Zoodles with Pesto and Pak Choy

I’m excited! Now that I have been experimenting with many different recipes, I have begun to refine my culinary skills. My husband and I have a large backyard vegetable garden. Cooking and eating fresh vegetables from my garden is something I especially enjoy.

Right now, we have an abundance of pak choy, Genovese basil, and also was given a pile of zucchini from my brother-in-law’s garden. Also, my sister recently gave me her Veggie Bullet for making zoodles. After some practice, I learned to make some pretty cool-looking zucchini zoodles.

Remembering the wonderful American Chef David Chang’s bold culinary adventures in mixing ingredients from different cultures, I created this recipe mixing Asian with Italian cultures. I think it came out stunningly!

Zoodles with Almond Pesto, Pak Choy, and Cherry Tomatoes

Ingredients:

6 cups zucchini zoodles

3 pak choy plants

1 cup of cherry tomatoes (I used the sweet orange ones)

1 cup of almond pesto*

2 large or 3 smaller garlic cloves

Olive oil

Directions:

Heat your frying pan or wok and dribble the oil into the pan. Once the oil is hot, add garlic clove and saute for 30 seconds. Add the pak choy stalks and fry on high heat until soft (one or two minutes) and then add the leaves. Saute this mixture for one minute until the leaves soften. Remove the pak choy from the pan and set it aside. Add a pinch of salt and pepper or a touch of hot chili sauce.

Heat the pan or wok and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the zucchini zoodles and toss them in the garlicky oil for 2 minutes just until the zoodles are soft but not mushy-watery. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Place the warm cooked zoodles into a bowl. Top with a spoonful of fresh almond pesto.

Sprinkle garlicky pak choy over the pesto and zoodles. Add a few cherry tomatoes cut in half. Sprinkle with a light touch of Parmesan-Romano cheese.

*Almond Pesto by Marissa Stevens

Recipes between Friends

Recipes discovered online are great, but a good cookbook is a treasure!

My lovely sister, Nancy, recently gifted me a colorful spiral-bound cookbook filled with bright photographs and easy-to-read recipes. Titled, Recipes Between Friends, this slim cookbook is filled with tested and true recipes from community members in Pasco County, Florida. It was compiled by Friends of the Library where Nancy is a library administrator and a strong supporter of public libraries.

After browsing through the appetizing food photographs, I was excited to try making some of the recipes. The first one I tried was Pasta e Ceci by Catherine Seavey. It was simple to make and delicious! I also made the Mixed Vegetable Curry by Hasina Akhter and the Riced Cauliflower Fried Rice by Denise Belasic. These vegetarian dishes were so good!

Recipes between Friends include both meat recipes (Sicilian Chicken by Oslec & Gisele S. Fernandez) and vegetarian (Cheat Balls by Shari Bresin). There are also snacks, side dishes, and desserts that I can’t wait to try including a Biscotti recipe with bourbon soaked anise seed by Diane Kortus.

If interested in obtaining this wonderful cookbook for your collection while also supporting the public library, contact Kiersten Backus kbackus@pascolibraries.org. The cost for Recipes between Friends is $20.00.

Recipes between Friends, what a great title! — Carole

See also Facebook Friends of the Library Cookbook

Classic Red Peppers

Stuffed red peppers are a classic vegetarian dish. Red peppers are so sweet that when stuffed and baked until soft, the flavors melt in your mouth.

This particular Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers dish by Cookie and Kate (posted below) is a recipe that can easily be adapted. Instead of rice, I used whole bulgur wheat and replaced the pinto beans with black beans. I also used a can of diced tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes.

Trying different toppings makes it so much fun. I used chopped avocado, fresh cilantro from the garden, and grated parmesan cheese. The fresh lime juice gave it a zing. Try it out! — Carole

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers by Cookie and Kate