Sunday, July 5, 2009

Weekly Recipe Roundup 4

Now that summer is in full swing, my kitchen time has greatly decreased. Between birthday celebrations, vacations, holidays, and wanting to spend more time outside, that doesn't leave much time to prepare elaborate meals. I love the summer for the fresh veggies that are available at our local farmer's market or even just our local groceries. Fruits and veggies taste so much better when they are actually in season! We've been enjoying lots of grilled zucchini, squash, onions, and peppers - especially Wes since cleanup is a snap. I'm not sure if it's all attributable to the season, or if perhaps I've finally convinced myself I don't have enough time to make "Bon Appetit" style meals every night. Whatever the case may be, I've enjoyed finding more and more quick and easy recipes so that I can enjoy more time with my family.

These are 3 quick recipes that are both worth mentioning. The first is from Cooking Light and I can't even begin to guess how long I've had this recipe in my "to-try" notebook (yes, I'm a total nerd and organize my recipes, by type, in 2 notebooks). I love cold, non-lettuce, salads that you can make the night before and let marinate overnight. They also last several days and are good side dishes for multiple nights. This Lima Bean Salad is a great way to incorporate lots of good fiber-rich beans, making for a really colorful salad. I did add some white balsamic vinegar to step up the flavor a bit. I was out of fresh herbs, so I omitted the chives and added about 1 tsp dried parsley. I'm sure I added more mustard than the recipe calls for as well. I wish there were a way to scale back the quantity this salad makes but if you were serving more than 3, it would be perfect.

Next up is a recipe I found in a magazine several years ago for Roast Beef Swirlwiches. This is the second or third time I've made it and that's really saying something coming from someone who never repeats recipes! I love a good sandwich or wrap, especially one that has lots of flavor with little effort. This one fits the bill for sure. The first time I made these I didn't use the Havarti with dill cheese, rather some other pre-shredded cheese I had on hand. This time I wanted to experience the recipe as written, so I splurged for the Havarti. What a disappointment! I was hoping to really taste the cheese enhanced by the dill, instead I hardly tasted any cheese at all. The marinade with the roast beef provides such a strong flavor that I would suggest matching it with more intense cheese, like Swiss, sharp cheddar, smoked Gouda, something along those lines. I also omitted the green onions this time because I didn't have them on hand. I did include them last time and they did provide a little extra flavor that was missing this time. And I'd strongly suggest using something other than a plain flour tortilla. I used Flat-Out wraps, but any flavored shells would do. It's a very forgiving recipe that can be altered to meet your desired tastes.

I don't have a photo to go with this last one but Southern Living was gracious enough to bail me out with one of their own. This Squash Casserole is a great way to use up the plethora of squash in season right now. I used 3 large squash, totaling about 2 1/2 lbs. Because I reduced the squash, I only used an 8x8 pan but I kept all the remaining ingredients the same. The sharp cheddar is a must, as it adds a needed boost of flavor to the dish. Don't let SL's lackluster 3-star rating discourage you from trying this one. It's a keeper in our house and it's a good way to disguise a veggie from your otherwise picky eaters!
Squash Casserole from Southern Living

I hope you enjoy one or all of these recipes! Now that we're back from vacation, the kitchen should be open full time and I should be back with more great recipes for you to try.

1 comment:

  1. The squash casserole looks delish! I love anything that involves summer squash and zuchinni ... can't wait to try it!