curried zucchini and swiss chard

curried zucchini, swiss chard, platter

The last time I had this dish, we were packing up our apartment. We were moving. Amidst all of the chaos, I was starving of course. In the fridge we only had 1 zucchini, a sad looking bag of spinach, and a bottle of Gatorade or something. Mmm, just what I had in mind…

I didn’t have time to be picky so I quickly shut the fridge. I waited. I opened it again. Nothing. Still the same stuff inside. As if opening and closing the fridge was going to magically produce some new kind of food. Why do we all do that?

sliced zucchini, swiss chard, scallions, curry

So I ended up throwing everything into a pan (no, not the Gatorade) and sauteing it with a little curry powder. Don’t even ask me where I found curry powder or more importantly, how old it was. I threw in a couple of raisins too. And let me tell you, this little creation was delicious. Who knew?

As with most off-the-cuff creations, I never write down the ingredients and then I completely forget the dish altogether. Until something like this shows up…

zucchini

…a lifetime supply of zucchini, courtesy of my CSA farm share.

Something triggered my recipe index and I remembered that curried zucchini/spinach dish from 4 years ago.

This time around I swapped out the spinach for swiss chard (also courtesy of my CSA) and left out the raisins (those are under strict surveillance by my 3 year old).

This is a wonderful side dish to accompany grilled meat or flaky white fish. If you prefer, serve it as the main event with a side of rice.

curried zucchini, swiss chard, plate

What is your favorite off-the-cuff creation?

curried zucchini and swiss chard
 
Author:
Serves: 2 hungry people
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard, or 1 (16 oz) bag of spinach
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, white and light green part
  • ¼ tsp. curry powder
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • splash of olive oil
  • a bunch of lemons
  • jasmine rice (optional)
Instructions
  1. Wash and trim your swiss chard. Remove the stems and the large center vein (you can do this by folding the leaf in half and running your knife vertically down the side). Chop into pieces.
  2. Thinly slice your zucchini. A mandoline is best for this.
  3. Thinly slice your scallions.
  4. In a large, wide saute pan heat 1 tbsp. of butter with a splash of olive oil. Medium heat is good.
  5. Add your scallions and saute for 1 minute. Add a large handful of swiss chard and saute in batches. As is starts to wilt, you can add more. Your swiss chard is done when it tastes tender, not tough. This should take about about 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and give it a taste.
  6. Using tongs, remove swiss chard from the pan squeezing out any excess liquid. Set aside on a platter and keep warm.
  7. In the same pan, heat 1 tbsp. of butter with a splash of olive oil. Add the curry powder and warm it through to bring out its flavor, about 1 minute.
  8. Add the zucchini and saute for about 3-5 minutes (the thinner they are, the faster they'll cook). Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Sprinkle the zucchini over your swiss chard and squeeze some lemon over the top.
  10. Serve with extra lemon wedges and jasmine rice if desired.
Notes
* Only the zucchini are sauteed in the curry powder, not the swiss chard. This keeps the curry flavor mild. * Swiss chard wilts down a lot, so double this recipe to serve more people. Pictures make everything seem bigger!

homemade miso dressing

miso dressing, greens

I’m a big fan of homemade salad dressings.

They’re quite simple and inexpensive to make. In my dream fridge, I’d have an array of homemade dressings all lined up in cute little jars waiting to be used at my leisure. In my real fridge (crammed in between the leftovers), I usually have just one dressing; my good old stand by of olive oil, vinegar and dijon mustard.

Then I discovered miso.

miso dressing jar

Miso dressing is a Japanese style concoction made from buttery, white miso paste. It also contains honey, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil which gives it that nutty, salty, sweet taste. Need I say more?

My favorite way to eat it is drizzled over avocados. It’s also great in salads with carrots and cucumbers, and is absolutely delicious over grilled tuna. My 3 year old enjoys it with raw broccoli. Yeah that’s right, raw broccoli.

miso dressing, avocado, greens

 

If you’ve never made your own salad dressing before, this recipe is incredibly easy. Just throw everything in the blender and hit the button. That’s it. It will keep in an air tight jar for about a week (if it even makes it that long). This stuff is highly addictive.

homemade miso dressing
 
Author:
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp. white miso*
  • ¼-1/2 garlic clove (depending on how much you like)
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. mirin
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup vegetable or mild olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. water
*To make this gluten-free, be sure to look for brown-rice based white miso. Gluten-free brands include Eden Foods & South River Miso.
Instructions
  1. Blitz everything together in a mini food processor or blender. Add additional water if it seems too thick.
  2. Store dressing in an air tight jar in the fridge. It will keep for about a week.

white peach cooler

white peach cooler, glass

Summer has bestowed itself upon us. It’s hot. This is a wonderfully light and refreshing cocktail perfect to sip on while basking in the sun. It’s made from fresh white peaches, peach infused vodka, and a hint of lime.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can make the peach purée in advance. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, or you can pop it into the freezer in ice cube trays. Seeking out peach vodka is definitely a must. It really enhances the natural flavor of the white peach (you can always substitute with regular vodka, but it won’t quite taste the same!)

Make a big batch of this cooler for your next barbecue party and you’ll have friends for life.

Now if I could only get that inground pool…

white peaches, ceramic measuring bowl

chopped white peacheswhite peach puree, ceramic measuring bowl

sliced white peaches

white peach cooler
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
Puree:
  • 6 white peaches
  • 1-2 tbsp. of sugar, depending on sweetness
  • ¼ c. water
  • 2 limes
Drink (for 1 person):
  • 1 oz. (2 tbsp.) of peach puree
  • 1 oz. (2 tbsp.) of peach vodka, such as absolut
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • splash of club soda
Garnish:
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • extra limes
Instructions
  1. Wash and pit your peaches. Leave the skin on.
  2. To make the puree, chop up your peaches and pour them into a large pot. Add the sugar, water, and the juice of 2 limes. Simmer over medium heat until the fruit is soft and broken down. This should take about about 20 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
  4. If you want a smooth puree, strain the mixture. This step is optional. Set aside to cool.
  5. Fill a large glass with ice. Stir in your peach puree and vodka. Add a splash of club soda and lime juice, and give it a taste. Adjust to your liking. Garnish with mint and extra lime.
Notes
* This recipe yields enough peach puree for 6-8 drinks. The ingredients above makes 1 drink. * Freeze any extra puree in ice cube trays. Store in freezer bags. They will keep for about 3 months. * If you can't find white peaches, substitute with regular peaches or peach nectar.