Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Black Bean & Corn Salsa.

One of my favorite new healthy snacks is black bean and corn salsa.

It makes a wonderful “scoop” with tortilla chips.

It is also great all by itself as a salad or piled on top of a grilled chicken breast or fish.

It is light, healthy, crunchy, tangy, low-calorie, high-fiber, and absolutely DELISH too!

Here is how I make it, but you can surely tweak to your liking.  It would be great with a bit of fresh cilantro, which I didn’t have on hand when I made this batch on Sunday.  You could also switch it up with any other kind of bean you like or other veggies like cherry tomatoes or cucumbers.

Black Bean & Corn Salsa

  • Servings: approx. 3 cups
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Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or canned corn*
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar to taste (approx. 2 Tbsp)

Directions:

Combine all  vegetables in a bowl.  Stir to combine.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle with Balsamic vinegar to taste.

Serve as a salsa for tortilla chips, as a salad, or as a topping for grilled chicken or fish.

Store well in airtight refrigerator container for several days.

*TIP:  When we buy fresh corn on the cob in the summer, we always buy a full dozen, though we never eat all of that for the two of us.  We cut the leftover off the cob, throw it in a Ziploc freezer bag, and toss it in the freezer for the winter months or times when fresh corn is not available.  It is so much better than canned corn.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Fresh Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Fresh Beet and Goat Cheese Salad.

I found another gem at our new Fresh Thyme Farmers Market this week – beautiful fresh golden beets!

I love beets – red or gold – but since these are a little harder to find where I live, I was excited to get them.  Golden beets are slightly sweeter and a little less earthy than red beets.  I actually love the earthiness of red beets, but those that don’t might enjoy these.

I love beets hot or cold, plain or fancy, so I decided to make a bit of a fancier salad for our Sunday supper this past week.  Here is my recipe.  Hope you will give it a try.

Fresh Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 large or 2 small gold or red fresh beets (or a combination of both), cooked* and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Small bunch of arugula or mixed greens of your choice
  • ¼ cup pecans or walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 small clementines or oranges
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a small skillet, heat pecans or walnuts until warm and beginning to toast.  Add maple syrup and cook and stir to coat.  Remove from heat.  Spread out on cutting board or parchment or waxed paper to cool.

Prepare dressing by squeezing juice of clementine or orange into a small bowl.  Drizzle and whisk in vinegar and olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Place a small bunch of arugula or mixed greens on each of two salad plates.  Top each plate with equal portions of the cut-up beets, followed by clementine or orange slices, toasted candied pecans or walnuts, and crumbled goat cheese.  Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with additional coarse black pepper and salt to taste.

*To cook fresh beets, cut greens off top to about an inch from beet.  Place unpeeled fresh beets in a saucepan of water to cover and bring to a boil.  Boil for 20-40 minutes, depending on size, until beets are fork-tender.  (When you stab with a fork, the beet should slide right back off when done.) Drain under cold water and remove skin with paper towel.  Cool completely for salad.  Cut up after beets have cooled.

Enjoy!

Nothing beats a fresh beet!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Roasted Spiral Butternut Squash “Noodles” with Garlic, Rosemary & Browned Butter

Roasted Spiral Butternut Squash “Noodles” with Garlic, Rosemary, and Browned Butter.

O. M. G!

Where have you been all my life spiralized butternut squash?

Many of us have been spiralizing our zucchini squash into beautiful noodles, but am I one of the last on the bandwagon for spiralized butternut squash??!!

So simple…
So quick…
So DELICIOUS!!!

I happened to come across a package of fresh spiral-cut butternut squash at my local Aldi Grocery Store recently.

I thought about pan frying it in butter and garlic, but then chose to roast it like I typically do with cut butternut squash, and WOWZIE PaZOWzie was I pleased!
And so was hubby!

What a quick, easy, delicious, and nutritous treat!

Here is the super simple, yet amazingly delicious way I prepared it.

Roasted Spiral Butternut Squash with Garlic, Rosemary, and Browned Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 10-oz package of prepared spiral cut butternut squash “noodles” (or spiral cut your own)
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter, browned
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. flaked sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Brown butter in skillet.  Watch closely so it doesn’t burn.  Once browned, remove from heat and stir in garlic.

Spread spiral-cut butternut squash “noodles” onto a stoneware bar pan or your favorite shallow baking pan.

Sprinkle with salt.  Drizzle with garlic-enhanced browned butter.  Top with minced rosemary.  Toss to coat all.

Roast for 7-9 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, & Feta Cheese Pizza

Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, and Feta Cheese Pizza.

I am always looking for new ways to enjoy butternut squash, so I did a quick search and found a variety of pizzas using butternut squash.  Yum!

The one I found that had the flavors I love (and ingredients I had on hand), called for mashing the butternut squash as the “sauce” on the pizza, but I prefer the taste of cubed and roasted butternut squash, so I changed it up.

Each roasted chunk gets a bit browned and even a bit crispy on the outside corners, but is soft and sweet and tender on the inside.   I prefer that texture to mashed.

And I might just possibly eat anything with caramelized onions on top.  Just saying…

Add feta cheese – and SCORE!

We had this for dinner with a tossed green salad.

If you are looking for a new twist on pizza or a meatless meal, this may just be the ticket!

Here is how I made it.  Hope you will give it a try.

Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, and Feta Cheese Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp brown sugar, divided
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Pizza dough or Pillsbury crescent roll tube

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place cubed butternut squash on stoneware baking pan or baking sheet.  Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp brown sugar, salt and pepper.  Roast approximately 20 minutes, turning once midway through roasting, until slightly browned and tender.

While squash is roasting, saute onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp. butter, salt and pepper over medium heat until onions begin to caramelize, approximately 10-15 minutes.  Add balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Bake pizza crust five minutes short of done on a round baking stone.  Remove from oven, and layer butternut squash cubes, caramelized onions, and feta cheese on crust.  Return to oven for 5-10 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Herb and Garlic Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Herb and Garlic Roasted Spaghetti Squash.

Simple.
Healthy.
Amazingly Delicious!

I thought I was going to make something a bit more extravagant when I decided to roast some spaghetti squash by simply drizzling with olive oil, sprinkling with coarse ground pepper and salt, and topping with some garlic cloves and fresh herbs.

But when it came out of the oven looking like this….

And I took a teensy taste when scraping the flesh with a fork….

I ended up eating an entire half for my lunch!

I adore spaghetti squash, and have made it a number of ways that I’ve shared here:

Four Cheese Garlic Spaghetti Squash

Parmesan Garlic Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Italian Spaghetti Squash

But this super simple, quick and easy way is my new fave…..   at least for today!

Here is how I made it:

Herb & Garlic Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Fresh Herbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut spaghetti squash in half, and scoop out seeds.  Place in cast iron skillet.  Drizzle liberally with extra virgin olive oil, toss garlic cloves and fresh herbs on top (I used fresh parsley and rosemary), and sprinkle liberally with fresh ground pepper and salt.

Roast for 45-55 minutes.

Remove from oven, and scrape flesh with fork to create spaghetti.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Zucchini & Broccoli Galette

Zucchini and Broccoli Galette.

So you know yesterday was #SneakSomeZucchiniIntoYourNeighborsPorchDay – right?

Of course you did!

So after picking three zucchinis from our garden, I snuck one to our neighbor on the right…

and one to our neighbor on the left.

Then I decided to use the third zucchini to make a revised version of Jenna from the Painted Apron’s recipe for Zucchini Galette.

Fresh zucchini, broccoli, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese all wrapped up in a golden, flaky crust……..

is surely a glorious way to celebrate this zucchini lover’s day!

How did you celebrate?

Zucchini & Broccoli Galette

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 tube Pillsbury Crescent rolls
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted*
  • 4 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt and Pepper

Lay zucchini slices out on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.  Let sit for 15-30 minutes.  Pat dry, then turn over and repeat on new dry towels.  This will help remove some of the excess water that naturally occurs during cooking of zucchini.

Caramelize sliced onion by cooking over medium-high heat in 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and brown.  Add broccoli and  the other 1 Tbsp butter, and cook for 5 more minutes.  Lay out crescent roll triangles in a circle on a baking stone or baking sheet, pressing together and flattening with rolling pin. Squeeze out roasted garlic and spread over dough, leaving a 1 inch border.  Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese.  Top with 1/2 of onion and broccoli mixture and half of zucchini.  Repeat layers.  Top with cheese.  Fold dough up and over filling around the edge. Brush dough with an egg wash and bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes or until golden and melted.  Cut into 6 wedges to serve.

*Roasted Garlic:  Cut top off top of garlic head exposing the cloves.  Place on a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil.  Wrap up and bake at 400 degrees F for approximately 1 hour.  This can be done ahead of time and refrigerated.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Easy Skinny Zucchini Pasta Caprese

Easy Skinny Zucchini Pasta Caprese.

I bought a few zucchini recently itching to use my Spiralizer again, and I created this super easy, wicked fast, uber healthy, gloriously delicious lunch that came together in 10 minutes.   Seriously!

I spiralized two small/medium zucchini to create the “pasta” and tossed them in a skilled with some minced garlic and a dash of red pepper flakes sizzling in olive oil.  After just a few minutes. I tossed in some chopped fresh basil, chopped campari tomatoes, and some grated Parmesan cheese.

After I poured it from the skillet to my bowl, I sprinkled it with some fresh black pepper and flaked sea salt.    That’s it!

And it was absolutely amazing!  You will seriously question if you are eating fresh pasta!   I can’t wait to make it again and again this summer when I am able to pick the fresh produce right from my yard.

Here’s the simple recipe I came up with:

Easy Skinny Zucchini Pasta Caprese

  • Servings: 1 as main course, 2 as side dish
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Ingredients:

  • 2 small/medium zucchini, spriral sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • 3-4 Campari tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Spiralize zucchini.

Heat olive oil in stir fry skillet.  Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes.  After about a minute when oil begins to sizzle around garlic, add zucchini.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, tossing every minute or so.  Add chopped tomatoes, basil, and Parmesan.  Cook and toss for about 2 more minutes.

Pour into bowl or on plate.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

My Favorite Roasted Brussels Sprouts

My Favorite Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

After all the cookie recipe posts of late, I thought I would share an amazing vegetable recipe I recently tried and LOVED!

I recalled seeing one of those hyperlapse videos someone shared on Facebook that looked so yummy, so I wrangled these up last Sunday for Hubby and me.  We loved them.

Throw all the ingredients in a Ziploc bag to toss together early in the day or right before serving.  Spread them on a baking stone or sheet and roast to yummy goodness!

If you are a brussels sprouts lover, I think you are really going to enjoy this simple, delicious recipe.

My Favorite Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. fresh brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Panko crumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut tough bottoms off brussels sprouts, and then slice in half.  Throw in a gallon Ziploc bag.  Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle in garlic salt and pepper.  Add Panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Shake and massage bag to full incorporate and coat all brussels sprouts.

(If doing ahead of time, place in refrigerator until ready to roast.)

Pour contents of bag onto baking stone or shallow baking sheet.  Roast approximately 20 minutes until browned and tender, stirring once or twice during roasting.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Oodles of Zoodles

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Oodles of Zoodles.

Has anyone else joined the zoodle craze?

zoodles-1

Low carb, low calorie, gluten free, grain free, wheat free, healthy, nutritious, unprocessed, vegetarian, cheap and and easy ZOODLES!

zoodles-3

Zoodles are zucchini noodles.  Or better put, vegetable noodles made from spiral cut zucchini.  They can be used in so many ways!

I recently purchased a SpiralLife Vegetable Slicer, and couldn’t wait to give it a try.  Super inexpensive at $14.99 on Amazon, it was easy to use, easy to clean, and easy on the wallet.

I made my zoodles to accompany a light dinner of Lemon Butter Chicken this week, and we loved them.

I simply sauteed them ever so briefly in olive oil with salt and pepper and a couple cloves of minced garlic.  After about two minutes, I added a handful of halved grape tomatoes and a generous grating of fresh Parmigiano reggiano cheese.  After sauteeing another two minutes, my zoodles were ready to serve and eat.  Yum!

How are you making your zoodles?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Quick & Easy Vegetable Lo Mein

quick-and-easy-vegetable-lo-mein-1

What do you make when you have A LOT of leftover spaghetti?

I made this super quick and easy vegetable lo mein last night while baking cookies for an upcoming cookie exchange.

quick-and-easy-vegetable-lo-mein-2

Are you like me and have a hard time judging how much spaghetti to cook?

Our youngest son came over Sunday, so I made one of his favorite chicken dishes, Pepperoni Chicken.  I wanted to make sure to make enough extra so he could take a meal or two home with him, so I got a teensy bit carried away and made two pounds of whole wheat spaghetti.

After I filled a gallon Ziploc bag about 2/3 full and he started calling “halt” to any more, I realized I still had half of what I made left.

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Since I had some leftover cut up veggies, tossing them together and making a quick sauce, made this dinner come together in about 10 minutes!  Can’t beat that – right?

You could really use any vegetables you have on hand.  Here is how I made mine.  Use it as a base recipe to flex to your taste!  I imagine mushroom lovers would totally enjoy them thrown in.  Want a protein?  Add some leftover chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp.  I’ll bet some steamed broccoli or fresh green beans and/or sliced sweet peppers would be great too!  You could even toss in some water chestnuts or peanuts, walnuts, or sliced almonds.

Quick & Easy Vegetable Lo Mein

Ingredients:

  • 1/2-1 lb spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
  • 2 Tbsp oil (olive, sesame, canola or vegetable)
  • 1/2 sweet onion chopped
  • 1 cup shredded or chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup green peas
  • Sauce – Whisk together:
    • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
    • 2 Tbsp honey
    • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
    • Dash Sriracha hot sauce

Directions:

Heat oil in stir fry skillet.  Add vegetables and cook 3-5 minutes until crisp-tender.  Add spaghetti and sauce.  Cook until heated through 1-2 minutes.

That’s it!  Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi