So… long story short, we came to Chicago this past spring, and expected to be gone by now. Instead, we spent time with family and found a house here that we loved. Now we’re here for good – or at least a few years. I grew up here, but I honestly never expected to be back. Winter isn’t my thing, but I’m trying to get excited for it anyway.
There is something here you don’t have to twist my arm to get excited about: midwest corn! When I realized we weren’t going to be bolting town, I was excited for 2 things – we’d finally have a home of our own again and we’d be in town for sweet corn season 🙂
Pictured above are the things I gathered a few weeks ago at the market, except the lime was from the store. The combo of corn and tortillas meant taco time!
I was super surprised to find fresh tomatillos in Chicago, so made fresh salsa with them (although you could use store-bought tomatillo salsa for this recipe as well).
I grilled the green beans and the corn and tossed them all together with cilantro, cherry tomatoes, lime juice, and a scoop of the salsa. This salad could be eaten on its own, but here I made it into a taco filling.
These tacos are on the messy side so I would suggest using flour tortillas since they won’t fall apart like some corn tortillas do. I used these White Corn & Wheat tortillas from La Tortilla Factory, which I found at Whole Foods. Top the tacos with feta or cotija cheese, serrano peppers, and scoops of the tomatillo salsa. A super easy summer dinner! If you’d like, everything can be made in advance.
I should also mention that the filling that I had left over made for great breakfast tacos the following morning. Toss generous scoops of the corn salad into 4 eggs while you’re scrambling them. Divide into 4 tacos, top with cheese (if you like), and scoop on the salsa.
A few months ago, Jack and I were in Dallas at a popsicle shop that had this dairy-free avocado lime pop that I went crazy for. I’ve been meaning to recreate it all summer and, well, summer isn’t over yet… so here we go! Only I recreated it in smoothie form because smoothies are easier to make if you don’t have a popsicle mold… or if your popsicle mold is in storage like mine is.
I promise that this does not taste like guacamole… it’s a creamy almost sorbet-like smoothie that contains a healthy amount of healthy fats. I enjoy it in the morning or mid-afternoon when I need a good boost of energy… although I think it would also be tasty as a dessert (if made extra thick) with some chocolate sauce or cacao nibs on top!
The avocado creates a rich & creamy base and the lime peps it up. For sweetness, I added frozen pineapple, banana (also best frozen), and a bit of maple syrup. For a green punch I added big handfuls of spinach, and for an extra boost I added a few scoops of Aloha Vanilla Protein Powder.
I have to admit that I used to hate protein powders. Most that I’d tried were chalky and had a funny taste that I didn’t want ruining my smoothies. This Aloha Vanilla Plant-Based Protein is the opposite. It blends in seamlessly, the texture is great, and there is no aftertaste. The vanilla flavor is mild and it has a list of really great organic sustainably-sourced ingredients like pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, and hemp seed protein. It’s packed with tons of omega 3’s and whopping 18 grams of protein per 2 scoops!
You know those days when you feel like there’s nothing in the fridge, but then suddenly you’re able to rally enough ingredients to pull together a great meal? You feel accomplished, creative and oh-so resourceful. The best feeling! Well this isn’t that recipe. This is the recipe that I came up with the night after.
Normally when the fridge is empty and I haven’t gone shopping, we would go out to eat. But it was late – I didn’t want to go out and I definitely wasn’t up for a trip to the grocery store, so I started poking around in the pantry and found a lot more than I expected. And what came out of it may be my favorite dinner from the whole summer.
There was a half box of orzo, pine nuts, some bread crumbs and my favorite dried herbs of the moment – herbs de Provence. In the lonely vegetable drawer there was a shallot, a lemon, garlic, some feta cheese and waaay back there was a giant eggplant (yay! a vegetable!). My mom’s basil and mint plants were blooming away outside so I added handfuls of each to freshen up this pantry-based meal.
The first night I made this, I flaked some salmon into the pasta (it’s what I had on hand), but for the final dish that’s pictured here (after a trip to the store), I used zucchini instead. Grilled zucchini and eggplant are surprisingly substantial in this vegetarian pasta. They’re so substantial, that there’s only a small amount of pasta in the recipe. The lemon and feta makes this rich and tangy, and the pine nuts and bread crumbs give a nice crunch in contrast to the soft textures in the rest of the dish.
My family really loved it and I hope yours does to!
Six years of blogging and there is not ONE zucchini bread recipe on this site! I’m not sure how that happened, but we’re changing that today :). I flipping love zucchini bread. I made about 6 loaves while testing this recipe and I’m still just as much in love with zucchini bread as I was when I started 🙂
I hope you have gardens full of zucchini (or at least 2 medium zucchini), and enjoy this recipe as much as Jack and I do!
This recipe makes 2 loaves (you can freeze one!) and uses 2 cups of grated zucchini. Which means that you can enjoy this as a snack or for breakfast, or both and know that you’re (sort of) getting in a serving of green vegetables.
For the batter, I use a mix of regular flour and almond flour (a bit of protein!). To make this dairy-free, I sub in olive oil for butter and I use my go-to Almond Breeze Almondmilk.
The recipe pictured here uses eggs. I prefer this version because the loaf rises better and it just makes for a light, cake-y texture. Don’t worry, there’s a vegan option below as well – the only difference is that the sans-egg recipe does not rise as much, making its texture more moist. I love both versions for different reasons and all of the loaves got polished off just the same here in my family household.
I almost forgot… perhaps the best part – chocolate chips! If you’re a zucchini purist, you can leave them off, but in my opinion zucchini and chocolate work together like peanut butter and jelly.
Bake until the tops of the loaves are golden brown. Share or freeze the extra loaf!
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Hey, long time no blog! So sorry about that! Things have been a little crazy over here since we’re moving in just a few days. I hope you’ve been able to enjoy a little time away from the computer this summer as well 🙂
Today’s recipe is super simple. I know I’ve been saying a lot lately, but it’s summer and I love a recipe that comes together without much fuss! The grocery list is short and the prep time is minimal, but the flavors are so fresh and delicious. If you haven’t tried combining blackberries and basil yet, you’ll love this sweet/tangy/savory combo.
Every now and then we make our own pizza dough, but 95% of the time, we pick up dough from Whole Foods. I’ve especially been enjoying their multigrain pizza dough lately. It has a wonderful nutty flavor and, well, a multitude of grains.
For the recipe, simply stretch the dough, brush it with some garlicky olive oil, assemble with the cheese and blackberries, and bake. The most important part comes last – pile the baked pizza with TONS of basil. These nice small basil leaves came from my mom’s herb garden, if your leaves are larger you can tear them into smaller pieces. The basil makes this taste SO fresh, and makes it look real pretty too.
Enjoy this one with friends, preferably on a patio, with a crisp glass of rose in hand!