Lenten Recipe: Zucchini Latkes with Tzatziki Sauce

Latkes are a Lenten staple in our house. While we often make the traditional potato variety, this zucchini-based variation is also a hit with the kids.

Ingredients: Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup grated cucumber, patted dry
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbls extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbls dill, chipped
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and ground black pepper, as needed

Methodology: Tzatziki Sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients in a glass or metal bowl and refrigerate 2-3 hours.

Ingredients: Latkes

  • 3 zucchini, grated
  • Salt
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup dill, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground tarragon
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbles
  • Olive oil

Methodology: Zucchini Latkes

  1. Combine ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. When shimmering, drop spoonfuls of zucchini mixtures into oil. Fry to 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  3. Keep latkes warm in a 175° F degree oven. Serve with tzatziki sauce.

Lenten Recipe: Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)

This version of a Greek classic cheats by using prepackaged puffed pastry instead of filo dough. The end result may not have the same delicate, flaky texture of traditional spinach pie, but it’s a lot easier to make.

Ingredients

  • 2lb spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 package puffed pastry
  • 1lb cottage cheese
  • 2 cup feta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tbls flour
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Methodology

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Lightly steam chopped spinach (there’s a lot, so do it in batches).
  3. Saute onion in oil, then add garlic, oregano, and basil; salt and pepper to taste. When onion is cooked remove and reserve onion and garlic. Use the remaining oil to grease a 9x13x2 baking dish.
  4. Drain the cottage cheese and mix with the feta cheese, eggs, garlic and onion. Add flour as needed to keep the mixture dry.
  5. Roll out the puffed pastry sheets and place one in the bottom of the baking dish. Mix spinach and cheeses and spoon into the dish.
  6. Lay the second pastry sheet on top and tuck in, brushing with the remaining oil.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

Lenten Recipe: Pesto Minestrone Soup

I love Lenten soups. They tend to be easy to make and a crowd pleasure for at least 75% of our kids. This soup is no exception. Using the crockpot means a little invest of time in the morning pays dividends when dinner is ready in the evening. And the use of a rich, flavorful pesto elevates this soup to something the kids love.

Ingredients

  • Two carrots, sliced
  • 2 potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tbls olive oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbls basil pesto
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 cup small pasta (macaroni, orzo, etc.)
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese

Methodology

  1. Toss the carrots, potatoes, and onions in olive oil and put in slow cooker.
  2. Add 5 cups water, tomatoes, 2 tbls pesto, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook 6-8 hours on high.
  3. Add beans, pasta and remaining pesto. Continue cooking until pasta is cooked (about 10 minutes).
  4. Serve immediately, topped with Parmesan cheese.

Father’s Day Recipe: Bacon Avocado Penne

With Father’s Day right around the corner I thought I’d take a break from my blogging seclusion to share this awesome pasta dish I cooked up last week. I’m not a big fan of tomato sauces, so I’m always looking for alternative ways to spice up my pasta and this simple, hearty, manly main course will be sure to please the dad in your life!

Ingredients

  • ½ pound penne pasta, cooked
  • ½ pound bacon, cooked and cut into 1/2 inch bites
  • 2 tbls reserved bacon grease
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and cubed
  • 2 tbls parsley flakes
  • salt and pepper

Methodology

  1. Saute onion in reserved bacon grease until slightly carmelized. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute.
  2. Mix onion, garlic, bacon, avocado, and parsley with warm penne; salt and pepper to taste.

Makes approximately 4 servings; easily doubled if you have a larger family (like ours!). Pairs great with a Caesar salad!

Recipe: New Year’s Ham and Black Eyed Pea Soup

I first tried this recipe last New Year’s, using the leftovers from our Christmas ham, and was  surprised  both by the flavor (the ham bone gave the broth a subtle sweetness) and the children’s reactions (very positive). Here’s to a blessed and happy New Year!

Ingredients

  • 1lb dry black eyed peas
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ham bone
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • ½ head of red cabbage, cut into chunks
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • 2 cups ham, diced

Methodology

  1. Rinse the black eyed peas and remove any discolored beans.
  2. Place the beans in a large stock pot with the water and salt; bring to a boil, cook for 2 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Add the ham bone and simmer, covered, for one hour.
  3. Remove the ham bone and add the carrots, cabbage, onion, garlic, cumin, and mustard. Cook on low for another hour.
  4. Add the diced ham and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Serve with warm bread.

Original photo by michelle@TNS/flickrCC

Lenten Recipe: Three Cheese and Beer Soup

This is probably my most favorite soup recipe, ever. It’s simple, easy, and really tasty on a cold, Lenten Friday night. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, add a cup of crab meat and/or shrimp with the potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbls butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • ¼  cup flour
  • ½  tsp dry mustard
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup dark ale (I like to use Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 potatoes, cubed to ½  inch
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1  cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼  cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • ¼  tsp pepper sauce
  • ¼  tsp Worcestershire sauce

Methodology

  1. In a dutch oven melt butter. Add vegetables (except potatoes) and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in flour and mustard; cook 1 minute.
  3. Add stock and cook until bubbly.
  4. Add beer, cream, and potatoes. Cook until potatoes are tender (10-12 minutes).
  5. Slowly whisk in cheeses until melted, then add pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
  6. Serve with crusty rolls and a salad.