3 Simple & Seasonal Summer Sides

Food Alchemy

3 Simple & Seasonal Summer Sides

Coming from a farming family, I learned very early on that sometimes size matters. And that some of the best, real food, comes in small sizes. My parents were (and are adamant to this day) about size. Their emphasis has always been “pick small.” They say if they grew too big, they would become “dodu” (crazy) and flavorless. Not convinced about food being crazy, (except lip-smacking, “slap your momma”, crazy delicious) but I have found some overgrown foods, to be quite flavorless. So when I came across baby zucchini at the Farmer’s Market, their words and my memory of small squashes, vibrated through my hands as I reached for the smallest zucchinis. I knew they would be packed with flavor. Surely, I was not disappointed! And as for the dip, can’t go wrong. I’ve never seen zucchini disappear so fast from the dinner table! Great alternative to fries, for the kiddos.

Zucchini Fingers with Siracha Cream Dip

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Ingredients:

8-12 small zucchini

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 tablespoons of Herbs (thyme, rosemary and sage or whatever herbs you have on hand will do).

Pink salt (to taste)

Step 1:

Wash & slice zucchini length-wise.

Set aside in a small bowl.

Step 2:

Drizzle and coat with olive oil, and herbs.

Sprinkle pink salt to taste. 

Step: 3:

Pre-heat grill or griddle on medium flame.

Grill zucchini on both sides

Step 4:

Let cool and plate.

Smoky Siracha Dip:

½ cup Coconut cream, non-dairy sour cream (or sour cream)

2 tablespoons of siracha

¼ teaspoon of smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon garlic

½ teaspoon smoked salt

In a small mixing bowl, add all ingredients and whisk well.

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers with Cucumber Dill Dip

So, I had about 6 peppers hanging out in the fridge and the first thought that came to mind was stuffing them. You can stuff peppers with just about any anything and be pleased. For the sake of fun and creativity, this is the end result.

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Ingredients:

6 jalapeno peppers

½ cup of cheese (non-dairy or hormone-free dairy)

2 tablespoons of roasted garlic puree

1 teaspoon of olive oil

¼ teaspoon of chipotle spice

¼ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon parsley

Pinch of pink salt

6 Bamboo skewers. 

Step 1:

Soak skewers in warm water to prevent burning. This is an optional step.

Step 2:

Roast 10-12 garlic cloves in olive oil for 15-20 minutes or until soft and golden. Set aside to cool.

Step 3:

Wash peppers and cut off bottom tip (just enough to fit a small knife)

With a small paring knife, carve out seeds and flesh. The goal is a hollow pepper, with a minimal amount of seeds, which naturally balances out the heat.

Step 4:

Pre-heat grill or griddle on medium flame.

Remove skewers from water and insert through top and repeat for each pepper.

Step 5:

Grill peppers for 5-10 minutes on all sides until soft and skin is slightly charred.

Remove from heat and let cool. Keep grill on low flame.

Step 6:

In a small mixing bowl mash garlic cloves into a paste or puree. Add cheese, spices and salt to taste.

Step 7:

With a small spoon (or fingers), fill each pepper with filling.

Return to grill for 2 minutes on all sides. Plate and let cool.

Cooling Cucumber Dill Dip

I’ve had lots of fun brewing kombucha all summer. I’ve arrived at the right rhythm and formula for my family. I’ve also found other uses, aside of it being a delicious drink too. For this dip, I added kombucha for its sweet/acidic and probiotic quality. I look forward to sharing more about cooking with kombucha down the line. In the meantime, this dip cools down the heat from the jalapenos perfectly.

Ingredients:

½ cup coconut cream (non-dairy-sour cream or hormone-free sour cream)

1 small cucumber

2 tablespoons fresh dill

2 tablespoons of plain kombucha

Garnish: Chives

Put all ingredients in food processor until a smooth consistency is reached. Remove into small bowl and garnish.

Golden Tomato Salad With Black Olives & Roasted Garlic

When working with seasonal foods or anytime of the year, we are constantly working with the same real food ingredients and sometimes it’s just a matter of small changes for interest and variety. Tomatoes are bursting with sweetness right now and these small golden rays of sunshine, made for a simple salad on a hot summer night.

20160809_181244Ingredients:

6-8 small golden tomatoes (or red) quartered

1 cup black olives sliced lengthwise

½ cup roasted garlic cloves (1 tablespoon olive oil)

1 green onion chopped

Sprinkle pink salt to taste

Step 1:

In a small pan, roasted garlic in olive oil for 15-20 minutes or until soft and golden.

Remove and set aside to cool.

Step 2:

In a medium bowl, add golden tomatoes, black olives, green onions, garlic and toss lightly.

Sprinkle with salt.

Try one or try them all! Share your version.

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