Zucchini Mushroom Stir Fry

I love stir fry vegetables. This recipe is very simple and easy to make and reminds me of a cool summer evening when the Zucchini has been freshly picked out of the garden, cleaned and sliced. I make this often because it is fast, simple, easy, and delicious. Sometimes I just eat a bowl of it without any pasta or rice and it is very filling for me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Zucchini Mushroom Stir Fry
Created recipe on 02/04/2010

2 medium sized zucchini sliced diagonally about 1/8” to ¼” thick
1 pint button mushrooms cleaned and sliced (refer to Cooking Tip #4 for a how to on cleaning mushrooms)
2 garlic cloves chopped fine
1 medium onion sliced in half moon slices
2 teaspoons fresh thyme chopped
2 teaspoons fresh parsley chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat olive oil in a stir fry pan until medium hot not smoking. This stir fry is fast so make sure all the vegetables are cut and ready to add. Add onions and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for an additional two minutes. Add the garlic and zucchini and saute for an additional five minutes or until the zucchini is cooked but still crisp to taste. Remove from heat and add thyme, salt and pepper and serve with rice or pasta. Feeds 4 people. Healthy Eating!

Zucchini Mushroom Stir Fry

Nutritional Notes

  • Zucchini helps to cure asthma as it contains Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Zucchini helps to prevent diseases, like scurvy, bruising etc, caused by the deficiency of Vitamin C.
  • Eating zucchini also helps to support the arrangement of capillaries
  • Zucchini also prevents the risk of having multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • Zucchinis have high water content (over 95%), so they make perfect food for people on diet.
  • Zucchini contains useful amounts of foliate, potassium, and vitamin A– necessities for a human body.

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The Happy Meal aka Pam’s Vegetable Stir-Fry

Today is a snowy-cloudy-gloomy day here in Michigan and I was getting sick of making soup so I decided to do a quick stir-fry for dinner. The thoughts of cutting up and sautéing fresh green vegetables and adding left-over whole-grain penne pasta with freshly grated Parmesan cheese appealed to my mood thus creating the simply healthy version of “The Happy Meal”. Enjoy!

The Happy Meal aka Pam’s Vegetable Stir-Fry
Created recipe on 02/02/2010

1 pound of fresh thin stalked asparagus
½ bag of grated broccoli and carrot slaw
1 pint of button mushrooms cleaned and sliced
2 garlic cloves sliced
1 medium onion cut in half and sliced in half moons
2 to 3 handfuls of cooked Penne whole grain pasta (you can use any pasta or rice)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste
Fresh or dried parsley about 4 tablespoons
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan Cheese
You can add lemon zest but no one wanted that today

Stir Fry Vegetables in Wok

Clean and cut up all the fresh vegetables as the sautéing part will go very fast. Remember the pasta was already cooked; it was a left over from another meal. If you do not have pasta or rice cooked make sure you start that process first and have it ready for your meal.

In a wok or stir fry pan, heat up the olive oil in high heat, this will heat up very fast so you will need to be ready. Add the onion, sauté for 2 minutes, and then add rest of the vegetables. Saute the vegetables to the desired consistency. I happen to like my veggies crunchy with a burst of freshness, so I sauté the vegetables for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Add the pasta as the final ingredient. Remove from heat and stir in ½ cup of the grated Parmesan cheese. Serve in individual bowls with sprinkled Parmesan cheese on top. Be happy!

The Happy Meal

Nutritional Notes:

  • High content of vitamin K
  • Naturally detoxifies the body

(For more information– check out the nutritional note #4)

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Mushroom Barley Soup

This soup is one of my all-time favorites. I think that I do not make it enough and I should. It is hearty, loaded with fiber and warms you on a cold winter day. Adding mushrooms is another bonus. How could I possibly go wrong with a soup like this?

Mushroom Barley Soup
Created recipe on 01/22/2010

1 (8 oz) container of button mushrooms
1 (8 oz) container of Portobello mushrooms
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
3 large carrots peeled and chopped into ½” cubes
3 stalks of celery with leaves in the center of the celery chopped
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup of good red wine ( you can omit this but to my surprise I found that using the wine really makes the soup rich tasting, and I even added a little extra for the boost in flavor)
8 cups of broth (I used beef and mushroom broth in this recipe but I have made it using vegetarian broth. Either way the results are excellent!)
5-1/2 oz of barley quick cooking this is approx 1 to 1-1/2 cups of barley
2 corn on the cob – corn sliced off the cob or you can substitute 1 cup of frozen corn
1 cup of frozen lima beans
1 cup of frozen baby peas
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and cracked fresh pepper to taste

Make the sofrito (see cooking tip #2 for picture) with the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the soup pot over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes to get the vegetables going and the flavors to marry. Add the cleaned sliced mushrooms (see cooking tip #4 for cleaning mushrooms) to the sofrito. Stir for about 2 minutes so that the mushrooms absorb the extra oil in the bottom of the pan so the soup does not have that oily look on the top when done cooking. Add the water and choice of bouillon, bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes. Add the barley, corn, lima beans, peas, thyme and wine and cook for another 45 minutes. The soup will thicken and you may need to add more broth to reach the desired consistency of the soup you prefer.  Flavor with salt and pepper to your taste.  Note: when adding liquid you will need to taste the soup to make sure the seasonings do not need to be adjusted. For example: may need to add a splash of wine, or a ¼ teaspoon of bouillon. Serve with whole wheat croutons. See below for recipe. Enjoy!

Wheat Croutons
About 4 thick slices of crusty wheat or whole grain bread (I had bread I made in my bread machine left over frozen in the freezer. I thawed out the bread and used that for the croutons. I am hooked – I think I will do this from now on – I love it!)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of melted butter
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of fresh or dried parsley

Brush olive/butter mixture over sliced bread both sides and cut into 1-1/2” cubes. Spread single layer over a cookie sheet or stone and bake in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes until the bread becomes hard and crunchy.  Cool to touch and put about 5 to 6 croutons on top of the soup. Yum!

Mushroom Barley Soup

Cooking Tip: The broth I made from a product called “Better than Bouillon”. I find that it has less sodium than some of the broths and / or cubes of bouillon out on the market and I only need to use a little bit of it because the flavor goes a long way. I prepared the broth per the manufacturer’s directions. For the soup – I just added the 8 cups of water to the prepared sofrito and then added 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of beef and 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons of mushroom bouillon to the water.

Nutritional Tip: Barley has so many health benefits. It is a soluble fiber that may help prevent many health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and many gastrointestinal disorders like Internal Bowl Syndrome (IBS) and colon cancer.  The American Dietetic Association (ADA) suggests that adults should consume at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber a day and studies show that Americans consume only 50% of the required amount daily. 1/3 cup of barley consists of 0.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of dietary fiber, and only has 160 calories.

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