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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

There is nothing better than spending time together with the family during summer over some amazing healthy food.  This visit we were not as prepared as we usually are so we used what we had on hand.  Left over quinoa, ground sausage, corn, left-over black beans and of course, zucchini fresh from the garden!  Thrown all together, this was a delicious lunch that cooked on the grill as we enjoyed the cool and refreshing pool!

The best part about throwing together recipes like this is the leftovers!  This will make enough zucchini boats to feed you for lunch and you can put the rest of the filling in the refrigerator.  What a quick filling for tacos with a topping organic Greek-style yogurt! 

Here is the recipe!  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

1 lb ground sausage
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup corn
1 cup cooked black beans
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Cheese of choice, optional
Zucchini (see tips)


Step 1:  Brown sausage in large skillet (leave 1-2 Tbsp of grease in the pan to help with flavor). Add quinoa, corn, black beans, salt and pepper to the skillet.  Mix well.

Step 2:  Slice the zucchini in half long ways.  Scoop out the middle of each zucchini slice, discarding the seeds and insides.

Step 3:  Fill each zucchini boat with your filling.  Top with cheese. Wrap each boat in tin foil (you may want to stick a toothpick in the middle to prevent the foil from sticking to the cheese).

Step 4:  Start your grill.  Turn on two burners both on the same side and place the foil wrapped zucchini boats on the opposite side or on the top rack of your grill.  Allow to slow cook for 20-30 minutes for smaller zucchinis and 50-60 minutes for large or "monster" zucchin's or until desired tenderness is reached.  Allow foil to cool before handling.


- This filling is very versatile.  Use the amount of zucchini's you need and then save the filling for another meal.  Make tacos the next day with the leftovers but you could also put in eggs for a morning scramble, or on top of you salad. 
- If using ground turkey or other substitute, you may need to add additional seasonings such as cumin, thyme, rosemary, etc.
-  We used both smaller zucchini and "monster zucchini's" for this recipe. With the bigger ones, we had to eat it out of the skins due to the skin being to tough.  But both were excellent!
- If you have a gluten allergy, be sure to check the labels of your ingredients to make sure they are gluten free. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Garden Salsa

Tomatoes From Our Garden in Ohio!

How I LOVE this time of the year!!  The weather is nice, the pool is open and the garden is loaded with fresh vegetables, just waiting to be picked.  My husband was not messing around this year and he planted 11 tomato plants!  With all of our plants flourishing with red goodies, our favorite thing to make is fresh Salsa!!  I make a batch probably twice a week so we always have it available.

Full of nutritional goodness, Salsa can be used in so many ways other than the traditional chip dip.  Try putting some on your grilled chicken, hamburgers or other meat choice.  It is also delicious over scrambled eggs, in wraps or as a dressing on your salad or taco.

Every time we have a get together at our house, whether it be a holiday or just hanging out for no reason, I make a fresh batch of Salsa.  I get so many compliments for this quick and healthy snack, and I always get asked what's in it.  Well, that is a tricky question because honestly each batch is different.  I have my main ingredients that go into each batch but the rest is usually whatever is ready in the garden. And the quantities change due to the mood I am in.  Sometimes I like it spicy, sometimes I use more tomatoes than usual. Each batch is different but always delicious!  So play around with it and find the right combination for you and your family!

Garden Salsa

Must Have Ingredients:
Tomatoes (4-5)
Sweet Onion (1 med.)
Fresh Cilantro (Cilantro can be a very strong herb.  We usually use a handful but you may need to adjust to your liking)
Lime Juice (a generous squeeze)
Salt (to taste)

**The first time we made salsa like this we used only the must have ingredients (with a little garlic) and it was SO GOOD!

Choices for additional ingredients:
Garlic (To Taste. We love garlic so we tend to use a lot)
Jalapeno peppers
Green, Red or Yellow Peppers
Banana Peppers
green onions

Cut all your ingredients into chunks.  Put everything in a food processor and pulse until you receive your desired texture.  (It may look a little foamy on top, this is normal). For best results, chill overnight to let flavors blend, stirring occasionally.

**Sometimes we leave it on the chunky side and sometimes we pulse until it is almost liquid.  Again, depends on our mood

This Salsa reminds me of going to a really good Mexican Restaurant, and they bring you the homemade salsa that is so good and you sit there eating it thinking how I wish I could make fresh salsa like this.  Well now you can!!  Hope you enjoy!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Chicken and Bean Tacos

Making a simple and delicious meal that can be used in many ways is key to those busy summer weeks.  With the kids being home for the summer, the last thing a parent wants is to be stuck for hours in the kitchen, putting together something for dinner.  Here is a great summer recipe you can easily put it in the crockpot! 

This dinner is perfect to make on Monday and use the leftovers throughout the week for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Use it for tacos with your favorite toppings and a little Greek style yogurt.  Delicious!!  The next day have it for lunch served over a bed of greens (this is definitely a recipe that tastes even better the next day).  Later in the week, serve it over quinoa or brown rice with a veggie side!  Or for breakfast, try using it in a burrito with eggs and your favorite toppings.  There are so many options for this! We would love to hear about the different ways you used it!

Chick and Bean Tacos

6 organic, free ranged chicken breasts
2 cups salsa (Homemade Salsa is ideal!)
3 cups black beans (2 cans rinsed)
Homemade Taco Seasoning:
1 Tbsp. Chili powder
½ Tbsp. cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp each sea salt and black pepper


1.  Season chicken breast with taco seasoning.  Place in the bottom of a crockpot.  Top with salsa and black beans.  Cook on low 6-8 hours or until chicken shreds easily.

2.  Shred chicken and mix thoroughly.


- When first shredded, chicken may have excess liquid.  Let sit and cool. Shredded chicken should absorb the excess broth.
- Change up the homemade taco seasoning to fit your liking.  Add more red pepper flakes for more of a kick.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken

Looking for an easy dinner to make in the summer? All you need to do is turn on the grill.  Another bonus is quick prep time and you can cook it outside while the kids (or you) play. For you women out there, it's always nice to have the husband continue to think we have no clue on the grill..wink wink) BONUS: Wrap up your favorite veggies in foil with a little olive oil and seasonings and cook them on the grill right along side the meat.

While looking for a new marinade to use on chicken, try yogurt-based marinade.  Wouldn't you rather have a marinade with ingredients that are all pronounceable and familiar?  The family may be a little skeptical (but they don't need to know what they are eating, just that it is good), but if you are adventurous give it a try.  The chicken should come out very moist and with delicious flavor!  Your whole family will enjoy it and cut up on your salads for a quick lunch the next day. Let us know what you think!

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken

1/2 cup plain Greek style yogurt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Agave Nectar
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp minced  fresh ginger root
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
6 organic chicken breast halves


Look for Greek Style Yogurt that is high
protein and contains no artificial
sweeteners or added sugars.

1. In a large resealable plastic bag, or large container with a lid, combine the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, oil, Agave and seasonings.  Mix well and add chicken.  Seal bag or container and turn to coat.  Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

2. Before grilling, drain and discard marinade.  Grill as normally would.

Tip: You may want to coat the grill rack with non-stick spray before starting the grill to prevent sticking.

Do you have a favorite marinade that your family enjoys?

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