Grilled Mediterranean Zucchini with Orzo and Feta

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Happy Zucchini Season!! While I don’t have a garden and am not growing zucchini myself, I feel like all I see on Instagram right now are people showing off their zucchini crop. I'm not going to lie, I’m a little bit jealous and was googling “what can you grow in pots on patios” just last week.

So while I don’t have my own harvest of zucchini, it is still abundant at every farmer's market and grocery store, and, best of all, it's super inexpensive right now. So if it’s cheap, why not utilize it as much as possible right?

Now, while you can hide zucchini in so many things, it’s also great to celebrate it every now and then and make it the star of the dish - and that is exactly what this dish does. Topped with orzo flavoured with lemon, balsamic and red pepper flakes it is perfectly balanced with the tender grilled zucchini.

If you have the opportunity to grill up your zucchini on a bbq I highly recommend doing it - you get to enjoy the wonderful smokey flavour from the grill that complements the Mediterranean flavours so well, but if you don’t have a bbq close by you can certainly use a grill pan and still get all of those beautiful grill marks.

So whether you have an overabundance of zucchini and just need to use it up, or you’re envious like me and have to buy it from the market, make this dish today - I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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prep time 10 minutes

cook time 15 minutes

total time 25 minutes

servings 6

Ingredients

3 medium zucchini

1 cup uncooked orzo

2 tbsp parsley

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup feta

2 tbsp balsamic glaze

1/2 lemon

1 clove of garlic

salt + pepper

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

In a medium pot cook orzo according to package.

While the orzo is cooking slice your zucchini in half. Season with salt + pepper then grill - 3-4 minutes per side or until zucchini is fork tender. Arrange in a single layer on a serving platter.

Once the orzo is cooked, drain and place in a medium bowl. To the orzo add in finely chopped parsley, cherry tomatoes, almonds, crumbled feta, balsamic glaze, the juice of 1/2 lemon, minced garlic, salt + pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir until fully combined then spoon over the zucchini and serve immediately.

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Indian Spiced Sweet Potato Fries

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Indian Spiced Sweet Potato Fries - oven-baked, crispy and full of flavour.

Do you guys love sweet potato fries? I have my moments of loving them, but I’m not going to lie, I have a hard time turning down a good classic fry - so I have them so rarely. But, these Indian Spiced ones might be giving the classic French Fry a run for there money! Plus these fries are baked so you really don’t need to feel as guilty as you would eating a big batch of deep-fried ones.

The wonderful Indian flavour combination on these fries work perfectly on the sweet potatoes. A little bit sweet and a little bit spicy - maybe all fries should be coated in yummy spices! Actually, that was a thing at McDonald's when I was a kid - ShakeIt Fries (or something like that). I remember making a special trip just to try them - you basically got your fries, a little package of seasoning, and a bag to shake them all together in. I don’t know if they were actually good or I really just enjoyed the experience, but they must not have been all that popular because they disappeared from the menu pretty quickly.

So bring back the much improved, adult version of ShakeIt fries - it’s the perfect healthy version of an indulgent treat!

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prep time 20 minutes

cook time 40 minutes

total time 1 hour

servings 4

Ingredients

6 small sweet potatoes

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp oil

1 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp salt + more to finish

1/2 tsp pepper

cilantro to finish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450. Clean then slice your sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch fries then put into a large bowl and drizzle with melted butter and oil. - toss to coat.

In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, salt + pepper. Sprinkle the spices over the sweet potatoes then toss until evenly coated.

Lay fries in a single layer over 2 large baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes then flip and bake another 15-20 or until they are crispy. Remove from the oven and sprinkle immediately with additional salt + cilantro.

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Chipotle Vegetable Quesadilla's with Pineapple Peach Salsa

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So I know this isn’t exactly a classic Taco Tuesday food choice, but it’s still Mexican, it’s a bit spicy, and it includes salsa - so close enough for my liking!

Now if your anything like me you sometimes just want simple, tasty food that you can throw together in literally no time at all, but it is also meat-free. In our house, we try to do a meat-free meal at least once per week, and I’m not going to lie - it can be a struggle sometimes. That’s where these quesadillas come in - they make for a perfect canvas for a classic treat with a veggie twist!.

For me, I think that if you are going to do something vegetarian you need to have interesting flavours, especially if you’re cooking for people who generally eat meat. This quesadilla checks off all of the boxes with chipotle flavoured mushrooms and the sweet and spicy pineapple peach salsa - seriously, meat-eaters won’t even notice it’s missing.

So I use to always cook my quesadillas in a frying pan with a bunch of butter to help it not stick - but then I was introduced to this oven-baked version. It’s so easy, mess-free (no flipping) and skips the extra calories in all that butter. Plus, it gives you time to prep your salsa, so win-win! Now speaking about this sweet salsa. It is certainly a shift from the classic but it’s soooo good. The spice of the chipotle is perfectly complemented with the sweet acidity of the pineapple.

So whip this together tonight and extend Taco Tuesday to any night of the week - I’m sure you won’t hear any complaints!

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prep time 10 minutes

cook time 30 minutes

total time 40 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil

2 red pepper

1/2 white onion

8 large mushrooms

3 cups fresh spinach

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp chipotle powder

1/2 tsp cumin

2 1/2 cups shredded cheese

8 tortillas

1 cup pineapple

1 peach

1/2 - 1 jalapeno seeds removed

1 tsp tajin

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. In a large frying pan drizzle in olive oil then add in sliced peppers and onions and cook for 5 minutes then add in sliced mushrooms and cook another 2-3 minutes or until mushrooms are soft. Sprinkle in the garlic powder, chipotle powder and coming and toss until all of the vegetables are coated. Add in spinach and continue cooking until spinach is wilted then remove from the heat and set aside.

To assemble your quesadillas lay 4 of your tortillas on 2 baking sheets and and sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese over each one. Evenly spread out your vegetable mixture then top with remaining cheese. Place the remaining tortilla shells on top of the 4 quesadillas then bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and crispy.

While the quesadillas are baking make your salsa. In a medium bowl combine finely chopped pineapple, peach, jalapeño and tajin and toss.

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Sneaky Veggie Fried Rice

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Do you ever just want to eat a big bowl of rice for dinner but feel way too guilty just eating carbs? Well, now you’re in luck because this sneaky veggie fried rice feels like you’re eating a big bowl of take-out, but really you're eating a ton of veggies without even knowing it.

So as of the past 6 months, we have been in love with cauliflower rice. At first, I was sceptical, but once trying it I was 100% sold. To be honest, we do generally mix half and half with brown rice and cauliflower rice, and with that combo, you actually can’t even find the cauliflower in the bowl. It’s like magic - seriously, I don’t know where the cauliflower goes! The key to making your fried rice take like take out is to use cold or left over rice. If you try to use freshly cooked warm rice you will end up with mushy, non-crispy rice, which isn’t what anyone wants.

I also really love the addition of sambal oelek because it makes it really nice and spicy, but if spice isn't your thing you can certainly leave this out, or even cut back and just add half the amount. The other great thing about this recipe is that you can use any veggies you love or have leftover in your fridge.

So go ahead and eat a big bowl of fried rice for dinner - it’s guilt-free indulgent eating!

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prep time 10 minutes

cook time 20 minutes + rice coking + cooling

total time 30 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice (uncooked)

3 cloves of garlic

1 inch piece of ginger

3 baby bok choy

1 red pepper

2 green onions

1/2 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 tbsp sesame oil

12 oz bag cauliflower rice

2 eggs

1 tbsp sambal oelek (optional)

1/4 cup soya sauce

Instructions

Cook brown rice according to package. Place in a bowl and cool in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour.

In a large wok place sesame oil and heat over medium/high. To the hot pan add in red pepper that has been chopped into 1/4 inch pieces and cook for 1-2 minutes. To the pan add in baby bok choy that has been thinly sliced, finely chopped garlic and grated ginger and cook another 30 seconds. To the pan add in frozen cauliflower rice and cook another 2 minutes or until cauliflower is warmed through.

In a small bowl crack both eggs and whisk. Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan then add in eggs and allow to quickly cook - stirring often.

Mix the eggs with the vegetables and add in the cold rice, frozen corn, peas and green onions. Stir well then add in samba oelek and soya sauce. Continue to fry over high heat until rice is crispy and everything is hot then serve immediately.

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Greek Marinaded Grilled Vegetable

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So let’s talk about marinaded vegetables, or perhaps, how it isn’t really possible to marinade raw vegetables. I mean really, no matter how long you soak that pepper or onion in yummy flavours it’s not really going to take on any of that deliciousness.

So, while I’m calling this recipe marinaded vegetables it’s really more of a grilled vegetable salad. All of these yummy flavours envelope the grilled vegetables making it the perfect combination of charred deliciousness, tart lemon, and earthy oregano. It's the ultimate greek combination!

The other great thing about his recipe is that you can use basically any vegetables that you love, this would be great with eggplant, asparagus, or why not even some baby broccolini. Basically, anything you have available to grill will be enhanced by these flavours.

So the question is what are you going to grill to go along with this? Fish? Chicken? Or if you’re as lucky as I am and end up with leftovers these are delicious on a beautiful grilled pizza - I mean seriously, these are leftovers you want leftover!

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prep time 12 minutes

cook time 8 minutes

total time 20 minutes

servings 4 - 6

Ingredients

1 green or red pepper

1 white onion

1 zucchini (or a bag of mini zucchini)

2 cups small tomatoes

2 cups white mushrooms

1/2 cup olive oil

5 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tsp white sugar

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

salt + pepper

Instructions

To prepare your vegetables slice into bit sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil, 3 of the cloves of garlic that have been finely chopped then season liberally with salt + pepper. Toss well then skewer onto pre-soaked wooden skewers with like vegetables together.

Grill for 5-8 minutes depending on the vegetables, flipping often. Remove from the grill then carefully take each vegetable off of the skewers.

In a small bowl combine remaining olive oil, lemon juice, remaining garlic cloves, sugar, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes and salt + pepper.

In a large bowl place grilled vegetables and dressing. Toss well to combine then serve immediately.

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