Zucchini Pizza Slices

We always eat our main meal on Sunday after our morning worship service. And we always have the same foods! There is something comforting to having the same big Sunday dinner each week. Our kids grew up with beef roast, gravy, rice or mashed potatoes, and broccoli with cheese sauce each week. It was something they looked forward to! They still do if they happen to be home on the weekend! I mean, really! Sunday dinner is just not the same without them!

Having the main meal in the middle of the day means that I don’t cook anything fancy after our evening church service. Often, I make flat bread pizza for the hubby and myself. Yesterday, though, I wanted to try something different. And I did have a zucchini in the fridge that needed to be used!

This is based on a recipe that I saw on a cooking video over on Face Book. Unfortunately, I can’t remember which group shared it! I thought it was from Tasty, but when I did a search on their page, it did not come up. I really do want to give credit to the creator of this amazing dish, but, alas, I can not!

We’ve been eating a lot from our garden in recent weeks…fresh tomatoes, hot peppers, figs, peaches, basil, green onions, and garlic…to name just a few items! I even got some tomatoes canned this afternoon! The zucchini has not been as prolific this summer as it usually is, but we did get a few. The most recent one was rather large! It was about 2 inches in diameter and about 10 inches long! Usually, the large ones don’t taste as tender and delicious as the smaller ones, but this one was fine for the pizza slices!  I had my doubts as to whether the hubby would like this recipe, but he loved it! I had no leftovers!

As usual, I don’t have actual amounts for the ingredients. I just created the pizza slices with the pizza toppings that I had on hand. Use your own creativity to make yours! I love that it is THM-friendly!

  • Pizza Sauce
  • Pepperoni slices
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Onion and garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • 1 large zucchini

Wash and slice the zucchini. I cut mine about 1/4 inch thick. Lightly spray a cookie sheet and place the zucchini slices on the pan. Spread about 1 tbsp. of pizza sauce on each piece of zucchini. Place one slice of pepperoni on top of the sauce. *The video showed the pepperoni being cut into tiny circles. That seemed like too much work for me! One large slice of pepperoni one each zucchini slice works well! Sprinkle each slice with the cheeses and the spices.

Bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

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Roasted Vegetables

It’s not very often any more that we have company over for dinner. However, our dear friends from Northern Ireland were going to be in town for 3 weeks, and we always have them over for dinner when they are here in town. Of course, I always wonder what I should serve for dinner when they come, knowing that they are invited out for dinner a lot while they are here. I asked the guys what they thought, and both of them said Alfredo sauce! I had been thinking of chicken, so I thought that serving the chicken with Alfredo sauce was a great idea. Serving a nice green leafy salad was a given since I knew that they loved good salads.  The hubby had some fresh new potatoes that he dug up the morning of the meal, so I needed a way to serve them as well as a hot veggie dish.

It wasn’t hard to come up with this roasted vegetable dish. It was fast and easy to make and absolutely delicious!  This recipe serves about 10, depending on how much everyone eats. I served the leftovers in a brothy soup on Saturday for lunch.

Doesn’t this look amazing?

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You can use just about any veggies that you want. Here is how I made mine. I didn’t use peppers since one of our guests has a severe allergy to peppers, but next time, I will probably add them.

1 large zucchini

1 large summer squash

1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium red onion

several carrots, peeled and cut up into small pieces, about 1-1/2 cups

2 medium broccoli crowns

about 1-1/2 cups chopped mushrooms

1 medium head cauliflower

about 7-8 new red potatoes, cut into 4ths

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 c. olive oil

salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, parsley, and any other seasonings you desire

Wash and cut up the veggies into bite-sized pieces. Place all of them into a very large bowl for easy stirring. Combine the seasonings and olive oil. Pour over the veggies and stir well to coat all of the veggies.

Lightly spray a large jelly-roll pan. Spread the veggies out on the pan. Bake in a 425 oven for about 12 minutes. Remove pan and stir the veggies to turn them over. Return it to the oven and bake about 10 more minutes or until veggies are tender. **Watch them carefully!! You don’t want them to burn!

Zucchini Boats

I got to spend some time this weekend with my sweet little grandgirl. Oh my, does this child love her apples! She’s a mess!

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I’ve been looking for some new recipes lately to help the hubby get back on track with his eating habits. I found a recipe tonight in the new THM cookbook and was pleasantly surprised that I could play around with it a little and make it something to his liking but still have it low-carb. You know me…I almost always change up recipes! I used  ground sausage instead of the called-for chicken chunks. I also added some seasonings along the way.

about 3-4 medium zucchini squash

3/4 lb. ground sausage

1/2 medium onion, diced

1 tsp. minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

one medium tomato, diced

sprinkling of basil, ground red pepper, and oregano

mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400*. Cut the zucchini lengthwise and hollow out the middle. Spray a cookie sheet lightly with coconut oil. Place the zucchini boats on the sheet and bake about 10 minutes.

While zucchini is baking, brown the sausage with the onion and garlic. Drain off any fat. Add the salt, pepper, basil, ground red pepper, and oregano. Stir well to incorporate spices. Add diced tomato and stir.

Scoop the meat mixture into the zucchini boats. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Return pan to oven for an additional 8 minutes or so. Zucchini should be tender and cheese melted.

Any leftover meat mixture can be served in a bowl with mozzarella cheese melted over the top.

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Summer Squash Medley

For the last few days, we have enjoyed a rare cold snap here in the South.  It is rare because at this time of year, we usually experience temperatures in the mid-80’s.  Our highs have been in the low 60’s during the day and even hit the upper 40’s for several nights.  I. LOVE. IT!!!   Today and the next several days promise the return of the normal mid-to-upper 80’s.

Such warmth will bring new growth to our vegetable garden. I am looking forward to fresh tomatoes, and the hubby can’t wait for his hot peppers.  Although I didn’t plant zucchini or yellow squash this year, I do look forward to purchasing some at our local farmers’ market.  One grocery store has them on sale this week, so I got a few and found this wonderful recipe in my 2007 edition of The Best of Country Cooking cookbook.  It tastes like summer!

1 medium yellow squash, halved and sliced

1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced

3/4 c. chopped onion

4 strips bacon

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. each of salt, dried basil, dried oregano, chili powder, and garlic powder

1/4 tsp. pepper

1-1/2 c. diced fresh tomatoes

 

Place about 1 inch of water in a saucepan. Add squash and zucchini. Bring to a boil and cook for 4-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and set aside. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy.  Drain on paper towel and crumble into small pieces.  Keep about 1 tbsp. of bacon fat in the skillet. Saute onion until tender. Add squash, brown sugar, and seasonings. Stir in tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle each serving with bacon pieces.

*I used tomato chunks that I had canned from last summer instead of fresh tomatoes. Still tasted wonderful!

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Making use of the garden goodness

As I mentioned in my last post, the summer went by all too quickly.  I did manage, however, to finally get my kitchen/dining room painted!  After 11 years with the same white walls, this is a definite improvement!  The color is Hazelnut Creme!

While some of our fruit trees and bushes did well this growing season, our garden left a lot to be desired.  Whether it was too wet and then too dry, or too hot for too long, the point is that the results of our labor in the garden were slim!  The hot peppers produced the most.  We had a few tomatoes, but I longed for more for canning and home-made salsa.  Tim had to make an unexpected trip to PA last week and brought me some very nice tomatoes and zucchini grown by Mennonite farmers nearby his parents’ home.  Here are two recipes for making the best use of these two garden veggies.

Zesty Zucchini Skillet

4 c. chopped zucchini

1 c. chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. dried oregano (I used Italian seasoning)

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 c. picante sauce (I used salsa)

1 med. tomato, peeled and chopped

1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I used cheddar)

In a large skillet, saute the zucchini, onion, and garlic in oil for 2 minutes. Add cumin, oregano, and salt.  Stir in picante sauce; cook and stir for 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add tomato; cook for 1-2 more minutes or until heated through.  Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese.

This recipe brought rave reviews from both Russ and Ben, who normally don’t like zucchini!

Fresh Salsa

10 medium tomatoes

1 lg. bunch cilantro (I use half)

1 bunch green onions

1 medium/large red onion

1 clove garlic

1 green bell pepper

8-10 hot chili peppers (or whatever variety of hot pepper you enjoy)

1 lemon

pickling salt to taste–about 2 tbsp.

Process all vegetables coarsely in food processor. Mix together in large mixing bowl.  Squeeze the juice of the lemon over mixture and add the salt.  Stir together.   Makes about 2 quarts.   I have also added yellow, red, or orange bell peppers.

Although my kids prefer the cooked salsa I make, this fresh salsa is Tim’s favorite!  Enjoy!