Italian Zucchini Pie

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Want dinner tonight and dinner for later? This is a great recipe for that! It’s already enough for 2 zucchini pies, which taste a million times better than they sound. My two year old is still talking about Zucchini Pie. And we have another one in the freezer ready to go whenever we need it. Here we go.

Yields 2 pies; Each pie serves at least 4 (Weight Watchers Points based on 4 servings per pie)
Adapted from Simply in Season

Crust Ingredients:
1/4 c warm water
1 Tb active dry yeast
1/4 c milk
1 Tb olive oil
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
2 c bread flour

1. Mix warm water and dry yeast until it dissolves. Set aside.
2. Combine milk, oil, and egg in a mixing bowl. Add dissolved yeast and stir.
3. Blend in wheat flour, cheese, salt, and basil.
4. Add 1/2 c bread flour at a time to make a smooth but slightly sticky dough.
5. Place dough in a well greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and place in a warm place while preparing zucchini filling.

Filling Ingredients:
1/4 c butter
8 cups zucchini, thinly sliced
1.5 c onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tb fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1 Tb fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp each dried thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
5 large eggs, beaten
4 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 tsp specialty mustard
1/4 c Parmesan cheese

1. Melt butter in frying pan over medium heat. Add zucchini and onions and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a very large bowl.
2. Stir into large bowl the garlic, herbs, salt and pepper.
3. Combine eggs and mozzarella in a separate bowl, then stir into zucchini mixture.

Back to the crust and putting it all together…
1. Divide dough in half. Place each half on a lightly floured surface and roll into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.
2. Set each into a lightly greased 10 inch pie dish and crimp edges as you would a pie crust.
3. Spread the bottoms and sides of pie crusts with mustard.
4. Divide the zucchini mixture between the two crusts. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top.
5. Bake in preheated oven at 375 until center is set, about 18-20 minutes. (To test if set, jiggle pie after time. If it is mostly solid, you should be good.) Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

I recommend eating one and freezing the other, unless you’ve got lots of mouths to feed. If you let it cool completely and have greased the pan well enough, it should be sturdy enough that you can pop it out of the pie pan and slip it into a gallon freezer bag. It’ll hold its shape and be good for you whenever you need a quick meal to just reheat.

Nutrition:
Weight Watchers Points: 10

The piece our 2 year old ate.

The piece our 2 year old ate.

The crust is amazing!

The crust is amazing!

Arugula Pesto

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I didn’t love this dish. It felt a bit grainy and lacking in richness. But I think you could play with this and maybe make it more delicious. Maybe use really quality olive oil. And don’t forget the salt and pepper (like my husband did when he made it for us). This was a good way to get rid of the arugula we had on hand from our CSA, though, so don’t count it out.

At some point, I have to find the recipe for my mustard green pesto from last year. Now that was a tasty pesto!

(Adapted from Stillman’s CSA newsletter, Week 7 July 27-August 1)

Serves: 4

2 c (packed) arugula leaves (about 3 ounces)
2 c (packed) basil leaves (about 3 ounces)
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
1/4 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c olive oil
1 lb pasta

1. Cook pasta according to directions.

2. Blend arugula, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese in processor until almost smooth. With machine running, gradually add olive oil; process until well blended.

3. Season pesto to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Toss over your preferred pasta. I like pasta with wrinkles to catch the sauce, like bowties.

Note: Can be made ahead. Cover and let stand up to 2 hours at room temperature or refrigerate up to 1 day. Bring to room temp before using.

Note: We didn’t have 4 cups of arugula, but if we did, we might have followed the original recipe instead of subbing in basil.

Nutrition:
Weight Watchers Points: 8

Kale Fritatta

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Yet another thing we had too much of– kale. Kale is another vegetable that I’m really not a big fan of. But I’m willing to try it all sorts of ways to see if it has more value than being made into kale chips. Luckily our CSA newsletter has had a few recipe ideas for us, and this is one we made recently. It is intended for swiss chard rather than kale, but I made it work.

Adapted from Stillman’s CSA newsletter, Week 6 (July 20-26)
Serves 6
Active Time: About 40 minutes

1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tb olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh basil
1 tsp fresh oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
ground pepper to taste
1 zucchini, chopped
1 bunch of kale, leaves chopped
1 pepper, chopped
5 eggs and a splash of milk
1 c shredded cheddar

1.) In a French oven, saute onion and garlic in oil with seasonings for 5-8 minutes.
2.) Add zucchini and kale. Cover to help cook the kale down and wait to add more ingredients until the kale cooks down by at least a quarter.
3.) Add pepper.
4.) Beat eggs with milk, add cheese. Pour over veggies.
5.) Place French oven in a 400 degree oven and cook 15-18 minutes or until set.

Nutrition:
Weight Watchers Points: 6

Between steps 3 and 4.

Between steps 3 and 4.

Right before sticking in the oven.

Right before sticking in the oven.

Green Bean & Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad

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Another vegetable that we’re drowning in, courtesy of Stillman’s Farm CSA, is green beans. As a result, I was on a hunt to find recipes that would allow me to plow through most, if not all, of the green beans we have on hand. I came across this pasta salad in a random cookbook I’m not sure I’ve ever otherwise opened. It sounded to me like the perfect summer salad. I made a large batch of it and we brought it along to Shakespeare on the Common (King Lear) last Sunday. It was perfect paired with the tasty sangria I made– both totally refreshing and great for enjoying outdoors. Recipe on the sangria to come later.

Sadly because I wasn’t in my normal cooking/eating element, I failed to take any photos of the dish. But take my word for it– it is as colorful as you think when you read through the ingredients.

Adapted from One United Harvest cookbook, as Snap Bean and Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad (by Evan & jodi Verbanic)
Serves 8 as a Main (can also be used as a side dish)
Active Time: 20 minutes

3/4 lb bow tie pasta
3/4 lb green beans
2/3 c olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
2 c grape tomatoes (half cut in half, half kept whole)
3 Tb chopped basil leaves
2 Tb chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese

1.) Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, rinse with cold water and drain.
2.) Steam beans until just tender, then dunk in cold water with ice.
3.) In a large bowl, mix the oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, and salt and pepper to make the dressing.
4.) Add the tomatoes, herbs, pasta, and beans to the dressing and toss to coat.
5.) Shortly before serving (1 hour or less), add in the shredded mozzarella and toss again to combine.

Nutrition:
Weight Watchers Points: 10

Zucchini Garden Chowder

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Drowning in zucchini? We are. (Thanks Stillmans!) Not a bad thing, either. We just have to find creative ways to use a lot of it. So this week I went on a zucchini recipe binge. Good news is that I loved them all and am pleased to share them with you. This one is also super easy for cleanup because it’s basically a one pot meal, which I always love. And, best of all, Desi (almost 2 years old) LOVED it, so you know it’s got to be kid friendly!

(Adapted from Simply in Season)

Serves: 6-8

2 Tb butter
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tb fresh parsley, chopped (I only had dried)
1 Tb fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes/packages
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk (1 can)
2 cups corn (I used frozen)
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1.) Melt butter in soup pot or french oven over medium heat.
2.) Add zucchini, onion, parsley, and basil. Saute until tender.
3.) Stir flour and seasonings into vegetables. Gradually stir in water to mak ea smooth stock.
4.) Add lemon juice and bouillon and mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook, stirring often for 2 minutes.
5.) Add tomatoes, evaporated milk, and corn. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes until corn is tender.
6.) Add cheese just before serving and stir in.

Nutrition:
Weight Watchers Points: 8

One pot meal-- just a whole bunch of veggies, cheese, and your french oven.

One pot meal– just a whole bunch of veggies, cheese, and your french oven.

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Pea & Chicken Greek Salad

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This is one we had tonight. As always, I had to make some modifications based on what we had on hand. It turned out pretty delicious, though, especially the last few bites that got to soak in the dressing a bit longer. We had some leftovers too, and I hope to eat them asap tomorrow to see if they’re even more delicious than our dinner tonight.

So, substitutions– The original recipe includes edamame, but I don’t typically have that on hand, so I used shell peas instead. They were great. The original recipe also calls for romaine lettuce. Our CSA gave us leaf lettuce, so that’s what I went with. I’m also not a big lover of feta cheese, and find that when we buy it, we don’t use it quickly. So instead I went with our delicious Pecorino Romano that we have on hand in the fridge. And the original recipe calls only for kalamata olives, but I had a lot of other olives on hand, so I used a mixture. And… even after I had Steve run to the grocery store to get me red onion, I forgot to slice it up and add it. Oh, and I almost forgot… I added wine to the water the chicken cooked in, which gave it an amazing aroma and a nice taste.

Pea & Chicken Greek Salad

Pea & Chicken Greek Salad

(Adapted from Eating Well, July/August 2015 Issue)

Active: 30 Mins
Serves: 4 (2 1/4 cup each)

1 8 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, trimmed
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tb extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
8 oz shell peas, shelled
8 cups lettuce
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1/4 cup slivered fresh basil
1/4 cup sliced olives (all kinds)
1/4 cup slivered red onion [I forgot it, but I think it would be good to keep in]

1.) Place chicken in a medium sauce pan and add water and white wine to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until a thermometer inserted into the chicken reads 165 degrees, about 12-15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let cool for 5 minutes. Chop into bite-sized pieces.

2.) Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add peas, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, basil, olives, onion, and the chicken. Toss to coat.

Nutrition (original recipe): 336 Cal; 22 g Fat (sat 5g); 48 mg Chol; 14 g Carb; 22 g Protein; 6 g Fiber; 550 mg Sodium

Weight Watcher’s Points (adapted recipe): 7*

* This ended up being less points due to the swap in peas for edamame.