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Archive for July, 2011

Update: Z and B Week

Update: Zucchinis and Bikinis Week has been officially extended. You didn’t think that ‘update every day!’ actually meant that I would update without a self-initiated vacation, did you?

The truth is that I have been doing a lot of work for BG the last few days, the bulk of which I am finishing up today (before I go to Sundays at Six, of course.) In return for my breach of promise I will post a peak at several more zucchini recipes, which I will post recipes for starting tomorrow.

Happy Sunday!

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Since I am spending the week focusing on the magic that is the zucchini, I thought it would be appropriate to give a shout out to an upcoming zucchini-themed event on August 13th! If you happen to be in the area it might be worth checking it out: West Stockbridge 8th Annual Zucchini Festival.
Long live the zucchini!

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Local ingredients: Zucchini, Tomatoes, Ground Beef, Oblong Round Cheese

I wanted this chili to make one feel…fulfilly. I got the hankering to make a big pot of chili last weekend when I was invited to a wall-painting party at a friend of mine’s who is currently renovating his house. Chili is such a well respected homey and rustic party food that I decided it was perfect for a night slaving over freshly painted walls. Besides, if my painting skills turned out to be subpar or rusty I could at least present some food to save face! (more…)

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Local ingredients: Zucchini, tomatoes

Zucchini and summer squash are so delicious, especially when they are fresh (and cheap!) during the summer. When I was little I ate them with mounds of butter, seasoned breadcrumbs, and sour cream—all delicious, but a ridiculous amount of fat for a very regular amount of flavor.

While I was reading Mark Bittman’s “Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating,” I discovered a small suggestion about how to cook zucchini in the recipe section that was really intriguing. Bittman’s recipe for ‘Pan-Cooked Grated Vegetables and Crunchy Fish’ describes how most veggies cook quickly and retain a crunchiness if you grate them first. While the zucchini may not be “crunchy”, especially if you add liquid flavor like balsamic, it is for sure not watery as it would be steamed or boiled. I also happen to think that grated vegetables look quite fancy when plated!

Here are my two summer zucchini stir-fry salads which are inspired by Mark Bittman’s recipe for Pan-Cooked Grated Vegetables: (more…)

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I am officially declaring this week to be imaGInelocal’s first annual Zucchinis and Bikinis Week! The concept is simple—I will spend a week making healthful recipes featuring the zucchini and will update every day. That’s right folks; I am stepping up my game!

So let us spend a week eating zucchinis to fit into those bikinis…everyone is invited.

*side note: pluralizing the word ‘zucchini’ can result in two words, both of which are correct: ‘zucchini’ or ‘zucchinis’.

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Here is one of many possible versions of a simple local summer salad!

Local ingredients: lettuce, chevre, and tomatoes

I brought this to a dinner with my sister-in-law and her family and it was the perfect salad to accompany turkey cheeseburgers on a hot day. A suggestion from one of my diners: “feta would have been better than chevre to bring some texture to the salad.” Personally, I think both would be  yummy, it just depends on preference. To take this salad to the next level you could even throw some caramelized onions  and walnuts in there!

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Local ingredients: Spinach, egg, basil

A little secret: brown rice and spinach are an undercover superhero duo. My first adventure with these characters was back when I was watching season four of Bravo’s Top Chef  and one of the season’s most popular contestants, Antonia Lofaso, won the Quickfire with her “Rice Salad”. It seemed so easy and I tried it that very week—it is honestly just rice, greens, and any other ingredients that will not overpower the dish. (Side note: Antonia’s other contribution to my life was that of a knock-knock joke, which I will not share here publically but will tell to those of you curious enough to inquire.)

Anyway, here is my version of her Rice Salad, topped with slices of mozzarella and a fried egg. I would have preferred (more…)

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