Contest Winner, Food Tips, and a Guest Blogging Opportunity!

Congratulations to Sherryl, from the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh for winning the pair of two-day registration passes to the Farm To Table Conference in Pittsburgh this weekend. We’ll have a recap of the Conference for our readers after the fact, so check back if you are unable to attend but want to catch some of the highlights.

Thank you to all the applicants for your interest and your wonderful comments, suggestions, and ideas! In fact, we love so many of the ideas and recipes that our readers share with us that we are starting a new feature on our blog that will give you the opportunity to be a guest blogger! If you have any novel ideas about how to reclaim your food or any really great recipes using whole ingredients that you are dying to share, please send them to us at twodancingbuckeyes@gmail.com. Once a month, we will select an entry (or two) to  feature in a blog post.

Below are two of our favorite comments that were submitted by contest applicants.
The following recipe was shared by Sherryl, our contest winner:
Here’s a quick and healthy summer dish I love when the zucchini is young and tender. Chicken and Zuc’s (serves 4)
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with salt, pepper, and fresh garlic diced into bite size chunks
4 small zuc’s julienned like fettuccine noodles
1 red bell pepper julienned
1/2 large red onion julienned
4 ripe roma tomatoes diced with inner flesh intact
1 large portobella mushroom diced
4 cloves fresh garlic
1 cup chicken or veggie stock
1/4 cup white wine for de-glazing
2-3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 

Place a large (biggest you have) skillet on the fire on full blast. Allow the pan to start smoking before adding your oil. Once the oil is in, add the chicken, spread it out to allow the pan to stay as hot as possible. Once the chicken is browned on all sides remove from the pan and set aside. Add another splash of olive oil to the pan and allow it to heat back up to almost the smoke point. Add the onions, cook 3-4 mins. Add the red bell pepper and saute for another 4-5 min. By now the onions should be getting some color. Season with salt and pepper, then add the mushrooms, saute until the water that was released from the mushrooms has cooked away. Add the diced tomato and allow the juice to caramelize in the bottom of the pan. When the tomato liquid had cooked away add the zucchini “noodles” and de-glaze the pan with wine. Crush in the 4 cloves of garlic and season with s&p again to taste. Allow the wine to cook down a bit then add 1/2 cup of the stock and return the chicken and its juice to the pan. Simmer until the zuc’s are Al Dente. Serve with garlic crostini and a maybe a spinach salad with pine nuts, red onion, and feta, drizzled with a honey balsamic dressing.

Summer eating at its best!
Cheers!

The following bits of advice are from Judy from the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA.
I try to adapt most recipes to non-fat or low-fat alternatives for healthier eating. The most difficult foods to find substitutes for are snacks but I have managed to find a few that are satisfying and healthier. 
 
My favorite dessert is non-fat plain or vanilla yogurt with blueberries or raspberries when in season.  I don’t add granola as it is sweet enough without it. I also use the Greek yogurts which are healthier for you and have more protein. 
 
I have made my own veggie chips by thinly slicing acorn and butternut squash and baking them. I use very little sea salt when doing so as I’m not to have much salt. These are really tasty and a great substitute for chips or those veggie straws that are so popular right now (these are highly processed and salted).
 
While I am not a full vegetarian, I try to eat more veggies than anything else.  I use the Moosewood Cookbooks and an old favorite from the 70’s:  Diet for a Small Planet.
 
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