My kids go crazy for pickled vegetables. When they're grocery shopping with me, a jar always "mysteriously" appears in our cart. I usually give in and buy them though the ingredient list is usually less than desirable (full of preservatives and lots of sodium). Needless to say I was excited to see a recipe for refrigerator pickled vegetables in our local Oregonian Newspaper this summer with a recipe that looked super easy with simple ingredients. During a recent week at the beach, my 10 year old and I gave the recipe a try. The end result was fantastic. If you can boil water then you'll have no problem making these. The recipe says they'll last 3 months in your frig, but chances are your family will gobble them up the first week or two.
During our summer vacation to Peru we experienced everything quinoa. Quinoa pancakes, bread, snack bars, breakfast cereal, salads, and the list goes on and on! Needless-to-say we left with a new appreciation for this tiny, ancient grain. It's health benefits are many! After researching this further, I've learned that quinoa is a complete protein, is high in iron and calcium and is a good source of fiber. It's gluten free and vegetarian too. It's easier to make than rice, taking only about 10 minutes to cook. Next time you make a stir fry, try it in place of rice. That's what we did tonight and the kids gobbled it up! I "heart" quinoa!
To learn more about quinoa: http://www.forbes.com/sites/juliewilcox/2012/06/26/7-benefits-of-quinoa-the-supergrain-of-the-future/
If you're asking yourself what to do with all the zucchini and tomatoes in your garden, I've got a delicious answer. Using a nifty little Julienne cutter (there are many styles and types out there) cut your raw zucchini into little noodle-like strips. I also used one carrot for color. Gently toss in olive oil and saute in a skillet just until warmed - about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a serving platter. Add a splash more olive oil to the pan and saute fresh garden tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes - halved). Heat until skins start to wrinkle and flesh becomes soft and begins to caramelize. Add to zucchini. Top with fresh pesto and toss until coated. Serve alone as a vegetarian dish or as a side with grilled fish (we used wild caught salmon) or chicken.
(One type of Julienne cutter. You use it in the way you would a potato peeler-in a scraping motion)
Pesto: I just went out to the garden a plucked a handful of basil and placed the leaves in the food processor with about 1 tablespoon of pine nuts, one garlic clove and 1/4 cup olive olive. Pulse just until ingredients start to blend but are still chunky. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Even my picky 13 year old son who does not like vegetables, gave this dish a big thumbs up.