Simple Skillet Zucchini and Squash

Summer produce is coming in hot this summer and we are seeing the bounty at the farmers markets and in our gardens.  For those who planted gardens, you’re probably seeing a lot of squash and zucchini filling your garden.  This is a go-to dish that I often make during the summer months.

I love this dish because it’s easy, full of delicious flavor, healthy and includes many summer garden staples that are flourishing right now.  Have fun playing with different veggies and herbs.  For me, I like to include fresh garlic, onion, peppers (any variety) and tomatoes.  If you like a little heat, you can add in different kinds of hot peppers.  Fresh herbs are great for health and detoxification.  I love to use basil with this dish but you can also add in parsley, oregano, etc.

Zucchini is a healthy addition to meals as it provides antioxidants.  It’s been linked to reduced inflammation, support heart health, improved vision and may help with weight loss.  Add in more color of healthy veggies and you can have a powerhouse plate of health and flavor.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 yellow squash, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes or fresh cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 teaspoons Italian herbs (or fresh herbs)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional garnish: Fresh basil

instructions

  1.  In a large skillet over medium heat, warm oil.  Add the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the zucchini, squash and peppers.
  3. Add in the tomatoes and stir occasionally to avoiding browning or burning.
  4. Sprinkle the herbs of choice and blend ingredients.
  5. Cover and cook the blend on low (stirring from time to time).
  6. The squash and zucchini will be tender and lightly crisp.
  7. Garnish with fresh basil and serve.
  8. Enjoy! 😋

Note: If you’re planning to freeze this dish, combine ingredients and cook for only a few minutes. Allow the dish to cool completely and freeze for later use.

 

Summer Street Corn

It’s sweet summertime and the farmers markets are starting to flourish with so many delicious locally grown veggies, fruits and more.  I am loving the abundance of produce that’s not only growing in my garden but also stocking the markets.

I’ve started a “Farmer’s Market Friday” Live edition on my personal Facebook page ( I welcome you to connect and check it out) every week.  It’s been so fun to spotlight a different ingredient that can be found during the different seasons.  Shopping local, eating with the seasons and supporting your farmers, small businesses and community.  While building your health and immune system.  Yes, dirt is good my friends.

Today my spotlight was on the incredibly delicious local sweet bi-color corn.  Maryland is definitely known for crabs and corn!  We welcome you to visit our state and be the judge.  I don’t think you will be disappointed. 😋

When I started to see corn come more fruitful (due to a colder and rainier spring), I wanted to “jazz” up a fun corn recipe.  Yes, shucking corn is fun with family and it creates great memories but I also remember the mess.  SO, I am sharing a SIMPLE tip for cooking corn and one of my favorite “healthy twist” recipes for Street Corn.

Y’all Ready to Dig In??? Let’s Go….

OK, so first we have to look at where to buy the corn.  For me , I shop local and I seek out the best.  If y’all are in the Maryland area, The Jefferson Corn Stand is known for the sweetest most incredible corn.  I welcome you to learn more about them at Jefferson Corn Stand

After getting the number one ingredient, I started to think about different businesses and friends that I could support and use their products for the recipe.  After a fabulous morning connecting at the farmers market, I started to talk with some of the vendors which whom I am friends with.  I was sharing my Farmer’s Market Friday recipe and asked if they had anything that would compliment.  It all aligned as I chatted with the owner of  Olive and Basket as she shared that she had a Tex-Mex Street Corn Seasoning.  It was a prefect fit!   Then I went to visit Pleasant Hill Produce who supplied an incredible cheese from Caprikorn Farms.

Needless to say, I had a blast with the different vendors and always love connecting with my local friends, farmers and small business owners.  If y’all want to hop over to Facebook, you can check out todays video.  I will also share the recipe below.  I would love to hear your feedback if you try it.  It’a so good!! 😋

 

Summer Street Corn 

Ingredients:

6 ears of corn (see below for simple cooking instructions)

Oil, Butter or Butter oil https://oliveandbasket.com

3 tablespoons greek or goat yogurt (you can sub sour cream if you like)

1 tablespoon mindful dressing or a mayo alternative

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 cup cheese of choice (cotija, quest fresco) I used the fest goat cheese from Caprikorn Farms

Street Corn Seasoning https://oliveandbasket.com

Fresh Cilantro

Lime wedges

Directions:

So, my “Go-To Easy Way to Make Corn” Is… Peel off a few of the tough outer layers and bake (husk on) on a baking sheet or rack for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Easy Peasy! The husks and hair fall right off.  You can also grill it.

For Grilling:

Preheat and oil to a medium-high heat.  Make sure your grill grate is well oiled.  While grilling your corn, turn occasionally for about 10-15 minutes, until fully cooked and charred.

For Roasting:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  As above, separate and disregard the outer tough layers.  On a baking sheet or on the rack, roast your corn for approximately 30 minutes.  You do not need to turn them.  Once done and removed, let them cool for a few minutes.

If you’re roasting your corn, you can finish them on the grill or char them on a gas stove (see video).  Keep it safe and simple.

Pulling It Together:

Once your corn is cooled and charred (if you choose to do so), set it on a plate.  Lightly baste with oil, butter or whatever you choose.  Mix the yogurt and mayo ingredients to tase and sprinkle in the chili powder for some heat and color.  Baste the corn with the combo and finish with the cheese, seasoning and cilantro.  Sprinkle with the fresh lime and leave some more for garnish.

 

It’s that easy my friends.  Super simple, supporting local and enjoying the health benefits of the summer season.

 

P.S. I would love to hear if you try this recipe.  I welcome you to connect here or on social.

XOXO,

KIM

Summer Peachy Beet Salad

Summer is in full swing and so are the local farmers markets.  With so many people starting their own gardens this year and supporting local, we are enjoying a delicious bounty of local fresh produce.  Each week I’ve been sharing (through Facebook) the goodies I’ve been growing and buying and the different ways to prep them.

Today for Farmers Market Friday, I am spotlighting two of my farm fresh favorites- beets and peaches.  Not only are they delicious and display a gorgeous array of color, they pack many health benefits too.

Beets are a powerhouse of health and provide tons of nutritional value.  They help keep blood pressure in check, help to reduce inflammation, provide digestive support and they help to support brain health.  Beets also help support the liver, which is a vital part of our natural detoxification process.  Something we need for better health and immune support.  They’ve also been linked to weight loss and improved athletic performance.

Peaches are a juicy and tasty summer fruit that is packed with antioxidants and nutrients.  It’s been shown to improve heart health, aid digestion, reduce allergies and protect skin.  Something we especially need to be mindful of when we are outside during the summer months.  They are also hydrating.  Which we definitely need during the hot summertime.

This recipe is so flexible and you can play around with a variety of toppings such as dressings, cheeses, nuts and berries.

 

Summer Peachy Beet Salad

Ingredients:

2 Peaches, sliced into bite size pieces http://www.willowspringsproduce.com
Arugula or Mixed Greens of Choice
2 Beets, cut into bite size squares http://www.willowspringsproduce.com
Goat Cheese (regular or cranberry and tarragon)
Sliced nuts (almonds, walnuts and pine nuts are a great option)

Optional: Red Radish Microgreens  https://www.marylandmicrogreens.com

To Prepare the Beets:

Preheat oven to 425 degree

Toss beets in 1-2 Tbsp avocado oil or oil of choice.
Roast in a cast iron or oven safe pan for 30 minutes. Stirring throughout the cooking process.
Beets will have a golden color and be done when a fork or knife can be pinched through them.

 

To Prepare the Salad:
1. In a bowl or serving platter, place greens as a base.
2. Mix the microgreens (if using) with the salad greens.
3. Top the greens  with beets, peaches and then goat cheese.
5. Sprinkle nuts, if using and serve with dressing.

White Balsamic Dressing:

½ cup  Infused Olive Oil or Oil of Choice https://oliveandbasket.com

¼ cup White Balsamic Vinegar https://oliveandbasket.com

1 Tbsp raw honey

Optional: Salt and Pepper to taste

Dressing Directions:

In a mason jar with lid or mixing bowl, mix oil with a gradual drip of balsamic to taste.  Depending on the desired sweetness.  Add the honey for desired texture and taste.  If using, finish with salt and pepper.  Shake or stir to combine ingredients before serving with the salad.

Enjoy! 😋

XOXO,

Kim

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken

Mediterranean meals have been one of my favorites but even more so after my trip last year to Greece.  I love the combination of fresh ingredients, nourishing foods, incredible flavors and the joy each dish brings.

When I was in Greece, I loved the combination of oils, seasonings and herbs that accompanied and boosted each meal with flavor.  Gone are the days of me eating plain grilled chicken and boring steamed broccoli.  Now my nourishing meals are loaded with fresh, local ingredients, a variety of accompanying flavors and heavenly smells.

This is a super simple dish and one that will leave your home smelling incredible throughout the day.

I personally love the combination of these ingredients but I welcome you to get creative and add some of your own.  There are a variety of veggie options that you can add to this dish too.

Looking to make a full meal?  I often serve this dish with roasted vegetables like root veggies or greens like green beans and a salad.  It’s delicious with rosemary roasted potatoes too!  Again, get creative and find what warms your taste buds and home.

 

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Chicken

 

Ingredients:

6-8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, chopped

½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped

½ cup artichokes (canned or cooked), chopped

½ cup mushrooms, chopped

½ cup pitted kalamata olives

½ cup chicken broth

3 cups packed spinach, chopped

1 tablespoon avocado oil (or oil of choice)

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon Mediterranean or Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste or preference

¼ cup fresh basil, chopped

Optional: Goat or Feta cheese for topping

 

Directions:

In your crockpot, layer chicken on the bottom of the lightly oiled pot. Season chicken with salt, pepper, herb seasoning and crushed red pepper.  Top with garlic (can be raw or sautéed) and onion.  Next layer the sundried tomatoes, artichokes and mushrooms. Scatter olives around the pot (top and sides). Drizzle the broth around the sides as well.

Cook your chicken mixture on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours.

Once fully cooked through, remove the chicken and set aside.

In the pot, cook spinach for a few minutes or until wilted.

When serving, plate your chicken and top it with the spinach, tomato, artichoke and olive mixture from the pot.  Sprinkle fresh basil and goat cheese (if desired).

Serve Warm and Enjoy!

 

Slow Down the Aging Process Naturally

As we begin to transition into spring and release things that are weighing us down while making space for new, it’s a great time to begin incorporating healthier habits and routines.  One of these may be a healthy beauty routine.  As I reflect on my teen years and my 20’s and 30’s, I think about all of the creams, ointments, serums and expensive masks that I thought would do the trick.

For starters, I had no idea how much nutrition, lifestyle, rest and hydration played a part in skin, complexion and more.  Not to mention the large amounts of toxins and chemicals I probably exposed my skin and body to.

When it comes to your skin, beauty and health, natural products are one of the best healers available to you. Be mindful of the term natural though.  Especially when purchasing products (food, cleaning products, personal care and cosmetics, etc).  When I say natural, I mean from the true source.

 

Natural products can boost your immunity, increase your energy levels and even protect against the visible signs of aging. In fact, most natural products are far more effective at giving you more beautiful, younger looking skin than any over the counter treatment.  Especially when paired with rest, hydration, personal care and a clean nutrition plan that supports your own beautiful body.

Below I’ll be sharing six of my favorite natural anti-aging solutions.

Avocado

Avocado is a powerful natural healer for your skin when applied topically. The healthy fats in avocado nourish and moisturize your skin while the vitamin E repairs any skin damage and reduces the visible signs of aging.

To start enjoying the anti-aging benefits of avocado, simply mash up a small, ripe avocado and apply it to your face. Leave it on your face for at least 15 minutes before removing, so that it fully nourishes your skin and gives you the maximum anti-aging benefit.

Banana

Bananas are packed full of vitamin C which helps to keep your skin elastic and free from wrinkles. They’re also rich in manganese – a mineral that’s been proven to protect against skin damage and rashes.

You can use bananas topically to give your skin a more youthful appearance in the exact same way as avocados. Just take a small, ripe banana, mash it up with a fork and spread it on your face. Keep the mashed banana on your face for a minimum of 15 minutes, so that all the nutrients and moisture can absorb into your skin.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the most effective natural moisturizers you can find. It’s also filled with antioxidants which protect your skin from harmful free radicals and it’s been shown to fight inflammation.   In addition, coconut oil contains active components which repair damaged skin and help you look younger.

To start getting more youthful looking skin with coconut oil, simply rub a small amount onto your face and neck. Your skin will instantly feel smoother and more hydrated after using the coconut oil and over time you’ll find that fine lines, wrinkles and blemishes fade away.  If you’re a fan of oils, I like to combine essential oils such as lavender, frankincense, rose, yang yang and citrus blends.  Everyone responds to oils differently, so it’s important to test a small area and use the coconut (or other carrier oil) as a blend.

Coconut oil is also great for adding moisture to your feet, hair and nails.  It’s great to apply to the bottom of your feet and heels after a warm relaxing or detox bath. Detox Baths: Boost Your Immune System with Detox Baths

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is another potent natural moisturizer. I discovered this even more so while on a trip to Greece last year.  The secret to extra virgin olive oil’s anti-aging prowess lies in its high vitamin E content. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that protects your skin against the visible signs of aging and keep it looking youthful.

To use extra virgin olive oil as an anti-aging solution, simply rub a small amount into your skin. For the best results, use extra virgin olive oil just before bed, so that it can deeply moisturize your skin overnight.

Honey

I love honey for so many reasons!  Especially raw local honey.  It’s a great deep cleanser for your skin. It’s loaded with anti-bacterial ingredients which remove bacteria and dead skin cells and allow fresh, younger looking skin cells to grow.

Unlike the other solutions on this list, honey is best used as a simple anti-aging face-mask. Grab a tablespoon of honey, smear it over your face and leave it for at least 20 minutes. Then rinse off the honey and wash your face for instantly fresher skin.

pumpkin

Pumpkin offers many benefits when consumed internally or used topically.  It’s packed with antioxidant vitamins to boost softer and smoother skin and it has been shown to boost collagen production.  Something many of us desire as we age.

Pumpkin can be used topically on the face and neck or combined with other ingredients, such as honey.  A little goes a long way, so a tablespoon or two will do.

 

Try this amazing Age Defying Smoothie Bowl Recipe for ageless beauty:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or dairy free milk of choice)
  • 1/2 fresh banana cut into coins
  • fresh raspberries
  • fresh cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon shell-less pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds

Take your banana, frozen cherries, and almond milk and blend it into liquid mixture. This is going to be the base of your smoothie bowl. You can place your banana slices to the side or simply drop them into the bowl. Put your fresh fruit into the bowl, then sprinkle the seeds and coconut flakes all over the entire bowl, and you will have a beautifully colored smoothie bowl that will keep your skin looking youthful and healthy!

Do you have some anti-aging tips of your own?  I would love to hear!  I welcome you to comment below.

XOXO,

Kim