Raw Spiralized Zucchini Noodles with Tomatoes and Pesto

I combined all of my favorite end-of-summer garden vegetables and created this simple, raw spiralized zucchini and pesto dish.

I combined all of my favorite end-of-summer garden vegetables and created this simple, raw, vegetarian spiralized zucchini and pesto dish.

As much as I look forward to the Fall, I’m not quite ready for summer to be over. Having fresh herbs at my fingertips is what I’ll miss the most, so I’m taking all my basil and making skinny pesto with it to freeze and use throughout the year.

I’m also going to miss eating zucchini 4 days a week, especially in a zoodle form… although I’m not putting my spiralizer away just yet!! I have lots of fun Fall recipes planned for it, so if you don’t have one, you probably should run out and get one!! (btw, love my Paderno Spiral Vegetable Slicer – the easiest way to make zucchini noodles, sweet potato spirals, carrot ribbons and more!)

And let’s not forget to mention summer tomatoes, this is the best time to eat them!!  One thing I should note if you’re making this for one, I would make the whole batch of pesto, but only spiralize 1 small zucchini and add 1/4 of the pesto. This needs to be eaten right away, if it sits too long it will get watery.

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19 Aug 2014
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Weeknight Skillet Sazon Chicken Tenders

This simple, kid-friendly chicken dish is quick and easy to make for any night of the week – ready in under 15 minutes!

When Karina, my oldest daughter (and the pickier of the two) was younger, and I was making something spicy I knew she wouldn’t eat, I used to quickly whip up this dish. Nothing fancy, it was simple and easy with ingredients I always had on hand.

Funny because once she went off to college I never made it again. Recently I ask her which of my recipes she likes most, this one is in her list of top 10. Considering how much she likes it and how quick and easy it is to make, I figured I’d have to share it with you all here. I always served it for her over rice with avocado but you can serve it over farro, quinoa or any grain you prefer. I’ve also taken the leftovers and shredded them in my blender for amazing shredded chicken to use in fajitas and quesadillas.

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18 Aug 2014
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Homemade Sazon Seasoning Mix

 This spice blend makes everything taste better – and making it from scratch means NO MSG!

Making your own Sazon spice blend is EASY to do – and the best part, no MSG!

Sazon is like the magic spice blend in many of my Latin dishes. It’s commonly found in the supermarket in small envelopes that you add to stews, beans, rice, etc. It gives yellow rice that yellow color and basically makes anything taste good! Goya is the most popular brand, but I stopped buying it years ago when I realized it had MSG, and started using Badia Sazon, but it’s not easy to find so now I make my own which I keep stored in a small spice jar, so instead of using a packet of sazon, I use one and a half teaspoons of this in it’s place.

The key ingredient in this spice mix is ground annatto (achiote), the spice that gives yellow rice that yellow color. Annatto is derived from the seeds of achiote tree. In India it’s referred to as sindoor, and in the Philippines, it is called atsuete. I can find it in hispanic markets, but you can also find it on Amazon. If you can’t find this, turmeric would be a good substitute.

What do I make with Sazon? I always season my wings with it, I use it on my grilled chicken wings, in Mom’s Chicken and Rice, Sofrito Chicken Stew, Chicken and Lentil Soup, Arroz con Gandules, and many more dishes! Tomorrow I will share one of my daughter’s favorite dishes with this spice.

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16 Aug 2014
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Coconut Lime Raspberry Chia Pudding

Chia pudding is the ultimate guiltless dessert, you can even have this for breakfast – if you’re into that sort of thing! 

Me, I’m a huge fan of chia seeds. They have no taste so it basically takes on the flavor of anything you mix up, and those tiny seeds expand to more than triple in size when soaked in any liquid and did I mention they have a satiating quality to them? Win! It’s also gluten-free, dairy free and vegetarian.

One of my go to chia puddings has always been my Mango Coconut Chia Pudding, but I thought let’s put the lime in the coconut and this was born! Enjoy this while those summer berries are still in the farmer’s stands.

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14 Aug 2014
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The Skinnytaste Cookbook: 3 FREE Bonus Recipes with Preorder

 
I just got a sneak peak of the printed version of The Skinnytaste Cookbook and I’m beyond thrilled for it’s release on September 30th, and am so grateful for all of your enthusiasm and support so far!

As an added bonus (and a thank you to all of you who have already ordered the book!), if you pre-order The Skinnytaste Cookbook by September 30th, I will send you 3 FREE bonus recipes that I created exclusively for you! These recipes do not (and will not!) live on skinnytaste.com or in the cookbook.

Whole Wheat Banana Crumb Muffinsthese scrumptious muffins are a favorite in my house, whenever I whip up a batch they quickly dissappear!

Easy Grilled Chicken Parmesan – perfect while it’s still hot outside, I tell my daughter it’s chicken pizza and she loves it! Takes less than 20 minutes to make and no heating the kitchen!

Zesty Crab and Mango Salad – fresh and light, and so easy to prepare!

All you have to do is pre-order the book from your retailer of choice (see links here) and send your proof of purchase to skinnytaste@penguinrandomhouse.com to receive a link to download these three recipes! This offer, of course, also applies to everyone who has already preordered their copy of the book as long as you send a receipt.

10 Aug 2014
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Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles For Two

You can enjoy these Kung Pao Noodles without the guilt (under 300 calories), because I replaced the noodles with zoodles (zucchini noodles) and the results were fantastic!!

Each bowl is filled with chicken and vegetables and the sauce has the flavor combination of of salty, sweet, sour, and spicy flavors. Topped with crushed peanuts – it’s pretty hard to pass this up!

If you’re spiralizer has more than one spiral blade, use the thicker setting to replicate a thicker noodle feel. Since zucchini releases a lot of water as it cooks, I used it to my advantage and purposely left the sauce a little thick. Once the noodles cook and release their liquid (I only cook them 2 minutes TOPS) it thins the sauce and works out perfect.

This is such a quick meal – you can easily halve this to make it for one, but if you want to make this for four, I would prep everything and cook it twice rather than doubling it and cooking it all at the same time so the chicken browns, and the noodles fit in the wok.

Click Here To See The Full Recipe…

09 Aug 2014
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Turkey Santa Fe Zucchini Boats

Stuffed with summer corn, tomatoes, serrano peppers and cumin spiced ground turkey and baked with melted cheese.

Hollowed out zucchini boats stuffed with a cumin spiced ground turkey and black bean mixture with summer corn and tomato, all baked in the oven with melted cheese – YUM!

It’s been on my mind for a while to use my Sante Fe Turkey Stuffed Pepper filling as a filling for zucchini boats instead, since you all know how much I LOVE zucchini! If you don’t know this, then you really need to check out this roundup of 35 Skinnytaste Zucchini recipes which includes a few other stuffed zucchini boat varieties.

You can make this ahead and bake it when you’re ready to eat, it can also be prepared a day ahead or freeze whatever you don’t plan on eating to bake another day. Leftovers also make a great lunch, my teenager loved these – enjoy!

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04 Aug 2014
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Chilled Lobster Salad with Sweet Summer Corn and Tomatoes

The perfect light summer salad, made with sweet summer corn, grape tomatoes, garden herbs and chilled steamed lobster. Serve this for two as a main dish salad or for four as a first course as pictured here.

I revived this one from the archives since this is the perfect time of year to make it. August is a great time to buy lobster here on Long Island, I can usually get great specials from my local Lobster farm. And the best part about buying my lobster from a lobster farm is that they also steam it for me at no extra cost. It’s not that I can’t cook my own lobster, it’s just that if given the choice, I’d rather not. If you don’t have that luxury, here is a great video from Fine Cooking that shows you how to do it.

Swap It Tip: If you don’t live near the coast and don’t have access to live lobster, you could use lump crab meat, cooked shrimp or even imitation crab instead. 

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02 Aug 2014
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Grilled Mediterranean Chicken and Quinoa Salad

The is the perfect summer salad! Juicy grilled chicken, garden cucumber and tomatoes, red onion, olives and Feta cheese all tossed with quinoa and lemon juice. It’s packed with protein (20 grams!), not to mention tons of wonderful flavor.

To make the grilled chicken extra flavorful, I like to marinate it overnight with lemon juice, garlic and fresh herbs like rosemary or oregano. This is great to bring to a potluck, to enjoy as a light meal. You can make the chicken and quinoa ahead if you wish, and mix everything together when you’re ready to eat.

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30 Jul 2014
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Naked Salmon Burgers with Sriracha Mayo

Packed with omegas and delicious!

Some burgers are just meant to be eaten without a bun. These salmon burgers are the perfect example. So much flavor in these burgers made with wild salmon, served on a bed of arugula with sliced avocado and a spicy sriracha mayo – a bun would only disguise it.

These burgers can be formed earlier in the day, or even the night before. Refrigerating them before cooking helps them hold together firm during cooking. Another tip is to put some of the salmon in the food processor or chopper. It creates “glue” that keeps everything together.

Last fall, Calphalon released a new line of Dishwasher Safe Nonstick Cookware and they sent me a few items of my choice to review. I’ve been using their nonstick cookware for years, as you may have seen in many of my photos so I replaced some of my favorites items with their new line, because I don’t know about you, but as much as I love cooking – washing dishes is not for me! I put this grill pan to the test with these salmon burgers and was very happy with how they cooked. And the good news, I am giving this nonstick grill pan away along with a wok, griddle and everyday pan! If you’re interested click this link for a chance to win!
 
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28 Jul 2014
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