Tag Archives: vegetables

Food Focus: Zucchini (and a recipe for Cheesy Zucchini Casserole!) from Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @hamiltonbeach

One of the most ubiquitous summer fruits, the zucchini (cucurbita pepo) is a long, green summer squash of Italian origin with many culinary uses. It’s usually prepared as a vegetable in savory dishes like ratatouille, casseroles and fritters, but it can also be shredded and used in sweeter dishes like zucchini bread. The best zucchini to purchase (or pick, if you have a garden of your own) are less than 8 inches long. This means the squash is immature and the seeds are still soft. Larger zucchini (They can grow up to a few feet in length!) tend to be more fibrous and woody than their smaller and more tender counterparts.

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Zucchini is a healthful, low-calorie fruit containing folate, potassium and vitamin A. Like many other fruits and vegetables, much of the nutritional value is found in the peel, so keep it on to get all the nutrients you can. One whole zucchini is only 16 calories!

Zucchini squash blossoms are also edible. These grow directly on the plant and can be eaten raw or cooked. They are commonly stuffed with soft cheeses and fried. If you can find them, the flowers are a beautiful summer treat.

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Cheesy Zucchini and Squash Casserole
SERVES: 12

Ingredients
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound zucchini, thinly sliced
1 pound yellow squash, thinly sliced
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup seasoned Panko crumbs
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in squash, cooking an additional 4 minutes or until squash is tender.
Beat egg and sour cream in large bowl until well blended. Stir in cheeses, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour into 8x8-inch baking dish.
Stir crumbs and butter in small bowl. Sprinkle over squash mixture.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until crumbs are golden brown and mixture is heated through.
Notes
If using a countertop oven, use middle rack for baking.
To speed food prep, use a food processor to chop, mince, slice and shred.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/

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Center Stage: Slow Cooker Chocolate Fudge Brownies from Completely Delicious on Everyday Good Thinking, the official blog of @HamiltonBeach

Annalise Sandberg writes the blog Completely Delicious from her home in Utah, where she lives with her husband Steve, son John and dog Pi. She is a passionate baker who is almost completely self taught, learning from trial and error. Like us, she believes that life is usually a little better with sugar and butter. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Completely Delicious used the @hamiltonbeach Searing Grill to make these awesome Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Goat Cheese Spread on everydaygoodthinking.com #grillit  @completedelish

Summer is all about grilling, am I right? Sure, summer has a lot of other fun things going on, but if I had to choose my favorite thing about summer it would be the fast, easy and fresh food I get to enjoy thanks to my garden and grill.

With Hamilton Beach’s searing grill I can now take my grilling year-round, rain or shine. It’s small and sits right on my countertop, but grills like a pro!

Completely Delicious used the @hamiltonbeach Searing Grill to make these awesome Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Goat Cheese Spread on everydaygoodthinking.com #grillit  @completedelish

My garden isn’t quite brimming with fresh produce just yet, but my grocery store and local farmers markets are. And these sandwiches are the perfect way to enjoy them. Here, I’ve used zucchini, mushrooms, red peppers and onions, but feel free to get creative. And while the grilled vegetables shine enough on their own, you could certainly add a grilled chicken breast or a few slices of crispy bacon if you just gotta have some meat.

Completely Delicious used the @hamiltonbeach Searing Grill to make these awesome Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Goat Cheese Spread on everydaygoodthinking.com #grillit  @completedelish

The grilled veggies may be the star, but the herb goat cheese spread almost steals the show. Don’t skimp; it brings the whole thing together into one delicious summery sandwich. Perfect for lunch or an easy dinner, these grilled veggie sandwiches are sure to be a favorite all summer long.

Completely Delicious used the @hamiltonbeach Searing Grill to make these awesome Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Goat Cheese Spread on everydaygoodthinking.com #grillit  @completedelish


Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Herb Goat Cheese Spread
SERVES: 2

For the spread
5 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
For the sandwiches
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 portobello mushroom, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced and seeds removed
1 small red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 slices ciabatta bread (or 2 ciabatta rolls, sliced)
Goat cheese spread
Instructions
To make the goat cheese spread, combine the goat cheese, basil, chives, lemon zest, garlic and olive oil in a small bowl.
Toss together the zucchini, mushrooms, red pepper and onion in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
Place the veggies directly on a grill preheated to medium high. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes until grill marks are present and veggies are softened. Remove from heat.
Spread the goat cheese on the bottom slice of bread for each sandwich. Stack veggies on top. Serve immediately.
Notes
Be sure to slice veggies into large pieces so they rest easily on the grill without falling through. You may have leftover goat cheese spread. You can store it in the fridge for up to one week.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/

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Hamilton Beach Searing Grill @hamiltonbeach

 

The high temperature of the Searing Grill makes it possible to get outdoor flavor indoors. Plus, the hood, grill plate and tray are removable and dishwasher-safe, making cleanup a breeze.

 

 

#grillit @hamiltonbeach



Food Focus: Basil

Dearest basil,

How do I love thee? Oh, let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height…

Just kidding, we don’t need to quote Elizabeth Barrett Browning to prove how much we love basil, but it does seem appropriate for an herb with which the world is so smitten. It is fragrant, refreshing and light, and its beautiful green color adds visual interest as well as flavor to almost any dish. Basil is also known as Sweet Basil, the common name for Ocimum Basilicum. The sweet basil we use here is the most commonly found variety and it is used a lot in Italian cuisine. There are many other types of basil (look into Thai basil, lemon basil and holy basil if you are interested in Asian cuisines.) Today, we will focus on sweet basil, which you can find fresh in almost any grocery store, but is also fairly easy to grow at home in a windowsill, porch container or garden.

To select basil, choose bright, sturdy leaves that do not sag. If you grow your own basil, trim the stem just above a grouping of leaves. This encourages the leaves to grow out, rather than up, resulting in a more robust plant and less risk of flowering. Flowers that do grow need to be picked, as flowering indicates that the plant is entering reproduction mode instead of growth mode, so it will stop producing leaves while the flowers are there. Basil can be stored in a plastic bag with a paper towel for a few days or it can be blanched and frozen. Drying basil is not recommended as dried basil loses most of its flavor, and the flavor that is retained tastes much different.


Wash basil only when you are ready to use it by rinsing gently under cold running water. Tenderly pluck the leaves from the stem and dry between layers of paper towels. If you are not gentle with the leaves, they will bruise. Basil is most commonly used in pesto, caprese salad and as a last-minute additive (any earlier and the flavor will disintegrate) to sauces.

 


Traditional Basil Pesto
YIELDS: 2 servings

Ingredients
4 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup (about 5 oz.) pine nuts
4 garlic cloves
1 cup olive oil
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
Instructions
Place basil, pine nuts and garlic in food processor bowl.
Process until almost a puree.
Add oil, Parmesan cheese and salt. Process until mixture is well blended.
Toss with hot pasta, spread on grilled chicken or use as a sandwich spread.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/

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Test Kitchen Tip: Divide Traditional Basil Pesto Sauce between two ice cube trays; cover with plastic wrap and freeze. When the pesto sauce is frozen solid, pop the pesto cubes out and place in a resealable plastic freezer bag. Remove pesto cubes from bag, as needed. For an individual serving, defrost one pesto cube and toss with hot cooked pasta or spread on your favorite sandwich or wrap.

 

 


Pasta with Pesto Sauce
YIELDS: 4 servings

Ingredients
1 package (12 oz.) pasta
Traditional Basil Pesto (recipe above)
Instructions
Cook pasta following package directions; drain.
Toss with Traditional Basil Pesto.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/

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Grilled Vegetables and Pesto Wraps

 


Grilled Vegetables and Pesto Wraps
YIELDS: 4 servings

Ingredients
Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic Marinade
Traditional Basil Pesto
8 (10-inch) flour tortillas
Instructions
Prepare and grill vegetables as directed for Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic Marinade.
Prepare pesto as directed using Traditional Basil Pesto.
Spread tortillas with about 2 Tablespoons pesto.
Arrange vegetables in center of tortillas. Fold up bottom of tortilla and roll up sides.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/

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Test Kitchen Tip: For easy carrying at a picnic, serve the wraps in small buckets or cups with chips.

Want more pesto dishes? We thought so.

Chicken Pesto Panini

Grilled Chicken with Basil Pesto

Pesto with Sundried Tomato, Mozzarella and Egg Breakfast Sandwich

 



Father's Day Menu Ideas

Whether you decide to celebrate dad at home or pack a lunch picnic for the local park, these recipes will be sure to help you prepare the perfect Father’s Day meal. The menu we chose can be mostly prepared on the grill. The baby back ribs are perfect for barbecue-loving dads, and the grilled veggies and grilled wedge salad make for healthy sides. While all of this is cooking on the grill, our easy slow cooker baked potatoes can be cooking indoors. We like to serve them fully loaded with bacon, sour cream and chives. All you need to add is fresh iced tea or lemonade and call the family to the backyard. So set the table and fire up the grill; it’s time to enjoy a great meal while celebrating the fathers in our lives.


Baby Back Barbecue Ribs
YIELDS: 6 servings

Barbecue ribs are a treat, and they work great for a backyard cookout. These baby backs are cooked on the grill and sauced towards the end, creating a glaze that will have you licking your fingers. We suggest cooking these on our GrillStation™ 5 Burner Gas Grill but you can always cook them in your slow cooker and finish them in the oven, if necessary.
Ingredients
Wood chips, soaked in water at least 1 hour
2 sheets (18x24-inches each) 18-inch wide heavy duty aluminum foil
1 rack baby back pork ribs (about 3 pounds), cut in half
1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
Instructions
Preheat grill to MEDIUM heat or GRILL ZONE (ORANGE).
Center half of ribs in single layer on each sheet of aluminum foil. Combine brown sugar and seasonings; rub over ribs, turning to coat evenly.
Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and one end to seal packet. Through open end, add 1/4 cup water. Double fold remaining end, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Repeat to make two packets.
Place rib packets in covered grill and grill 45 minutes. Remove ribs from grill and open foil.
To start SmokeStation™: Drain wood chips; fill SmokeStation drawer about ½ full. Turn SmokeStation burner to LOW. Turn burners beside SmokeStation to MEDIUM. Turn remaining 2 burners to LOW.
Place ribs on grill grate over burners that are LOW. BRUSH ribs with barbecue sauce. CONTINUE GRILLING 15 to 20 minutes, brushing with sauce and turning frequently.
Add wet wood chips as needed on top of wood chips to keep smoke going without flames or use a spray bottle of water set on the stream setting to wet wood chips.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/

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Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes
YIELDS: 4 servings

Baking potatoes in a slow cooker imparts steam which keeps the inside of your potato fluffy and delicious. If you prefer to cook the potatoes with salt, be sure to oil the inside of your slow cooker first so it doesn’t stick. Use a medium slow cooker if making only a few potatoes or use a large slow cooker if making more than four.
Ingredients
4 to 8 large baking potatoes, scrubbed
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Instructions
Rub potatoes with olive oil and pierce with a fork.
Place in slow cooker.
Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours or LOW for 7 to 8 hours depending on quantity of potatoes and size of slow cooker or until internal temperature reaches at least 210°F.
Sprinkle with salt before serving.
Top with butter, sour cream, bacon, cheese and chives, if desired.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/

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Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic Marinade
YIELDS: 6 servings

We love to use fresh vegetables from the farmers market when grilling. They are lightly marinated to add a boost of flavor, but the grill brings out the natural sweetness of the veggies while imparting a smoky, charred kick. These vegetables turn out great when cooked on our 3 Burner Pedestal Gas Grill.
Vegetables
​1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
2 large portabella mushroom caps
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut in half
1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut in half
1 large red onion, sliced
Marinade
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
​Place vegetables in large glass dish.
Combine marinade ingredients. Pour over vegetables in dish.
Cover vegetables and let marinate several hours or overnight.
Preheat grill to MEDIUM-HIGH heat or GRILL ZONE (ORANGE).
Drain vegetables; discard marinade.
Grill 8 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally until vegetables are browned and tender.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/

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Grilled Romaine with Creamy Caesar Dressing
YIELDS: 4 servings

If you’ve never grilled romaine, you have to start. It adds a boost of charred flavor to a light, leafy green that you don’t expect. Skewer the romaine to make turning easier or use tongs to get even grill marks. Top with homemade Caesar dressing and grilled bread croutons.
Dressing
3 anchovies
1 clove garlic
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
​1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
Salad
1 head romaine lettuce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Croutons
Instructions
For dressing, place anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and black pepper in blender.
Blend until mixture is creamy.
Add mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and oil to blender. Blend until smooth.
Preheat grill to medium-high.
Slice head of romaine lettuce in half lengthwise through root end. (Root end will help hold romaine together.) Use wooden skewers to hold lettuce leaves together, if necessary.
Spray romaine with nonstick cooking spray or brush lightly with olive oil. Place romaine halves on grill.
Grill 2 to 4 minutes each side until romaine is charred and slightly wilted.
Drizzle dressing over grilled romaine. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and croutons.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/

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Fun Family Dinner: Veggie Kabobs

Some kids are resistant to eating vegetables, while others are open to trying just about everything. We have found allowing kids to assist in the preparation of the meal usually makes them more excited to try new things. It also helps educate them on nutrition and healthy choices. These marinated summer vegetable kabobs are fun for the whole family to prepare and kids love to get their hands dirty and create their own kabob combinations. 

This recipe is great for farmer’s market summer squash, but feel free to add or subtract your favorite vegetables and customize the ingredients for your family. If you are using bamboo skewers, remember to soak them in water for at least 20 minutes prior to grilling so the sticks won’t burn.

Serve these kabobs at your next family dinner and get the kids to help you with the prep work, or enjoy this recipe at your next cookout or barbecue with friends and family.


Marinated Vegetable Kabobs
YIELDS: 4 servings

Vegetable kabobs are fun to make, easy to cook and serve, and create a vibrant and colorful plate. Lightly charring the edges of the vegetables gives the flavor more depth. You can marinate the vegetables in a covered dish, or if there is limited space in the refrigerator, use a large resealable zipper storage bag.
Marinade
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Ground pepper to taste
Vegetables
8 large mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut in chunks
1 large yellow pepper, cored, seeded, cut in chunks
1 large green pepper, cored, seeded, cut in chunks
1 small red onion, cut in chunks
Instructions
Mix marinade ingredients. Add vegetables.
Cover, refrigerate and marinate 4 to 8 hours.
Thread vegetables onto skewers; place on grill.
Grill 8 to 12 minutes, turning occasionally.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/

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Test Kitchen Tips: Use a non-metal dish for marinating. Most marinades contain acidic ingredients, such as vinegar or lemon juice, which react with metal causing “off” flavors.

Be creative with vegetables. Try red potatoes, asparagus, broccoli, or cherry tomatoes. There’s no need to be limited to white button mushrooms. Choose from a variety such as Portabella, Crimini and Shiitake mushrooms.