You can do a lot of amazing things with zucchini. You can bread it and bake it for the faux-fry treatment. And then dip in ranch. Because the answer is always ranch (when it’s not margarita).
You can caramelize it in some bacon grease [swoon] and toss it into a peppery, velvety smooth carbonara for what is quite possibly the best pasta dish you’ll make all summer.
But my all-time favorite for the last few years? Grilling it with red onions and topping with a simple, insanely versatile, you-have-all-these-ingredients-already vinaigrette.
I make the grilled zucchini twice a week and eat it most nights as our veggie side. And most days, I pile the leftovers onto a chunk of baguette with a smear of mayo and a dizzle of vinaigrette, pop it under the broiler with some cheese, and call it lunch.
It’s my favorite summer lunch. My favorite summer sandwich.
And it’s pretty close to the best thing that could ever happen to zucchini.
Grilled Zucchini & Red Onion Sandwich
Summery sandwich made with grilled zucchini and red onions, topped with a lemon basil vinaigrette.
“You’re going to get me kicked off the internet for this.”
Not the first time I’ve said those words to Jason… probably won’t be the last, either.
But he has a point. There is no such thing as too much queso. Nor is there any shortage of things to do with the leftovers. Especially if you have no shame and even less regard for cholesterol levels. Hi, I’m Shawnda
On Cinco Eve, when you’re trying to decide whether you should double or triple your favorite queso recipe between sips of margarita (of course) – go with the little tequila bottle whispering in your ear.
Because if your friends disappoint you and don’t lick the bowl clean, you have options.
There’s Eggs Benedict. And not that you really need anymore options after that because [swoon]…
And then there’s scooping the leftovers over a pan of oven-baked fries (because frying anything destined to be covered in cheese is kind of irresponsible). And then top it with a mound of pico de gallo (vegetables!) and avocado (avocado!) and a few squeezes of lime juice (expensive!).
Loaded Queso Fries
The ultimate Cinco de Mayo hangover cure: baked french fries topped with leftover queso, pico de gallo, and avocado.
We grew up on a quiet, country road. Our house marked the midway point from the bus stop to Martha’s house. On any given day, if her kids weren’t at my house, my mom’s kids were at hers.
We introduced Martha to chocolate gravy, baked beans, and snow ice cream. Martha introduced us to chorizo, homemade tortillas, and tamales.
Martha was very much like a second mom. She had no problem putting us to work or yelling at us if we got too loud and disturbed Mr. John’s nap.
And then I caught that crazy woman putting mayonnaise (MAYONNAISE!) on my corn-on-the-cob and I thought I’d never be able to trust another human again.
Mexican Grilled Corn, or, you know, “corn,” as Martha & Mr. John called it, is a thing of wonder. Sure, you could say the right sweet corn cob needs nothing more than a pat of butter… but you’d really be missing out.
Local taco trucks sell it and advertise it simply as Elote (corn). And what you’re getting for $2 is simply fantastic.
The corn cobs are grilled until lightly charred, brushed lightly with mayonnaise, and then topped with a dusting of chile powder, a squeeze of lime juice, and crumbled Mexican cheese (queso fresco or cotija). The heat from the grill melts the mayo and cheese while the lime cuts the richness and the chiles gives it the perfect bite.
Corn on the cob is grilled, brushed with mayo, and topped with chile powder, goat cheese, and lime.
Chile powder (chipotle is my favorite)
Crumbled goat cheese (cotija and queso fresco are traditional)
Preheat your grill to medium-high.
Leaving the stalk attached, remove all but the single, very inner-most layer of corn husk and discard.
Run cobs under water and then put directly on the grill.
Cook ~5 minutes at a time, rotating to lightly char all kernels.
Remove any husk/silk that didn't burn away on the grill.
While the corn is still hot, coat each with 1-2 tsp of mayo. I do this by putting the mayo on a paper towel and rubbing it over the corn.
When I started Whole30, it was a desperation move to see if I could find something that might speed up healing my plantar fasciitis so I could start running again.
It sounded like an okay-ish idea. Actually, that’s totally a pants-on-fire lying lie. I knew it was a terrible idea. That I would be miserable and that misery would suck the other innocent bystanders in this house into my miserable swirling vortex of the misery that is Miserable No-Sugar Shawnda.
I feel like we have eaten the same 4 things over and over and over and over and over again. I have been completely uninspired (you’ve probably noticed how quiet it has been) and, in general, just a real [radio edit] “joy” to be around.
The WholeAlmost30 hasn’t been perfect. Or enjoyable (understatement of the [radio edit] year). But here we are, nearly a month later, and I’ve been jogging on the treadmill a few times a week.
With almost zero issues. Y’all. Zero. And that is totally not a pants-on-fire lying lie.
So I officially and permanently claimed back one of the forbidden fruits to help try to ease the misery. Because you know what I was totally sick of eating for breakfast? Eggs. You know what makes all the difference in the world and turns eggs back into a far less stabby breakfast option? Goat cheese.
I whisked together the fixins for a mega-omelet and baked it in a cupcake pan. Re-heating 2-3 for breakfast every morning was a lot quicker, easier, and far more enjoyable than my standard eggs-over-green-things. It was also a great way to put a dent in the KalePocalypse™ that’s going down in the garden right now.
Here’s to goat cheese! And for “wogging” a 5k. And to more goat cheese!
Miffin-Tin Omelets with Kale, Sundried Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese
Miniature baked omelets loaded with fresh kale, sundried tomatoes, and tangy goat cheese.
1/4 cup milk
4 oz crumbled goat cheese
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 packed cups chopped kale (~8 large leaves)
Heaping 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
Preheat oven to 350.
Whisk together the eggs, salt, pepper and goat cheese in a large bowl; set aside.
Liberally (like, waaaay liberally) spray a muffin tin with cooking spray/olive oil. (You can also use paper liners - not my favorite, see the last paragraph above.)
Heat olive oil in a skillet and saute the onion and garlic until translucent and softened.
Add the chopped kale and tomatoes, stirring until the kale begins to wilt.
Turn off heat and let sit about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Transfer the kale mixture to the eggs, stirring to mix.
Using a 1/4-cup measure to fill each muffin cup.
Bake for ~25 minutes, until the centers are set and not runny.
Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes.
Run a knife around the edge of the omelets and then let cool another 5 minutes.
Remove from pan - a fork is helpful for any that stuck at the bottom.
Refrigerate leftovers and reheat in the microwave.
*I’ve made individual omelets in cupcake liners and… well, it’s not my favorite. My paper liners always get soggy in the fridge over the course of the next 2-3 days and tear into small pieces. Which I feel is a bigger pain that using a fork to loosen the mini-omelets from the muffin pan. Totally your call, though. As long as the pan is well-sprayed with oil, you shouldn’t lose any to tearing.