Zucchini !!!!

I bought a share in a CSA this year. Today’s farm fresh box had a variety of great seasonal veggies- zucchini, tomatoes, onion, Swiss chard, cucumbers.  Yum.

I found a recipe for a chicken Shawarma that looked good, but I wanted a vegetarian meal. So I adapted.  I cut zucchini lengthwise into 1/4 ” strips and marinated them instead of the chicken.  I love it!


So so here it is




Shawarma Spiced Zucchini , Tomato and Cucumber Pita with Tahini Yogurt Sauce


1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/4 teaspoon Paprika
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne
1/8 teaspoon Cinnamon
4 tablespoons Olive Oil , divided use
1.5 teaspoons Kosher Salt , divided use
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper , divided use
2 medium zucchini sliced lengthwise in 1/4″ thick slices
4 Pita Pocket , or flatbreads
1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (if you want a vegan meal choose a vegan yogurt)
4 teaspoons Tahini
1/4 teaspoon Garlic , minced
1/4 teaspoon Lemon Zest , grated on a microplane
4 tablespoons Lemon Juice , divided use
4 tablespoons Basil or mint
1 cup Cucumber , halved lengthwise, sliced thinly
2 cups Swiss chard, kale, beet greens, spinach or other leafy greens
3/4 cup Cherry Tomatoes , halved or tomatoes diced and some seeds and juice removed
1/3 cup Red or sweet onion of choice chopped finely


Preheat grill

Mix cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add zucchini and toss to coat, marinate at least 15 minutes. Grill, over medium heat until browned and tender through.

Wrap pitas in foil and warm on grill for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix yogurt, tahini, garlic, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 2 tablespoons of basil or mint in a medium bowl.

Toss cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in another medium bowl.

Divide zucchini among 4 pitas. Top with 1/4 of the salad and drizzle it with the sauce. Garnish with a sprinkle of the remaining herbs. Serve immediately.


Pumpkin and Spinach Lasagna


When I asked my grandson to rate this on a 1-5 scale, he gave it a 10.


Pumpkin Spinach Lasagna

6 moderate servings –  I would serve with a cooked  green veggie on the side or a big  leafy green salad on the side.

4 no boil lasagna noodles, pour boiling water over them and soak for 5 minutes, then remove and drain in a single layer on paper towels, they will be softened but still slightly firm.

1 C reduced fat ricotta cheese

1 C shredded part skim mozzarella

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 C pumpkin

1/4 C skim milk

1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 C cooked, drained, chopped  spinach

1 Tsp finely snipped fresh sage

1/2 cup each shredded mozzarella and parmesan, additional sage – mixed together

Mix ricotta, mozzarella, salt and pepper in a large bowl, then divide in half into 2 bowls.

Add the pumpkin, pie spice, and milk to one bowl and mix well.

Add the spinach and sage to the other bowl.

To assemble

Use a bread loaf pan – spray with non stick spray,  such as PAM

Place 1/4 of the pumpkin in the bottom of loaf pan and spread evenly.  Sprinkle with a little

Parmesan mixture. place 1 noodle on top, then spinach layer, parmesan, noodle, repeat, pressing down a little after each  noodle to make sure it is all evenly distributed in each layer. until all noodles used and finish with a layer of pumpkin on top, and sprinkle with part mixture. cover with foil and bake at 375 for 40 minutes, remove foil and bake another 10 minutes until lightly browned and bubbling hot.

After covered with foil may be refrigerated over night and cooked the next day if you wish.

226 calories, 16 carbs, 10 fat, 19 protein

Green Bean Uncasserole

Green Bean uncasserole

I love green beans and grew up with the ubiquitous green bean casserole at the holidays. I have looked for ways to have something with  the same elements, but with out the goopy high sodium soups, and often over cooked, limp green beans. I also did not want the high fat fried onions on top.

My tastes have changed and I want the fresh tastes of the vegetables to shine through. I think this dish accomplishes that goal, and takes only minutes to prepare.

1 lb. fresh green beans, ends trimmed, See note below about using frozen green beans for easier prep

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup red onion thinly sliced

8 oz baby portabella, white button, and/or shitaake mushrooms, thinly sliced, will equal about 3 cups sliced

1 -1 1/2 tsp lemon pepper

1/4 C vegetable or chicken broth (I use premade ones, from a box)

Drop green beans into about 2-3 inches of  boiling water in a large deep skillet or wok, and cook for 5 minutes, remove green beans and place to the side on a plate. If you are prepping in advance they can be placed in a bowl of ice water to quickly chill and stop further cooking.

Pour water out of skillet, and dry with a paper towel.

Place olive oil into skillet over medium high heat and when it is hot add onions and mushrooms, stir around to get coated a bit in the oil and cook for about 5-8 minutes until mushrooms and onions are soft and lightly browned.


Return green beans to skillet, add broth, lemon pepper and salt to taste, cover with a tight fitting lid, and cook over high heat  for another 3-5 minutes until all is hot and green beans are tender but still brightly colored.

 note, you may use a 1 lb bag of frozen green beans that have been completely thawed. if you do, omit the initial boiling. If I do use frozen beans,  I like the very thin green beans from Trader Joes or Aldi. They taste very fresh this way, are high quality and visually attractive.