Grilled Zucchini

“How did you make this?”

The last time I wrote about zucchini was back in 2019 when the same question was asked (probably by the same friend) which motivated me to write down how I make Zucchini, Corn & Red Pepper.

This super simple recipe is the perfect side vegetable when you have your grill fired up and ready for your perfectly seasoned chicken using the world famous Iki Marinade. Three squash will be enough for six side servings.

  • three large zucchini
  • salt and black pepper
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch dried basil
  • grated Parmesan/Romano cheese blend
  1. Heat up your grill.
  2. Scrub and rinse the zucchini. Dry thoroughly.
  3. Cut the ends off then slice each squash lengthwise and each half in half. You want four nice sized chunks each about 3-4 inches long.
  4. Arrange the squash in a baking dish and coat liberally with extra virgin olive oil. Flip the pieces so that they are cut side up.
  5. Lightly sprinkle with salt, onion and garlic powders.
  6. When your grill is nice and hot place the squash pieces onto the grill skin side down. Angle them if you want to make grill marks.
  7. Close the lid and grill for 1-2 minutes. Reposition the squash (for those grill marks) close the lid and grill for another 1-2 minutes.
  8. Flip the squash to cut side down. Repeat #7.
  9. The squash should be firm and cooked through after 8-9 minutes. Remove and place back into the baking dish cut side up.
  10. Lightly sprinkle black pepper, dried basil, and grated cheese.
  11. The zucchini can be served at room temperature or kept in a warmed oven prior to serving. If you use the oven to keep the zucchini warm remember they will continue to cook and might get mushy.
Photo by Ellie Burgin on Pexels.com

Tips and Otherwise Random Thoughts

You’ll note that the black pepper, basil, and cheese are added after grilling. I do this so that these ingredients don’t get burned/grilled off in the cooking process. For the Veganistas out there, leave off the cheese. I happen have a preference for Spanish extra virgin olive oil. The private label brand I buy sneakily substituted EVO from Portugal instead of Spain. Now I like Portuguese olive oil too. I specifically used a baking dish to hold the squash before grilling because I did put the veggies in the oven to keep warm.

The next time I grill zucchini I plan on grilling twice the number of squash. I’ll use the leftover squash in a pasta dish.

Beans for Breakfast – 02.13.22

There is reliable research that suggests that older adults need slightly more protein than younger adults do. A somewhat higher protein intake, especially when combined with resistance training can build muscle in older adults. This increased muscle can help to offset the muscle loss that is a part of the aging process. Muscle loss can increase the risk of falls and keep older people from doing the tasks they’d like to do.

Protein for Older Adults
February 03, 2022 The VRG Blog Editor – https://www.vrg.org/blog/2022/02/03/protein-for-older-adults/

I’ve lost those extra stubborn muffin top pounds. A dental procedure has limited my diet to soft foods. Peanut butter and soft whole wheat bread has been my savior the past few days. Cooked smashed beans too.

Breakfast today was cold cereal soaked in soy milk for about 10 minutes. Soggy cereal never tasted better.

I might make some Vegetarian Badass Black Eyed Peas – 2022 to have for the next few days. Filling, nutritious and smashable.

While no one ever said “I love going to the dentist” the silver lining is I’m back in my skinny jeans.

Applesauce anyone?

Chickpea and Cabbage Soup

There was a head of green cabbage in the fridge that needed to be cooked. So I made a simple saute of cabbage, onions, carrots and garlic then put the entire veggie mix back into the fridge for another day. I spend quite a bit of time being creative with food items in the pantry/freezer/fridge in preparation for massive food shortages in the near future. My WFH coworker likes soup for lunch and I’ve frozen single servings of different soups so we could have different soups together for lunch.

This soup starts with leftover sauteed cabbage. You can always make this soup by starting with a veggie saute if you don’t have leftover cabbage. I always have vegetable broth in the pantry and there were cooked chickpeas in the freezer.

My inspiration came from https://www.thefullhelping.com/spicy-cabbage-chickpea-soup/#recipe but the two recipes are not really the same. The quantities here make about two servings. I didn’t want to make a lot in case I didn’t like it (I liked it).

Accidentally Vegan Chickpea and Cabbage Soup

  • 2 cups leftover green cabbage and vegetables
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or one can, drained and rinsed)
  1. Everyone into a small pot
  2. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer.
  3. Simmer for about 30 minutes
  4. Makes about two servings

Tips

Salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the quantities of spice to taste also. I tossed in some extra garlic powder because I like garlic. Red pepper flakes or hot sauce if you’re into spicy. Subbing pasta or rice for the chickpeas would work nicely (if you can’t or won’t eat beans). This soup freezes well.

Vegetarian Badass Black Eyed Peas – 2022

Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

I make black eyed peas once a year for good luck and good leftovers.  This year will be different. One of my goals for the year is to make black eyed peas more than once a year.

“What’s all the chopping I hear?”

“I’m making a vegetarian version of my world famous Badass Black Eyed Peas.”

“Hmm…”

This recipe makes four servings as I suspect I’ll be the only one eating it.

1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3 carrots, scraped and diced
1 large green pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 T Mexican oregano
1 tsp apiece cumin, paprika
1-2 cups vegetable broth
1 15 ounce can stewed tomatoes
1 cup black eyed peas (dried)
Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Place the dried beans into a bowl large enough to hold the beans when fully plumped up.  Rinse the beans with water several times.  Fill the bowl with fresh water and soak overnight.
  2. In the morning drain then rinse the beans. Drain again.
  3. In a medium size pot heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  4. Saute the onion, and green pepper until softened about five minutes.  Add the garlic and saute another minute.
  5. Add your spices, carrots and saute another minute until aromatic.
  6. Pour the can of stewed tomatoes into the pot. Break up the tomatoes with your stirring spoon.
  7. Add the beans and enough broth to barely cover the beans.
  8. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Partially cover the pot with a lid and let ‘er go for a couple of hours.
  9. Check the pot and stir occasionally to prevent sticking.  Add more broth as the peas cook and the dish thickens.

Salt, pepper, and favorite hot sauce. Season to taste.

End Notes

Note the process starts the evening before if you’re using dried beans. You can always substitute two cans of black eyed peas, drained and rinsed. If you use canned beans, decrease the cooking time on the stove top to around 30 minutes.

I reduced the quantity of dried beans because I think I’ll be the only one eating these beans. There was sufficient salt in both the canned tomatoes and broth so I felt no need to add any more.

Texas Corn Bread or serve over rice.

This dish was inspired by Suzy at https://www.themediterraneandish.com/black-eyed-peas-recipe-greek/.

If you have celery hanging out in the fridge add some at the same step as the spices and carrots.

Beans for Breakfast – 01/15/22

Someone wanted to make a German Chocolate Cake for her birthday. Third store, strike three. Not a single baking bar for this cake to be found. To avoid having the trip become an absolute failure I stocked up on some dried beans. Picked up more beans for my Badass Black Eyed Peas – 2021 and more chickpeas because I like chickpeas. Two pounds of dried beans cost less than three bucks. I love beans not just for their taste, variety and health benefits but also as an excellent way to stretch the food budget.

More Beans Less Beef

We don’t eat meat everyday. Whether you’re looking to improve your health, save money, save the planet, or save a few cows less meat is better. Not that dedicated non-meat eaters need another reason for their lifestyles here you go:

Source: Economists to Cattle Ranchers: Stop Being So Emotional About the Monopolies Devouring Your Family Businesses

Four packing companies control 80% of the cattle industry. Another fine example of profits before people (and animals).

Read more here: https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/economists-to-cattle-ranchers-stop?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjozODkzNjMwNiwicG9zdF9pZCI6NDIyMzI2OTMsIl8iOiJOYUxWSCIsImlhdCI6MTY0MjI1NzA0OSwiZXhwIjoxNjQyMjYwNjQ5LCJpc3MiOiJwdWItMTE1MjQiLCJzdWIiOiJwb3N0LXJlYWN0aW9uIn0.2IlNOUb3jKvQJb27eyofdRCYUa0igNDi1To8xbkyDPs

If you are a bean novice start here: https://usdrybeans.com/

I think I’ll makes some Sweet Potato and White Bean Hummus this week. It’s only around four years since I last made some.

Disclosure: I am not compensated for my fanatical obsession with beans but would gladly accept a sponsorship deal if offered one.

Chapter One – The Future Best Seller

This weekend the writing Mojo returned. I’ve begun exploring bits and pieces of writing from the past and abandoned my pursuit of perfection. A few hours of work, rewrites, and editing produced two short “potato chip” chapters of The Future Best Seller. You’ll find new chapter links in the top menu.

It helps having the day off from my Day Job.

Two chapters done and 38 more to go!

How to Eat More Plants

Start here – https://d-belardo-md.medium.com/top-tips-for-transitioning-to-a-plant-based-diet-or-how-to-just-eat-more-plants-57285947bb68

Originally from New York, Dr. Belardo relocated to Philadelphia after college to start her medical career.  She earned her medical degree (MD) from Drexel University College of Medicine, then completed her 3 year Internal Medicine Residency at Temple University Hospital where she became board certified in Internal Medicine in 2017.  Dr. Belardo completed her 3 year Fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease at Lankenau Heart Institute in 2020.  She is dedicated to being a cardiologist that in addition to traditional medicine, focuses on lifestyle modification, and evidence based nutrition, in order to prevent heart disease. Dr. Belardo is a Preventive Cardiologist in Newport Beach California.

https://www.daniellebelardomd.com/about

If you come here often you’ll notice I am not about reinventing the wheel. When I find useful information I pass it along with full credit to their authors. The tips listed by Dr. Belardo are not new news but may be very useful for your individual health improvement goals.

At Xmas I was at my favorite DIL’s house in Owasso OK (don’t tell Chelsea). While making a cup of coffee I noticed the packaging on a loaf of private label bread that boldly pronounced

A Plant Based Food

A study by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy revealed 7% of Americans surveyed believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

I guess we have to tell people bread comes from plants.