I’ve been all about farmer’s markets this summer. There are a few that run weekly fairly close by, and I’ve been making it a point to go and load up on freshly grown produce (among other things).
I prefer to eat a bit lighter during the summertime. Maybe it’s because it’s hot out, or that I’m sweaty, or not as hungry – who knows. But I always see summer as the opportune time to start taking healthy eating a little more seriously and to add a hefty amount of fruits & veggies to my diet.
I have been buying a ton of zucchini. It’s pretty versatile, and can be prepared in a lot of different ways – all of them delicious, and all of them super filling.
Using my slow cooker over the summer has to be one of my favorite things – it makes each meal simple, I can run errands without worry while my food cooks, and it doesn’t heat up the house like the oven would.
With that being said, not everything tastes great coming out of a slow cooker. To quote one of my former students, everything his mom made in the crockpot “tastes like dried butt”. That’s not what I’m going for.
As of late, the heat and humidity in New York has been unbearable. I usually eat hot food for dinner, but over the past two weeks I’ve been making a lot of different side salads to avoid heating up my house with the oven on. This version of pasta salad uses fresh basil and lemon thyme from the garden, which is a complete game changer. You just don’t get the same punch of flavor from dried herbs as you do with fresh ones.
I absolutely LOVE eating chicken on the bone. When made properly, battered and fried chicken is incredible – the perfect balance of crunchy and juicy. Though delicious and deserving, I feel like fried chicken gets a ton of praise while roasted chicken is overlooked and extremely underrated.
When chicken is roasted to perfection, the peppery seasoned skin develops this beautiful crispness that locks in the moisture of the meat. It’s basically what dreams are made of. That crispy, crunchy, well-seasoned chicken skin is probably one of my favorite things to eat.
School has totally been kicking my ass. So far this year is great, just the beginning of the school year is always so stressful. Getting settled in, and settling in the students (and getting back into the groove of planning and grading) isn’t easy – it’s a labor of love. And it takes up a LOT of free time.
With that being said, I haven’t had the opportunity to post in a while. Luckily, this past weekend was 4 days due to Rosh Hashana – so here’s my opportunity!
Yesterday my husband asked me to make potato salad for one of his lodge meetings (he is a free mason). Neither of us enjoy mayonnaise, so whenever I make salads, they are always vinegar-based instead. NOBODY makes a better potato salad than Oma, my 90-year-old grandmother from Germany.
Something I truly love is a good chicken parmesan – fried golden brown cutlets, drowning in marinara sauce, and oozing with mozzarella cheese.
This was something I needed to eat. I didn’t have any chicken cutlets, only chicken breasts – and I did not feel like pounding them out. I had an abundance of fresh basil and fresh tomatoes from my yard that I wanted to use, and I also have a ton of homemade sauce that my husband froze in batches a few weeks ago. Mozzarella cheese? Check. I also noticed that I had some bonus pepperoni in my cold cut drawer. This was gonna be good.
In my efforts to lighten up my food, I decided to revamp the chicken parm we all know and love. I went the low-carb route, and didn’t use breadcrumbs or fry the chicken… and it was still delicious.
Cilantro has been growing like a weed lately out in the backyard. Since I don’t use it too often in my cooking, I tried giving some of it away. A friend of mine agreed to take some, but then forgot to grab it on her way out the door. Now I have handfuls of cilantro that I need to use.
The humidity has been so overwhelming. I still don’t want to have to turn on the oven, or stand over a hot stove. So this cilantro needed to find its way into a salad.
Three of my good friends came over last night, and we decided to cook dinner together.
Like me, Andrew has certain dietary restrictions. He too is lactose intolerant. He is also on a health kick, and has lost a significant amount of weight in the last few months by going low-carb, low-sugar, and working out.
We wanted Italian food, but didn’t want the guilt of eating pasta. We went over to the grocery store, loaded up on zucchini and some other items, and headed back. With the help of a spiral cutter, we were going to have zoodles.