Stuffed Zucchini on the Grill

Zucchini Boats

Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables especially in the summer. I grew up eating zucchini all the time, but I have never eaten them stuffed.

On this particular night, we had one of those great meals…marinated, grilled flank steaks, pasta salami salad, and stuffed zucchini on the grill or zucchini boats.  It was our first time making them.  I must admit they were so easy.  Plus, we love it when the majority of our meal can be grilled.

Last year I could have used this recipe, because I had an abundance  of zucchini from the garden.  However, this year the moles took over and decided they liked my zucchini 😦  I had to buy this batch from our local grocery store, Dierbergs, but they always have wonderful produce.

Stuffed Zucchini on the Grill

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 4 medium Zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped Bacon (we prefer real bacon as opposed to bits)
  • 1/4 cup chopped Black Olives
  • 1/2 cup diced Green Chiles
  • 1/2 cup minced Red Onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Tablespoon of fresh Basil from the garden

Directions

  1. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp to about 1/4 inch from the skin.  Chop the pulp.
  2. In a bowl, mix the zucchini pulp, bacon, black olives, green chiles, onions, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese.  Season with fresh basil and salt and pepper.
  3. Stuff the zucchini halves with the mixture. Seal each half with aluminum foil.
  4. Prepare the grill. Place packets on the grill over indirect heat. Cook approximately 15-20 minutes or until tender.

With stuffed zucchini, you can get creative with the mixture but I don’t think we will deviate from this recipe.  It was so delicious – stuffed zucchini or zucchini boats whatever you prefer to call them!

Enjoy!

Avocado Pineapple Blueberry Salad

Perfect Summer Salad

Perfect Summer Salad

During the heat of the summer, I love trying different salads, however I can’t take credit for this one. My husband pulled this one together. We seem to be on an avocado kick right now so sticking with that theme, here’s a great refreshing salad with or with out avocados.

Avocado Pineapple Blueberry Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 6 cup of mixed Greens
  • 3/4 cup of diced Pineapple (fresh or canned) – can grill if time permits
  • 3/4 cup of fresh Blueberries
  • 3/4 cup of diced Avocados
  • 1/4 cups of thinly sliced Red Onions
  • 3/4 cup of Lemon Vinaigrette
  • Dash of Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh Parmesan Cheese

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, toss the mixed greens with dressing; reserving 3 tablespoons of dressing.
  2. On five to six separate plates, evenly disperse all the greens.
  3. In the same large bowl add the pineapple, blueberries, avocados, onions, and remaining dressing;
  4. Disperse the mixture evenly over the greens. Add seasoning and sprinkle with cheese if desired. Serve immediately.

This salad was a hit with the family, however the kids preferred the salad with out the avocado’s. We also kept it very simple by using bottled Lemon Vinaigrette, but you can make your own or use any kind of Citrus Vinaigrette.

It’s a quick and yummy summer salad! On this particular night, we didn’t have enough time to grill the pineapple, but I do highly recommend grilled pineapple.  We love it!

Pasta Salami Salad

Salami, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Asparagus, and fresh Basil

Salami, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Asparagus, and fresh Basil

Last week, my husband was in the mood for a cold Pasta Salad.  I was super excited because I love Pasta Salad.  Since he was grilling the flank steaks and making the vegetable, I figured making the salad was the least I could do.

I approached this recipe with some practicality and a little creativity. I used all the ingredients that I had at home.  That is the beautiful thing about cold Pasta Salad, you can use a ton of different vegetables/meats, and use many different types of dressings.

Pasta Salami Salad

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 Box of Pasta (spirals, mostaccioli, bow ties) – cooked and drained
  • 25-30 slices of Hard Salami sliced in slivers
  • 5 Roma Tomatoes diced
  • 20 Asparagus Spears cooked and sliced
  • 1 large Cucumber diced
  • 1 cup of sliced Red Onion
  • 3/4 cup of Italian Dressing of your choice (less or more)
  • 1/4 cup of Fresh Basil from the garden
  • Italian seasonings to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Fresh shredded Parmesan Cheese or Feta Cheese

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.  I do not rinse my pasta.  I drizzle a little olive oil so the pasta doesn’t stick. Let cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta with all the other ingredients.  Add the seasonings last.  Stir until fully coated with dressing.  Add Cheese last or with each individual serving. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

This dish is a perfect summer salad that’s ideal for any large get together. I must admit that I really like the salami in this Pasta Salad.  It adds a lot of extra flavor. Also, I would have added some black olives too, but no one likes them like I do in this family.

There’s so much you can do with Pasta Salad.  I swear that I make a different one every time I make it.

Enjoy this one for now!

Zucchini Squash Parmesan

 

A family favorite from my Mom

A family favorite from my Mom

When I’m in the mood for a different vegetable, zucchini and yellow squash is always my “go to” vegetable, especially in the summer time.  You can do so many fun things with squash.  Of course, we love to marinate squash and grill it. You can put them on kabobs or eat them raw as a snack with your favorite dip.  My kids are fans of ranch and zucchini, although my kids will eat almost anything dipped in ranch.

This recipe is a long time family favorite from my Mom, Carol DeFrancesco.  With many recipes, I may tweak it a bit for personal preference.  For this particular recipe, I use olive oil to brown and sauté my squash.  My Mom used butter for the most part.   The olive oil seems to be an easier and healthier alternative.  This side dish is great with any meat of your choice.  It’s easy to make, but it does take a little time to sauté the squash so be sure to plan accordingly.

Zucchini Squash Parmesan

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Meanwhile, chop both the zucchini squash and yellow squash in large 1 inch pieces.  (If you cut them too thin, they get mushy.)
  2. Brown and sauté the squash approximately 2-3 minutes on each side.  Once finished, remove squash and add more until all finished.
  3. Next, put all the cooked squash back into the pan over low heat.  Spread the Rotel tomatoes or diced tomatoes evenly on top of the squash.
  4. Season the squash with fresh basil and/or Italian seasonings and salt and pepper.
  5. Last, sprinkle the fresh parmesan cheese all over the squash.  Cover the pan to melt the cheese.  Serve and enjoy!

Like with any recipe, you can alter this to your preference or what you might have at home.  In the past, I always used Italian seasoned diced tomatoes, but then I tried a can of Rotel tomatoes with chiles.  We love the extra kick from the Rotel.

Stay tuned for some more recipes using squash!