Monday, July 14, 2008

Sesame Green Beans

Sesame Green Beans
1 1/2 # fresh green beans, trimmed
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp Miso Tamari or light soy sauce
1 tsp agave nectar or honey1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

1. Simmer green beans in unsalted water for 7-10 minutes or until bright green and just tender.
2. Drain off water and return green beans to the pan over medium-high heat. Add sesame oil, miso tamari, gave nectar and crushed red pepper and toss or stir well to combine.
3. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the sauce begins to form a light glaze or slightly thicken.
4. Transfer to a serving dish and top with toasted sesame seeds.

Pineapple Ginger Ice Cream Smoothies

Feeling a bit sore after mowing the lawn? Here's a cool treat that could help those achy joints with the healing properties of pineapple and ginger.

Beat the heat by adding some vanilla ice cream, yogurt or non-dairy frozen dessert to make this smoothie with the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger and pineapple. Click the links to read more about the health benefits ginger and pineapple according to the World's Healthiest Foods site.

Pineapple Ginger Ice Cream Smoothies
2 cups vanilla ice cream (or yogurt or non-dairy frozen dessert)
2" piece of ginger, peeled and grated
6 oz of pineapple, chopped (if using canned pineapple, use the juice as well)
1 tbsp agave nectar or honey (optional)

Place pineapple and ginger in a blender and pulse to combine. Add ice cream and agave nectar and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Stuffed Zucchini Shells

If you've planted zucchini you've probably found yourself in the situation of giving zucchini away to friends, co-workers or even strangers on the street. In the right conditions, zucchini plants can be very prolific.

Here is a simple all-in-one meal to help you use up some of this summery squash. You can easily use tofu crumbles or ground turkey, or any protein you like to make these zucchini shells a complete meal, or a hearty side dish or first course.

Don't forget the simple accompaniment of minted yogurt for an elegant finishing touch.

Stuffed Zucchini Shells
4 medium zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
12 oz ground turkey or tofu crumbles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1" piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp turbinado or light brown sugar
3 scallions (green onions) sliced, greens and whites separated
2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper

* Scoop out the seeds and part of the flesh of the zucchini. Chop the flesh and set aside.
* Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a pan over medium-high heat and saute the turkey with the white parts of the onions and the garlic, stirring until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off excess fat.
* Stir in the zucchini flesh, the spices, and the green onions and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes.
* Place zucchini "shells" cut side up on a baking sheet lined with foil. Fill the zucchini "shells" with equal portions of the meat mixture, and top with pine nuts.
* Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes or until the zucchini "shells" are tender.

To serve, top each shell with a drizzle of minted yogurt or sour cream.

Blueberry Melon Salad

Not only is this salad crisp and refreshing, but it's a beautiful example of the many colors of summer fruits. I used locally grown blueberries and yellow fleshed watermelon, but feel free to use any berries and melons that catch your eye.

Blueberry Melon Salad
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1 cup yellow watermelon, cubed
1 cup galia melon, cubed (or cantaloupe or honeydew)
1 head green leaf lettuce, torn
2 Tbsp agave nectar (or honey)
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame seeds

Arrange the lettuce on a platter or in a bowl and top with the fruits. Drizzle with agave nectar and white wine vinegar. Toss and allow to sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Just prior to serving, toss gently and top with sesame seeds.