Category Archives: Zucchini

They Grow Like Weeds

What a great weekend!  Full of friends, family, food, relaxing…. and weeding!

weeds 4

Admittedly, this overgrowth of weeds is a little embarrassing.  There were some spots where the weeds climbed about 3 feet high!

weeds 5

AND to make matters worse, they were the prickly kind!  But in our defense, the majority of these things popped up in a matter of about 2 weeks and we finally took care of them so I’m not feeling too bad anymore.  😉

Here’s a few before and after shots to get a visual of how wild these weeds were:

before and after weeds 1a

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before and after weeds 2a

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before and after weeds 3a

Crazy, right?  I now have a full appreciation for the expression, “Kids grow like weeds!”  I mean, one second they’re tiny (or non-existent) and then before you know it, they’re 3 feet tall!

mac kong

Mac kept himself occupied with his kong for part of the afternoon.

mac kong lick

Unfortunately, he had to stay on a leash so we didn’t have another MIA episode like last time.  But hopefully very soon, we’ll have a brand new fence put up so he can roam free in the backyard!

Despite many hours of back-aching work, we still need to get our hands on the weeds on the side of our house.  Dave and I were both really sore, so we finally called it a day once the main back patio area was finished.

Once the weeds are good as gone, project #2: mulch!  Exciting stuff, I know.  The perks (?) of owning a home…

Recipes

In other news, Dave and I grilled an amazing dinner this weekend.

grill

Zucchini, sweet & regular potatoes, and Mexican Flank Steak.  This meal was absolutely delicious and the marinade for the flank steak is TO DIE FOR.  (Recipe coming soon! 🙂 )

kitchenaid cookie dough

I also baked a rather large batch of cookies, which lasted all of about 24 hours or less.  I mean, they were just THAT good and no one could stop eating them until they were completely gone.  (Yet another recipe coming your way!)

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Hope you had a fantastic long weekend!  I’m looking forward to a short week ahead of us!

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Southwestern Zucchini & Bean Saute

Who is glad it’s Friday?

I can’t even tell you how excited I am that this work week is almost over.  It’s been a longgggg past few days.  The downside is I’ll be busy catching up on my online class that I’ve been putting off for, ohhh let’s see, the last 5 weeks!

E Cards - School Procrastination Homework

Oh how I wish this was the case!  I have only ever taken one other online class and I thought it was a breeze!  Looking back, however, I’m realizing it was because I had an assignment or quiz due every week which helped keep me right on track.  BUT the current class I’m enrolled in has an incredibly loose structure.  Basically, we just have to finish all the assignments, papers, quizzes, tests, etc. on our own time by the end of the semester.

To tell ya the truth, after last semester being incredibly stressful, it felt great to take several weeks off but now I’m definitely regretting my decision.

nothing makes me more productive than the last minute 1

The only thing going for me is that I work well under pressure.  And trust me, I’m down to the wire. School will be my life for the next several weeks.  😦

With all that being said, let’s lighten the mood with a recipe, shall we?

Southwestern Zucchini & Bean Saute

southwestern zucchini and bean saute 6

Although I didn’t follow a recipe and just threw together a few ingredients, this veggie packed bowl came together surprisingly well.

southwestern zucchini and bean saute 8

In addition to the pinto beans, I scooped a heaping spoonful of plain Greek yogurt to amp up the protein, but I bet it would be delicious with some ground turkey or sliced sausage as well.

southwestern zucchini and bean saute 7b

Ingredients:

Cooking spray or olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 zucchinis, halved lengthwise and then sliced

4 medium tomatoes, diced

1 cup of frozen fire-roasted corn (can use regular too)

1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp salt

Cilantro, chopped (optional)

Plain Greek yogurt (optional)

Directions:

Saute the diced onion with a little olive oil or cooking spray over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes before adding the zucchini.  Cook for another 4-5 minutes until zucchini is tender crisp and add tomatoes.  Continue to move the veggies around the pan while they cook until desired “doneness”.  Mix in corn, pinto beans, and spices (through salt) until corn and beans are heated through.

southwestern zucchini and bean saute 1

Scoop into bowls and garnish with cilantro and yogurt (or sour cream) if desired.

southwestern zucchini and bean saute 5

southwester zucchini and bean saute 4

Hope you have a stressfree, relaxing weekend!!

WIAW #15: Full to the Max

Hello there!

Can we please talk about how it’s May already?  Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego did April go?

carmen sandiego

Source

Please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers Carmen Sandiego?!

Ahh well, ya know what ‘they’ say…. April showers bring May flowers.  And I think we’re all ready for flowers and warm weather.  At least I am!

What I Ate Wednesday

Not only is today the first day of May, but it’s also Wednesday so I guess another WIAW post is in order.  Click on this to see what it’s all about!

 

I skipped last week because a) I was too excited to share our update on the wedding plans, b) our fridge was nearly bare from being out of town (it took me a full week to finally go grocery shopping), and c) I was too darn lazy to photograph a single piece of food.  So there.

But WIAW is back today, let’s have a look.

Breakfast

I created an egg wrap to go for my car ride in to work.

egg wrap to go

I used to make these ALLLLL the time and then, I don’t know what happened?!  I just stopped all of a sudden – I tend to get stuck in breakfast ruts making the same thing over an over (aka yogurt bowls… don’t worry, still love ’em) but I figured it’s time to get a little crazy and ya know, mix things up a bit. 😉

And now that these bad boys have been reintroduced, they will definitely be back in the breakfast rotation!

egg wrap steps

Warm whole wheat tortilla with a Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge spread in the middle (I used French Onion this time) with 3 scrambled eggs in the middle and of course, lathered with Cholula sauce!  So. So. Good.

Mid Morning Snack

My wrap was quite filling so I wasn’t too hungry in between breakfast and lunch, but I packed a light snack and ate it about an hour before lunch.

snap peas and carrots

Baby carrots (which were super fat and not so ‘baby’-ish), plus sugar snap peas.  By the way, snap peas = amazing!  So crispy and crunchy 🙂

Lunch

Monday night, at Dave’s request, I threw 2 lbs of chicken breasts into the crock pot to make a big ol batch of shredded buffalo chicken.  So of course, it made an appearance in my lunch the next day.

salad2

Yet another way to prep chicken ahead of time. 😉

leftover buffalo chicken - salad

Baby romaine salad, topped with a mix of roasted zucchini, summer squash and red onion, plus grape tomatoes, shredded buffalo chicken, lots of creamy goat cheese, and balsamic dressing.  Oh my goodness, this was soooo tasty!

banana

And a ‘nana on the side.

Afternoon Snack

Per the usual, I needed something more to eat a few hours later.

pumpkin greek yogurt

Greek yogurt with canned pumpkin loosely stirred in and a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Dinner

I took advantage of the B-E-A-UTIFUL weather and ate dinner outside as the sun went down.  Ohhh and it made me crave summer that much more.  I think (I HOPE!) it’s finally here… 😉

turkey burger spaghetti squash

Underneath everything is roasted spaghetti squash and the remaining leftover roasted zucchini, summer squash and red onions, all topped with a generous serving of spicy marinara sauce.

turkey burger spaghetti squash 2

George grilled up a turkey breast and I then layered some marinara, mozzarella and fresh parmesan cheese on top and stuck under the broiler for a few minutes to melt.  I guess it was a spin off chicken parmesan… except with a turkey burger.  Oh yeah, and no breading.

This meal came together surprisingly well for being as hungry as I was!  I often envision a wonderfully put-together meal on my way home from work and then somewhere along the way, my hunger gets the best of me and kills the execution.  This was not the case.

The only issue with this meal is it left me uncomfortably full…

banana bite

…ummm that is, until I heard my name being called from the freezer, so I enjoyed a banana bite to round out the meal.

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I mean, after all I still had room in my dessert stomach for a little sweetness! 😉

Have a fantastic Wednesday and Happy May 1st!

Simply Roasted Asparagus

Last night, I got home after a long day to a fantastic little surprise.

patio

Our patio was completely bare!

lawn furniture

Apparently, the wind had a little fun throwing our patio furniture out into the yard and the cushions practically in the neighbor’s yard.  Awesome.

Reassembling the patio wouldn’t have been quite so bad but, holy hamstrings!  Mine are still screaming at me from the Shamrock Shuffle on Sunday.  Luckily, lots of stretching and foam rolling were incorporated into Crossfit yesterday morning which helped stretch them out a bit and ease the soreness.

the stick

I also spent a solid 30 minutes yesterday evening using “The Stick” to work out any additional knots.  My experience with The Stick is, well, complicated… one of those love-hate relationships.  I understand it must be a little painful in order to get the feel-good results later on, but man, does it hurt!

julie convo

Julie claims we’re getting old and that’s why our bodies hurt… but I’m just not ready to accept that quite yet! 😉

Yesterday’s Lunch

Lunch was a good one yesterday!

asian ginger chicken and veggie bowl

In the mix was diced grilled chicken, roasted veggies (zucchini, summer squash, asparagus, red onions), cashews, and Annie’s Gingerly Vinaigrette Lite.

asian chicken and veggie bowl2

It took me all of about 4 minutes to assemble since I prepared a boatload of food on Sunday.  Quick and delish!

Simply Roasted Asparagus

Although I always prefer when Dave cooks asparagus on the grill till it gets extra crispy, he often is not around for dinner so I rely on the oven to do the cooking.

simply roasted asparagus

Ingredients:

1 bunch of fresh asparagus

Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Cut off the bottom ends of the asparagus.

asparagus1

I hate biting into the ends of asparagus when they are all dried out and taste like wood, but I learned a very useful tip from a cooking show a couple years ago.

asparagus2

It’s a bit hard to demonstrate through photographs but I’ll do my best to explain:  hold both ends of an asparagus and gently bend in half towards the bottom end of the asparagus stalk until it snaps.  This breaking point marks where that dried, woody end begins.

asparagus3

I typically cut just below that breaking point, about a half inch or so.

2.  Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or tinfoil and lay asparagus on top.

asparagus4

3.  Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus stalks and season with salt and pepper.

asparagus5

4.  Put baking sheet in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes (or until desired crispness), flipping the asparagus occasionally.

asparagus6

You can always play around with other seasonings and flavors as you feel – i.e. steak seasoning, squirt of lemon juice, toasted sliced almonds, etc.

asparagus9

Enjoy!