Spicy Summer Supper

I really am all about the Tex-Mex this week, and this dinner was no different. One of my favorite combinations is quinoa with corn and zucchini. Often, I make it with goat cheese and basil and it is a light dish perfect for a hot summer evening. This time, I wanted to try something a little different and found a Southwest version using the same main ingredients. It turned out delicious and brought out a completely different flavor profile than my usual.

Southwest Zucchini and Corn Quinoa
Adapted from Closet Cooking 

Serves 4

1/2 batch taco seasoning (see below)
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
3 ears of corn
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
3/4 cup queso blanco, crumbled

First, mix the taco seasoning, water, and quinoa in a medium sauce pan and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes until the water is absorbed, the quinoa is tender, and the little white spirals show. Fluff with a fork and keep covered until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, cut the corn kernels off the cob and saute with the zucchini and jalapeño in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Saute until everything has softened a bit (about 7 minutes).
This corn is so sweet and creamy! Hard to beat.
To serve, put 1/4 cup of quinoa in a bowl, top with 1/4 of the veggies, a handful of cheese and 1/4 of the cilantro. So delicious and just spicy enough!

 

Taco Seasoning

Also adapted from Closet Cooking

Mix together the following in a small bowl.

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Note: The original quinoa recipe calls for (and I used) a full batch of taco seasoning to be cooked with the quinoa. I think 1/2 to 3/4 of a batch would be better…it got a little gritty with all these spices. Plus, I like the taste of quinoa and couldn’t taste it at all with the full batch used. To add some extra heat, you could always use a hotter pepper in the saute, another jalapeño, or even some cayenne. Yum!
~CM
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This Week’s Selection Furthers My Tex-Mex Hankerings

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Something about the heat and spending time at the beach leaves me with various Tex-Mex/Southwestern/Tropical flavor joneses and the veggies in this week’s CSA share will help me continue in that vein! The complete haul A jalapeño pepper and cilantro Wax beans, another jalapeño, carrots, and one of the four ears of corn rainbow chard … Continue reading

A Meal in Three-Part Harmony

This dinner didn’t really go together, but each part worked and was delicious, so we’ll do this a little differently tonight!

Part 1 – Summer Borscht

I love borscht. Which, I suppose, shouldn’t be too surprising based on my undying love for beets. When I was puppysitting for my in-laws last week, I got to watch some TV (my husband and I don’t have one) and tuned in to the Food Network, one of my favorites. Ina Garten was making a summer borscht and I couldn’t wait to try it once I got more beets.

This made an amazing meal and was even better the next day for lunch. Plus, it just kept getting more and more pink, which is always fun!

Cold Summer Borscht (adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe)

Serves 4

4 medium beets, cleaned with the tops cut off

1 cup chicken broth

3/4 cup beet cooking liquid

8 ounces low-fat sour cream

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons sugar

Juice from 1/2 a lemon

1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar

1 cup English cucumber

2 green onions, chopped

1 tablespoon dried dill

Salt and pepper

First, cook the beets in a medium pot of salted water and boil, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Place beets in a bowl of cold water to cool and set aside 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid to cool.

While the beets are cooking, whisk together the chicken stock, sour cream, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, pepper (about 1 teaspoon), and the dill in a large bowl. Put the bowl in the fridge to allow the flavors to meld.

Seed and chop the cucumber (about 1/2 an English cucumber).

Peel and chop the beets into small cubes. Add the beets, green onions, and cucumbers to the soup and put back into the fridge for at least 2 hours, the more the better.

This is what the soup looked like at first…just a hint of pink.

Part 2 – A New Take On Zucchini Bread

Zucchini is the bumper crop right now and I’ve been doing everything I can to use it up. I love zucchini bread, but wanted to try something a bit more savory. I found this great recipe for a whole-wheat zucchini bread-maker bread. It came out delicious and ended up being a perfect compliment to the borscht.

Whole Wheat Zucchini Herb Bread

adapted from a recipe by Barb Gertz

(Makes a 2 lb loaf)

2 cups bread flour

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 cup shredded zucchini

1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

3/4 cup water

2 teaspoons dry active yeast

Add these ingredients in the order recommended by your breadmaker and bake it on the Whole Wheat setting. Make sure you do NOT drain the zucchini like you might for other baking situations…it’s important to have the moisture.

This was particularly good toasted with a bit of butter

Part 3 – Deep Dish Peach Pie

Now, deep dish peach pie is one of my family’s favorites and this was my first attempt at this super easy and delicious summer dessert. This recipe is one I’ve wanted to share for the while, but the photos, well, they’re to show you that I am not ashamed of my kitchen foibles. Okay, well maybe I’m a little ashamed, but I’ll share them anyway.

I burnt this! My husband affectionally referred to this as the “Pie of Mordor”. It was bubbling and looking very sinister when it first came out of the oven…like molten lava! Oops!

Deep Dish Peach Pie

(My mother’s recipe)

1 cup flour

1 cup milk

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 large can of peaches in heavy syrup

Cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix first four ingredients in a deep casserole dish. Pour the can of peaches over the mixture with the syrup included and do NOT stir. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and bake for about 1 hour (or maybe less if my Pie of Mordor is any indication). Delicious served with vanilla ice cream!

Yes, we ate it anyway. What? It’s dessert!

~CM

Pretty Veggies to Beat the Heat

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Ok, so they don’t actually help me beat the heat. But at least they’re nice to look at this week! I traded my Romaine lettuce for more beets, because I’m all salad-ed out for the moment. This week’s supply has some exciting new contenders as well. Without further ado… Quite a selection this week. Onion, … Continue reading

Mid-Summer Variety

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I took a lot of photos of our haul this week since we had some new varieties and everything looked so lovely and fresh, so today will be mostly photos. I’m in the middle of a new and exciting experiment. The post of it will be up on Friday…my husband and I are taking a … Continue reading