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Baked Parmesan Squash

I got this recipe from our CSA box.  It is a pretty quick way to gobble up some squash.  It is a little labor intensive with dipping each slice into the breading material, so keep that in mind if you plan on increasing the recipe.

Keeping your slices to the same size will help in baking consistency.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 20-25 min
Total Time: 40-45 min
Yield: 3-4 servings
Taste: Good


2 medium size squash (yellow or zucchini) ~2 cups, thinly/evenly sliced
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1.8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Place squash in a large bowl.  Add olive oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne and toss to coat
  3. In a shallow bowl mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Dip squash into mixture coating both sides.
  4. Place on baking sheet, not overlapping.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, rotating pan halfway through.

Source: Hood River Organic


Black Bean & Corn Tacos


This is a good, easy, fast recipe that you can mostly pull out of your cupboard.  Adaptable by adding a multitude of different toppings as well.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Total Time: 35 min
Yield: ~10 tacos
Taste: Good


Corn and Feta Salad
2 ears of corn, shucked (about 2 cups fresh corn kernels) – I used can corn for simplicity
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 small red bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed then chopped
1 medium lime, zested and juiced (to yield about 1 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons lime juice)
1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced – or substitute green chili
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ to ⅔ cup crumbled feta, to taste (optional)

Black Beans
2 cans black black beans, rinsed and drained (or 3 cups cooked black beans)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow or white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
⅓ cup water
Salt and black pepper, to taste

10 small round corn tortillas
Salsa or hot sauce
1 large avocado, sliced into thin strips


  1. For corn salad: Use a sharp chef’s knife to slice the kernels off all four sides of the corn cobs. Transfer the kernels to a medium-sized mixing bowl and add the chopped cilantro, bell pepper, lime zest and juice, jalapeño, olive oil and sea salt. Mix well. Stir in ½ cup crumbled feta, taste, and add a little more if you’d like. Set the bowl aside to marinate while your prepare the beans.
  2. For black beans: Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and a sprinkle of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and are turning translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the cumin and cook for about 30 seconds while stirring. Pour in the beans and ⅓ cup water. Stir, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and use the back of a fork to mash up at least half of the beans. Remove from heat, season generously with salt and pepper, to taste, and cover until you’re ready to serve.
  3. Assembly: Spread black beans down the middle of each tortilla. Top the beans with corn salad. Place a slice of avocado to the side of the beans and serve with optional salsa or hot sauce on the side.









Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

I haven’t made a tomato salsa in a long time.  My last attempt was a lot of chopping which was very time consuming and not worth all the time put into it.  This one on the other hand had a great unique flavor and is easy blending.  Jim gave it a top 5% when compared to store bought salsas:)  I’ll take that.

Note, I hardly used any water and it thickens up pretty nicely in the refrigerator.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Chill Time: 30 min
Total Time: 50 min
Yield: ~2 cups, 8 servings
Taste: Good unique salsa


1 lb tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 to 4 jalapeno or serrano chiles, seeded for milder salsa, coarsely chopped (I used 2 jalepenos and 2 ancho)
1/4 cup chopped onion, soaked for 5 min in cold water, drained and rinsed
1/4 to 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
Salt to taste ~1/2 tsp
1/4 cup water, as needed (I used hardly any)


  1. Place tomatillos in a sauce pan, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping them over halfway through until softened and olive green.  Remove from heat and transfer to blender.
  2. In blender, add chiles, onion, cilantro, and 1/4 cup water.  Blend to a coarse puree.
  3. Transfer to a bowl, add salt, and thing with water as desired.
  4. Set aside for at least 30 min before serving to allow flavors to meld.

Source: NYT Cooking

Ramen Bowl

I  have had a hankering for pho lately and never really previously thought about making  a similar dish at home.  It was very easy and adaptable to adding whatever you like.

A lot recipes call for fish sauce which I have bought before, but is typically a larger volume in which I do not use for hardly anything so I wanted a recipe that avoided it.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 45 min
Yield: 4-6 servings
Taste: Good


1 lb chicken, cubed
1 tbs sesame oil (olive oil works too)
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground ginger
4 cup chicken broth
1 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tbs chili paste
1/2 cup Snap peas, roughly chopped
14 oz yakisoba or ramen noodles

Optional Toppings
2 Jalapenos, seeded and chopped
Green onions


  1. Heat a large skilled to medium heat.  Add chicken and stir frequently until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink inside ~10 minutes.
  2. Heat sesame oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add red onion, carrots, garlic, and ginger.  Stir and cook until onions are soft and garlic fragrant ~2 minutes.
  3. Add broth, water, soy sauce, vinegar, and chili paste to sauce pan.  Bring to a simmer.
  4. Add noodles (not any additional flavor packets) and snap peas to sauce pan and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until noodles have softened.
  5. Once noodles are cooked combined liquid and chicken and serve with optional toppings
  6. Source: Heidi’s Kitchen

Chocolate Peanut Butter Date Bars

I made this one to bring to one of the cyclocross races for the season.  It was very well received!  Very moist and dense and I will definitely make it again.

I was afraid the base date layer was too loose and wouldn’t hold after I processed it so I added 4 figs (I was out of dates) to make it less crumbly.  It definitely held so maybe I would have been ok with the original recipe below.

I opted for peanut butter instead of almond butter mostly because there was already a lot of more expensive ingredients plus I wasn’t sure how my normal runny almond butter hold up in bar form so I opted for cheap Skippy peanut butter which surely held its shape.

You could play around and make a little thicker peanut butter layer and maybe a thinner ganache layer (Jim laughs and totally dismisses that second statement).

This is a gluten free and easily vegan if you use the appropriate chocolate.

Difficulty: Medium
Prep Time: 40 min
Cook Time: 5 min
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 12
Taste: Great


1 1/2 cups raw or roasted almonds or walnuts
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 pinch sea salt
1 cup packed dates (have 1/4 cup extra on hand in case base is too crumbly)

1 cup creamy or crunchy almond butter (or sub other nut or seed butter)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
Pinch sea salt

GANACHE (vegan version)
1 1/4 cup vegan dark chocolate (very finely chopped // 9 ounces yields ~1 1/4 cup)
7 Tbsp light coconut milk
1 Tbsp coconut oil
(non-vegan version)
1 1/4 cup regular dark chocolate
1/2 cup milk
4 Tbsp butter


  1. Prepare crust by adding nuts, cocoa powder, and sea salt to a food processor and blending into a meal. Remove from bowl and set aside
  2. Add dates to the food processor and mix/pulse until small bits remain or a ball forms. Break up the dates with a spoon so they’re not all in one clump. Then add the nut-cocoa mixture back in and blend to combine until a loose dough is formed.  If ball doesn’t hold when it is clumped together add a few more dates.
  3. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined 8×8-inch baking dish (adjust number/size of pan if altering batch size) and spread with fingers to evenly distribute. Then top with parchment paper or plastic wrap and use a flat-bottomed object – such as a drinking glass or measuring cup – to press and pack the crust into a solid, even layer. Remove parchment paper and set aside.
  4. Add nut butter to a small mixing bowl along with maple syrup and sea salt. Stir to combine. (Depending on the brand, if it is extremely runny you may need to add a little almond meal to thicken until spreadable)
  5. Add the nut butter mixture to the crust in spoonfuls. Then top with parchment paper again and use the same object from earlier to spread and pack the mixture down into a flat, uniform layer. Remove parchment paper and set in freezer to chill.
  6. Add finely chopped dark chocolate to a medium mixing bowl. Add coconut milk (or regular milk) and coconut oil (or butter) to a saucepan on the stovetop and heat until starts to boil  Pour the hot liquid directly over the chocolate, stir to combine, and cover with something (such as plastic wrap) to encourage it to melt.
  7. Let set for 5 minutes. Then whisk to combine. The mixture should be entirely melted and smooth. If not, heat in the microwave in 20-30 second increments until entirely smooth and no chunks remain.
  8. Remove 8×8-inch pan from the freezer and pour the ganache on top. Spread with a spoon until smooth. Then add back to the freezer to set for 5-10 minutes, or until semi-firm to the touch (enough to slice).
  9. Slice into desired number of bars: 9-12 (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) or even smaller so they’re “bites” rather than “bars.” Enjoy immediately. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 1 month.

Source: Minimalist Baker 

Sweet Potato Pancakes


I had some left over cooked sweet potatoes from the Farro Burgers so one morning I thought I should be able to easily get some sort of pancake out of it.  Turns out it is super easy and pretty much only requires the addition of eggs.  Plus other options if you like.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Yield: 1 – 2 servings (4 small pancakes)
Taste: Good


1/2 cup mashed sweet potato (1 medium-small cooked sweet potato)
2 eggs
oil, butter, or cooking spray for pan

3/4 teas ground cinnamon
pinch salt


  1.  Whisk together cooked sweet potato and eggs until well combined.  Add any seasonings and stir.
  2. Heat oil (can use coconut oil), butter or cooking spray over medium low heat on a flat pan
  3. Spoon the sweet potato mixture on the heated pan approximately just under 1/4 cup
  4. Once bubbles start forming on the top side of the pancake and underside gets lightly golden brown, ~5 minutes, flip the cake.  Continue cooking on other side for an additional 5 minutes until cooked through.
  5. Optional toppings: butter, nut butter, maple syrup.

Source: 2 Ingredient Sweet Potato Cakes

Crispy Tofu

I’ve had crispy tofu at a couple restaurants before but had not attempted it myself.  I was surprised at how relatively easy and tasty this was it is not deep fried.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 45 min
Cook Time: 5-10 min
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 4 servings
Taste: Great


1 (14- to 16-ounce) block extra-firm tofu
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Optional flavors: soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, or red pepper flakes


  1. Remove the tofu from its packaging and drain any liquid.
  2. Line a plate with a folded paper towel and set the tofu on top. Place a plate on top of the tofu and weigh it down with something heavy, like a 28-ounce can of tomatoes. Press for 15 to 30 minutes. You will see liquid collect around the tofu.
  3. Remove the weight and drain off the excess liquid. Pat the tofu dry with more towels. Slice the pressed tofu into cubes, thick rectangles, or sticks, depending on how you plan to use the tofu.
  4. Transfer the tofu to a shallow dish and sprinkle with the salt. Toss to evenly season the tofu.
  5. If adding optional flavor of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil drizzle over tofu and let stand for a few minutes before coating with cornstarch.  If adding red pepper flake sprinkle evenly.
  6. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch over the tofu, then toss to evenly coat. Continue sprinkling and tossing until all the cornstarch is used. This is most easily done with a small strainer, but can also be done by sprinkling with your hands. After adding all the cornstarch, the tofu should be evenly coated with a sticky, gummy layer of cornstarch.
  7. Set a large frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Heat until the oil shimmers and flows smoothly to coat the bottom of the pan. It should not smoke. If you see a wisp of smoke, lower the heat slightly and immediately proceed with adding the tofu.  Add all of the tofu in a single layer. The tofu should sizzle upon contact — if not, wait a few minutes to let the pan heat before continuing.  At first the tofu will stick to the pan (unless you’re using a nonstick skillet). Wait until the tofu releases from the pan before browning the next side; the underside of the tofu should be golden-brown. Continue frying until all sides are browned and crispy.
  8. Transfer the browned tofu to a cooling rack while you finish your recipe. Eat the tofu immediately. It will remain crispy for a few hours, but will become chewy and lose its crispness if refrigerated.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Source: The Kitchn