Garden Veggie Bake

imageThere is nothing more gratifying than growing your own food. As a novice, every edible veggie I pluck makes me giddy. Yesterday was my first full day home after being away for the weekend so I ventured down to the jungle that is my back yard to harvest my goodies. I was yanking zucchini left and right and finally had a yellow squash ready for plucking. My heirloom tomatoes are cranking out in full force. I think I have had at least two a day, sometimes many more. Everything is better when it is fresh.

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So today I laid out my harvested goodies inspired to create something delicious I could eat on for a couple of days. I got to slicing and before I knew it my veggie bake was steaming in front of me.

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What you will need

4 summer squash ( I did 3 Zucchini and 1 Yellow Squash)
6 small heirloom tomatoes or a container or a small container of grape/sun gold tomatoes
5 fresh basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic
1-2 Tbsp of olive oil
Salt & pepper
1/4 Cup of shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish with coconut oil or olive oil.

Slice your squash into small chunks. If using grape, sun gold or cherry tomatoes slice into halves. If you are using a smaller heirloom you can slice into 2-3 pieces. Mince 2 cloves of garlic and chop 5 basil leaves. Throw all your ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Move your mixture into your baking dish and pop into the oven uncovered for 25 minutes.

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When the 20 minutes is up you can add optional mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle over the veggies, cover with tin foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Enjoy!

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Summer Squash Pancakes-Gluten Free & Paleo

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Today I present you with the most exciting thing I have made (in my opinion) in a long time: Summer Squash Pancakes. This recipe may look intimidating but it is a breeze and much more exciting than the baked sweet potato I usually have with dinner. I still love you baked sweet potato.

My little garden is cranking out zucchinis right now. I have been making zoodles a lot and wanted to try something different, so I went on Pinterest of course. After looking at several recipes for Zucchini Pancakes and inventorying what I had on hand I got to work. The results were beyond my expectations! I used one yellow squash and one zucchini but you could use either one or both, the consistency is very similar.

Here is what you will need:

2 medium/large zucchinis or yellow squash
1/3 cup of almond flour
2 eggs
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne
1 ½ tbsp coconut oil

How To:

Grate your squash with a cheese grater or with a spiralizer. If you use the spiralizer make sure you chop up you zoodles into smaller pieces. Sprinkle the grated squash with salt and set aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl beat two eggs. Add the almond flour, black pepper and cayenne.

When the 10 minutes had passed begin squeezing liquid from the squash one hand full at a time and setting aside in the bowl with the liquid mixture. You can use cheese cloth, but if you don’t they will turn out just fine. Just get as much water out of the squash as you can. Fold the squash into the liquid as you go.

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Now heat your skillet to low/medium heat and add 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Plop a ¼ cup of the mixture into your pan and flatten it out with the back of your measuring cup. I cooked three cakes at once. Cook on one side for 5 minutes and 3-5 minutes once you flip. You want the outside to be crispy and the inside to be cooked through. I repeated this last step one more time to make a total of six cakes. On the second round I added another ½ tbsp of coconut oil to give the pan some extra lube.

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If you are vegan you can still make this recipe using a flax egg! I have not tried it but I have not yet been failed by the flax egg.

My Power Supply: A Meal Delivery Service

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Do you ever walk in the door at 7:00 pm starving after a long day of work and wish you had your mom’s healthy home cooking waiting for you? I do. Almost every night. I typically finish up my work day around 6:30 and by that point I am ravenous. My dinners are light due to my own lack of motivation to cook. I will have a sweet potato with fruit, left overs from lunch or some oatmeal. I cook for clients and usually prepare a decent lunch so I just want to eat and curl up with my iPad when I get home.

So for a week I decided to try My Power Supply. I first saw the company logo on a small refrigerator in an office building gym I use with one of my clients. I opened it up to see several packaged meals with various names printed on the labels. The literature attached to the fridge read GLUTEN FREE-DAIRY FREE. I was instantly interested. I grabbed a brochure and went home to do some research.

MPS is a meal delivery service that provides healthy flavorful dishes made with whole foods by local chefs in the Washington DC Metro and in LA. You can pay to have the food delivered directly to your door or chose one of the MANY pick up locations near your home or work for free delivery. I picked up my meals from Beloved Yoga about a mile from my house.

When you make an account you can chose meals centered around animal protein, vegetables or a mix of the two. I chose mixitarian (their term) meals but then went in and customized to my meals to mostly vegetarian dishes after reading some of the selections.

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Next you chose the size of your meals. I chose the boost which are the lowest in calories and portions. I was afraid I would be unsatisfied but I was not at all!

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You can chose to receive 3-5 days worth of meals. I did three days, which consisted of three lunches and three dinners. If you want to receive only lunch dishes or only dinner dishes, you can choose that option.

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Below you can see what I received for the week.

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As for cost, I found MPS to be a good bang for your buck. With the new customer discount I spent $48 on 6 meals. That is about what I would spend at the grocery store for the whole week (about 10 meals). However, I did get variety and the ease of just opening a container.

The meals I ordered cost $9/meal without the discount. Not bad right? I think if you are notorious for eating out at lunch during the workday or eating crap when you get home after a long day, this is well worth the money. I do think that if you are completely capable and motivated to prep your own meals, it is not worth the money. It is all about priorities. I know the week I used MPS I loved just coming home and eating my little contained meal. I liked not having to think. That being said, I prefer preparing my own meals when I have the time. I know what I like and what my body responds well to.

I started taking photos of my food because I thought I would share them with my readers.  I used just an iphone and they all look terrible.  So keep in mind that these all looked much more appetizing in person.  Here are two of my vegetarian dishes I enjoyed.  The Sweet Potato Pancake with Black Bean, Corn and Tomato Salad and the Lemony Quionoa with Butternnut Squash, Pecans & Sauteed Spinach.

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My favorite Meal was the Moroccan Tempeh Salad with Beets, Butternut Squash, Pistachios and Greens but of course I was busy that day and forgot to snap a photo.

If you have any questions comment below or email me!