchup, and that ketchup is a mainstay of  German cooking!

This is a very easy to make dish with a rich, satisfying taste. It always comes out delicious. You can use any combination of squash and onions you like.  I make it for company and let them guess what is in the sauce- so far no one has figured it out!  But now you know!

German Squash with Secret Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 5-7 squashes- your choice (I like to vary the colors- using yellows and greens)
  • 1 large onion plus 1-2 cippolini onions if you like
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • Salt-free seasoning, pepper; or use salt if you can
  • Fresh chopped herbs- thyme or marjoram are my favorites for this

TO DO: (serves 3-4 or 2 with leftovers)

1. Chop onions into 1/2 “ pieces

2. Chop squashes in approximately 1/2 pieces also- they can be sliced but the way Erica made it they were chopped

3. Heat oil on med high heat in large sauté pan; add onions and sauté until just brown- 5-6 minutes

4. Add squashes to pan, and spices; sauté 3-4 more minutes uncovered- cover for about 5 more minutes til tender

5. Add 1/2 cup ketchup—sauté another 2-3 minutes; taste and add more if you like

That’s it! I’m sure you’ll be surprised at how rich tasting this is! Thanks Erica!

Serve as a side dish; and, as we usually have, a crisp green salad with a tart, lemony vinaigrette–see previous Salad posts for the vinaigrette recipe: Summer Salad with Fresh New Peas and Strawberries

Enjoy!

Summer Salad with Grilled Eggplant, Tomato and Avocado

 

Grilled Eggplant, Tomato and Avocado salad on plate

Delicious Summer Vegetable Salad

 

Fresh Vegetable Summer Salad

I’ve been traveling a lot since December 2017, mainly for family events; but been to Chile, Argentina, NYC, Japan (my daughter and family just moved there in May), Denver/Arches National Park, and LA; (Rick asked if I’m bragging or complaining!)–now finally a breather at home! (Although I must admit it was great to get to eat such different cuisines–see below for photos of two excellent meals we had). Feels so good to enjoy my house and garden! Since I’ve been gone so much, I had no time to plant my usual tomatoes or other veggies. Thank goodness we have excellent Farmer’s Markets here in Santa Cruz.

Recently we had a warm and inviting evening, (it’s often cool and foggy); we decided to grill vegetables. We had several eggplant pieces left over, but not enough for a full portion for each of us for dinner. (Actually, from now on, I’ll grill extra vegetables just to make this salad.)

I put together this simple, fresh and tasty salad, using tomatoes from the local Farmer’s Market and ripe avocado–a staple in our house. Just slice all the veggies, sprinkle lemon on the avocado, make dressing with olive oil and Balsamic vinegar, (for 2 individual salads use approx. 1/3 cup oil to 2-3 Tbsp. vinegar); chill for 1/2 hr. before serving.

If you have fresh chives, parsley, cilantro, or basil, cut pieces of your favorite on top and serve!

Easy, low carb and very delicious!

Grilled Sable Fish with Daikon spear

Grilled Sable Fish with Daikon spear –in Japan

plate of roast chicken and brown rice --

Roast chicken and brown rice — in Argentina

INGREDIENTS (makes 2 individual salads; increase the amounts as needed for more servings)

  • 8-10 pieces of leftover grilled eggplant–(you can use any grilled vegetables of your choice)
  • 1 avocado
  • ]2-3 tomatoes-again, any kind of your choice
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • Chopped herbs –your choice (I grow chives all year round so that’s what I use)
  • salt-free seasoning/pepper to taste
  • TO DO
  • 1. Whisk dressing ingredients in small bowl.
  • 2. Wash and slice tomatoes, slice avocado and sprinkle with lemon.
  • 3.  Arrange vegetables on plates
  • 4. Add dressing to each serving. Let flavors meld for about 1/2 hour.
  • 5. Serve for lunch by itself with whole grain crackers or as accompaniment for grilled fish or chicken. (See, I said this was easy!)
  • Enjoy!

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Super Califragalistic Cauliflower!

Rick and I went to Birba, an excellent restaurant in Palm Springs. It’s a popular place with all outside tables and beautiful lighting, especially enjoyable on a warm night. We loved all the food, but were especially blown away by the cauliflower. It was served whole; twice cooked; boiled first and then baked with cheese. It’s actually quite simple to make and is a wow dish to serve your friends and family as a side dish; (true confession–we usually make one and eat it all ourselves).

I’ve tried to reproduce the dish we had at Birba, but have made my own variation, with more of an Indian spice flavor. You can use other spice combinations that you like, such as Italian seasoning, dill or basil. The main thing is the first steam or boil the vegetable whole, then add seasoning in an olive oil base, grate cheese on top and bake. Looks very elegant and tastes delicious!

Whole Cauliflower with topping of smoked paprika

Cauliflower with smoky paprika

Whole Cauliflower topped with grated cheese

Cauliflower topped with grated cheese

Baked whole cauliflower, topped with melted cheese

Baked cauliflower, ready to be served

 

Twice Cooked Cauliflower (serves 2-3, depending on size of cauliflower) 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Cauliflower (or make two to serve four or more)
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric
  • 1 tsp. Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tsp. capers
  • Smoked Paprika
  • 1/3 cup grated aged goat or cow gouda, or Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Salt-free seasoning, pepper; or 1tsp. salt–your choice
  • TO DO: (Preheat oven to 400 degrees before baking) 

1. Wash and core cauliflower, but leave whole.

2. Boil cauliflower with approx. 3 inches of water, in a 4-6 quart oven proof pot, such as Calphalon, or Corning ware, until still firm, 10-12 minutes (test with knife)

3. Whisk all spice ingredients and capers in olive oil, except for Smoked Paprika.

4. Pour olive oil mixture over cauliflower, getting into crevices. (You can do this in advance–marinate the cauliflower by pouring the mixing over it and letting it sit for an hour or so before baking.)

5. Sprinkle paprika, and grate cheese on top.

6. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until brown and cheese is melted.

Serve as a side dish; and, as we usually have, a crisp green salad with a tart, lemony vinaigrette–see previous Salad posts for the vinaigrette recipe: Persimmon and Endive salad; (can be made with pears, orange/tangerine pieces or even strawberries, depending on the season).

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

New Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast topped with Fried Egg

Avocado Toast topped with Fried Egg

Avocado toast is the latest rage-it’s being offered on menus in almost every cafe and  bakery I’ve been to lately. Actually, it’s so easy to prepare at home. No reason to pay a lot for this simple dish! As you probably know, avocados are a healthy food choice; here’s some of the reasons Why Avocados are a healthy food choice.

Avocado toast is even more delicious topped with a fried egg; more protein and a great breakfast, especially with some fruit to complete the meal. We like citrus, especially the little tangerines that we find now at farmers’ markets. Here’s my recipe for this avocado treat.

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

  • 1 medium size avocado
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Mayonnaise
  • 1tsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 slices cheese- we use goat Gouda slices (Trader Joe’s sells pre-sliced Dutch goat Gouda that we like))
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • salt free seasoning (or salt if you like), ground pepper, lemon juice; to taste
  • fresh herbs- chopped chives or dill or your choice
  • Paprika or smoked Paprika

TO DO

  1. With a fork, mash the avocado and the mayo together; (not too smooth- should have some chunkiness). Set aside.
  2. Add salt, (or no salt seasoning), and pepper to taste; (also a squeeze of lemon if you like.)
  3. Toast the bread.
  4. Put a slice of goat cheese on each toast; either microwave for 20-30 seconds until cheese is slightly softened or saute toast topped with the cheese for 1-2 minutes to soften the cheese. (I actually prefer the microwave method- but either works fine.)
  5. Spread avocado mixture thickly on top of the cheese toast.
  6. Melt butter in a hot nonstick pan; crack eggs gently into the pan and fry til whites are opaque and edges are brown and crisp; turn over and cook an additional 10-20 seconds (depending on your preference for the firmness of the yolk).
  7. Top each avocado toast with hot fried egg.
  8. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs.
  9. Sprinkle with Paprika (or smoked Paprika) to add a bit of color

That’s it- avocado toast-so easy and delicious!

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Tangy Tex-Mex Slaw

 

Chopped cabbage and carrot slaw with a tangy lime-based dressing

Tangy TexMex Slaw

Tangy Tex-Mex Slaw

Sometimes I want something that is tasty and tangy to titallate my tastebuds! (Yes, having fun with alliteration!)

I spent some time in New Mexico last October and developed a craving for the SouthWestern flavors. Unfortunately many dishes of the area are full of carbs and a lot of fat. This colorful Slaw is satisfying and won’t break your diet. It’s also super easy to prepare, and is versatile; can be a side dish, (actually a wonderful topping for grilled fish, or, if, your diet allows, fish tacos); or by itself as a lunch salad served with whole grain crackers.

Basically chopped cabbage, grated carrot and a marinade, you can put this together and serve in less than an hour.

Easy, low carb and very delicious!

INGREDIENTS (serves 3-4 with leftovers)

  • 21/2- 3 cups chopped cabbage (quick tip- use bagged, prechopped coleslaw or cabbage- such as from Trader Joe’s, my go-to store); also add 1/3 cup shredded red cabbage if you like
  • 1/3 cup grated carrot
  • 1 small whole Diced fresh, seeded mild jalapeño,or 2Tbsp. canned, diced
  • optional; 1/3 cup fresh or canned sweet corn kernels- tasty but they do add carbs
  • Marinade/Dressing (not sure what to call it!):
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise ( add enough to get a creamy consistency)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1tsp. Honey
  • 2 Tbsp. Cilantro leaves, chopped fine
  • 1-2 tsp. Chili powder (tip; start with 1 and add more as you like)
  • 1-2 tsp. Ground cumin (same as above)
  • salt-free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. Whisk dressing/marinade ingredients in small bowl.

2. Mix cabbages, carrots, jalapeños and corn (if using), in large bowl.

3.  Add dressing and mix well.

4. Let flavors meld for about 1/2 hour.

5. Serve for lunch by itself with chopped avocado and whole grain crackers or as topping for grilled fish or fish tacos. (See, I said this was easy!)

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com