Baked Parmesan Zucchini

Okay, so let's chat for one second. When I started this blog, back in the spring of 2012, it was because I was bored and wanted to find something to do with my free time. I liked cooking, eating was a clear favorite, and writing was something that I knew I enjoyed. (Whether or not I believed in my writing abilities is a completely different topic.) Out of this, SMAK was born. Over the past two years I have at times gotten lazy and went weeks without posting a single new entry. Other times I became incredibly motivated and wrote consistently for weeks on end. I've gone through various styles of photography - staged with a photography tent, iPhone pictures turned Polaroid and retro, and natural and organic. But what I've seen throughout these past few years is a consistent love of what I am doing. WordPress allows me to see that stats of my blog - some days I only have 15 views, other days I have 259. Sure, I would love to see a huge boost in viewership. It'd be a dream to gain sponsorship, do food testings and recipe development. But right now? I am okay where I am at, as long as I am putting a smile on one person's face. As long as one person finds a new recipe to try in any given day, I view that as a success. So as long as you will still put up with me, SMAK will still be there for your enjoyment.

With that said, today's recipe...

guestchef

I was lucky enough to have my beautiful niece join me as sous chef!

zucchini

toppings

parmesan

I would suggest adding a little more parmesan to allow for more of the browning atop the zucchini. Plus, you can never have too much cheese.

bakedparmesanzucchini

This recipe is really quite simple and fairly quick to pull together. I can't say that this would replace chips or cookies every day (although maybe it should), but it's a great healthy snack or hors d'oeuvre.

Baked Parmesan Zucchini

Ingredients:

4 zucchini, halves and quartered lengthwise 1/2 cup grated Parmesan 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 1/2 teaspoon drive oregano 1/2 teaspoon dried basil 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a cooking rack with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine Parmesan, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Place zucchini onto prepared baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan mixture.
  4. Place into oven and bake until tender, about 15 minutes.
  5. The broil 2-3 minutes, or until crisp and edges being to brown.
  6. Serve immediately.

Toasted Hemp Seeds with Golden Berries & Cocoa

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Superfoods!

hemp seeds

Lately I have been making note of how terribly I snack. Oreos, roasted gorgonzola crackers with cilantro jalapeño humus, ice cream. Overall, I could be doing a lot more in terms of eating healthy in between meals. The issue I have is that I don't really think of it beforehand so I grab whatever is easiest. What I really need is food that is quick and easy to throw together.

golden berries

cocoa nibs

I have to admit, while I was making this I was very hesitant. It looked like bird feed. I knew that I loved golden berries. But the combination of these ingredients? I just wasn't sure. But...I should have known never to doubt Sam Talbot.

toasted hemp seeds with golden berries and cocoa nibs

The end result is something very similar to a trail mix. Plan 1: Replace Oreos with this and I'll be well on my way to a healthier lifestyle.

What are some of your favorite healthy snacks?

Toasted Hemp Seeds with Golden Berries and Cocoa Recipe from Sam Talbot's The Sweet Life Servings 12

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil 2 cups hemp seeds 1/2 cup golden berries 1/2 cup cocoa nibs 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the hemp seeds and toast, tossing frequently, until the seeds are fragrant and golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the toasted hemp seeds to a medium bowl and add the golden berries, cocoa nibs, salt, and pepper.
  4. Enjoy!

Quinoa Salad

Dare I say it? Is summer officially here? With Memorial Day come and gone, I think it would be fair to say that spring is in the past and we are now on our way to beaches, tank tops, farmers markets and Summer Shandy! This past weekend held a few firsts for the season....first trip to the farmers market, first time playing bags in the backyard, first time wearing shorts (excluding while at the gym), and first time making this quinoa salad! A friend introduced this recipe to me a while back and it quickly became a favorite summer go-to. The fresh flavors, healthy ingredients, and deliciousness make it the perfect addition to any summer menu.

Quinoa Salad

As we move forward into the summer I am excited to announce that our breadth of content will be expanding! Since SMAK first began, I have tended to stick to the basics...stories and recipes. While this has been great, I have come to realize that there is so much more that I could write about that I have been steering clear of...cooking tips, restaurants, bars, cooking shows! 

"food isn't just something you eat - it's a lifestyle, an experience. come along on a journey as we talk a little culinary SMAK!"

SMAK's homepage says it all, yet I have missed so much! So from this point on, expect some of the same, recipes, stories, but expect the unexpected! New restaurants and bars opening in the city? You've got it! My favorite coffee shop down the street? You've got it! My take on the latest episode of MasterChef? Yup, that will be here too! 

Until next time (which may be sooner than you think)...happy eating! 

Quinoa Salad

Ingredients: 2 cups quinoa 3 bell peppers , chopped 1 red onion, chopped 1 can black beans 1 can corn 1 bunch cilantro, chopped 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered olive oil lime juice salt, to taste cumin, to taste

Ingredients:

  1. Cook quinoa as directed on packaging.
  2. Chop ingredients as directed above. Mix quinoa, peppers, onion, black beans, corn, cilantro and cherry tomatoes in large bowl.
  3. Season with olive oil, lime juice, salt and cumin, to taste.
  4. Refrigerate and serve.

 

spaghetti squash with garden's end sauce

sunday afternoon and what am i doing? well, i just made kale, apple, lemon juice! and now here i am, sitting on my bed listening to music and working on my blog. honestly, i couldn't think of a better way to spend the day! i even have so amazing things planned for after this post is finished...say hello to more writing! i probably should be heathy and go for a run, but i am not so certain that is going to happen. we can only hope. so earlier this week i teased you about playing around with active dry yeast. there is no active dry yeast in this post. so you're just going to have to wait a few more days to see what i was talking about!

here we are, entering my favorite time of the year, fall. i love just about everything about it. however, there is one downfall - no fresh vegetables, fruit or herbs from the garden. once the frost hits, it's donezo! this past week i wanted to find a way to use some of our tomatoes and basil from the garden. i really did not want a summery dish - i very easily could have made a caprese salad. been there done that, go away.

spaghetti squash with garden's end sauceinstead, i went out a bought a spaghetti squash and a few other ingredients and made this amazing pasta alternate! i'm not too sure why someone wouldn't want to eat pasta...whatever floats your boat. but none-the-less, i absolutely loved this meal. it's easy, quick and delicious!

i have a few more posts that i've been working on, so keep your eyes open for more posts coming later in the week!

until next time...happy eating!

spaghetti squash with garden's end sauce

ingredients: 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese 3 tablespoons sliced black olives 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil freshly ground salt and black pepper, to taste

instructions:

  1. preheat oven to 350° f. lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. place spaghetti squash with cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. remove squash from oven and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.
  3. meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. cook and stir onion in oil until tender. add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. stir in tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are warmed through.
  4. use a fork to shred the squash and place in a medium bowl. toss with the vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. serve warm.