Posts Tagged ‘zucchini’

Vegetable Fajita Quesadilla, Guacamole

July 14, 2009

Vegetable Fajita Quesadilla, Guacamole

One of my wife’s guilty pleasure used to be a chicken fajita quesadilla, which, as you might surmise, is a quesadilla stuffed with everything that would normally be served with fajitas – notably onions and peppers. It had been literally years since I had a quesadilla myself (vegan cheese sorely lacking – until recently) so I decided to try and approximate her guilty pleasure. And the results were immaculate.

I’m not one to just throw a bunch of onions and peppers in something and call them vegetables and be done, but she was pretty adamant about not using things like broccoli and cauliflower. So I went with a pretty standard mix of zucchini, yellow squash and carrots – all diced small – in addition to the onions and peppers. In a very hot pan I added some garlic oil (a shock, I know) and began to sautee the vegetable mix until everything was cooked through.

While that was sauteeing I shredded some Teese so that as soon as the vegetables were done I could combine everything in a bowl. I’m glad I didn’t try to add Teese directly to the pan – it would have melted too fast – as well as not trying to use it from a cold state. Adding the hot vegetable mixture to the cold Teese in a separate bowl was the perfect idea.

I laid out my whole wheat tortillas, filled them halfway and began to sear each one individually to get the optimum crust. The key here is to have a hot pan, low amount of oil and not be scared of hot things – it will allow you to keep an eye on the bottom of the pan without flipping too early or too late.

Before all of that had begun, however, I had made some guacamole. I love guacamole – I eat at work almost daily. I also criticize guacamole a bit too harshly. It sounds like it’s a really easy dish/condiment to make, but to make a really good guacamole takes more than just an avocado, salt and lime juice.

For mine I use the following in varying amounts – literally until it tastes right:
Avocado
Lime Juice (I cheated and used the bottled stuff – shhh) [Lemon Juice will suffice as well]
Salt
Pepper
Tomatoes
Cilantro
Cumin

The key here is to get that perfect blend of salt, lime and cumin. Too much of either will overpower everything, but the right blend? Sublime.

Jasmine Rice, Kumquats, Mixed Vegetables

July 8, 2009

Jasmine Rice, Kumquats, Mixed Vegetables

It’s simple meals like this that keep me sane. A ton of my favorite foods all come together to create something, simple, flavorful and filling.

In this case, it was the gorgeous-looking kumquats at the grocery store that provided the inspiration. As soon as I saw them, I knew they could be passed up, so I bought them with no plan for using them.

I’ve loved kumquat since the first time I tried them – sour, yet sweet with a great texture they’re hard to beat when their ripe and in season.

I quickly looked through my cupboards and fridge and came up with a quick stir fry of vegetables with jasmine rice with the kumquats.

Jasmine rice is soft, fragrant and flavorful, but the best part is how quickly it cooks. Fifteen minutes on the dot and you’re ready to go. I wish I had thrown in a few kumquats while it was cooking instead of adding them later, but I’ll know for next time.

The vegetables were just a medley zucchini, yellow squash, baby carrots and spinach chiffonade with some dried cilantro all quickly sauteed with some roasted garlic oil, salt and pepper. Easy.

Risotto-Style Israeli Cous Cous, Zucchini, Tomatoes

April 19, 2009

Risotto-Style Israeli Cous Cous

I’ve long been an admirer of Israeli cous cous (sometimes referred to as Lebanese cous cous or pearl pasta), but it’s something of a novelty for my wife, so we tend to use it a lot (in place of rice or pasta).

I had an extra zucchini lying around, as well as a white onion so it was a pretty logical leap to make risotto and it’s almost too easy with Israeli cous cous.

I started by sauteeing my onion in some roasted garlic oil and added my diced zucchini just until it began to soften. The cous cous comes already toasted, so it doesn’t need much more sauteeing, but I did it anyway. I added water until it just barely covered everything in the pot – with a little Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base. Continuous stirring is the key to a good, creamy, sticky risotto, so that’s what I did until almost all of the water was gone.

A little basil pesto, Parma! and diced tomatoes to finish it off and it was all done. Delicious.