Zucchini Soup

I recently did a 28 day challenge at a local gym, Signature Fitness.  The challenge included 4 trainer-led (killer! – but doable) workouts per week and a meal plan.  Well, I didn’t exactly follow the meal plan (I do Weight Watchers anyway so I felt no need to deviate from that) but I did try to eat more “clean” during the challenge.  I didn’t win the 4 week challenge but I did lose a few pounds (which was not my goal) and some inches (that was more my focus).  Even though I didn’t follow the meal plan exactly, I did try a few of the recipes.  This Zucchini Soup is one of those.  It’s a very summery soup… does that make sense for a soup?  It does in this situation… it’s so fresh tasting!  You have a couple options for flavors here.  The original recipe calls for fennel.  I loved it with the fennel, but not all members of my family are fennel fans so I often make it with dill instead.  I love it just as much with dill, and it’s delicious served warm or cold, either one!  ~Erin

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Zucchini Soup
    Ingredients
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • ½ a medium white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried fennel seed OR ½ tsp dried dill weed (not both!)
  • 3 c. low-sodium chicken stock
  • Salt, to taste (plus black pepper if using fennel)
  1. Heat olive oil in a medium pot with zucchini, onion, and fennel seed (if using).
  2. Sautee over medium heat until onion becomes translucent.
  3. Add chicken stock and dill, if using instead of fennel.
  4. Simmer until zucchini is very tender (about 10-15 minutes).
  5. Turn off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes, then blend with an immersion blender. If you do not have an immersion blender, let the mixture cool to almost room temp and then puree in your blender. Do not put hot liquids in the blender.
  6. Add salt (and pepper if you used fennel as the spice – pepper is not necessary if you used dill) to taste.
  7. If you used fennel, you may want to strain out the seeds at this point; they don’t blend.
  8. Serve warm or cold.

Weight Watchers info: This soups makes about 4 servings of 1 cup each. Each serving is zero SmartPoints!

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/06/11/zucchini-soup/

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Thai Chicken Pizza

My family loves pizza. What’s not to love?  But I get tired of the same, run-of-the-mill basics.  They are good, but come on.   I’ve got to have some variety, y’all!

When I was going to college, there was a little, local restaurant in Stillwater called the Thai Cafe, which I loved.  I miss it!  Now, I have to travel quite a ways to get Thai food.  So I came up with this jazzed up, easy to make, tasty pizza, combining some of my favorite flavors.

It is our new favorite!   ~Kathy

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Ingredients:

1 pizza crust (your favorite recipe or refrigerated — I used Pillsbury thin crust refrigerated dough; points figured with this dough selection)

3 to 4 T. Chili Garlic Sauce*

1 heaping c. chicken breast, cooked and sliced thin**

1 medium red bell pepper, sliced thin, seeds removed

1 small zucchini, sliced ¼ inch thick

Red onion, sliced thin (about 2 slices)

1 ½ c. shredded low moisture, part skim mozzarella cheese

½ c. shredded mild cheddar cheese (reduced fat, if following WW)

2 T. cilantro (for optional garnish)

Instructions:

On a lightly greased baking sheet, roll pizza crust out into a rectangle, about 10 x 14 inches.

Spread sauce over crust, very thinly.

Spread remaining ingredients over pizza as desired, ending with cheeses.

Bake according to crust directions, until golden brown, cooked through and cheese is melted.

Garnish by sprinkling with cilantro once it’s cooled a little (optional).

 

Notes:

*Chili garlic sauce is found in the Asian food section (see photo).  It is full of flavor and some heat.  Use 3 Tablespoons if you like it mild/warm.   If you want it warmer, use up to 4 Tablespoons.  It doesn’t look like much on the crust, but it gives plenty of flavor!

**I used chicken breasts boiled with some onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Once drained and cooled, slice thin.   Rotisserie chicken breast would also be a good substitute.

Weight Watchers Info:  This makes 6 servings, 8 Freestyle SmartPoints per serving.

Zucchini Bread with Streusel Topping

Unfortunately, the growing season is quite short where we live in the mountains, so there are just a few things we can grow successfully. Tomatoes don’t stand a chance! However, zucchini will do well if you don’t start it from seeds.

It hasn’t been long since zucchini was plentiful here at farmers’ markets, grocery stores, & luckily for me, in my own garden. ~Kathy

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Ingredients for Bread:

3 c. shredded zucchini*
1 2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. oil
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (heaping)
½ tsp. ground cloves
Pinch nutmeg
½ tsp. baking powder

Ingredients for Topping:
½ c. packed brown sugar
Pinch salt
6 T. flour
4 T. butter

Directions:
In a separate bowl, using a pastry cutter blend together Streusel ingredients until it makes coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Move oven rack to low position so the top of pans are in the center of the oven. Preheat to 350˚F.

Grease bottoms only of two 9” loaf pans.

Mix zucchini, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Mix to combine.

Divide equally into loaf pans, then sprinkle the top of each loaf with Streusel mixture. Finally, if desired, cover each loaf with 1/3 c. chopped nuts.

Bake for approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

*I have used a combination of shredded apple and zucchini when I was didn’t quite have enough zucchini, and it worked out great.