Sautéed Squash with Secret Sauce

A variety of squashes and onion

A variety of squashes and onion ready for sautéing

It’s starting to be fall in Santa Cruz – there’s a chill in the air, although we’re still enjoying the last of Indian 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: https://wordpress.com/post/type2delicious.com/1075

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

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Hearty Lentil Veggie Soup

Lentils, tomatoes, onion, on cutting board to be made into Lentil soup

Lentil Veggie Soup process

 

Lentil Veggie Soup -recipe to come

Hope you don’t mind, but before  I share this recipe I want to express something that has become even more clear to me; the difficulty it can be for folks who had totally different lifestyle and eating habits to make healthy choices–and how impactful that can be.

What prompted this are two people I met in different circumstances. Rick and I were shopping for olive oils at a World Market store, and a guy started asking us about our choices, and that he was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and was “trying to reduce sugars”– he had no idea about carbs – just that “sugar is bad.” He was buying two large cans of high carb snack foods (no sugar though), to substitute for sugary snacks. Actually I couldn’t help but suggest he try this blog (and especially read “The Journey” post).

The second incident was a woman who came to our house to pick up bottles we were giving away (we’re in process of stuff reducing)–she was thrilled as now she had containers for her own salad dressing, sauces, and such non-processed foods she was making for the first time in her life. She was so excited as this was a huge change for her!

It hit me strongly that these folks are representative of a large group of our population- who grew up with lots of processed foods and are used to eating one way, and are now faced with changing their diets- and what a major deal it is. I know this theoretically, of course, but it was reinforced!

Made me realize even more how lucky some of us are to have grown up mainly eating in a healthy way, with an emphasis on fresh foods; (although my son went through a fish stick and tater tot phase–I’m not a total purist (<*).

Makes me even more motivated to show that delicious, healthy eating and cooking is not difficult, not expensive, (cheaper that buying most processed foods, such as bottled salad dressings), and fun to do!

Stay tuned soon for the Lentil Veggie Soup recipe!

 

 

 

 

www.type2delicious.com

Roast Broccoli

Fresh broccoli mixed with olive oil and spices

Roasted and delicious!

I’m a broccoli fan, but confess I’ve always just steamed it; didn’t think of any other preparation, til now.

We recently had steamed broccoli and received extra in our biweekly farm produce shipment. I was looking for something different than our regular version, and thought, since we love roast cauliflower why not try to roast broccoli?

After checking a few internet sources (to see if this is a crazy idea) I found several recipes which I combined and added to–so thought; here goes!

Rick’s comment; “Why have broccoli any other way?”

(Side note: we read the eulogy Steve Jobs’ sister delivered which mentioned a meal Jobs and his wife served of steamed broccoli with fresh herbs; simple and good. But I must say that roasting adds another level of flavor.)

INGREDIENTS ( serves 2-3)

  • 1 large bunch broccoli
  • 2-3 Tbsps. Olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Lemon juice, plus 1 tsp. grated Lemon rind
  • No-salt seasoning (Trader Joe’s has a good one; 21 Seasoning Salute) and 1-2 tsps. thyme (or other herb of your choice); I suggest using only one herb to savor the single flavor.

TO DO

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Peel all rind from broccoli. (I insist on really peeling it thoroughly–having had unpeeled broccoli–dealing with the tough skin ruins this vegetable experience for me.)

3. Break into flowerets and slice the stalk into 1/2 ” rounds.

4. Mix broccoli pieces with olive oil, lemon, garlic, herb and seasonings.

5. Rub oil on a baking sheet – put pieces face down; make sure each piece is separate on the pan.

6. Bake for 15 minutes – turn pieces over and bake another 10-15 minutes until tender and brown on both sides.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Best Chicken Curry with Vegetables and Condiments

 

healthy-chicken-curry-condiments

Condiment ingredients; Cucumbers (with yoghurt), cashews, tomatoes and onions, bananas (also with yoghurt) and avocado

healthy-chicken-curry-with-vegetables

The final Chicken Curry

diabetes-friendly-chicken-curry cooking-healthy-chicken-curry

This is a variation of an an authentic Indian recipe taught to me years ago by a lovely Indian woman when I lived in Toronto.

This version adds veggies including carrots, mushrooms and spinach. The condiments are as I learned, with the optional addition of avocado.

I recently cooked it for friends in FL, and it was a big hit! Yes, we also had Basmati rice–again, Rick was limited to 1/2 cup.

The prep is somewhat time consuming, including the condiments, but they are essential to the experience– don’t skip them!

Chicken Curry with Vegetables and Condiments 

INGREDIENTS (this is for 2-4; 2 with leftovers–increase if you’re feeding a larger group)

  • 1 chicken breast, 2 whole legs/thighs; deboned and chopped into 1″ pieces; (I buy them with bones and skin and chop and remove the skin myself as it’s cheaper, but you can buy the skinned, boneless – definitely faster)
  • 1 large onion chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped  into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms (we use Cremini), chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2-4 Tbsp. Safflower or other high heat oil
  • 1-3 Tbsp curry powder to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco or red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup Coconut cream* or plain yoghurt (if dairy is not a problem)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 tsp. lime juice (juice of 1/2 lime)
  • Condiments:
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 bananas, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted or raw unsalted cashews
  • 2-3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • optional: 1 avocado, sliced; squeeze of lime

TO DO: note: have 3 (4 if serving avocado) medium bowls and 1 small one for serving condiments

Curry:

1. Heat 1-2 Tbsp oil in large saucepan or electric skillet.

2. Add the curry powder and brown for 5 minutes, sprinkling with water if it seems to be burning (this is important as it brings out the flavor). Add the chicken pieces and brown 5 minutes per side, mixing them in the curry powder. Put aside.

3. Heat 1-2 Tbs oil and the onions and saute for 5 minutes, add mushrooms, and brown for another 5-6 minutes.

4. Add the spinach and cook 2-3 minutes; add the chicken back in the pan, and add the coconut cream or yoghurt, and water, and Tabasco. Stir all gently together.

5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. If you want, add more curry powder and Tabasco/red pepper to taste.

6. Squeeze lime in and mix.

Serve with condiments, and whole wheat Nan bread, papadums and rice as you like; other grains, or not, per your dietary restrictions.

Condiments (serve each in a separate bowl):

1. Mix chopped cucumber and yoghurt to cover, sprinkle with paprika or red pepper for color.

2. Mix chopped bananas and yoghurt to cover, sprinkle with nutmeg.

3. Mix chopped tomatoes with about 1/3 cup chopped onion and red wine vinegar.

4. Squeeze lime on sliced avocado; (these are not a traditional condiment).

5. Raw or roasted cashews (serve in small bowl; I like glass for these)

*Coconut cream can be found in Asian markets, and is low in carbs.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Rainbow Swiss Chard

chopping-rainbow-chard

Such pretty rainbow colors!

sautee-rainbow-swiss-chard-stems

The chard stems are cooked first

sauteed-rainbow-swiss-chard

The final cooked chard

 

Chard (Swiss Chard) was a new vegetable to me. Rick had made it previously, so I wanted to try it. This is really his recipe.

We buy rainbow chard at the farmer’s market– so pretty, so easy and so delicious! I love the colors! If available, choose the rainbow variety, though the plain Jane is just as tasty. Also, of course, both are low carb, and full of good greens; see the link below for nutritional info. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=16

Rainbow Chard

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 -2 bunches Rainbow (or just green) Swiss Chard
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 3-4 Tbsp good balsamic vinegar
  • Salt free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. Wash the chard (I use a large colander and wash each large leaf )

2. Strip the leaves from the stems and cut off ends and discard any large, tough stems

3. Chop stems into 1/2 or 1″ pieces, then chop leaves into I” pieces; separate stems from leaves

4. Preheat a large sauté pan, add oil. Add vinegar

5. Saute stems for approx. 10 min., then add leaves, and saute approx another 10 min. until vinegar is reduced

6. Add spices and seasonings to taste. Enjoy! www.type2delicious.com

Green Beans with Garlic and Almonds

greenbeans

The delicious green bean combination.

I confess–I use frozen french green beans from Trader Joe’s for this dish. I’ve tried it with fresh Blue Lake green beans as well as other kinds of fresh and frozen green beans and have not found anything better than these. They are tender, tasty and easy to cook. Try them yourself and see what you think.

The ingredients are pretty basic, but as always, using really good olive oil, (such as the oil from the New Ben Lomond Olive Oil Company–cool bottle too), fresh garlic (not garlic powder or salt), and toasting the sliced almonds make the difference. My son-in-law Mike swears they’re the best green beans he’s ever had and requests them whenever we’re together for a home-cooked dinner.

These beans are a great complement to my grandmother’s meatloaf–coming soon!

Green Beans with Garlic and Sliced Almonds

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bag frozen green beans (Trader Joe’s frozen french green beans)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3-4 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/3–to 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • lemon zest to taste
  • Optional: 1-2 slices chopped crisply fried bacon
  • Salt free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. Preheat large saute pan.

2. Add frozen green beans and water; bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until tender; approx. 8 minutes (eat a bean to test for doneness)

4. Remove beans from pan to a bowl. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil; add garlic and saute just until brown (don’t overcook or burn). Remove from pan and add to beans.

5. Heat remaining olive oil; add almonds and toast until light brown.

6. Add beans and garlic back into pan; toss and heat  Toss in bacon if you like.

(Of course, bacon is delicious, but makes this more a bacon-flavored dish.  I prefer it without.)

7. Add spices and seasonings to taste.

8. Enjoy!

tjsgreenbeans

Frozen french green beans from TJ’s

oliveoilgarlicalmalmonds

The good ingredients–olive oil, fresh garlic, sliced almonds

choppinggarlic

Chopping garlic–not my best skill. I hope to improve.

greenbeans

delicious green beans!

eatinggreenbean2

Testing for tenderness.

Eatinggreenbean1

Yes! They are delicious!

www.type2delicious.com

Vietnamese-Style Stir Fry

stirfry

 

This is a great way to combine a bounty of fresh in-season veggies, tofu for protein and lots of flavor. My version includes Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce which we love; (we visited Vietnam a few years ago and it remains a special place in my heart and mind).

Yes, there’s quite a bit of prep, but as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it’s worth it. This stir fry is very tasty, healthy and filled with lots of interesting flavors and colors. And with most everything cooked in the wok–at least doing the dishes isn’t too bad! (Ok, there’s one more pan for browning the tofu – I use a non-stick AllClad so it’s easy to clean), and another pot if you cook brown rice as we do to serve with this–again, Rick limits his serving to approx. 1/2 cup.

Tasty Vietnamese-Style Stir Fry

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-3 zucchinis, sliced into 1″ inch pieces (add 1-2 yellow squash if you like)
  • 1 large head broccoli, chopped into flowerets
  • 3-4 carrots, sliced  into 1″ pieces
  • 2 red and/or yellow/orange peppers, sliced into 1″ pieces (add green if you like them–I don’t)
  • 1-2 large onions, chopped into med. size (not too finely chopped)
  • 1 cup mushrooms (we use Cremini), chopped into med. size pieces
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Safflower or other high heat oil
  • 1 large cube firm or extra firm tofu (slicing instructions in next section)
  • Optional: leftover cooked chicken, sliced into 1″ cubes
  • Sauce:
  • 1-2 Tbsp. fish sauce–Thai or Vietnamese
  • 1-2 Tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce or Tamari
  • 2 Tbsp. mirin (Japanese rice wine) or use any crisp white wine
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 2-3 Tbsp. lime juice
  • Salt free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO: (note: one secret to successful stir frying is to have all pieces approx. the same size–so they cook evenly.)

1. Mix and reserve sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

2. Cut the tofu cube into three or four sections–I cut them crosswise–so that each piece is square. Marinate the tofu sections in approx. 1/2 of the sauce mixture for 10 minutes.

3. Add 1 Tbsp. of oil to a frying pan; on medium high heat, brown the tofu sections for 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan; chop into 1″ pieces and reserve.

4. Heat the wok on high. When a drop of water sizzles, add remaining oil.

5. Add carrots, broccoli and peppers to the wok–stir fry (I use cooking chopsticks or a flat wooden spatula–sometimes both.) When somewhat tender–about 5-6 minutes–remove from the wok into a bowl.

6. Add onions, mushrooms, zucchinis to wok.  Stir fry these veggies for approx. 4 minutes.

7. Add tofu and garlic to mushrooms and zucchinis, (and cooked chicken if using). Stir fry, making sure not to burn the garlic (adjust the heat as needed).

8. Add back the carrots, peppers and broccoli; add sauce remaining in bowl as well as any used to marinate and saute the tofu. Stir fry 2-3 minutes on high ’til everything is well mixed and hot!

9. Serve with brown or wild mix rice; (we love Lundberg’s wild rice mixes*–there are several.)

*www.lundberg.com

Enjoy!

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