Zucchini, Walnut, and Feta Cakes with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

I loved this dinner! I’ve made zucchini “cakes” in the past that didn’t hold together very well. This recipe, using ground quinoa instead of flour (pretty clever for extra protein) and ground walnuts, wasn’t runny and made perfect cakes. Key to this is getting as much liquid as you can out of the zucchini. The sauce was great too and can be used for other things. (I used Fage Greek yogurt.)

I let the zucchini sit for nearly 30 minutes instead of 10 and then used paper towels to get out the remaining water.

zucchini cakes

Yield: 4 –  2 cakes per serving + 1/4 cup yogurt sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
4 1/2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 2/3 cup)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (6-ounce) container plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups mixed salad greens (about 2 ounces)

Preparation:

  1. Place quinoa in a mini food processor; process 1 minute or until finely ground. Add chopped walnuts to processor; process until smooth.
  2. Place zucchini in a colander, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss well. Let stand 10 minutes, tossing occasion­ally.
  3. Press zucchini between paper towels until barely moist.
  4. Combine zucchini, green onions, dill, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, cheese, and eggs in a large bowl; stir to combine.
  5. Sprinkle quinoa mixture over zucchini mixture; stir well to combine.
  6. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat.
  8. Add 4 (1/3-cup) zucchini batter mounds to pan; flatten into 3-inch cakes.
  9. Cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned.
  10. Remove from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and batter to yield 8 cakes total.
  11. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, yogurt, cucumber, and garlic in a small bowl.
  12. Divide greens evenly among 4 plates. Top each serving with 2 cakes and about 1/4 cup cucumber mixture.
  13. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information:
Calories 336
Fat 19.2 g
Satfat 4.7 g
Monofat 6.9 g
Polyfat 5.5 g
Protein 18 g
Carbohydrate 27 g
Fiber 5 g
Cholesterol 101 mg
Iron 3 mg
Sodium 589 mg
Calcium 175 mg

Recipe from Cooking Light, May 2014

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Grilled Corn and Snap Pea Salad

Nothing says summer like fresh corn. This was amazing – really fresh and full of flavor. Since I wasn’t going to a picnic and only feeding three, I halved the recipe, which is from July 2016 Cooking Light.

grilled corn and snap pea

 Yield: Serves 15 (serving size: 1/2 cup)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds sugar snap peas, trimmed and strings removed
6 ears summer corn with husks
1 cup very thinly sliced green onions
7 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 serrano chile, minced

Preparation:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add snap peas; cook 3 minutes. Drain and rinse snap peas under cold water.
  2. Preheat grill to high.
  3. Soak corn in cold water 10 minutes; shake off excess water. Grill corn 20 minutes, turning frequently. Cool corn, in husks, 10 minutes. Shuck corn; discard husks and silk.
  4. Cut kernels from corn; place in a large bowl. Add snap peas and onions.
  5. Combine olive oil and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Add to corn mixture, tossing to coat.

Nutritional Information:
Calories 117
Fat 7 g
Satfat 1 g
Monofat 4.8 g
Polyfat 0.9 g
Protein 3 g
Carbohydrate 13 g
Fiber 2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Iron 1 mg
Sodium 203 mg
Calcium 27 mg
Sugars 6 g
Est. Added Sugars 1 g

Watermelon and Arugula Chicken Salad

Looking for a light, refreshing and easy recipe? Try this from the June 2016 Cooking Light magazine. On top of being light and refreshing, it was also very satisfying and quick to pull together. I loved it and will make it again!

arugulawatermelon1

Ingredients:

4 cups cubed fresh watermelon
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 (5-ounce) package arugula
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
8 ounces skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast, shredded (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

  1. Combine watermelon, onion, mint, and arugula in a large bowl.
  2. Add almonds and chicken; toss to combine.
  3. Combine oil, rind, juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  4. Add oil mixture to watermelon mixture; toss gently to coat.

 

Nutritional Information:
Calories 238
Fat 12.1 g
Satfat 1.7 g
Monofat 7.6 g
Polyfat 1.9 g
Protein 20 g
Carbohydrate 16 g
Fiber 2 g
Cholesterol 50 mg
Iron 1 mg
Sodium 445 mg
Calcium 96 mg
Sugars 11 g
Est. Added Sugars 0 g

Feta and Green Onion Couscous Cakes over Tomato-Olive Salad

This is an incredible recipe, one that had to make the blog. Easy and delicious – I can’t wait to make it again. The tomato olive salad really complimented the cakes. I got this recipe from Cooking Light, June 2009.

feta couscous cakes2

 

Ingredients:

CAKES:
1/3 cup uncooked whole-wheat couscous
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons egg substitute
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
Cooking spray

SALAD:
2/3 cup chopped seeded tomato
2 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups gourmet salad greens

Preparation:

To prepare cakes:

  1. Place couscous in a medium bowl
  2. Stir in 1/2 cup boiling water.
  3. Cover and let stand 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  4. Fluff with a fork and cool slightly.
  5. Add cheese and the next 3 ingredients (through pepper).
  6. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.
  7. Spoon about 1/3 cup couscous mixture into 4 mounds in pan.
  8. Lightly press with a spatula to flatten to 1/2 inch.
  9. Cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
  10. Coat tops of cakes with cooking spray.
  11. Carefully turn cakes over; cook 2 minutes or until heated.

To prepare salad:

  1. Combine tomato and next 5 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon pepper).
  2. Arrange 1 1/2 cups greens on each of 2 plates.
  3. Top each serving with 1/2 cup tomato mixture.
  4. Arrange 2 cakes over tomato mixture.

 

Nutritional Information:
Calories 289
Fat 14 g
Satfat 3.6 g
Monofat 8.1 g
Polyfat 1.8 g
Protein 10.7 g
Carbohydrate 30.6 g
Fiber 4.4 g
Cholesterol 13 mg
Iron 2.7 mg
Sodium 478 mg
Calcium 154 mg

Cuban Black Bean Soup

This recipe is from Cooking Light, January/February 2008. It’s Super Bowl Sunday and we went for a really long walk and are now back getting ready to watch the half time show (we recorded). 🙂

IMG_1759

I’m not a fan of green bell peppers so I used red, yellow and orange ones instead. In hindsight, I should have cut out the sugar given this switch. It didn’t need sugar at all. I also added more salt than the recipe called for – I kept tasting until it was right so I don’t know how much.

We researched a wine pairing for this and landed on a 2009 Malbec from Imagery Winery. A red with little to no tannins. Yummy pairing and meal.

Ingredients:
2 bay leaves
1 pound dried black beans
12 1/2 cups water, divided
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper (about 3 medium)
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped shallots (about 2 small)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups diced peeled avocado
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cups thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 cups chopped 33%-less-sodium smoked, fully cooked ham
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup light sour cream
10 teaspoon unsalted pumpkinseed kernels, toasted
1/3 cup finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper (about 2 medium)
Lime wedges (optional)

Preparation:
Place bay leaves and beans in a Dutch oven. Add 12 cups water to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 1/2 hours or until tender, stirring occasionally.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add bell pepper, chopped onion, and shallots to pan; cook 10 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently.
Stir in cumin, dried oregano, and fresh oregano; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes.
Place vegetable mixture in a blender; add remaining 1/2 cup water. Puree until smooth.
Add vegetable mixture, sugar, and salt to beans; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Discard bay leaves.
Combine avocado and juice; toss gently.
Ladle 3/4 cup bean mixture into each of 10 bowls; top each serving with about 3 tablespoons avocado mixture, about 3 tablespoons red onion, 2 tablespoons ham, about 1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro, about 1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream, 1 teaspoon pumpkinseed kernels, and about 1/2 teaspoon jalapeño pepper. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.
Serves 10 (see No. 10 above for serving size)

Nutritional Information:
Calories 344
Caloriesfromfat 31 %
Fat 12 g
Satfat 3.4 g
Monofat 5.7 g
Polyfat 2.3 g
Protein 18.6 g
Carbohydrate 43.9 g
Fiber 14.7 g
Cholesterol 14 mg
Iron 6.1 mg
Sodium 637 mg
Calcium 110 mg

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Shallots

It feels like it’s the first day of fall however it’s the middle of October and it’s still in the 70s. I want it to be fall dammit, so we’re having soup.

This recipe is from Cooking Light. I added in a small red onion because I didn’t have four shallots and added way more ginger than the recipe called for so it had a little heat. (I thought roasting it might mellow it some. Next time, I’ll stick to the recipe on that one.) Served it with a white blend and crusty bread. Delicious.

butternut shallot soup
Ingredients:
4 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large shallots, peeled and halved
1 (1/2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons (1-inch) slices fresh chives
Cracked black pepper (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a roasting pan or jelly-roll pan; toss well.
  3. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cool 10 minutes.
  5. Place half of squash mixture and half of broth in a blender.
  6. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender.
  7. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters).
  8. Blend until smooth.
  9. Pour into a large saucepan.
  10. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture and broth.
  11. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  12. Top with chives and pepper, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup soup and 1 teaspoon chives)

Nutritional Information:
Calories 112
Caloriesfromfat 20 %
Fat 2.5 g
Satfat 0.4 g
Monofat 1.7 g
Polyfat 0.3 g
Protein 3.3 g
Carbohydrate 22.4 g
Fiber 3.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Iron 1.6 mg
Sodium 266 mg
Calcium 84 mg

Roasted Cauliflower and Fettuccini

Roasted cauliflower is addictive, coupled with citrus and garlic and pasta? Divine! A few simple ingredients that are transcended by putting them together. It’s from Cooking Light, September 2012. I couldn’t wait to get it up on my blog. This is an amazing recipe and I didn’t change anything with the exception of the pasta. I didn’t have fettuccine so I used linguine. We served it with a Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling which was a perfect pairing.

RoastedCauliflowerpasta

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces uncooked fettuccine
1 1/2 ounces pancetta or cured bacon, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved (about 1/2 cup)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients; drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Toss.
  3. Arrange mixture on a baking sheet; bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until cauliflower is tender and golden, stirring twice.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  5. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add pancetta.
  7. Cook for 5 minutes or until crisp, stirring frequently.
  8. Remove pancetta and set aside.
  9. Add remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons oil to drippings in pan.
  10. Add 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid to drippings in pan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  11. Boil 30 seconds or until emulsified, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  12. Add rind, juice, thyme, and garlic to pan.
  13. Add pasta; toss.
  14. Remove from heat.
  15. Add cauliflower and pancetta; toss.
  16. Top with cheese and serve immediately.

Serves 4 (serving size 1-1/4 cups)

Nutritional Information:
Calories 410
Fat 13.6 g
Satfat 4.9 g
Monofat 4.9 g
Polyfat 0.8 g
Protein 19.3 g
Carbohydrate 55.7 g
Fiber 7.7 g
Cholesterol 20 mg
Iron 3.1 mg
Sodium 583 mg
Calcium 222 mg