Scallops with Caper Sauce over Veggies

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I may not have posted in a month, but I am getting this in just in the knick of time to enter this month’s Food ‘n Flix hosted by Caroline Makes. This month Caroline hosted the movie Burnt. This had been on my to-watch list, but I hadn’t seen it yet, so this was a great opportunity to watch the movie and let it inspire me.

This movie is about Adam, a chef who lost everything he had because of his addictions. But after cleaning himself up, he decided he wanted to earn his way back in the fine dining scene in London.

Obviously, this is a foodie movie. There was so much delicious food in it. But there were a few things that jumped out at me and made it onto my idea list:

  • oysters
  • shrimp
  • summer vegetables on a bed of ricotta
  • Burger King
  • tarragon sauce
  • halibut
  • scallops
  • omelet

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I decided to make something I haven’t ever made before and went with the scallops. While not restaurant quality like the food in Burnt, my dinner was extremely satisfying. The combination of the capers, fat, and lemon was very tasty. Now imagine how delicious this would have been had Adam made it for me.

My inspiration from the scallops came from one of the many dishes you see being prepared in the kitchen. There were a ton of choices!

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Scallops with Caper Sauce over Veggies

Ingredients
– 1 zucchini, julliened
– 2 carrots, julliened
– 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
– 3 tbsp unsalted butter
– 12 scallops
– 2 tbsp capers, drained
– 1 shallot, minced
– 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
– 1 lemon
– salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Once hot add the zucchini and carrot. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. Pat your scallops dry. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat your skillet back up. Add the 2 tbsp remaining of olive oil. Once hot cook the scallops 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove the scallops and set aside, keeping warming.
  4. Add the butter to the pan. Once the butter begins to boil and turn brown, add the shallot and capers. Cook for 1 minute. Take off heat. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the sauce.
  5. Place vegetables in a bowl. Top with scallops. Spoon butter sauce over the dish. Sprinkle with cilantro.
  • serves 2

Baked Zucchini with Parsley and Oregano

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This felt like such a long week. Being my first full week back to work after vacation, I had a hard time getting myself moving. I was still on vacation time. The first few days I was back I couldn’t bring myself to cook, because I was just so tired. But with the week back to work, I also made a point to cook dinner every night. On Monday this week I made chicken and this baked zucchini for dinner.

There is so much zucchini at the farmers’ market right now, so I figured it would be a good be a good entry for this month’s AlphaBakes – the letter being Z! I know in some parts of the world, zucchinis have a different name: courgette. Courgette sounds so much fancier than zucchini.AlphaBakes Logo
The zucchini was so tender. The herbs I used were so mild, so the taste of the zucchini really shined through. It was also a really easy dish to make. I loved it! It’s perfect for my submission to this month’s Eat Your Greens.

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Baked Zucchini with Parsley and Oregano

Ingredients
1 lb zucchini
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tbsp oregano, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
6 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Sprinkle salt on the cut side of the halves and place cut side down on a wood cutting board , allowing some of the liquid to drain away.
  2. Heat the oven to 350. Put the parsley, oregano, garlic, and breadcrumbs together in a bowl and mix together. Add half of the oil gradually and beat together with a fork. Season with pepper.
  3. Oil a baking dish and place the zucchini halves in it, cut side up. Spoon the herb mixture over the zucchini and drizzle 1 tbsp of the olive oil over the zucchini.
  4. Cover the dish in foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil and bake for 10 to 20 more minutes, until the zucchini is tender.
  6. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil.

* serves 4
* Besides Alphabakes and Eat Your Greens, this dish is also being shared with Weekend Cooking

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

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My lack of updating isn’t currently do to a lack of cooking. Rather, my lack of updating is entirely the fault of I haven’t cooked anything to die for lately. Everything’s been blah – and I don’t really need to share those blah recipes. Just this week I made pumpkin lasagna reminiscent of baby food and beef in the slow cooker which was too dry.

One thing I did not falter on were these muffins.

I try every month to participate in Chocolate Log Blog’s We Should Cocoa. We Should Cocoa is a monthly blogger challenge – make a chocolate recipe that fits the theme of the month. This month’s We Should Cocoa is being hosted by JibberJabberUK who provided the theme of vegetables.

I initially had planned to make beet chocolate muffins, but some change in my finances has allowed me now to only go grocery shopping every other week. This basically means by week two I have to make sure to use up everything I have in the house. I was wasting too much before and spending more than I had.  Because I had no beets on the day I decided I needed to make chocolate muffins, I dug through the vegetable drawer and decided I’d make chocolate zucchini cupcakes.

I’ve made chocolate zucchini bread before and really loved it, so I knew this would be good. Also, because I didn’t go grocery shopping, these are eggless.

I guess I’m back on the We Should Cocoa muffin kick!

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
(source)

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare a muffin tin by lining it with wrappers.

2. In a small container combine the milk and vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes.

3. In a large bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Create a well in the middle.

4. In a smaller bowl combine the milk/vinegar mix, vegetable oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Pour into the well of the dry mixture. Mix together to ensure there are no dry spots. Fold the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips into the batter.

5. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

* makes 12
* Besides We Should Cocoa, I’m sharing this recipe with AlphaBakes hosted by Ros and Caroline for the letter C this month! This is also being shared with Cast Party Wednesday.

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Zucchini Bake

IMG_8295I mentioned on my Random Recipe Spicy Italian Chicken post that with the chicken I had served a zucchini bake and would be sharing the recipe. This side dish far outshone the Spicy Italian Chicken. Using the just-add-water cornbread mix made this dish super easy. I have no complaints about it at all and will definitely make it again.

I like to make my vegetables super full of carbs. What can I say?

Zucchini Bake
(source)

Ingredients
2 zucchinis, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cornbread mix
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350.

2. In a large bowl toss all the ingredients together. Spread the mixture into a baking pan.

3. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked all the way through.

* serves 4
* shared with Full Plate Thursday & Catch A Glimpse Party

 

Mocha Zucchini Bread

This has been a horribly rough week. Last Monday I found my cat bleeding from the stomach. After taking him to the emergency vest and having him undergo surgery, he died on Wednesday October 10th in the early morning. It’s been emotionally tolling. And it’s even harder because while grieving, I till have to go to school and work. I’ve really just been not having the best of semesters, with the ankle sprain and now my kitty . . . Law school on top of my personal life is proving to be torturous.

When I get stressed, I bake. I always have. So to cope with the loss of my little cat I made zucchini bread.

It was a nice way to keep me distracted, to keep me from crying, and it’s made some good breakfasts.

Mocha Zucchini Bread

Ingredients
1 zucchini
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp cocoa
1 packet Starbucks’s mocha Via
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9×5 inch baking dish. Set aside.

2. Place the grating attachment into your food processor. Grate the zucchini. Place the grated zucchini between two paper towels and squeeze out the excess water.

3. In a bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, cocoa, mocha Via, salt, and baking soda. Beat until combined.

4. By hand, stir in zucchini and chocolate chips. Then add in the flour until moistened. Do not over mix.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared dish. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

* Shared with Mix It Up Monday & Mealtime Monday

Roasted Vegetable Orzo

 

I always forget how much I love orzo until I eat orzo. And then when I eat it I inwardly question why I don’t eat it more. I’m sure you know, but despite looking like rice orzo is actually a noodle. While the word orzo, also known as risoni, is also called “big rice,” and even “barley,” orzo is not a grain. It’s a short-cut macaroni. And it’s so versatile. I can’t believe how often I forget orzo exists. I need to load my recipe list up with orzo recipes just to force myself to make it more because . . . YUM!

This recipe using orzo reminded me of my love of the pasta. It made a good vegetable dish, a good pasta/orzo dish, and was generally pretty easy to make.

I paired it with a chicken dish, but really I think this recipe could stand alone.

Roasted Vegetable Orzo
(source)

Ingredients
1 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 red onion, cut into chunks
1 lb asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pinch sugar
salt and papper, to taste
4 tsp chicken bouillon
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 (16 oz) package orzo
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 450.

2. Place the zucchini, squash, onion, asparagus, and mushrooms in a large bowl. Add in the garlic, olive oil, and sugar. Mix to coat the vegetables. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.

3. Roast the vegetables, for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.

4. While the vegetables are roasting, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the bouillon, wine, and orzo. Cook the orzo until al dente, for about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

5. Stir the roasted vegetables and Parmesan into the orzo.

* serves 6
* 369 calories per serving
* Shared with Presto Pasta Nights & What’s Cooking Wednesday,

Egg Noodle Casserole

I don’t really have any commentary on this post. It was an easy pasta dish that tasted great.

Egg Noodle Casserole
(inspiration)

Ingredients
2 cups egg noodles
1 egg
1/2 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 green onion stalk, sliced
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 cucumber, diced
1 1/2 oz ground beef
1 sausage link, of your choice

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350. Grease a casserole dish.

2. Boil noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

3. In a small pan, saute sausage, ground beef, and zucchini until the meat is cooked and the zucchini is soft.

4. In a small mixing bowl, mix eggs, cream, mustard, and some salt and pepper.

5. In a medium mixing bowl, add noodles, sausage, ground beef, zucchini, green onion, cheddar, pepper jack, half the parmesan, and the egg mixture. Mix well so everything is covered with the egg mixture. Top with the remaining parmesan.

6. Bake for 30 minutes.

* serves 3
* Shared with Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Culinary Vibes

Chicken Nuggets and Zucchini Sticks

My favorite website of all time is called myfitnesspal. Not only has the website helped me lose a lot of weight (almost 50 pounds), it also provides a great support system. The website has this message board that provides excellent sources of friends and information. On the boards, some other members and myself created a group called RECIPE SWAP. On RECIPE SWAP each week, two of the members share recipes for the rest of the group to share.

This nugget and zucchini fry recipe came from the kitchen of ElyzahMoore.

Nuggets and french fries are the epitome of childhood recipes. When I was little, on the rare occasions my mom would take me to McDonalds or Burger King, I would without a doubt get the chicken nuggets and french fries.

But holy shoot. The McDonalds Happy Meal has roughly 420 calories. The Burger King children’s meal has about 360. This recipe has 385 calories, for a lot more than 4 nuggets. Fast food restaurants should consider baking as opposed to deep frying.

Chicken Nuggets

Ingredients
16 oz skinless boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp olive oil
6 tbsp whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tbsp crushed Saltine crackers
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
olive oil spray

Directions

1. Cut up chicken into bite sized pieces.

2. Place olive oil in one bowl and combine the dry ingredients in another. Dip the chicken pieces in the oil oil and then into the dry ingredients to coat. Place on cookie sheet and mist lightly with olive oil spray.

3. Bake at 425 degrees (about 10 minutes per side) or until cooked through.

* serves 4

Zucchini Sticks

Ingredients
3 medium zucchini (sliced into 3″ x 1/2″ sticks)
1 large egg white
1/3 cup crushed Saltine crackers
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
cooking spray
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt
fresh pepper
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 small bay leaf
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt and fresh pepper to taste

Directions

1. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Beat egg white in small bowl with salt and pepper. Combine bread crumbs, cheese, and garlic powder in a zip lock bag. Dip zucchini in the egg, and then place in the zip lock. (You can do a couple sticks at a time.) Shake a few times to coat and then place zucchini on greased cookie sheet. Spray the top lightly with cooking spray.

3. Bake at 425 degrees for 20- 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

4. In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat, then saute the garlic until golden. Add remaining ingredients, stir, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

* serves 4