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    hello there good looking,

    I'm Jodi. I'm a natural foods chef and lover of healthy, wholesome, and tasty foods that have the power to make us look good from the inside out.

    Entries in zucchini (6)

    Tuesday
    Oct012013

    soba noodles with roasted zucchini, cherry tomatoes + swiss chard pesto

    It's been quiet around here recently, and for a good reason. This little space of mine is getting an well-deserved update, and I should be up and running with the new site next week. 

    But while that has been going on behind the scenes, the late summer vegetables are still lingering, in my backyard as well as in the market, and knew I needed to jump back on here and share one last late summer favorite. I hope you haven't moved onto butternut squash on me already.  

    It's kind of that in-between season time right now, the days are still warm but at night the chilly air is sneaking it's way in, and before we know it jackets will make their way back into our daily wardrobe. It right about this time that I start roasting my veggies instead of eating them raw, and this is one of those recipes I will be using to get my last bit of late summer indulgence on. 



     

    This swiss chard pesto is a new one for me and I've been putting it on anything and everything. I've make kale pesto, and I've made plenty of basil varieties, but this swiss chard pesto is going to be a new staple. Plus it is just another way for me to use and freeze the mass amounts of swiss chard I ended up with in my garden this season.

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Aug072013

    heirloom tomato + avocado + zucchini stacks with a tomato almond pesto 

     

    Let's be serious for a second. I'm not fooling anyone with this vegetable stack. 

    You and I both know that stacking vegetables makes them look wayyy better than if I were to just carelessly throw them into a salad.  It's impressive, it's fun, it's thought out, it makes you feel super creative. We should all be stacking more vegetables. 

    It's like when I get my hair blown out, I just feel a little more fancy and little more special. Same hair, same person, just a little something extra. Same tomatoes, same ingredients, but they just look and feel a little more special. 

    When I was at the market the other day, I saw dozens of gorgeous heirloom tomatoes. I wanted to take a bunch home and love them and make them feel special. I didn't want to mutilate them, I wanted to show off their quirky crevices and imperfect shape. I wanted to bring out their juicy texture and taste. I wanted to throw a party and have them be the main event. 

    Well, I ended up making this salad and ate it all by myself for lunch. Tomato party for one .... why not, right? But as I was eating it, I daydreamed about how impressive it would be to walk out with these gorgeous stacks of tomatoes as an appetizer at our next bqq. I am going to do that, I think you should too. 

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Jul112013

    raw summer pad thai

    A funny thing happened the other morning. I was going about my morning routine, running a few errands, when I was stopped by a man on the street. He goes:

    "Excuse me, would you happen to know where the nearest place is that I can buy a julienne peeler?"

    To which I responded "Well, that's funny, because I am actually on my way to buy a julienne peeler."

    (whaaaaaat .... soooo random) 

    Me: "A few blocks away in the Chelsea Market there is a store called Bowery Kitchen. They sell everything, I am almost certain they will have a julienne peeler."

    Guy on street: "Thanks! I am trying to eat healthier, so I thought it would be great for me to buy one so that I can eat more raw veggies."

    Right on guy. Right on. 

     

    The story does not stop there. So, I continue on my way, run a few quick errands, and head over to buy my julienne peeler .... and there's the guy. Scouring the peeler section. I went over to him and said "Looks like you found it!"

    Guy: "Hey! Yeah! I did, but I don't know which one to buy."

    Well, then, of course I went on a bit of a tangent about different peelers, what purpose they each serve, as well as different things you can make with raw vegetables. Raw veggie pasta, raw veggie salad, raw veggie noodle pad thai

    In fact, that's what's been on my mind. Raw pad thai. That's was why I was buying a julienne peeler. 
     

    Last summer I bought this crazy, clunky Japanese spiralizer that I would make noodles with. The problem was, I hated using that thing. It was not very user friendly and it was taking up a lot of precious cabinet space. 

    There's been a lot of talk recently about a julienne peelers, so I thought maybe that would a better solution than my cumbersome spirilizer. WELL. I am telling you. This $5 piece of kitchen equipment will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Seriously people. Life changing. 

    Being able to eat more raw veggies in the summertime, being able to eat my favorite pasta dishes subbing veggies for the bad carbs .... amazing. Yes. Run out and buy one right now. 

    Hold on, I am sure that many of you probably already have a julienne peeler, and many of you have probably already told all of your family, friends, and the checkout person at the grocery store how amazing it is. So, those of you can realte to my level of enthusiasm. 

    The first thing I made with my julienne peeler was this creamy pesto zucchini dish. Seriously delicious.

    The second thing I made was this raw pad thai. I have been dying to make raw pad thai ever since we moved away from my favorite raw foods restaurant, and I am no longer able to order it on the regular. So now that I have my handy fancy julienne peeler I will be making my own. On the regular. 


    So the story ends with me the and the guy each buying our own julienne peelers ... and we go off on our merry ways to live happy, raw veggie filled lives. And, I hope (if you don't already have one) you will go out and do the same. 

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Aug212012

    raw zucchini "pasta" with an avocado & pea pesto // raw, vegan

    I probably wouldn’t describe myself as someone with a green thumb.  It’s not that I am not one with nature, or have no instincts when it comes to plants, it’s probably more because I approach growing things the same way I approach cooking. I prefer to go in blindly with little direction and see what works and what does not.

    I planted my first garden this summer and it was very apparent that this approach probably does not work as well in the garden as it does in the kitchen.  Or maybe it does, depends on how you look at it. I did make a lot of mistakes, and I learned some key lessons from those mistakes, so maybe that will make my garden next year that much better? I sure do hope so.

    Last summer I volunteered one day a week at The Stone Barns Center for Agriculture in their dooryard garden hoping to learn a little from the experts: the passionate farmers and gardeners who work there. I did learn to make a killer trellis from found objects, and I learned about all kinds of plants and vegetables that I had never heard of, but most of all I learned that I had a lot to learn. 

    It was kind of overwhelming, especially for someone with very little knowledge of gardening.  So when it came time to build and plant my garden this summer, I decided that I was not going to try and learn everything. I was just going to plant some seeds, give it some love, and see what happened.

    The result? An out of control amount of zucchini, cucumbers that are popping up in and around my grape tomatoes, and enough pumpkins to charge for hay rides and pumpkin picking in my backyard this October. As well as a bunch of lettuce that never surfaced, and carrots and scallions that I’m certain were eaten by some sneaky little creatures.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Mar262012

    zucchini, red bean & quinoa cakes

    I have a savory tooth. Is that even an expression? Well it is now. 

    If you placed a piece of vanilla cake with vanilla frosting in front of me and a zucchini red bean and quinoa cake and said pick one, I'd no doubt go for the zucchini red bean quinoa cake. 

    Then I'd ask nicely if I can have the vanilla cake back for dessert. 

    I feel that most people would be able to define themselves as either a savory person or a sweet person.  Don't you? It does not mean that you do not enjoy both, it just means that if given the choice between the two, you'd opt for one over the other.

    Since I'm a savory gal, I love savory cakes of all shapes and sizes. These little cakes, however, are my new fav. They're a combination of a couple of different cake recipes we have made recently in class. Zucchini cooks up nicely with the red beans, and the quinoa and millet are used to hold everything together (and make them super awesome). 

    Oh, and in case you didn't know, quinoa cakes are all the rage right now amongst savory and sweet people alike.  If you haven't tried one, you need to go and make these now and find out why. 

     
    zucchini & red bean cakes

    {Inspired by a few differnt recipes I have made in class at The Natural Kitchen Cooking School}

    Makes
    About 6-8 cakes

    Ingredients

    1/2 cup of zucchini, grated (unpeeled)
    1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
    1/2 cup of onion, minced 
    3 cloves of garlic, minced
    1/2 cup of red beans (kidney beans)
    1/2 cup of quinoa, cooked
    1/2 cup of millet, cooked
    2 tablespoons of lemon juice
    salt & pepper

    a couple of tablespoons of grapeseed oil

    optional garnishes: lemon, parsley, sesame seeds

    Directions

    • Place the grated zucchini into a strainer in the sink or over a bowl and rub the 1/2 teaspoon of salt into it. Let it drain for about 20 minutes. 
    • While the zucchini is draining, sauté the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, until they are browned. 
    • Then, in a large bowl, smash the red beans with a fork until they form a thick paste. Then add in the other ingredients for the cakes: zucchini, onion, garlic, quinoa, millet, and lemon juice, and then season with salt and pepper. 
    • Once all of your ingredients are combined, form the mixture into small patties. 
    • To cook the patties, heat up a couple of tablespoons of the grapeseed oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat.  Add the cakes, as many as will fit comfortably in the pan, and cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side (until they are browned).  Be careful when you're flipping the cakes, they can fall apart easily if you're not gentle with them.  
    • When they're cooked on both side, transfer to a plate and garish with the optional lemon juice, parsley, or sesame seeds. Serve warm. 

    Enjoy.