ALL POSTS TAGGED "vegetables"

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Perhaps it is the warm weather that is causing us to flirt with lighter fare, or perhaps it’s simply the season for veggies. One thing is for sure, however, zucchini squash is definitely seeing its 15 minutes in the spotlight — all for good reason.

The almost ridiculously versatile vegetable has been a long standing favorite of mine in everyday cooking. Not only is it insanely healthy — with only 20 calories per cup it’s almost FREE — it has light sweetness to it that keeps me coming back. It also helps that zucchini squash is easy to prepare, not like that pesky butternut squash I had to deal with all winter.

Lately, I’ve been seeing zucchini pop up in the most creative and innovative preparations. From pasta to cookies (Zukies?) We can’t seem to get enough of this healthy indulgence.

Check out these recipes and get inspired to feature this summertime squash on tonight’s table.

Ricotta and Zucchini Omelet Cake

What better way to start off Food Trend Friday than with breakfast — I’ve made no attempts to keep my affinity for breaki a secret. This recipe from Rachel Ray, whose recipes have stolen a lot of my attention lately, looks too good not to try.

Ricotta Omelet
With a generous helping of eggs this recipe provides ample protein to get the morning started. The zucchini, chilies, and peppers are wonderfully healthy but can also be substituted for almost anything you want. The ricotta spikes these omelet cakes with a creamy sweetness that makes the dish seem far more indulgent than it actually is.

Zucchini Boats

zucchini boats

What an easy and fun looking recipe to try. To prep the zucchini all you need to do is cut it lengthwise and hollow it out. Then fill your boat with as much of the called-for-guts you desire and bake! The walnuts play nice with the zucchini’s subtle flavor while the breadcrumbs, garlic, and tomato give the dish a substantial savory side. You can also switch out the toppings; try a red onion with tomato or even add mushrooms. The possibilities are endless!

Crispy Parmesan Zucchini Chips

Zucchini Chips

For the frying fanatic — this healthier alternative is the perfect substitute for your usual potato chips. With a buttermilk batter, amped up with oregano and thyme, these panko plated zucchini chips are light enough to let your inner snack monster take the reigns. If you’re having friends over, gain some Guy Fieri cred and serve the cool Garlic Aioli dip as well and finish the plate with a shower of Parmesan or white cheddar shavings.

Sunny’s Spicy Baked Zucchini

sunny Squash
This side had my eye immediately. It calls for zucchini — my fav — and breadcrumbs — which are carbs and are also my fav — but also Hungarian paprika: a gentle but pronounced spicy kick in the mouth. If you aren’t one for fire but need something to stir up this veggie dish, I suggest smoked paprika which will give the zucchini a more robust profile sans the burning sensation.

Goat Cheese Grilled Zucchini

Goat Cheese Zucchini

This recipe screams summer — it’s super light and gives you an excuse to light up the grill. Grilling is such a fun pass time for me and I can’t wait to try this at my next patio party. A great gluten free and diet friendly option as it doesn’t require breadcrumbs (for any of the other recipes simply opt for GF breadcrumbs) or a heavy dressing. But don’t think that means that these veggies will be plain — the feta and herbs pack a powerful punch.

ZUKIES!

Zukies

Finally! What I have had you guys clawing at the edge of your chairs for since I started this post: cookies! With just a hair more then 65 calories apiece, these are worth trying. Trust me. The warm spices pair seamlessly with the brightness of the orange to hint at fall flavor while keeping to the current season. Take my advise and add carob chips.

If you’re a dedicated zucchini lover like myself, these recipes might give you some new spins and updates on your existing repertoire. However, if you’re a novice at this particular vegetable, these recipes are easy as pie and taste just as good. Try them all, or just try one (Zukies!) but be sure to tell us how it turned out.

It seems as though the whole staff here at Design Happens has zucchini fever. Norman just posted an incredible recipe for a Summer Veggie Sandwich and Kayla’s recipe list looks pretty great as well!

If you’re planning a barbecue, try this simple Zucchini-babes recipe!

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I decided to grow my own vegetable garden a couple of years ago — and despite a lot of trial and error (and I mean a lot) — I’m pretty happy with it. Kale is a new and favorite addition to my garden this year— it’s crazy and a little scary how different fresh veggies taste. So, what about you? Have you tried your hand at vegetable gardening?

If you plan to start a vegetable garden this year, your best option is a raised garden bed. A raised bed prevents weeds and some pests from reaching the soil while providing good drainage. Plus, it extends growing season because soil above ground is warmer, and it prevents gardeners from straining their backs.

Raised Garden Bed

Making a raised bed is really easy — if I can do it, you can do it! All you need are a few tools and landscape wood. I had my local home improvement store cut wood to size. Follow our easy step-by-step instructions to build your own bed. Get the full instructions here>>

And to help you get started on planting, follow our easy steps on how to grow potatoes, which grow best through summer. Get the full instructions here>>

Happy Gardening!

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If convincing your kids to eat their vegetables is a nightly battle, this month’s HGTV Family Gardening Club project just might bring peace to the dinner table. For May, we’re growing lettuce, carrots and radishes in a low-cost window box farm. You can plant these annual seeds anytime from mid-spring to early summer. Kids will love monitoring their carefully planted seeds as they sprout into edible plants and turn into a delicious salad. And what child doesn’t love to play in the dirt?

HGTV Gardening Club Mini Window Box Farm Project

If you missed April’s gardening project, no worries. Gather the family to make a vermicomposting bin full of mess-free pets (red worms) that will turn kitchen scraps into plant food. These wiggly creatures take up little space and help create compost your plants will love.

Don’t forget to upload pictures of you and your little ones creating your mini farm. And be sure to join the HGTV Family Gardening Club newsletter to get a new kid-friendly activity every month.

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South African designer Haldane Martin has devised a solution for would-be gardeners with limited yard space. His urban planter prototype allows city dwellers – or really, anyone with meager outdoor space – to grow plants and vegetables.

The design of the Wallflower was inspired by bees’ honeycomb. It’s a modular system of three different sized hexagonal planters that scale your wall and create a cool design while growing plants and fresh veggies.

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Happy President’s Day. As someone who has had the pleasure of eating tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon and lettuce harvested from my own backyard garden, I’ve discovered that while some might label me “granola”, it would be more accurate to call me “patriotic.” Why? Well, I learned from my interview with Sam Watters and Ulysses Grant Dietz about their book Dream House: The White House as an American Home that from the early days of the White House, the gardens and grand landscapes were regarded as “proper appendages to the House of the People.” And like the Obamas now, many early administrations enjoyed nourishment from a White House kitchen garden.

Founding Gardeners - BookCome March, I’m looking forward to reading Andrea Wulf’s new book, Founding Gardeners. The Revolutionary Generation, Nature and the Shaping of the American Nation, and learning more about our founding fathers through the lens of their lives as gardeners, plantsmen and farmers.

“Andrea Wulf describes how, even as British ships gathered off Staten Island, George Washington wrote his estate manager about the garden at Mount Vernon; how a tour of English gardens renewed Thomas Jefferson’s and John Adams’s faith in their fledgling nation; how a trip to the great botanist John Bartram’s garden helped the delegates of the Constitutional Congress break their deadlock; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of American environmentalism. These and other stories reveal a guiding but previously overlooked ideology of the American Revolution.”

So in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States, go play in your garden! Here’s some tips for growing late winter vegetables and early spring flowers.

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