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Calabacitas ♥

What an easy-easy zucchini recipe! It's just summer squash, onions and chilis quick-cooked in the skillet, with as much (or as little!) heat as you can stand! Seasonal. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly & Freestyle Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free.
2:00 pm E-MAIL from ME: "I have a fridgeful of Hatch chilis that appeared at the grocery over the weekend, am hunting around for something interesting/easy to do with them. Suggestions?"

2:05 pm E-MAIL RESPONSE from my friend SALLY DENTON: "Yes!! Calabacitas. Sauté garlic in a skillet in olive oil. Add chopped onion, sliced yellow and zuccini squash; half a bag frozen corn; and as much green chiles as you can handle. Salt & pepper and serve topped with grated parmesan or cheddar cheese. Yum. Sure sign of fall."

2:10 pm E-MAIL RESPONSE to Sally: "Sold."

How in the world have I missed calabacitas? [How to pronounce calabacitas? kal-uh-BAH-see-tas, correction, it is pronounced kal-uh-bah-SEE-tas] …

Savory Stir-Fried Sweet Potatoes ♥

Today's sweet potato recipe: An easy weeknight supper vegetable, grated sweet potatoes cooked with a touch of heat and a splash of soy sauce. Low carb and full of flavor. For Weight Watchers, the sweet potatoes add up to just one point! Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".
Well hello, fall, so glad you're back.

The acorns may not yet thwack onto the roof but food-wise, I'm ready to put aside the spare bites of summer tomato and sweet corn and even this year's much-beloved okra. I'm ready to gird my table for the hibernation that is winter.

And isn't this the wonder of seasonal eating, loving each and every bite of the season's best, then moving onto the next season, ready to love each and every morsel in its own time? When I was a girl, I listened to Judy Collins sing "Turn, Turn, Turn: To Everything There Is a Season" until the 45rpm wore thin. As I listen now on YouTube, I realize how much the words guide my soul, food and otherwise.

Twelve Favorite Tomato Recipes ♥ Never Take a Good Tomato for Granted!

My twelve favorite tomato recipes, a perfect dozen selected especially for the last few weeks of the very best summer tomatoes.
Never take a good tomato for granted. That's the lesson folks Out East learned in 2009 when the late tomato blight struck tomatoes across the eastern half of the U.S., dooming the entire crop. I felt their pain, remembering the year when four days of a late-spring hard freeze nipped the blossoms on peach and apple trees. That year? No peaches, no apples, for Missouri and Illinois.

But no tomatoes? Un.Thinkable. I vowed to never take good tomatoes for granted. So for a couple of months, it’s red heaven on a plate, tomatoes morning, noon and night. Sliced and salted. Sliced and sugared. Sliced and slivered with basil and slippery with mozzarella. Then grilled, broiled, roasted, sandwiched and then finally, souped. One night I even drizzled a little tomato syrup over ice cream! Don't let the tomato season pass without reveling in the glory that is the …

Israeli Couscous Salad with Yellow Squash & Sun-Dried Tomatoes ♥

Today's latest summer salad recipe: Take sexy Israeli couscous and match it up with pretty yellow squash. What do you get? Summer in a bowl. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".
Aiii, culinary nomenclature can be so confusing.

First there's couscous, which we tend to think of as a natural whole grain and cook and serve like a grain, but is really just another form of dried pasta. But did anyone else love the word 'couscous' as a kid? I did. "Koos-koos, koos-koos, koos-koos" I'd try to say three times, failing except for the real point, which was to laugh out loud, that was a success.

And then there's Israeli couscous. It's still another form of pasta, toasted instead of dried, and shaped in perfect tiny pearls somehow way sexier than other itty-bitty pastas and their cousin, regular couscous. But Israeli couscous is as much a 'food product' as couscous, it's not a natural whole grain either, albeit one born of necessity and inno…

No-Guilt Grilled Corn with Chipotle-Lime Browned Butter ♥

Today's easy summer recipe for the grill: Grill sweet corn with the husks off to reveal corn's natural sweetness, then brush with just a touch of a bright and spicy butter. What a summer treat!
Sweet corn is one of the summer's most-anticipated vegetables, so worth waiting for, so worth savoring each and every kernel. But calorie-wise, corn gets a bad rap, one it doesn't deserve. Why?

FIRST An ear of corn has built-in portion control: one ear of corn yields about a half cup of corn kernels. Even for Weight Watchers, that's a small enough portion that it counts as, get this, 1 point (Old Points) or 2 points (PointsPlus).

NUTRITION ESTIMATE for CORN ONLY
Per Ear of Corn, assumes 1/2 cup kernels: 66 Calories; .84g Tot Fat; .14g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 11mg Sodium; 14.65g Carb; 2.08g Fiber; 2.48g Sugar; 2.48g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1, PointsPlus 2 (for the record, for Old Points, the exact points are .97, not 1.47 or something approaching 2 points and f…

Sautéed Cucumbers ♥

Today's easy cucumber recipe: For all of us, including me, who stop at 'salad' when thinking what to make with a surplus of cucumbers, here's a new take, a quick sauté. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".
We're eating like rabbits this year. Wait, that's not quite right, let me say it differently.

The truth is, we are not eating like rabbits because the neighborhood bunnies are. They munch-and-crunch on the garden's baby zucchini and nascent tomatillos while the resident humans chew on cucumbers the size of bats, all the rabbits deign to leave behind. The resident Mr. McGregor has declared war, preparing for battle with the big guns: bottles of hot sauce and jars of cayenne pepper.

Back to the cucumbers. I've cooked cucumbers twice this week and both times was pleased how the gentle cucumber flavor emerges while much of the crunch, albeit softer, remains.

The first time, I sautéed the cucumbers with onion and crispy bits of leftover homemade…

Tossed Caprese Salad ♥

Today's easy summer salad recipe: A 'tossed' version of the tomato and fresh mozzarella salad that we call 'caprese' that's usually served as a 'composed' salad, all perfect and arranged but here is carefree. Vegetarian and low carb. Weight Watchers 2 (Old Points) and 3 (PointsPlus).
Check the price of fresh mozzarella these days and yikes, odds are, our eyes will get as big as the mozzarella balls themselves, at least if they are the real thing, not the mass-produced, made-some-time-this-year 'fresh' mozzarella balls from Trader Joe's, say. (Don't get me wrong, however, Trader Joe-style quality fresh mozzarella has its place, given the price. But to my taste, this just isn't it.)

Surprise surprise, Whole Foods often has fresh mozzarella on sale during the summer-tomato months, some times half the price of my local groceries.