Fresh Zucchini & Corn Sauté

It’s August with all its summer heat. Today’s recipe is a simple sauté of two of the season’s most bountiful crops, fresh corn kernels and zucchini. Nothing beats the fresh taste of vegetables. The classic sauté begins with butter. I am using 1/2 butter and 1/2 olive oil. For vegan, use vegan butter and/or olive oil. Olive oil adds a rich flavor to the buttery veggies.

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Tropical Chicken, Avocado, & Mango Salad

Today’s recipe is a colorful and very tasty mix of chicken, mango, and avocado in a spicy lime dressing. It’s a hearty, filling summer meal with amazing flavors. Start with a bed of mixed baby lettuce or baby spinach. Mix cooked chicken whether it was grilled, sauteed, or cooked on a rotisserie at the supermarket with avocado and mango. I strongly suggest you make just what you can eat today as it does not store well. Both avocados and mangos should be ripe without being mushy for best results. Top it with the spicy lime dressing and enjoy the mix of flavors.

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Summer Nectarine Salad With Cucumbers & Tomatoes

For gardeners, summer can be a time of never-ending cucumbers and tomatoes. Even if you don’t grow your own, the supermarkets and farmer’s markets are loaded with summer produce.  Here’s a tasty salad  that goes great with grilled chicken or fish and is oh so easy to make. Use cucumbers with heirloom tomatoes,  but even grape or cherry tomatoes work well too.

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How To Cook With Spices

Whether you’re looking to make the best use of fresh meat or you’re trying to create fast and filling meals, let’s discuss how to use spices. Spices come from the bark, buds, fruit, roots, seeds or stems of various plants or trees. (An herb, on the other hand, is from the leafy parts of plants that do not have woody stems.) Both can lose flavor quickly. Here are a few seasoning rules and tips that you should try to make a part of your cooking repertoire.

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Savory Watermelon Pizza

Most of us have seen fruit pizzas that have no grain. Whether you are avoiding gluten or grain, today I’m talking about watermelon pizza. A thick slice of watermelon cut into wedges is the ‘crust’ of this summery pizza. Top with fresh fruits and veggies for refreshing flavor and crisp texture. You may prefer the sweet fruity versions that add more fruit to the slice of watermelon. I think of these as a dessert. Try adding strawberry slices and bueberries.

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Chicken, Pasta & Broccoli

Today I’m sharing an easy main dish for hot summer days, Chicken Pasta & Broccoli.  You can use any cooked chicken:  grilled, sauteed, baked, or even a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket.  Cook the pasta in boiling water and add the fresh broccoli for the last 4 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, make your pasta sauce and cut up your cooked chicken. To cut the fat, I am using half & half instead of heavy cream in the sauce. Half-and-half cream combined with melted butter can be a simple substitute in many recipes that require heavy cream. It has about 1/3 of the calories as heavy cream and still makes the dish very tasty.

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5 Delicious Summer Slow Cooker Meals

Many of you may think that a slow cooker is great tool for hot meals in the winter. When you think of the summer, you think cool, simple meals like salads, barbecue, and hamburgers. Actually a slow cooker or crock-pot is a perfect summer-cooking tool. Because it cooks low and slow, you avoid turning on the oven and heating up the house. You spend more time out of the kitchen and enjoying the day. There’s no denying that the humble slow cooker is an excellent way to make “set it and forget it” types of meals. You can cook large meals in a slow cooker, plus you can even batch-cook and freeze uneaten items to consume at a later date.

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Fresh Succotash

Succotash originated from Narragansett Native Americans living in the area now known as Rhode Island. The name is derived from a Narragansett word meaning “broken or boiled corn kernels.” Native Americans introduced succotash to struggling colonists in the 1600s.

Happy 4th of July to all my fellow Americans! Today is the perfect time for a historic fresh vegetable side dish originally shared by Native Americans in the 1600s. Succotash is a highly underrated dish made with fresh sweet corn kernels, squash, onion, tomatoes, and lima or other beans. I remember enjoying it as a child with summer meals. Many Americans consider it a southern dish, but there are variations of the dish across the country. Now in modern times you can personalize the seasoning blend to be Greek, Latin, or Cajun. For example, you could use a green bell pepper or a red one. Today I am adding green beans, red bell pepper, cumin, and a jalapeno pepper. You can add whatever beans you have. Nearly every version has lima beans included but sometimes with the addition of other beans. I recommend using fresh vegetables in the summer if available except for the lima beans. You may use frozen lima beans defrosted.

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