Zucchini Alfredo

A fresh, easy, and delicious recipe for you, friends! The zucchini noodles are light & high in fibre and the sauce is rich & creamy — they balance one another out perfectly. Pictured here with a side of tomato salad (roma tomatoes diced & tossed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, & pepper). Just add a couple slices of crusty bread to sop up the sauce and you’ll be all set. Enjoy!

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*Serves 4

Ingredients

6 medium-sized zucchini

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ cups half-and-half

2 cups Parmesan cheese

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Spiralize the zucchini, cutting the strands into sections about 8 inches long.

  2. Next, cook the zucchini noodles. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil (my go-to is canola!) to a large skillet and heat over medium-low heat. Continue to cook them while preparing the sauce, stirring occasionally. Add a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. You can add a pinch of red pepper flakes too, for a bit of heat!

  3. To begin making the sauce, melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until it starts to bubble and sizzle.

  4. Add the minced garlic and saute until lightly browned and fragrant, between 30 seconds and 1 minute.

  5. Next, whisk in the cream. Heat the cream until it simmers, whisking occasionally. This should take 3 – 4 minutes.

  6. Finally, whisk in the parmesan cheese, salt, nutmeg, and pepper.

  7. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the sauce thickens. This should take an additional 3 – 4 minutes. At this point, the sauce should coat the back of a spoon.

  8. Add the cooked zucchini noodles to the prepared sauce and toss to coat.

  9. Serve alongside a salad and some fresh bread for the perfect summer meal!

Recipe developed & photographed by Alex Chesney, RD

Late Summer Chowder

Cooler weather is approaching, the official start of autumn is around the corner, and soup season has arrived! I’m looking forward to being able to comfortably use the stove and oven again and put them to work cooking up the tasty fall recipes I have in mind. To start us off we’ve got a hearty, delicious, and easy chowder. Flavour is built by cooking the vegetables in stages, and coating them with a lovely combination of spices. A low-sodium vegetable broth and just a dash of salt at the end will ensure a hearty-healthy final bowl, and all the wonderful vegetables featured make for a soup that is satisfying and filling. Take advantage of these still-in-season vegetables combined with comfortable cooking temperatures and try this recipe today. Let me know what you think!

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Ingredients

1 tablespoon oil

1 red onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small jalapeno, diced (more or less, depending on spice tolerance!)

2 bell peppers, diced

2 cobs sweetcorn, cooked & removed from the cob

1 zucchini, diced

5 small red potatoes, cubed

1 teaspoon paprika, oregano, and parsley (each)

½ teaspoon thyme

2 tablespoons flour

3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 cup milk

Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat until hot. A handy trick to test the readiness of the pan is to toss in a small piece of diced onion along with the oil. When it starts to sizzle you know you’ve reached the right temperature!

  2. Once hot, add all the onion to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes until translucent and softened.

  3. Add the garlic and peppers and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

  4. Add the corn, zucchini, spices, and flour. Mix until vegetables are evenly coated with the spices & flour.

  5. Next, slowly add the vegetable broth, stirring constantly.

  6. Once all the broth has been mixed in, add the potatoes. Lower the heat slightly and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are softened.

  7. Add the milk and stir until hot.

  8. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

  9. Enjoy!

Recipe created by Alex Chesney, RD

 

 

Zucchini Lasagna

This neat take on lasagna features zucchini slices instead of pasta noodles. It’s super simple, and super delicious. Zucchini provides lots of fiber, plus vitamins A & C!

*Makes one 9x9 pan of lasagna

Ingredients:
2 large green zucchini, sliced in half and then thinly sliced lengthwise
2 cups tomato sauce (homemade or store-bought)*
½ lb lean ground turkey, cooked
1 cup cheese (mixture of cheddar and mozzarella), grated

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. Once the zucchini is sliced, it should be briefly pan-fried or grilled to let out some of the moisture. Zucchini has a very high water content, so if it is placed directly into the lasagna, you’ll end up with a watery final product. Fry or grill the lasagna for approximately 2 minutes per side, and then set aside.

  3. Next, thoroughly brown the ground turkey. Divide cooked meat into 2 sections and then set this aside too.

  4. Once the zucchini & turkey have been prepped, it’s time to assemble the lasagna! Making any kind of lasagna is all about the layers. Start off this version by coating the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish with ½ cup tomato sauce. This will prevent sticking. Next, layer slices of zucchini until the bottom of the pan is covered.

  5. On top of the zucchini spread ½ cup of sauce, then sprinkle ¼ cup cheese and half of the ground turkey.

  6. Place another layer of zucchini, sauce, cheese, and meat, then top with one final layer of zucchini. On top of the final zucchini layer, spread the remaining 1 cup of sauce, then sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of cheese.

  7. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and browning on top, and sauce is bubbling.

  8. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes, then dig in and enjoy!

* I used a homemade tomato sauce & added my own herbs and spices, which gave me control over the salt content, but if store-bought is your choice, try to choose one that says low/no added sodium. Unfortunately, tomato sauce is often crazy high in salt!

Recipe created by Alex Chesney, RD

 

Zucchini Blossoms How-To

Zucchini blossoms are a fun treat in season now! They're one of those things that look incredibly impressive once prepared, but are actually really easy - a great way to impress guests! Check out these preparation tips that will help ensure your dinner party is a hit. My go-to cooking method is pan-frying, as it's a nice balance between baking & deep-frying. It gives them a deliciously crisp coating, but allows you to limit the amount of oil used.

Stuff them: 

  • Use a soft cheese (ricotta & goat’s cheese are the most popular) mixed with herbs of your choice (ex. garlic, basil)

  • Gently wipe flowers with a wet paper towel

  • Remove stamen from the center of the blossom, using scissors

  • Mix cheese, herbs & any other desired fillings

  • Use a piping bag to squeeze the cheese mixture into the blossoms (if you don’t have a piping bag, simply use a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off)

  • Twist the tops of the blossoms shut as tightly as possible

Cooking the blossoms, stuffed or un-stuffed:

  • Batter & deep fry the blossoms; use a batter of sparkling water or beer, flour & egg

  • Pan fry the blossoms with olive oil & garlic

  • Drizzle olive oil on the blossoms & bake on a foil-lined cookie sheet

  • Add to pasta, on top of pizza or eat them raw in a salad

Recipe tips & tricks from Alex Chesney, RD