Tag Archives: zucchini

Slow-Cooker Black Bean and Zucchini Chili

As I’m sure you’ve heard, we are supposed to get a little bit of snow here in the Northeast. I’m not someone who panics and runs to the grocery store when a storm is coming (although maybe I should) but I did happen to pick up a few things anyway. I did a lot of cooking this weekend so I have plenty of food to get me by (assuming I don’t lose power). After a quick trip to the produce stand on Saturday, I decided to use some extra zucchini for this Slow-Cooker Black Bean and Zucchini Chili. Warm and hearty, this chili will hopefully keep me warm while it snows.

Ground turkey (the recipe calls for beef), zucchini, black beans, onion, fire-roasted tomatoes and seasonings are combined in a slow-cooker where the meat melts into the sauce. Because I used ground turkey, I only cooked this chili for about 3 1/2 hours on high and it turned out perfect. The fire-roasted tomatoes given this chili so much flavor while the zucchini and beans help make it hearty. I’m really happy to nosh on this over the next few days. Now I just have to pray that I don’t lose power. Cold chili just isn’t the same.

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In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the meat, tomatoes, beans, zucchini, onions, tomato paste, garlic, chili powder, oregano, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.

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Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (this will shorten total recipe time).

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Serve the remaining chili with the sour cream, avocado, and cilantro.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Real Simple magazine

Zucchini Tart with Crumbled Sausage and Dijon

I’ve become a big fan of puff pastry.  What’s more simple than thawing out some frozen dough and having the result be flaky and buttery without you doing a lick of the work to get it that way?  Last week I brought you a pizza made with phyllo (which I loved) and this week I bring you something similar.  This Zucchini Tart with Crumbled Sausage and Dijon isn’t technically a pizza but it’s just as simple.

Puff pastry is thawed and topped with Dijon mustard, browned turkey sausage and thinly sliced fresh zucchini before being baked until golden and puffy.  For so few ingredients, you might think that this could be bland – at least I did.  But I’ll tell you what, the Dijon adds such a pop of flavor to the tasty sausage that I was almost thankful for the mild zucchini (of course you can always use hot sausage instead for an even bigger punch).  Any other flavor might have taken this tart right over the edge.  I do recommend going on the lighter side with the Dijon because a little really does go a long way.  Make this tart for people and I guarantee it won’t stand a chance.

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The ingredients:

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Heat oven to 400° F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until cooked partway through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon; reserve the skillet.

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Add the zucchini, 2 tablespoons water, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the drippings in the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.

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Unfold the pastry on a baking sheet and prick all over with a fork, leaving a ½-inch border around the dough. Spread the mustard on the pastry (avoiding the border); top with the zucchini and sausage. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

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Cut the tart into 8 pieces.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Sweet turkey sausage

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Real Simple magazine

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I hope that putting vegetables in your baked goods doesn’t freak you out.  Some people are no stranger to zucchini bread, muffins or pancakes while others, who’ve never tried it, cringe at the very thought. These just might be the same people who can’t stand any fruit in their salad.  (Sorry, I just don’t get it.)  I know someone who would never go near a cake with zucchini in it like this Chocolate Zucchini Cake, but I’m all for it.  Would I ever sit down and make a chocolate cake for no reason if I couldn’t justify it?  Well…probably.  But regardless, somehow in my whacked out brain, zucchini justifies it.

Chocolate cake batter, flavored with cocoa, reduced-fat cream cheese and reduced-fat buttermilk, is made even more healthy with the addition of shredded zucchini.  An extra toss of chocolate chips in the batter along with the mocha-like chocolate drizzle on top only establishes this a decadent chocolate cake.  The zucchini not only adds a healthy component to this cake but it also helps it to stay moist so your aren’t left with a dry clunky dessert.  If you handed a piece of this cake to someone and didn’t tell them zucchini was in it, they’d never know unless they inspected the tiny green flakes in each piece. So why not give yourself a break and make yourself a chocolate cake? You really don’t need to justify it.

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 350°F. To prepare cake, coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; dust pan with 1 tablespoon flour. Place sugars, cream cheese, and vegetable oil in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

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Lightly spoon 2 1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine 2 1/2 cups flour and next 5 ingredients (2 1/2 cups flour through cinnamon) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

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Stir in zucchini, 2/3 cup chocolate chips, and nuts.

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Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

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To prepare glaze, combine 3/4 cup powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons cocoa in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

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Combine milk, 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, coffee, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in a 1-cup glass measure. Microwave at medium 45 seconds or until chocolate melts, stirring after 20 seconds. Combine powdered sugar mixture with chocolate mixture, stirring with a whisk.

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Drizzle glaze over cake.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

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