Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Stuffed Zucchini

There are a million great ways to stuff a zucchini. Here is one on the healthier side. First let me explain the pictures. We were visiting family in Oklahoma and one of my Aunt-in-laws gave me the biggest zucchini I have ever seen, we are talking 1st place in my made up county fair. So, no I don't normally cook this dish with insanely huge zucchinis and no I also don't normally put so much cheese on it. At home we use the block of cheese and since grating isn't as fun as it was when I was a kid, minimal cheese is the key. On vacation we had a bag of shredded cheese and I went crazy.
Olive, Tomato and Millet Stuffed Zucchini
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 TBL olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup millet
4 medium zucchini
1/2 tsp each: rosemary, thyme, marjoram, basil and salt
pepper to taste
1 tsp paprika
1 22 ounce can whole tomatoes (I use about 4 fresh Roma tomatoes)
2 cups broth
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives

The recipe needs you to steam up your zucchinis, so I'd figure out how you intend to do that and get it going while you do the rest of this. In the case of the giant zuc, I did it in the oven covered with water in the bottom. You can do the same in the microwave I've heard, I use the steamer. You can boil them if none of those options appeal to you!
Saute the onions for 5-7 minutes,
add the garlic for a few minutes. Add millet, herbs and spices, saute 3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, crushing them as you put them in, throw in the broth (and tomato juice if you used canned ones). Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. In the meantime, cut the zuccs in half lengthwise: steam or boil them until soft. Remove the pulp making a little boat and add it to the millet mixture with olives. Simmer about 5 more minutes. Place the zucchinis in a casserole dish and stuff them with mixture. (I top it with cheese). Bake for about 20 minutes at 350.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


A couple blogs back I posted a recipe for whole wheat pizza dough. (Click here to see the recipe) I wanted to add a couple pictures because I think pizzas are one of the most beautiful dishes to make and serve! My two year old is the best at rolling out the dough and pushing in the crust - it is really fun to make pizza with him. This pizza is one of our typical combos. Onions, peppers, garlic, mushrooms and spinach... oh yes and add the cheese.


I planned to post a great picture of the basil in my garden but searching through my garden pictures I find no basil cameos... poor herb. I'm sure there are 100 ways to use fresh basil in the kitchen but my top choice and the number one place all my grown basil goes to is pesto. Freezing it is awesome for winter (I have frozen it both with and without the cheese). If you were only going to grow one herb I vote basil! Pesto usually calls for pine nuts, but those little guys are pricey so I just ditch them, still tastes great to me. I have also heard of vegans axing the cheese, I haven't tried that though. Once I put one clove too many garlic... wowee that hurt, so I added about a cup or so of spinach and that really helped. My point is: mess around and see what you like.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups fresh basil leaves (okay I have never measured this, really its like a heaping handful)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves

I'd say cut about 3 inch tall pieces off your basil plant and gather as much as you can fit into your hand.
Wash them and pat dry.
Pick the leaves off the stems.
Mix all together in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.