On the Side: Roasted Zucchini

How about a new feature to lighten up the food this summer? I will try to bring you several amazing dishes using summer foods, goodies that have become a staple for us as I work off the pounds.

This is a simple side dish I learned go love while working at Pizza Hut with coworkers in Weight Watchers. So easy and delicious, and a side you could do in the oven or on the grill.

Ingredients:
1 zucchini, sliced in “spears” or rings
Seasoning (My choice is McCormick’s Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder), to taste
Bread Crumbs (Prefer Panko around here), to taste
Olive Oil spray

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 425F.
2. While heating, coat cookie sheet in spray and line zucchini up.
3. Spray tops of zucchini with OO spray. Top with seasonings and flip.
4. Repeat.
5. Place in oven 10 minutes. Flip. Repeat.
6. Enjoy…dip in a nice tomato basil sauce if you wish!

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Buffalo Chicken Dip

This is a staple for me. It’s quick and easy (and even easier with the help of my Kitchenaid). Did I mention it tastes great? Buffalo Chicken Dip, perfectly cheesy, perfectly spicy. And it can even be healthy (if you eat in moderation)!

(Excuse the mess of my well loved oven!)

Mama Burgher’s Buffalo Chicken Dip (inspired by Aunt P)
1 8 ounce block Neufch√Ętel Cheese (softened)
1 10 ounce can of chicken breast (drained)
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese (plus 1/4 cup to sprinkle on the top)
1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce
1/4 cup ranch dressing (or blue cheese when the husband isn’t looking)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the ingredients together (works great with a mixer) and then spread in a sprayed pie pan).
(Note, to fill my big pan, I double the recipe).
Sprinkle the remaining cheddar on top and pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes (who know it’s done when it’s bubbly).
This goes great with tortilla chips, crackers, or pull apart bread.

Told you. Quick, easy, and tasty.

Fried Goodness

A few episodes ago on “The Jersey Shore”, DJ Pauly D joked to a guy crushin’ on Snooki that he needed to deliver flowers with fried pickles. Thank goodness we were able to get some nice sliced fried pickles at Buffalo Wild Wings last week; however, fried pickles are a treat that I really love and I needed more!

Thanks to the Food Network, I found this recipe and adapted it by substituting the ground red pepper with creole seasoning. There was PLENTY of flour to go around, so I threw some hot pepper rings into the mix, too.

Off to the deep fryer they went, and the flour was staring me down saying, “DON’T WASTE ME!”

Thankfully, I had some grilled chicken in the fridge and thought that’d be a good addition to this mid-afternoon snack turned early dinner (although crazy bad for us). I was right. What a treat! Even Arianna was able to enjoy the delights since they were made with eggs. Sadly, I have resolved to putting the deep fryer away for awhile because the whole house smells like grease (is that really such a bad thing?).

This treat was enjoyed on my last Friday of maternity leave…thank goodness I won’t have as much time to prepare a “snack” like this when I am back at work!