Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with a Thai Flair

I'm always looking for another way to use zucchini this time of year, and when I saw this on the Food Network, she said it was inspired by Thai green papaya salad (which we love). The dressing was very similar and we really enjoyed this salad (eat it all the first night though -- it didn't make great leftovers).

Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Lime Juice, Red Chile and Peanuts

Recipe courtesy Aarti Sequeira

Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time:--
Cook Time: 5 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 4 servings


  • 4 large zucchini
  • 2 limes, juiced (1/4 cup fresh lime juice)
  • 1 large Fresno chile or half a jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Rounded 1/4 cup shelled roasted, salted peanuts
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Small handful of chopped fresh cilantro
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Trim the stem end off of the zucchini. Using a mandoline, thinly shave the zucchini from pole to pole into beautiful long ribbons.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, chile, brown sugar, fish sauce and garlic.

Set a small skillet over high heat. Add the peanuts and toast until they begin to char, about 5 minutes. Remove them from the heat, and finely chop.

Toss the zucchini with the dressing, tomatoes and cilantro. Sprinkle with the peanuts. Taste for seasoning (it may need a touch more salt) and serve immediately.

Crockpot: Tomatillo Chicken Filling

Have you been wondering what to do with your tomatillos (like I have)? We loved this recipe and it was super easy!

Check it out on Karen Petersen's Crockpot blog here.

Or, here it is! We put this in tacos but it might make even better taquitos (so all of the toppings don't mask the flavor). I also used an anaheim pepper rather than a Poblano and all chicken breasts (because that's what I had).

Tomatillo Chicken Filling

2 chicken breast halves
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
8-10 medium tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed well and halved
1 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno chile, halved lengthwise, stemmed and seeded and chopped coarsely
1 poblano chile, stemmed and seeded and chopped coarsely
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
2 tsp lime juice

Makes 4-5 servings

1. Thaw chicken, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Place in slow cooker.
2. Combine onion, chiles, garlic, oregano, cumin and oil in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 4-5 minutes, stirring every minute until onion is soft. Transfer to slow cooker. Add in the tomatillos.
3. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.
4. Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks.
5. Strain the liquid in the slow cooker into a bowl. Puree the strained solids in a blender. Add puree into the chicken. Add more cumin, salt and pepper to taste and 2 tsp fresh lime juice. If needed, add in some of the strained liquid.
6. Serve the filling wrapped up in tortillas with sour cream, cilantro, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and other toppings of your choice.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fresh Tomato & Cucumber Salad

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. red wine vinegar
1/2 t. kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 fresh basil leaves
5 fresh oregano leaves
3 small cucumbers, thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 c. red onion, thinly sliced

1. Mince garlic and let stand in vinegars for 10 minutes.
2. Wash herbs and chop. Add to olive oil and let stand while garlic marinates.
3. Meanwhile, prepare salad ingredients.
4. Combine oil with vinegar and whisk together. Dress salad and serve at room temperature.

Vegan Chili

2 T. canola oil
1 c. diced onion
1 c. diced bell pepper
2 T. minced garlic
1 jalepeno, minced
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 c. frozen or fresh corn
1 lb. mushrooms, cleaned & diced
2 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
1 t. salt
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can vegetable stock
1 can tomato paste
1/4 c. fresh cilantro

1. In a large pot, saute onion & bell pepper in oil over medium high heat until tender (5 min).
2. Add zucchini & mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 min more. Season with salt now so that the vegetables release their liquids.
3. Add garlic & jalepeno and cook for 1 min.
4. Stir in remaining ingredients (except for cilantro). Bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 min. Stir in cilantro before serving.