Summer Zucchini Skillet

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We started a Quarantine Garden!  Is that what we are going to call them in history books?  Folks during WWII had victory gardens; we have quarantine gardens.  We planted zucchini squash, sweet banana peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes, basil, and cilantro.  Y’all, we had zucchini running out our ears from only a few plants!  One of my favorite dishes to make with our plentiful harvest is this Summer Zucchini Skillet.  It’s so fresh and summery, hence the name.  It pairs perfectly with some grilled chicken and sliced avocado.  I chop my chicken and avocado in small bites and mix everything together on my plate.  It’s a perfect summer meal!  ~Erin

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1 – 1 ½  lbs zucchini, stems cut off and chopped into 1-inch pieces

1 T. olive oil

1-2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

2 small-medium tomatoes (such as Roma), seeded and chopped

½ a small red onion (about 1/3 c. chopped)

1 – 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped

10 ounces frozen or fresh corn kernels, thawed if frozen

1 T. chopped fresh cilantro

The juice of half a lime

Chili Lime salt to taste (I like Tajin brand, low sodium version)

Heat olive oil in a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook a few minutes, until it starts to look translucent.  Stir in the garlic and corn and cook until fragrant (a couple minutes).  Add the zucchini, tomatoes, and jalapeno and cook until zucchini starts to soften, about 3-4 minutes.  Lastly, add the cilantro and lime juice and stir until heated through.  Remove from heat and add chili lime salt to taste. This is delicious served with grilled meat and avocado (will change the WW points).

WW info:  This recipe makes 4 large servings.  On Green plan, each serving is 4 points.  On Blue or Purple, each serving is 1 point.

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Skillet Cube Steak

My 11-year-old daughter recently shot her first deer. We hunt for the meat, not for the sport, but I will say there is something rewarding about harvesting your own dinner. My girl was excited and proud to get her first buck!

Venison is delicious, not to mention good for you. It’s a very lean red meat with hardly any fat. Our meat processor tenderizes ours for us so that, it’s so tender, you can cut it with a butter knife. If you don’t have the luxury of hunting your own venison and having it tenderized, you can buy beef cube steak (also known as tenderized round steak) at your local grocery store. We like either/or in this house! ~Erin

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lbs. cube steak, carefully trimmed of all fat and cut into small (approximately 2 inch) pieces
  • ½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 3 T. olive oil, divided

In a gallon-sized baggie, place all the trimmed meat along with the flour, salt, and pepper. Keep a lot of air in the bag and seal it well. This allows space for the meat and seasonings to shake around in the bag. Flip and shake the baggie until all the meat is coated evenly. Lay the meat out in a single layer on wax paper or plastic wrap near the stove and let it rest for 3-5 minutes. This helps the flour adhere to the meat.

Preheat a medium-sized heavy nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add one Tablespoon olive oil and swirl to distribute evenly. Allow the oil to get hot for about a minute; then add about 1/3 of the meat in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd the skillet. My skillet would fit about 1/3 of the batch of meat so I used 1 Tablespoon of oil per batch for a total of 3 Tablespoons. If you have a large skillet, you may be able to cook it all in two batches, using half of the 3 Tablespoons of oil for each of the batches.

Do not move the meat around after laying it in the pan; let it cook for 4-5 minutes undisturbed. Flip each piece and continue to cook for 3-4 more minutes or until the pieces are golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. My family would organize an uprising if I didn’t serve this with mashed potatoes and cream gravy so I suggest you do too. 🙂

WW Freestyle Info.: This recipe makes 5 servings of about 4 ounces each. Each serving is 7 points, whether you use venison or beef.

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

SkilletCookie

Posted by Erin

Here’s a fun fact about me:  I love to bake but I have no self-control around really good homemade desserts.  Like, NONE.  I’ll nibble and take a bite here and there throughout the day and, before I know it, I’ve eaten the majority of the pan of brownies or half a pie.  It’s why I’ve been in Weight Watchers going on 17 years!  I recognize my own weaknesses so I’ve learned to make portion controlled desserts.  My favorite is this skillet cookie.  On a night when I need something rich, warm, and decadent but don’t want a pan of desserts sitting around all weekend to tempt me, I make this cookie.  It’s big enough for my husband and me to share but, I’m not going to lie, I usually eat it all by myself with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  So, go ahead and make one for you and one for your husband.  Wait until your kids go to bed and that will save you from having to share.  Ha!  Oh, don’t act like you haven’t done it.  😉

I always make this cookie in small cast iron skillets that I got one year for Christmas.  They were part of a little skillet brownie kit.  That mix’s brownies were BLECH (if you haven’t tried our family brownie recipe, you really need to do that for yourself), but the skillets are awesome so if you see any of those sets around the after-Christmas sales this year, grab a few!  If you don’t happen to have a cast iron skillet yet, you can just make these in a regular baking pan too.

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. butter (I always use real butter for baking.)
  • 2 T. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 T. granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ c. roughly chopped pecans, optional (but SO good – I usually add extra!)
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Spray a 7″ or larger skillet/pan lightly with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.  In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the butter in 10 second increments until it’s soft and just beginning to melt.  Blend softened butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla together with a spoon.  Add the egg yolk and stir until it’s well blended.  Add flour and baking soda and stir again until combined.  Lastly, stir in chocolate chips (and pecans, if desired).  Heap the dough into the center of skillet/pan and flatten slightly.  No need to spread it to the edge; it will spread as it cooks.  Bake for 10 -12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.  Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly.  Do me a favor and wait until it’s not scalding hot before you dig in.  It will be the longest few minutes of your life.  Top it with ice cream, and eat it straight from the pan!