Enjoying Fresh Produce At The Jersey Shore

Living at the Jersey Shore, The Garden State in the summer has perks. We’re not called the Garden State for nothing.  According to NJ’s official web pageNew Jersey is home to more than 9,071 farmers, covering 715,057 acres of farmland. 

Roadside veggie and fruit stands are plentiful. Nearly every rural road has at least one or more aged wooden stands filled with make shift shelves that are covered with baskets full of fresh produce.

The locals know where to find them, but out of towners’ are often surprised and make emergency stops to get it on the action.

Sweet corn, pretty Jersey tomatoes, plump blue berries, sweet and juicy peaches, squash, and zucchini are some of my summer favorites and I take full advantage of the season.

I think zucchini is my favorite summer veggie. Learn more about zucchini here and here.   While I have my go-to recipe for zucchini, I’m always looking for different recipes to infuse my zucchini with new flavors.

My pet recipe is quick and simple:

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchini (Medium size)
  • 2 vidalia onions or red onions (personal preference)
  • 2 tsps. fresh ground black pepper
  • Dash of crushed red peppers
  • Dash of Lowry’s season salt (I only use this when I’m cooking for my                      family)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil (estimate… I’ve gotta learn to measure!)

Instructions:

Thoroughly wash and dry zucchini. Cut the ends off. Cut zucchini in half and then slice. I prefer mine sliced in half, but you can cut whole slices. Toss on to a sheet of aluminum foil. Half onion and then slice. Put the onions in with zucchini, add dry seasoning, and olive oil. Fold foil so juices don’t leak out.

Place foil pocket on a grill at medium temperature. Cook for about 20 minutes.

sliced

This is cooking at its easiest. There’s no excuse to not eat healthy.

foil

Zucchini is safely tucked away in the foil.

zucchini

Finished result…. Yummy!  This is great over brown rice, quinoa, or alone.

Two days ago, I found a different recipe on Pinterest, compliments of thepioneerwoman.com. The zucchini is delicious, but has a complete different flavor.

Seriously, that’s what I love most about fresh veggies. I can eat say, zucchini for dinner five consecutive days, but each night, the zucchini can be cooked different and infused with a unique flavor. I never get tired of zucchini, but I’m not asking my family if they are tired of it.  I may not like the answer.  Lol!

Anyways, I tried the  Grilled Zucchini with Lemon Salt recipe.  As one of my friends would say,

“Outstanding!!”

Lol!  All you need is zucchini, lemon, black pepper, kosher salt, and olive oil. For specific instructions and details, click here.

bagged zuchiiLemon zest, olive oil, salt, and pepper all in one bag coating zucchini!

on the grill

Here they are cooking nicely on the grill. The anticipation was killing me. Lol!

grilled zucchini

Mmmm…. If you’re eating this at home, consider this finger food,
because using a knife takes too dag on long!  🙂

Give it a try; you might like it.

Do you have quick summer recipe?  Please share!

Thanks for visiting and enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 


The Body Is Your Temple

The body

At 7:30 Sunday morning, I was in the kitchen cooking.  I would have rather stayed in bed, but sleeping late wasn’t an option.

Another busy week for this working mom and wife includes, CrossFit, a day or two of jogging, football, work, tutoring for my son, blogging, laundry and a few other chores mean I have no other choice but to carefully plan for each week.     All of the food pictured here I cooked Sunday between 7:30 a.m. and 12:10 p.m.

When I finally sat down, I was exhausted, but relieved that the food was cooked and I wouldn’t have to turn the over, stove, or grill on for at least five days.  Heeeeey!!   Now I can focus on getting to CrossFit, the gym, and my running.  LOL!

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Two beautiful bunches of broccoli Rabe.  They are so good sauteed in olive oil with fresh garlic, and crushed red peppers.

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Mushrooms, sweet onions, jalapeno peppers, red, yellow, and orange sweet peppers. They are very good served over brown rice or Quinoa.

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Fluffy brown rice that I cooked in the rice cooker. If you eat a lot of rice, a rice cooker is worth the money , as well as a time saver.

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Boneless skinless chicken breast is much leaner that chicken thighs, breast, or drumsticks.

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Boiling my eggs in advance makes it easier to pack two-three for lunch. I usually eat only the egg white, sprinkled with egg whites. They are a great source of protein.

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Baked mac and cheese for the family, This two-pound pan will test my will power this week. I cooked it because it is one of my family’s favorite dishes.

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I tossed four pounds of kale in a pot with sweet onions, crushed red peppers, freshly ground black pepper and a little lawry’s all season salt… I can’t get enough of it.

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I found a super easy recipe for zucchini cakes on Pinterest. If you’re interested in the recipe, you can find me as “Lexa” and the recipe is posted on my board. It’s easy, quick, and healthy.

ADDITIONAL READING

Nutrition Facts, Calories in food

Power Foods:  Broccoli Rabe

The Nutritional Value of Mushrooms


The Gift of Positive Energy.

Not one day passes in my life that I do not feel blessed. So why should today be any different?  No life is perfect and mine is no different, but I focus on the positives in my life because I know that my life could have more struggles.

Before CrossFit this morning, I stopped by Produce Junction, a local produce market. I parked next to an old worn down red pick up truck packed with fresh produce. Getting out the car my eyes zoned in on the zucchini. Mmmm…. Yummy!  My favorite summer vegetable.

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My visit to the market was quick. broccolini was the only item on my list. In and out I went.  As I walked to my car, I spotted the owner of the pick up truck. Tall long-bearded older gentleman.

“Hi, Do you own a farm in the area?”

He owned a farm, but not in this area.  I explained that I would have gladly patronized his farm because his veggies looked great.

Here, I will give you some!”

“Oh no, I’ll buy it from you!”

“Absolutely Not!”  He replied and started handing me this beautiful zucchini.

 

I graciously thanked him for his generosity and will do so when I’m enjoying them over dinner.

I’m telling you, positive energy attracts even more positive energy from the universe. Other than this morning’s CrossFit class, what a fabulous way to start the week.

Later, I will post today’s WOD, but for now, I’ve gotta prime Tailor’s bedroom walls so that I can get to painting.

I hope you have a fabulous day!

XOXO!

 


8-Ball Mouth Watering Squash

During the summer, I don’t usually spend much time planning dinner.  About an hour or so before 5 in the afternoon, I peek in the fridge to see what is grillable. My only plan is to light up the grill and avoid the stove and the oven.

Today after perusing through Pinterest and looking over my healthy eating board, I became inspired.   I craved for something a bit more creative– Something different from the norm, so I decided that after picking up my son from camp, that I would visit my favorite roadside market; Reed’s Farm Market.

I didn’t feel like dealing with the traffic and lines at Shoprite and knew that Reed’s would have fresh produce that I could toss on the grill.  I brought zucchini, Jersey tomatoes, cucumbers, red and sweet onions. I also brought two beautiful 8-Ball Squash!  Cool right!  This attractive round squash has the same flavor (to me) as the more traditionally shaped squash (zucchini), but the shape inspires creativity. The roundness of it screams, “stuff me!” Already I have ideas for the next ones that I buy.

8-Ball Squash

8-Ball Squash

I wasn’t certain about how to cook them on the grill, so I did the following:

– Thoroughly wash

– Cut into round slices

– Place on a large greased cookie sheet

– Mince 8-10 (I didn’t count) garlic cloves

– Drizzle with olive oil (next time I will brush both sides with garlic roasted olive oil)

– Douse with freshly ground black pepper (I didn’t measure)

– Sprinkle with Cayenne (I didn’t measure)

Toss in the oven…YES THE OVEN!  It wasn’t hot today and the air conditioning was on, so it wasn’t too bad. I broiled them on low for about 15-20 minutes

The result? They were too soft. I like squash with a slight crunch, but the flavor was intense.  Also, next time, I’d sprinkle the squash with a tad bit of garlic roasted cheese (I buy from the Shops at Smithville), but you can probably find it somewhere in your home town.

Before the oven

Before the oven

My  second experiment was broiled tomatoes. Yup! Ohhhh My Gooooodness!  If you love, notice I said, LOVE tomatoes, you have to give this a try.

Beautiful ripe tomatoes

Beautiful ripe tomatoes

– Thoroughly wash 1 large (Jersey) tomato

– Slice the tomato into medium-sized circles

– Place on a large greased cookie sheet

– Coat with minced garlic (I didn’t count)

– Olive oil? (I can’t remember, but think I drizzled a little on)

– Chop a handful organic fresh baby spinach

– Grind fresh black pepper

Toss in the broiler (on low) for about 20 minutes

Mouth Watering

Mouth Watering

 

Hurry and eat the veggies while they are warm.  The flavor is amazing!!  Hubby, my son, and my mom, all especially like the tomatoes.

Now, I have to figure out how to cook them on the grill.  If you know how to please do share!  Several hours later, I’m still licking my lips!

Talk to you later!

Thanks for visiting!