Zucchini and Rustic Bread Lasagna

Appetizer, Baking

 

Zucchini and Bread Lasagna

Zucchini and Bread Lasagna

Summer is here! Time for me to make things a lot simpler in the kitchen and be outdoor as much as possible. Found a recipe that represents simplicity and deliciousness: layers of zucchini, tomato sauce, cheese, and rustic bread. I mean, who doesn’t like bread and cheese together? Add some summer produce like tomatoes and zucchini and develop a fantastic lasagna. Here’s my adapted version:

Ingredient list:

  • 3 medium zucchini (place in boiling water until they are tender and then slice thinly lengthwise)
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 4 small tomatoes (sliced)
  • 3 garlic (chopped)
  • A teaspoon of olive oil
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 loaf of rustic bread (sliced)

Steps:

  • In a small saucepan, cook the slices of tomatoes and garlic together until they dissolve into watery sauce. Add a can of tomato sauce (add herbs that you like here: oregano, basil, etc.) and a little bit of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Start layering the lasagna in a medium deep pan: spread the tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan, cover with slices of bread, more tomato sauce, top with slices of zucchini, more tomato sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Repeat until everything is used up.
  • Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

 

Original recipe: Lydia’s Italy Zucchini and Country Bread Lasagna

Quinoa Salad with Smoked Salmon, Avocado, and Peppers

Salad

Quinoa salad with smoked salmon, avocado, and peppers by Tiny Chili Pepper

A wholesome salad makes a great power-booster lunch. The other day, I was in the mood for quinoa. So, I combined it with a mix of sliced avocado, smoked salmon, red bell pepper, and cayenne pepper that I dressed in lemon juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, and a little bit of honey. The taste of smoked salmon mixed with creamy avocado, crunchy peppers, and nutty quinoa blended well with the tangy and sweet vinaigrette. What a party in a salad bowl!

Quinoa by Tiny Chili Pepper

Mix the avocado, smoked salmon, and peppers TCP

Here’s my ingredient list:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of chicken stock (or water)
  • 1 avocado (sliced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 2 slices of smoked salmon (sliced)
  • 1 cayenne pepper (chopped)
  • Lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of honey

Steps:

  • I followed the quinoa cooking instruction on its package: bring it to a boil with two cups of chicken stock and lower the heat to let it simmer for 15 minutes in a covered pot
  • In a medium bowl, I whisked lemon juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, and honey together to make the dressing
  • Mixed the avocado, salmon, and peppers with the dressing. Cover and chill in the fridge
  • Let the quinoa cool down for a bit, place in a salad bowl, and topped with the avocado, salmon, and peppers

Serve two

Great for bring-lunch-to-work menu (keep it chilled) or as a meal after an exercise.

Have a great weekend, all!

Peace

Parsley and Feta on Pita Bread

Baking, Sandwiches, Snack, Vegetable Recipes

Feta and Parsley on Pita Bread by Tiny Chili Pepper

I love the scent of parsley, especially right after picking. One of the things I like to do with the herb is to mix it with feta cheese, fold it in filo dough sheets, and bake them—just like in the Turkish baked borek. This time, I wanted to try something different with the mixture. So, I spread it on a few pita bread, topped the bread with cherry tomatoes, and baked them. Oh, what a fantastic aroma they created as they cooked in the oven! They tasted delicious too. The fresh herb and tomato definitely added more complexity to the salty white cheese melted on the warm bread.

Feta Parsley by Tiny Chili Pepper

Here’s how I did mine:

(serve 2)

I used:

  • A handful of parsley (just the leaves)
  • About 4 oz. of feta cheese (I bought one of those 8 oz. plain regular chunk)
  • Olive oil
  • 3 pita bread
  • Cherry tomatoes

Then I heated the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, mixed/chopped the parsley and feta in a food processor, brushed the pita bread with olive oil, spread the cheese mixture on it, topped with cherry tomatoes, and baked for 6-7 minutes.

Thank you for visiting!

Parsley Feta Pita by Tiny Chili Pepper

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper

Vegetable Recipes

Whoever invented stuffed vegetables was a creative genius. The compact goodness, with plentiful stuffing choices, makes a great meal. I have a list of stuffing and vegetables that I’d like to pair together. But this week the mood for a good cheesy, creamy,  either grain or pasta based, stuffing was heightened. So the search for the right ingredients began.

Curiosity led me to try quinoa for my vegetable stuffing base. I have heard about the grain a lot but have never tried it before. So I had to see what the excitement was all about. I grabbed a small bag of quinoa from the market and learned from the back of it that the grain makes a great substitute for rice and couscous. Right there and then, my cooking planning process began. I stood in the produce aisle, totally switched off from my surrounding, meditating on my next steps. An image of stuffed red bell peppers entered my mind. Next I imagined mixing the cooked quinoa with unsalted butter, light shredded mozzarella, halved grape tomatoes, onions, and a little bit of chop parsley. Then I visualized stuffing the mixture of quinoa into the bell peppers and liking the end result. Here’s the product of my food meditation 🙂

The real cooking process was as easy as I had pictured it in my mind. And even better, the result was as tasty as I had hoped for. Quinoa’s subtle nutty flavor and soft crunchy texture pair well with the sweet  and tender red bell peppers and tomatoes and with the savory cheese. I imagine the grain would be great in different styles of cooking too. Ideas already pop up in my head for the next quinoa-based meal. I’ll be sure to write them down and give them a try. More to come later!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • A handful of chopped parsley
  • ¼ chopped onions
  • A handful of halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 2 handful of light shredded mozzarella
  • 3 red bell peppers (remove the top and the seeds)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)

Steps:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a small pot, cook 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of chicken stock. Stir and bring to boil. Close with a lid and let cook for 20 minutes (I followed the cooking instruction on the bag).
  • After 20 minutes, turn the heat off, add butter and stir until it melts
  • Add the shredded mozzarella
  • Add the grape tomatoes, onions, parsley, salt, and pepper into the mixture and mix well
  • Scoop the mixture and fill up the bell peppers
  • Top with a little bit more of mozzarella
  • Using your fingers, coat the outer part of the pepper with a little bit of olive oil
  • Place the stuffed bell peppers on a baking dish, add a little water on the bottom of the dish (like two tablespoon of water). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bell peppers become a bit wrinkly and soft.