Here are three summer recipes from Marla at LAJ Foods:
Spicy Summer Stew
This week I wanted to put my whole CSA basket into one glorious pot. This spicy summer stew was created out of that goal — and it is glorious indeed. It works well cold or hot, and what’s really awesome about this recipe is that you can switch out the vegetables. Add eggplant or green beans instead of zucchini or okra. For protein, a can of chickpeas would be perfect!
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups vegetable stock or water
½ pound potatoes, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers seeded and diced (Keep seeds for extra spice)
4 large okra, sliced
1 yellow squash or zucchini, trimmed & diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 ears corn, kernels removed
1 teaspoon dried oregano, ground between fingers before adding
1 cup basil or parsley, coarsely chopped
Salt & pepper
Heat Dutch oven on medium high.
Add olive oil and warm until shimmery.
- Add potatoes and onion, stir to coat with fat, sauté for about 5 minutes until just soft.
- Add garlic and jalapeños, sauté another 5 minutes.
- Add squash, okra, and any other vegetables and let cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add stock/water and bring to a boil.
- Finally, add tomato, corn, oregano, and season to taste.
- Reduce heat to MEDIUM, cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are done but still crisp-tender.
- Finish with basil or parsley leaves and salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately with a side of rice or quinoa.
Summer Squash Basil Bake
This is a fun side dish to make in the summer, and it gets better the more garlic you add to it! Perfect to bring to a potluck or BBQ. I used my spiralizer on the wide setting for this one, but a mandolin slicer on a thin setting would also work. I think the thinner you slice the vegetables, the better.
1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup basil, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper
½ cup bread crumbs ( gluten-free crumbs work well too)
1 table spoon neutral oil
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 cloves garlic, minced
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish.
- Mix zucchini, tomatoes, garlic and basil. Add a few grinds of freshly ground pepper.
- In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, oil, nutritional yeast flakes, garlic, and a pinch of salt.
- Spread the zucchini mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the foil, and evenly sprinkle the crumb topping over the zucchini. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top is browned and crispy.
This bread is not going to overwhelmingly smell or taste like cantaloupe; however, the ripened cantaloupe adds sugar and moisture to the bread. I add the chai spice to kick it up a notch. Chai spice is generally a combination of fennel, cinnamon, black peppercorns and ginger. It can also include star anise, clove or coriander seed. It is traditionally put in chai tea but is also a fun addition to baked goods. You can make it yourself or buy it as an Asian market.
Another fun note about this recipe is what I used for the egg substitute. It’s called aquafaba and it’s the liquid found in a can of chickpeas. It fluffs like eggs and can even make a an egg-free meringue! I highly suggest you all google aquafba.
2 cups pureed cantaloupe
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs or egg substitute
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
½ tablespoon of chai spice
Optional – ½ cup chocolate chips, chopped apple or pecans
- Preheat oven to 325 and grease one loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, thoroughly mix cantaloupe, sugar, and egg/egg substitute.
- In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.
- Add this to the cantaloupe mixture and stir until the dry ingredients are just moistened.
- Pour batter into the greased loaf pan and cook for 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean and the tops of the loaves are firm to the touch.
- Turn out loaf and cool on a rack for another hour or so until the bread has set.