Grilled Zucchini Pizza

Zucchini

I’m always trying to find new ways to get veggies in my people. 

Since My Little Man ate a head-and-a-half of Romaine for lunch yesterday – by itself, like an apple – it’s not that I’m worried about rickets or anything. 

I like expanding our palates, though, and it’s always fun to cook and eat a wider variety of foods.  Since everyone here frowns at the sight of zucchini on the kitchen counter, I decided to start with that – and I’m glad I did.

We like this best when the zucchini is sliced then.  Grill it long enough to soften it a bit and get the pizza toppings sizzling.  You can add whatever you’d like to make it your own perfect pizza bite.

While this may not be the *healthiest* way to eat your veggies, it’s certainly a tasty and healthier way to eat your pizza!

Grilled Zucchini Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini
  • pizza sauce
  • shredded mozzarella
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • dried oregano
  • pizza toppings of your choosing

Instructions

  1. Wash zucchini.
  2. Slice zucchini thin - about 1/4".
  3. Brush both sides of each zucchini slice with a light layer of olive oil.
  4. Layer each slice with a small amount of pizza sauce, cheese, herbs, and your favorite pizza toppings.
  5. Grill on a hot grill until toppings are sizzling and zucchini is cooked through.
  6. Serve.
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http://anestintherocks.com/grilled-zucchini-pizza/

How do you eat your veggies?

Menu Plan Monday – February 27, 2016

Disclosure Pic

Last week’s slow week?  It’s long gone. 

We’re back in business week with lots going on, so our meal plan is going to reflect that.  I’m also going to be picking up my first Zaycon chicken order and prepping all 40 pounds for the freezer, so  …. expect to see some chicken on the menu over the next few months.

Want more information about ordering hormone-free, fresh-from-the-farm meats from Zaycon?  Click here!

What do you have going on this week?

Breakfast:

Cinnamon Almond Granola @ A Nest in the Rocks

Dinner:

Last week didn’t end up being as slow as I’d hoped, and I never did get these made.  I’m determiend to give these Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies a try this week!

What are you eating this week?

For more Menu Plan Monday, visit OrgJunkie.

Healthy Burrito Bowls

Healhty Burrito Bowls @ A Nest in the Rocks

I planned to make something new last week – a new kind of healthy Mexican recipe that the Big Helper and I were excited about.

Until one ingredient didn’t behave as expected.

At the very last minute, I needed to change things up, and these burrito bowls were the result.  We really liked them.  The veggies are spicy, and they’re easily customizable to suit everyone in your family.

Healthy Burrito Bowls
Serves 4
These burrito bowls are easy to customize and are full of flavor.
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753 calories
148 g
7 g
9 g
24 g
3 g
473 g
354 g
7 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
473g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 753
Calories from Fat 73
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
13%
Saturated Fat 3g
14%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 7mg
2%
Sodium 354mg
15%
Total Carbohydrates 148g
49%
Dietary Fiber 16g
65%
Sugars 7g
Protein 24g
Vitamin A
18%
Vitamin C
84%
Calcium
16%
Iron
30%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups rice, white or brown
  2. 3 small zucchini
  3. 1 onion
  4. 1 green pepper
  5. 1 T. olive oil
  6. 2 cloves of minced garlic
  7. 1 t. cumin
  8. 1/2 t. crushed red pepper
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. 2 cups black beans, cooked
  11. 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  12. diced tomatoes (opt)
  13. shredded cheese (opt)
  14. salsa (opt)
Instructions
  1. Cook the rice according to package directions.
  2. Slice the onion and the bell pepper.
  3. Preheat a large saucepan and add olive oil.
  4. Add chopped zucchini, onion, green pepper, and garlic.
  5. Cook through.
  6. Add cumin, red pepper, salt, and ground black pepper.
  7. Mix to combine.
  8. Push the veggies to one side of the pan and add the corn and beans to the clear side to heat through.
  9. Spoon rice into the bottom of each bowl.
  10. Top with beans, veggies, and then corn. Add additional toppings as desired.
  11. Serve hot.
Notes
  1. We enjoyed these bowls with the above ingredients. If meat is desired, add your cooked meat directly to the bowl above the rice and enjoy!
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calories
753
fat
9g
protein
24g
carbs
148g
more
A Nest in the Rocks http://anestintherocks.com/

Quick & Easy Taco Soup

Today I’m sharing a new favorite recipe – for a Quick & Easy Taco Soup that’s both healthy and yummy – over at Marriage, Motherhood, and Missions.  I hope you’ll hop over and check it out!

Parmesan Potato Soup

Parmesan Potato SoupA few months ago my family had one of those really awful, horrible, no-good very bad days.  We had to put our puppy to sleep, and with my husband working out of town that day, the task of taking her to the vet and the subsequent burial was all mine (although my very sweet MIL helped tremendously with the digging).

For the next few days I had an awful time finding the energy to plan and prepare dinner.  Finally deciding I wanted the comfort of a hot bowl of potato soup but lacking the incentive to just make it – from scratch, no recipe involved – the way I usually did held no appeal.  I sent out a FB appeal for a simple recipe, and a friend sent a recipe that sounded great, with one problem:  it had absolutely no veggies in it, and I couldn’t imagine having to make two things for dinner that night.

That recipe turned into this one, and my whole family really likes it – even my soup-disliking three-year-old.  It has that traditional potato comfort feel but is chock full of veggies.  The delicate parmesan flavor comes through, eliminating the need for the heavy cheddar-laden versions often gracing my hips before.  It’s good just as a meatless main dish, but adding ham or bacon gives it a yummy richness.  I hope you like it as much as we do!

So, to make Parmesan Potato Veggie Soup …

First, wash your potatoes.  I use 4-6 medium sized potatoes.  Red or russet work well.  Bake them until done, usually about 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool.  Peel if desired (the peel does add lots of fiber and nutrients, though, so if the skin is thin it’s great to leave it on).  You can bake these the day before if you’ll be short on time when it’s time to cook – the rest of this soup comes together in a hurry.

 
Steam or otherwise prepare about 5 cups of veggies.  For this batch, I used 3 cups of broccoli and two cups of a California blend that included cauliflower, baby carrots, and yellow carrot slices.  I cooked mine in the bottom of my large dutch oven in just a bit of water.  This takes 3-5 minutes over boiling water.  Drain and set aside.
 
 

While the veggies are working, finely chop one onion and two stalks of celery.  I don’t mean the whole plant, just two pieces.  You get the idea.

Add this to the now-empty dutch oven with 1/2 c. of butter and cook over medium heat until the onions are transparent.  Stir occasionally.

While the onions are taking their butter bath, rough chop your potatoes.  Peel them first if you want to, of course.  We like our soup pretty chunky so I let some of the pieces be larger.  Because this soup comes together so fast, the potatoes will not break down much in the soup, so make your pieces the size that you want to eat them.

Go back to your onions, all buttery and clear and ready to go.  Add 1/2 cup of flour and stir it well.  It will completely absorb all the moisture left in the pot, but that’s okay – this is what will thicken your soup when the time comes.  Add the seasoning now, too.  Mix in 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil,  and 1/2 teaspoon of seasoning salt.  A bit of freshly ground pepper is good, too, but I couldn’t measure that – I just ground away straight into the pot.  Add the chopped potatoes and veggies back in, too.  I like to give the veggies a rough chop before tossing them in, as well.

Now, with the heat on low and stirring slowly, add 4 1/2 c. of chicken stock.  Let it come to a bubble – not a hard rolling boil, but a happy bubble – and let it go for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  It will look super thick at this point and should smell amazing.  Just hang on.  It gets better!

Now add 6 cups of milk and stir until combined and heated through.  Do this on low heat so that the milk doesn’t scorch.  If you like your soup REALLY thick, you may just want to add 5 cups.  Also, if you want to add ham to your soup, this is the time.  Add 1 cup of finely chopped, baked ham.

Not-Your-Average Potato Cakes

It seems as if each time there’s a mashed potato-eating holiday where my mom and I are together, she asks if I’m going to make potato cakes with my leftovers.

I always answer know.  “What are they”  I always ask.  “How do you make them?”

You’d think I’d remember eating them if she likes them so much, but I don’t – and I love mashed potatoes.

I always get lost in the explanation, somewhere after, “You take the leftover mashed potatoes …”

Oh, well.

But after Christmas I had a LOT of leftovers.  Really.

So I decided to experiment with potato cakes.

Potato  Cakes

I added all of my favorite things, stirred them up ’til the color was pretty, and then fried them in a hot frying pan, and even My Little Man, the anti-potato man himself, liked them.  They’re rich, full of flavor, easy to make, and while they’re not exactly easy on the arteries, they do have some nutrients hidden in there.  That’s gotta count for something, right?

Not-Your-Average Potato Cakes
Yields 16
A rich and delicious way to reinvent those leftover mashed potatoes
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324 calories
60 g
36 g
5 g
10 g
3 g
115 g
210 g
3 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
115g
Yields
16
Amount Per Serving
Calories 324
Calories from Fat 47
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
8%
Saturated Fat 3g
13%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 36mg
12%
Sodium 210mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates 60g
20%
Dietary Fiber 6g
22%
Sugars 3g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A
43%
Vitamin C
58%
Calcium
11%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 - 3 c. mashed potatoes
  2. 1/2 onion, diced
  3. 1/2 green pepper, diced
  4. dash of olive oil + some for frying
  5. 2 T. butter, melted
  6. 2 eggs, beaten
  7. 6-8 strips of bacon, cooked, patted dry, and crumbled
  8. 1 big handful of fresh spinach, washed and chopped finely
  9. 1 c. shredded cheddar
  10. sea salt, to taste
  11. freshly ground pepper, to taste
  12. 1/2 t. garlic powder
  13. 1/2 t. Season-all
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
  2. Finely chop the onion, green pepper, and spinach. Saute in olive oil over medium heat until cooked through.
  3. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder and Season-all to the onion mixture. Stir well.
  4. Add the bacon, cheese, veggie mixture, cooled butter, and eggs to the mashed potatoes. Stir really well until totally combined.
  5. Chill for at least half an hour or until mixture will form a ball.
  6. When ready to go, heat a skillet until hot over medium heat. Spread a small amount of olive oil over the bottom of the pan, just to prevent sticking.
  7. Make a walnut-sized ball with the potato mixture. Squish it a bit so that it's rather flat looking, and place it into the hot pan. Repeat until the pan is full but not crowded - you need room to flip.
  8. After about 4 minutes, when cakes are hot, browned, and seared on the bottom, carefully flip. Repeat for the second side, then remove from pan and place on a serving plate - or directly onto your own plate.
  9. Try not to eat them all before serving time.
  10. Makes 16 - 20 cakes.
Notes
  1. Disclaimer: Because I was playing with leftovers, all of my amounts are, as usual, approximate. Basically, mix what you want and add enough eggs to glue it all together.
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calories
324
fat
5g
protein
10g
carbs
60g
more
A Nest in the Rocks http://anestintherocks.com/
What would YOU put in potato cakes?

Mom’s Baked Corn

This is a family staple for us, and no family gathering or holiday would be the same without it!  It’s simple and easy to make, transports well, and holds when necessary.  My great-grandmother loved it, and she complimented my mom on this dish every time she made it.  Since Grandma was an amazing cook in her own right, that’s saying a lot!

Mom's Baked Corn
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1049 calories
184 g
412 g
29 g
41 g
12 g
1176 g
1873 g
41 g
1 g
15 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1176g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1049
Calories from Fat 254
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g
44%
Saturated Fat 12g
61%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 412mg
137%
Sodium 1873mg
78%
Total Carbohydrates 184g
61%
Dietary Fiber 16g
63%
Sugars 41g
Protein 41g
Vitamin A
48%
Vitamin C
77%
Calcium
40%
Iron
36%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 pint frozen corn (I freeze my own each summer) or 1 can creamed corn
  2. 1 can creamed corn
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 c. milk
  5. 2 T. cream of Tarter
  6. salt and pepper to taste
  7. 2 handfuls of crackers, crushed
  8. 2 T. butter
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Pour into a greased casserole dish.
  3. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until center is set.
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calories
1049
fat
29g
protein
41g
carbs
184g
more
A Nest in the Rocks http://anestintherocks.com/
What dish are you known for?

Homemade Potato Chips

Homemade Potato Chips

Do you ever have cooking experiments go wrong?

That’s how I ended up with these chips.  When another idea didn’t work out and I was left with a bowlful of sliced potatoes, I decided to try making chips with them – and they couldn’t have turned out better.  We ate every single one.  Immediately.  People wanted more.  They’re really good.

Now, compared to the general fried-and-in-a-plastic-bag kind of chips you buy in the store, these are going to be waaaaayyyy healthier.  With only two main ingredients, both of which we can all pronounce, it doesn’t get much simpler than this.

These chips are rather labor-intensive, however.  If you’re used to eating a bag a day, these might not be for you.

If you’re planning a pool party with a hundred guests, I’d buy the grocery store variety by the case.

But if you want a good, flavorful, healthy, crunchy chip to feed your family alongside a really tasty sandwich, then these are for you.

Homemade Potato Chips
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676 calories
154 g
0 g
1 g
18 g
0 g
853 g
198 g
5 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
853g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 676
Calories from Fat 8
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
2%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 198mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 154g
51%
Dietary Fiber 11g
44%
Sugars 5g
Protein 18g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
81%
Calcium
11%
Iron
41%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 medium Russet potatoes
  2. olive oil
  3. salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Slice your potatoes in super thin, uniform slices. I used my mandolin and put it on the crinkle-cut setting.
  2. Put the sliced potatoes in a bowl and toss with 1/4 c. of olive oil. Work with your hands to be sure that all the slices are evenly coated.
  3. With an electric skillet or griddle preheated to 400 degrees, spread out the chips in a single layer with no overlap. Unless you have a monstrous griddle, you'll need to batch-cook these.
  4. Watch closely - as they begin to brown, flip them with tongs.
  5. Give the second side just a minute or two more and then remove to a paper towel-lined bowl.
  6. Sprinkle with salt to taste.
beta
calories
676
fat
1g
protein
18g
carbs
154g
more
A Nest in the Rocks http://anestintherocks.com/
What’s your go-to crunchy side?

Guilty Good Green Beans

Guilty Good Green Beans

I came across this recipe earlier today, and decided to break out of my bean boredom and try it.  Who doesn’t love another way to prepare a basic vegetable?

I was lacking a few ingredients and so played around with it a bit, but we loved it.  It’s simple, quick, and full of flavor.  My family of four finished off the entire dish in one sitting – and My Wonderful Husband had three helpings!  Now, if that isn’t success, I don’t know what is.  This one is definitely a family keeper.

Guilty Good Green Beans
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647 calories
36 g
114 g
41 g
34 g
19 g
784 g
2286 g
12 g
0 g
19 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
784g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 647
Calories from Fat 368
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 41g
63%
Saturated Fat 19g
96%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 15g
Cholesterol 114mg
38%
Sodium 2286mg
95%
Total Carbohydrates 36g
12%
Dietary Fiber 15g
61%
Sugars 12g
Protein 34g
Vitamin A
52%
Vitamin C
77%
Calcium
66%
Iron
37%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 cans of green beans, drained
  2. 1/4 Vidalia onion, diced
  3. 1/4 green bell pepper, diced
  4. 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  5. 1/6 lb. sausage, cooked and crumbled
  6. dash of olive oil
  7. salt and pepper to taste
  8. 1/2 c. cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Carmelize the onion, pepper, and garlic in the olive oil. Add cooked sausage and seasonings.
  2. 2. Add green beans. Stir to combine.
  3. 3. Transfer to a baking dish.
  4. 4. Top with cheese.
  5. 5. Bake, covered, at 400 for 15 minutes.
  6. 6. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes at 350.
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calories
647
fat
41g
protein
34g
carbs
36g
more
A Nest in the Rocks http://anestintherocks.com/
Though I expected leftovers for lunch tomorrow, this is what I found:

I guess I’ll just have to make it again!