chicken zucchini

Chicken stuffed Zucchini

chicken zucchini

Fresh Zucchini is stuffed with hearty chicken and sauce, topped with cheese and baked to perfection making this a delicious low-carb and gluten-free dinner!
These zucchini boats are for low-carb lovers and just about anyone else! We all have those nights when we crave a large slice of pizza or lasagna but don’t want all the carbs at night. With these zucchini boats, you get all the deliciousness without the carbs because the zucchini crust is used as the base.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Servings 6

Ingredients:

• 4 medium zucchini or 8 small

• 1 pound chicken breast

• 1 small can of corn (drained) omit if your diet is strict

•1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1/2 cup onion chopped

• 2 cloves garlic minced

• 1 cup marinara sauce

• 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon pepper

• 1 cup low-fat shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese

chicken zucchini

chicken zucchini

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 190 C/375 F. Slice zucchini in half, and carve them out with a spoon. Chop the zucchini ‘meat’ and set it aside. Line zucchini boats on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased with oil.

2. Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Cook onion for 2-3 minutes or until it begins to golden. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds. Add meat and cook until it’s no longer pink, 3-5 minutes. Add the marinara sauce, zucchini pulp, italian seasoning and salt + pepper. Simmer for 8-10 minutes.

3. Spoon mixture into zucchini boats and top each with shredded cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until zucchini is cooked and the cheesy is fully melted and bubbly

Enjoy!
Myra Xo

 

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mediterranean stuffed peppers

Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

mediterranean stuffed peppers

Stuffed peppers are what dinner dreams are made of, for various reasons;
1). They can be filled ahead of time, and baked when you’re ready making them perfect for a fancy-ish dinner.
2). Fancy enough for a dinner party
3). Financially pleasing, aka cheap to make.
4). Everything in one place, protein, fibre and veggies/vitamins
5). It’s a no-brainer
6). The most delicious dinner I have had in a while

The great thing about stuffed peppers is that everybody likes them, even non-pepper lovers. Probably because the peppers turn so tender and sweet in the oven.
But what I love most about these stuffed peppers, is slicing the leftovers the next day and stuffing them into a sandwich with some of the tomato sauce, so good. That of course if you’re lucky enough to have left overs. Having said that, you can easily double the recipe just to be save. I do also freeze these but have noticed that the peppers do become a little softer, but flavour-wise still awesome.

mediterranean stuffed peppers

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 1 hr

Total Time 1 hr 20 mins

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup white rice uncooked
• 1 cup water
• 2 medium yellow onions chopped fine, about 1 cup
• 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
• 1 tbsp. olive oil
• 2 slices white bread good quality crusts removed
• 2 tbsp. milk
• 1 lb. / 500 gr. ground beef
• ¾ tsp. salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
• 1 tsp. thyme dried
• ½ tsp. oregano dried
• 3 tbsp. pine nuts
• 1 egg yolk
• ¼ tsp. all spice
• ¼ cup chopped parsley more for garnish
• 4 red peppers large
• 1 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 medium onion
• 1 garlic minced
• 1 tbsp. tomato paste
• 1 tbsp. flour
• ½ cup dry white wine
• 1 cup tomato sauce
• 1 cup chicken or beef stock
• ½ cup crème fraiche
• Chopped green onions for garnish

mediterranean stuffed peppers

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C / 350 degrees F
2. Place the rice and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook 20 minutes. Drain and cool, or use leftover rice, about 1 cup.
3. Dry toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat for about a minute, remove and reserve.
4. In a skillet over low heat, heat 1 tbsp. of oil and sautée the chopped onions until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
5. Turn off heat and let cool.
6. In a bowl, place the bread torn into pieces together with the milk and let soak for about 5 minutes.
7. Add the meat to the bowl together with the cooled onion and garlic. Season with the salt, pepper, mustard, thyme, oregano, pine nuts, all spice , parsley and egg yolk.
8. Wash the peppers and make a cut in the middle and carefully open them enough to remove the seeds and membranes.
9. If you are using the regular bell pepper, remove the lid and proceed as above.
10. 10. Arrange peppers in an oiled baking dish. For bell peppers, slice the bottoms of the peppers if necessary so that they will stand upright.
11. 11. Stuff the peppers with the meat mixture, I use my fingers and a spoon to push it all the way into the pepper.
12. 12. For the sauce: heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sautée onion and garlic until almost soft. Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the flour and stir to cook for 30 seconds, gradually add the wine and stock. Add the tomato sauce and stir to combine. Add the teaspoon of sugar. Season to taste. Spoon sauce around the peppers. Cover loosely with tin foil. Place in the middle of the oven. After about 20 minutes, remove the foil.
13. 13. Bake for 45 min to 1 hour in the preheated oven until the peppers are tender.
14. 14. Before serving stir in the crème fraiche.
15. 15. Serve with the sauce and garnish with green onions and reserved parsley.
Great with some french bread to mop up the sauce.

Enjoy!
Myra XO

Baked Beans, three cooking methods

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…Slow Cooker, Oven or Stove Top.

If you have never had home made Baked Beans before, you’re missing out on something very good and comforting. Seriously the first time I had them, I just couldn’t believe how a simple pot of beans could blow me away like that.

The ingredient list may seem long but it’s effortless to throw together.

Throw everything in a pot and that’s it. Dinner done, ok a couple of hours later. If you cook it in a crock pot you don’t even have to stay home.

I’ve given you the cooking times of the three common methods, crock pot, stove and oven. Which ever you prefer. Oven being the authentic way, but all just as good.

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Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 lb. white Beans , soaked overnight in plenty of water

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

4 oz. smoked bacon cut into cubes

2 Bay Leaves

1  2.5 oz can of Tomato Paste

2 tbsp. Pure Blackstrap Molasses

2 tbsp. Maple Syrup

1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard

1 tbsp. Liquid Smoke

1 tbsp. Sweet Smoked Paprika

1 tbsp. stock concentrate, beef or chicken

1 thick slice of salted smoked pork (loin or shoulder), known also as Kasseler

2 tbsp. thick Dark Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp. Himalayan Salt

Black Pepper

1/4 C. Tomato Ketchup

3 C. water

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Method;

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmery. Add diced bacon, garlic, and onion to pan and stir frequently until bacon begins to crisp, about 8-10 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining ingredients.  The liquid should cover the beans by 1/2 inch. Add more water if necessary. Bring to a simmer.

Oven : Preheat oven to 300° F . Transfer to an oven proof dish and cover with foil. Cook without stirring, until the beans are tender and the liquid has thickened, about 6 hours. Check the beans every hour to see if you need to add more water, the beans should be saucy at all times.  For the last hour of cooking, uncover beans.

Slow Cooker : Transfer to slow cooker and cook on high for about 4-5 hours, depending on your slow cooker, so check.

Stove Top : Bring to a simmer and cook for about 2 hours with the lid half on, check for liquid every now and then.

I like to serve the Baked Beans with home made bread.

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If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Passion Kale Salad with Grapes

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Let me introduce you to a new couple,  Passion fruit and Kale. They say opposites attract, right?

Kale being strong, textured, dark and rough, and Passion fruit being delicate, perfumed, sweet and juicy.

These two go together so well. I wanted to find something completely different from the most obvious choices to accompany the kale, giving it sweetness and something  very different.

The addition of Grapes I love because to me they are like little explosions of sweet juice.

The nuts have had a turn in the pan with a bit of honey and salt to give them crunch and flavour. So to make a long story short, I think you’re really gonna like this one and it’s so pretty too.

The essential trick is to massage the Kale long enough for the right texture, it’s also easier to digest this way and it becomes a little softer.

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Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients;

1  12 oz./350 gr. bag of (organic) washed and chopped Kale

juice of half a lemon

1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 tsp Himalayan Salt

1 tbsp. Raw Honey

freshly Black Pepper

1/2 C. red grapes cut in half

1 passion fruit. (wrinkled fruit means sweeter)

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1/3 C. Walnuts roughly chopped

1 tbsp. Honey

a sprinkling of Himalayan Salt

Method;

Get out a tray and cover with parchment paper.

Put a frying pan on to medium heat. Toast the walnuts for  about three minutes until golden, add the salt and honey. Cook for an other minute or so until syrupy and sticky. Take off the heat and pour the nuts onto the tray with parchment paper. Let cool.

Put the Kale in a bowl. Add salt, lemon juice and olive oil. With very clean hands, start massaging and squeezing the kale, for about ten minutes. Until it turns darker and softer.

Spoon out half of the Passion fruit and add the tablespoon honey, incorporate in the kale salad and mix.

Place the Kale on a pretty serving dish or plate. Decorate with the grapes and nuts. Spoon the other half of the passion fruit pulp out on top of the kale salad.

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Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Harvest Pumpkin Salad, baked Halloumi & Chantherelles with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Jerusalem Artichoke au jus with Pancetta, Garlic and Thyme

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Let’s talk about the Jerusalem Artichoke. This knobby little tuber with the resemblance of ginger is an (underestimated) root vegetable.

Jerusalem Artichokes are packed with inulin, a long chain of fructose molecules that us humans have a hard time breaking down.  So that makes it a fibre rather than a starch and has hardly any effect on blood sugar levels. Inulin is also a  prebiotic that stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract that in turn aids digestion and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.

There has been some controversy lately on the internet about this vegetable  whether it’s bad for the tummy, or if it may cause gas or some intolerance. I have to say that I have never had any trouble. Some peope say it’s because of the skin so just peel them to be save.

And although the side effects such as gas only occurs in a small percentage of people, it’s best to know whether you’re one of those people before serving them at your next dinner party. Just try a few and see. They are really worth it.

They are also very healthy, with high fibre, high potassium, good for lowering cholesterol and they boost the immune system. So let’s stay positive and give them a change. They have a delicious nutty flavour and also really do have an artichoke flavour. They are velvety soft on the inside, perfect for fall dishes.

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Ingredients;

1 lb. Jerusalem Artichoke

1 lemon

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

2 tsp. very good quality Beef Broth Concentrate

1/4  C. hot water

2 oz. chopped Pancetta

1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped fine

a few sprigs of thyme

1 tsp. Thyme leafs for decorating

Method;

Halve the lemon, squeeze out the juice and put the juice  into a bowl with plenty of cold water. Peel the jerusalem artichokes, cut away the ends, then cut into two if very long. then drop them into the lemon water to stop them from discolouring.

Heat  the oil and half the butter in a large sauté pan or deep frying pan over a medium heat. Drain the jerusalem artichokes, dry them well, add to the pan. Fry them for 5 minutes until they get a bit golden brown. Add the stock concentrate, move the pan around very gently and add the water, not all at once, safe some for later. Tuck in the thyme sprigs. Partially cover the pan with a lid and leave to cook for  15 minutes until just tender. After ten minutes check and see if you need to add water. Move the jerusalem artichoke around gently so they all get covered in the jus. Be careful not to break the topinambur since they are quite fragile. By the end of cooking the liquid should have evaporated and you should be left with a sticky kind of coating on the chokes.

In an other large frying pan add the rest of the butter and cook the pancetta until just turning golden. Add the garlic and leave to cook for a few seconds. Add to the pan of Jeruslaem Artichokes  and gently toss everything together. Sprinkle over the remaining thyme leafs.

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Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Maple glazed Hazelnuts and Bacon