Zucchini pasta with salad and crusty bread

My parents were visiting this weekend, so of course I wanted to make dinner for them one night! We started off Saturday by going to the farmers market and exploring around. Going to the farmers market with my mom and dad is much more amusing than going on my own!

After perusing the farmers market, I decided to make pappardelle with slow roasted zucchini sauce and a salad with tok choy (yes, tok choy, not bok choy). We also went to an Italian festival that afternoon where we picked up a nice loaf of ciabatta bread to go with dinner.

I started off the pasta sauce by slicing the zucchini into very thin rounds, and tossing it in a pan with olive oil, vegan butter, and lots of minced garlic. Then the zucchini cooked down for a long time….it gets kind of ugly but super tasty.

While the zucchini was cooking, I used the tok choy and a minced red pepper to make a yummy salad. This was made much easier by my mom volunteering to clean and destem the tok choy. I also decided to mix up my own dressing with some Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, lime juice, Persian lime olive oil, and salt and pepper.

Once the zucchini had cooked down and the pasta was cooked, I added a little rice vinegar to add a little tang, then tossed in the cooked pasta. Lots of freshly chopped parsley got mixed in for a nice pop of freshness and greenness. Then, dinner was ready to serve! It was a fun dinner to linger over, especially with some Railyard that was fetched by Jon and dad from one of our favorite breweries, Wynkoop Brewery.

My favorite dish was actually the salad–I think tok choy is one of my new favorite greens! Plus, it was fun to have my parents visiting to top off our 2 weeks of family fun. 🙂

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Panini sandwiches with corn fritters

I had lots of fresh corn from the farmers market, so decided to make panini sandwiches with corn fritters.

I started off by slicing the corn kernels off 5 ears of corn. This all went into a bowl (at least, what didn’t fall onto the floor!). Then, I mixed in a little flour, corn meal, almond milk, and baking soda to make a dough. I seasoned the dough with paprika, Aleppo pepper, and salt. The recipe said to fry them, but frying and I don’t get along for several reasons. Instead, I formed the fritters on a baking sheet and placed them all in the oven.

While the fritters were baking, I sliced and grilled all the veggies for the sandwiches–onion, red peppers, and zucchini. When the veggies were done, I assembled and grilled the panini sandwiches. Jon’s also got a slice of vegan cheese and a veggie patty.

The sandwiches got hot and crispy on the outside and were great served with the corn fritters. I love summer and its abundance of veggies!

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Zucchini panzanella

For a recent potluck at work, I decided to make panzanella. I bought tomatoes and everything, but since the potluck was on Friday, the tomatoes got used up in other meals earlier in the week. Late Thursday night after Jon and I got home, I realized that I needed to make something but didn’t have all the ingredients for what I had been planning. One of the only downsides of our new place is that grocery stores are not nearly as convenient–at our old house we had 2 within a 3 minute drive. Well, at 9pm I was not about to go to the store, so creativity had to take over!

I still had the bread and basil that I had originally planned to use, and of course I had onions and olive oil. I also had some zucchini left over, so I decided to try making my salad with zucchini instead of tomatoes.

I chopped everything up, making sure to chop the onions finely. Then, I mixed up a dressing with red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. I didn’t want the bread to get soggy overnight so I mixed everything together an hour before the potluck. It was unique and pretty tasty!

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Panini sandwiches with pear salad

Whoever invented putting filling between bread and then grilling it was brilliant. While I almost never eat cold sandwiches, I love panini sandwiches; fortunately, Jon does too!

I started this one by grilling all the vegetables–zucchini, peppers, onions, and tomatoes. With everything coming fresh from the farmers market, it didn’t need any seasoning beyond salt, pepper, and a little olive oil. After the veggies were done, I assembled the sandwiches, brushing each slice of bread with olive oil before putting them in the panini grill.

While the sandwiches got warm and toasty, I made a quick side salad. I chopped a pear and put it on arugula, finishing it off with almonds and dried cranberries. The salad was great topped with a little bit of peach balsamic vinegar.

When the sandwiches came out of the panini grill, they were crispy and browned on the outside and warm and gooey on the inside. This was a quick and easy meal after work that’s also quite tasty!

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Rotini with Zucchini and Cannellini Beans

Rotini with Zucchini and Cannellini Beans

Rotini with Zucchini and Cannellini Beans

It might still be a little early for zucchini, but it looked yummy at the grocery store the other day so I decided to make one of my “pasta concoctions”…this is one of the creative moments that causes Jon to call me the McGyver of the kitchen (because I can seemingly concoct a dish out of string and a tin can)!

Zucchini with Garlic

Zucchini with Garlic

I started off by sauteing some onions and slivered garlic. To add in some savory spice, I put in a good amount of allspice and a little nutmeg.

After the onions were all soft and flavorful, I added in the sliced zucchini and the cannellini beans.

Zucchini with Cannellini Beans

Zucchini with Cannellini Beans

After tasting it, I decided it needed a little bit of a sourness so added in a small amount of rice wine vinegar, plus some red chili pepper flakes to give it a little kick. I mixed in the rotini pasta plus some of the pasta cooking water to thicken the sauce and it was ready to eat. It was like a little bowl of early summer! Yum!

Rotini with Zucchini and Cannellini Beans

Rotini with Zucchini and Cannellini Beans