Summer Zucchini Pasta

Zucchini Pasta

Since we are still in the thick of summer, summer veggies like squash and zucchini are still abundant, and you can easily find them at your local grocery store or farmer’s markets. I love zucchini because it’s so versatile. Zucchini can become bread, soup, or antipasto. When I want something light and satisfying yet seasonal, it’s a no brainer. I turn to zucchini and pasta.

Add a bit of garlic, good Parmesan cheese, and some truffle oil, and you’re left with a fantastic weeknight meal that screams summer. Feel free to toss in other summer vegetables too. Tomatoes from your garden would be divine!

Summer Zucchini Pasta
Serves 4

You will need:
– Salt and freshly ground black pepper
– 3/4 pound whole-wheat dried spaghetti
– 3/4 pound zucchini sliced into coins
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 2 tablespoons minced garlic (btw I always use a micro plainer to grate the fresh garlic into the oil)
– 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
– 3 tablespoons truffle oil

To Prepare:

Cut the zucchini into thin coins then put oil and grate fresh garlic into a skillet. Heat oil and garlic and add zucchini, saute on high heat until the zucchini is evenly browned. In the meantime, boil the pasta on high, until al dente. Drain and add the pasta with to the zucchini, and toss with cheese. Pull off heat and put pasta into a bowl, finish with the truffle oil, salt and pepper.

Serve hot with a nice tomato salad.

Note: I like adding truffle salt if you have it.

xx Annette

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Rise and Shine Green Smoothie

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Hi Everyone! It’s Nicole, Annette’s web-manager and friend, and I’m here today with an easy green smoothie sure to satiate. Let me be abundantly clear on this from the get-go: embracing green smoothies for me took a while. I couldn’t get passed the idea of drinking vegetables and fruits that I typically ate muddled in a salad or individually as snacks.

It wasn’t until my husband and I tried Simple Green Smoothies recipes that we really started to get on board. Now, we have one almost every day. Here are a few things that we’ve learned:

  1. Invest in a great blender. Annette loves her Nutribullet, and I love my Ninja. No matter what blender you use, it’s really important you get one that can handle the different textures of frozen fruits and veggies with ease. It will make your smoothie taste so much better.
  2. Decide which green vegetable works best for you as your base. I used to be a tried and true kale gal, but I’ve since shifted over to spinach. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what greens you use as long as you use some. Decide what you love, no matter what the recipe says, and stick with that. Pro Tip: Use your leftover smoothie greens as salads for the week.
  3. Blend smoothies two servings at a time. Keep the second in a tightly sealed mason jar for the next day – or share it with a friend!
  4. Feel free to play. If you don’t like grapefruits, use an orange instead. If you love pineapple, double up on that. If you happen to have some spare clementines around, toss those in, too. Enjoy being in the kitchen and playing with flavors. A fun smoothie is a better smoothie.

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The smoothie recipe I’m sharing today is modified from Simple Green Smoothies’ Beginner’s Luck. As the title indicates, it’s a great first timer smoothie and a fantastic way to ease into the green smoothie lifestyle.

Rise and Shine Green Smoothie
serves 2

You will need:
– 2 cups spinach
– 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
– 1 cup frozen pineapple
– 1 cup frozen mango
– 2 fresh, ripe bananas, peeled
– 1 fresh, ripe orange, peeled

To prepare:

Blend spinach and milk together until spinach is fully combined.

Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Pour into a cute glass and sip through an even cuter straw. Store any remaining smoothie for tomorrow!

Note: when you think it’s blended, let it blend a little more. The longer this one blends, the more of the orange pith will disappear and blend into the rest of the drink.

xo, Nicole

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Easy Asian Spicy Soup

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This soup recipe is an oldie but goodie. In cold weather, it’s just the thing that makes you feel warm inside. Plus, it’s super easy and impressive. I am all about Asian flavors these days, and this Asian spicy soup hits the spot. Let me know how you like it.

Tell me about some of your favorite soup choices this month in the comments. I would love to hear from you!

Asian Spicy Soup
(Chinese Hot and Sour Soup)
Serves 4

You will need:

– 1 tbsp oil
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 25g (0.8 ounce/ about 6-7  mushrooms) shitake mushrooms, sliced
– 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes *adjust to taste*
– 3 fresh tomatoes, roughly diced
– 2 cups of chopped kale ( I used the curly variety)
– 1 cup frozen corn kernels
– 4 cup low sodium chicken broth (you can use vegetable broth also)
– A dash of soy sauce * adjust to taste; you may need more if you make your own broth*
– 1 tbsp sesame oil (you can add more if you prefer a stronger scent)
– 2 dashes of white ground pepper
– 3 tbsps cornstarch
– 1/2 cup cold water
– 2 eggs, beaten
– Spring onions, chopped for garnish *optional*

To prepare:

In a large pot (or a wok), heat up a tablespoon of cooking oil and then add mushrooms, garlic and chilli flakes. Saute over low heat until the garlic becomes aromatic. Add kale, tomatoes and sweet corn and stir to combine with the fragrant ingredients. Pour the broth into the vegetable mixture and let it simmer with a lid on over high heat until it starts to boil. Turn the flame over to the low and simmer for another 10 minutes after the broth reaches its boiling point. In the meantime, mix the cornstarch with cold water. Remove the lid. Over high heat and while the soup is bubbling vigorously, add the cornstarch mixture and stir to combine with the soup. The soup will thicken as it boils. Keep it boiling until it reaches your desired consistency. Then gradually pour the beaten eggs into the soup in a circular motion (rather streaming the egg in one spot). Allow the eggs to be fully cooked before you start stirring the soup. This is to ensure the eggs do not cloud the soup and they should appear ribbon-like. Stir in the sesame oil, soy sauce and white pepper. Serve immediately.

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Fall Side Dishes: Moroccan Spiced Cauliflower

Last year, I lead a styling + photography workshop through Marrakech. I always try to give our attendees a little food product from the area we will be visiting. My gift to the Moroccan attendees was from a company based in Seattle, Villa Jerda. The attendees enjoyed the company’s Harissa and Kefta rub.

I love cauliflower, and I thought that it might be delicious baked with the Moroccan spices.

I was right; it was a delicious combination. Here’s the recipe, and I encourage you to read Villa Jerda’s blog for more amazing recipes.

xx Annette

Moroccan Spiced Cauliflower
Serves 6

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

You will need:
– 1 head of cauliflower
– 2 teaspoons Harissa
– 1 teaspoon Kefta rub
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 1/2 teaspoon salt

To prepare:

In a large bowl combine the Harissa, Kefta rub and oil, and salt, stir to combine.

Break the cauliflower into pieces and toss into the spices, coat the pieces well.

Place into an oven proof roaster and place into the preheated oven for 1 hour until the cauliflower is fork tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Cauliflower Tacos

These cauliflower tacos are the perfect way to shake-up Taco Tuesday or this week's Cinco di Mayo celebrations. You'll love the flavors!

I am a huge fan of cauliflower. It’s a really a flavor chameleon because any spice that you toss into cauliflower is absorbed. Because of that, I decided a vegetarian taco might be a fun idea using cauliflower.

These cauliflower tacos are the perfect way to shake-up Taco Tuesday or this week’s Cinco di Mayo celebrations. Let me know if you give it a try!

Cauliflower Tacos
Serves 4

You will need:
– 8 corn tortillas
– 1 cup water
– 1 head of Cauliflower
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 2 teaspoons cumin
– 2 cloves garlic minced
– 2 radishes sliced
– 1/2 cup shredded mild cheese like Colby or Mexican cheese mix
– 2 avocados sliced
– Salsa
– Plain yogurt

To prepare:

Clean and steam cauliflower in a cup of water on medium heat for about 15 minutes until soft.

Drain cauliflower. In a bowl break apart the cauliflower toss with salt, cumin, garlic, and oil.

In a pan, saute the cauliflower over medium heat until browned.

In another pan, heat the tortillas until soft and top with cheese until cheese is melted.

To assemble:

Place tortilla on a plate, top with cauliflower, avocado slices, radish slices, salsa, and a dollop of plain yogurt. Serve warm.

For another tasty veggie taco, check out these Crispy Quinoa ones.

xx Annette

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