Sunday, August 31, 2014

Easy Roasted Baby Summer Squash with Feta and Thyme (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Easy Roasted Baby Summer Squash with Feta and Thyme found on KalynsKitchen.com
If kids help cut up the zucchini, they might eat this Easy Roasted Baby Summer Squash with Feta and Thyme!

(Updated with better photos and step-by-step instructions, August 2014)  One of the wonderful things about having summer squash in your vegetable garden is that soon you'll have so much of it you feel perfectly justified in picking them when they're tiny, similar to the baby squash you get in the fanciest of restaurants. I first posted this wonderful recipe for Easy Roasted Baby Summer Squash with Feta and Thyme back on 2007 when I had an abundance of baby squash from my garden, but now that I don't have a garden at the new house (yet!) I buy the packages of baby squash from Costco to make this. If you don't have a garden or a Costco membership you can still make this recipe with larger squash that are cut in strips.  Roasting the squash with fresh thyme concentrates the flavor in vegetables in the most lovely way, but dried thyme will also work fine for this recipe.

I re-did the photos for this recipe with my niece Kara and her adorable four-year-old daughter Quinn.  It had been a long cooking day and Quinn was getting tired of entertaining herself, so I grabbed a kid-safe knife and enlisted her to help cut the baby squash in half.  Quinn has pretty strong food preference, as most kids do at that age, and the whole time we were cutting them up she kept saying "I hate zucchini."  But when the finished dish was ready, she surprisingly agreed to take a bite, and even more surprisingly, she liked it and ate a couple of pieces.  So if you have kids who won't eat their vegetables, maybe getting them to help cook will help!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Favorite Healthy Grilling Recipes for the Last Weeks of Summer (Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Can Be Paleo)

Favorite Healthy Grilling Recipes for the Last Weeks of Summer found on KalynsKitchen.com
There's still nearly a month before the official end of summer, so here are some favorite healthy grilling recipes.

I know in the U.S. most people consider Labor Day weekend to be the unofficial end of summer, but I'm sharing these Favorite Healthy Grilling Recipes to remind you that there is still nearly a month left before the official end of summer, and there'll still be quite a few warm evenings and weekend days for you to enjoy cooking on the grill.  To entice  you not to put the grill away too soon I picked out ten of my all-time favorite recipes for this grilling public service announcement, and there are lots more options on the recipe archives page for Grilling Recipes as well.  All these favorites of mine are Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, and South Beach Phase One, and most of them Can Be Paleo as well, so they should work for lots of healthy eating plans.  (For anyone without an outdoor grill, all these recipes can be cooked on a stove-top grill pan with ridges.)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Red Boat Fish Sauce (and Ten Favorite Recipes Using Fish Sauce)

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks:  Red Boat Fish Sauce (and Ten Favorite Recipes Using Fish Sauce) found on KalynsKitchen.com
Red Boat Fish Sauce is amazingly smooth and flavorful!

In 2012 I recommended Three Crabs Fish Sauce as one of the products I buy over and over, so let me start out here by saying I'm still a fan of Three Crabs and I'd happily use it in a recipe.  But about a year ago I started hearing a lot of talk about Red Boat Fish Sauce, and when I saw it in a new Real Foods Market in Salt Lake, I had to try it.  Some of the buzz surrounding this product comes from the fact that it contains only fresh caught wild black anchovies and sea salt, making it Paleo and Whole 30 approved.  But if you like the umami-laden flavor of fish sauce, for me the main reason to spend a bit more for this brand is for the taste, which is amazingly smooth and has just the right combination of fishy-salty flavor notes.  Fish sauce is not something you use in huge amounts, so for me it's worth the money for a fish sauce that tastes this good.  Even though I found it in Salt Lake, I'm guessing this can be hard to find, but you can Get Red Boat Fish Sauce from Amazon.com if you can't find it where you live.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Slow Cooker Green Chile Shredded Beef Cabbage Bowl with Avocado Salsa (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Slow Cooker Green Chile Shredded Beef Cabbage Bowl with Avocado Salsa found on KalynsKitchen.com
I love all the flavors in this Slow Cooker Green Chile Shredded Beef Cabbage Bowl with Avocado Salsa.

When I look back in the monthly archives on Kalyn's Kitchen, it's interesting to see that the things I'm cooking at certain times of the year have a definite pattern.  For example, I obviously like to hold on to summer as long as I can, so every September I have Zucchini Recipes and Tomato Salads posted long after many bloggers have moved on to soups and pumpkin.  I'm sure there will still be more zucchini and tomato recipes coming this year, but I hope I can get a little credit for this Slow Cooker Green Chile Shredded Beef Cabbage Bowl with Avocado Salsa as a wonderfully season-spanning dish as we move from summer to fall.  The recipe has a layer of crunchy spicy slaw and some avocado salsa for summer, topped by spicy green chile beef that cooks in the slow cooker for fall.  I really loved this dish which I thought was just spicy enough to be interesting.  The shredded beef is also something that could be served over rice or quinoa for people who don't care about low carb and/or aren't cabbage fans.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Easy Calabacitas or Cheesy Summer Squash with Onions and Chiles (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Easy Calabacitas or Cheesy Summer Squash with Onions and Chiles found on KalynsKitchen.com
If you have a surplus of zucchini, use some of them to make this delicious and easy Calabacitas.

(Updated with better photos and step-by-step instructions, August 2014.)   Calabacitas is a traditional recipe from the American southwest, and it's a quick and easy way to use up abundant summer squash if you have them in your garden.  Traditional recipes for Calabacitas sometimes include things like corn or tomatoes, but in my version I concentrate on the flavors of the squash, onions, cheese, and green chiles.  This is definitely a recipe that should be made to individual taste, and when I first made this I thought a 4 oz. can of diced green chiles was plenty spicy, but now I'd probably use a bigger can.  Key to the flavor here is slightly browning the onions and squash as they cook; as long as you manage that you can't go wrong with this easy recipe.

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