Cheers to Dad’s Good Health This Father’s Day!

Cheers to Dad’s Good Health This Father’s Day!

Let’s honor Dad this Father’s Day and show him the love with these super tasty ideas that “sneak” veggies into every delectable bite! Try my twist on zesty enchiladas using farm-fresh zucchini in place of tortillas.

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For years now, I’ve written about ways to sneak veggies into your child’s diet.

You’ve written back with tons of great ideas that have made their way into recipes that we are all familiar with today.

You know what? It turns out that kids are not the only ones that need those veggies.

As we grow older, our healthy diets become just as important for us as they are for our children.

If your household is anything like mine, it’s Daddy dearest who often shoves away that cauliflower while he adds a serving or two of French fries. I’ll make you a bet that nary a pickled beet has been spooned onto his salad plate.

Even with Popeye as a role model, our father shuns any green leafy veg unless it is swimming in cream sauce.

This Father’s Day let’s honor Dad and show him the love by sneaking a couple of veggies into his everyday meals. Won’t that be FUN!

Here are some ideas…

A SALAD is a terrific way to hide fresh veggies. In addition to good old lettuce and tomatoes, try sneaking in these:

🌿Microgreens – full of nutrients and a big punch of taste in a little bitty leaf.
🥬Squash – Shave thin slices of zucchini and yellow squash into thin strips that resemble lettuce leaves.
🥕 Carrots – I know, you’re saying anybody can add carrots to a salad. BUT what if Daddy hates carrots? Here’s a secret. Put the carrot in the dressing! Use your trusty food processor to emulsify the veg into your vinaigrette. You can do this with any veggie. 🥦 Cauliflower, broccoli, and spinach will work too.

Sneak those veggies into your MAIN meals so that Dad won’t know what hit him!

For pasta sauce make your favorite red, white, or green sauce and add some new veggies into the mix. For spaghetti and meatballs, add sauteed veggies to the meatball like eggplant, peppers, or kale.

When sautéing onions and garlic to make your red sauce, add shaved Brussels, diced cabbage, or riced cauliflower. Add roasted butternut squash to your fettuccini sauce. Make pesto with spinach and pea sprouts instead of basil.

You can add every veggie to stews and soups. Bell and spicy peppers are a terrific addition to chili. Add turmeric root, turnips, or sweet potatoes to your chicken noodle soup.

VEGGIE VESSELS are a terrific way to merge more veggies into your main meal. Stuff roasted peppers with chicken and rice. Add Cajun-spiced shrimp to spaghetti squash boats. Hollow out zucchini for veggie enchiladas. (This recipe comes from “Canvas and Cuisine”, my most veggie-filled cookbook!)

Let’s give Dad a real present this year. One that will keep him around for lots of future Fathers Days!!

Zucchini Enchilada Boats
With Chorizo and Black Bean Filling

This dish has all the flavors of enchiladas but stars farm-fresh zucchini in place of tortillas. Spicy chorizo sausage and meaty black beans are the heart of its fiery filling. The yummy enchilada sauce brings the whole thing together. It’s pretty darn delicious!

Servings

6-8

Ready In:

30 minutes

Good For:

Dinner
Entertaining

Tried it? Tag it!

I would love to see what you did with this recipe.  Share your creation by tagging #inthekitchenwithjorj and with Scrumptious Possibilities With Jorj, my free private home cooking group.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion in the skillet until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the sirloin and chorizo and stir, breaking up large clumps, until the meat is browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the black beans. Season with salt and pepper. Use a potato masher to break up the beans into the meat filling. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Whisk together the vegetable oil, flour, and chili powder in a pot over medium heat to form a paste. Stir in the tomato paste and ½ cup of water. Stir in onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and oregano. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes to thicken and allow the seasonings to merge. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick you can pour in a bit more water. Remove the pan from the heat.

Spoon some of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and hollow out the zucchini leaving about a ¾-inch boat. Place these into the dish. Season zucchini with salt and pepper. Spoon the filling into the boats. It’s ok if the filling spills over. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the boats. Layer cheese over the top. Cover the dish with a sheet of aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, and the zucchini is fork-tender, about 20 minutes more.

Garnish the boats with fresh cilantro, jalapeno slices, guacamole, and sour cream. 

Upsy Daisy! Another Perfect Dinner You Accidentally Made

Upsy Daisy! Another Perfect Dinner You Accidentally Made

Feel like you can’t get it right when you’re in the kitchen? I’m here to tell you that happy recipes happen when you approach fresh ingredients with curiosity. Embrace the imperfections in your meals and learn how to make each meal more magical!

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There’s a day to celebrate EVERYTHING. This one hit me in my kitchen! 

I think some of the intimidation surrounding cooking is the thought that:

“I’m not going to get it, right?” 
“It won’t turn out like the picture.”
“It won’t taste like it should.”

If you feel like this before you begin, how are you going to cook with confidence?

Let’s get rid of this stinkin’ thinkin’ and learn that no matter what you do, it will work out!


I’m working on a new book with just this idea in mind…

Create a dish that works for you with what you have on hand and the flavors you like. Then when you are comfortable with this, start experimenting with new flavors using your trusted basic recipe.

Let me give you an example…Let’s make mac and cheese from scratch. We start with the sauce.

Melt butter in a large pot or deep pan. Whisk in an equal amount of flour to form a paste (two tablespoons butter needs about two tablespoons flour).

Now we’re going to stir in a liquid. You can stir in milk, half and half, chicken stock, or a combination of lemon juice, white wine, and stock…any liquid you use will work. Stir the mixture over medium heat until it thickens into a sauce. 

Next, we add cheese. ANY cheese works. If you grate the cheese, it will melt quicker, but chunks of cheese are fine. You can add a combination of cheese and as much or as little as you want. Stir until the sauce is cheesy goodness.

Now you can flavor your sauce with any herbs or seasonings you like. Salt and pepper for sure, but try dried thyme or tarragon, onion and garlic powder, nutmeg, or chili powder. It’s yours to decide. Taste as you go and add a little at a time.

Finally, we boil the pasta, again any pasta you like. Once the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the sauce. You have mac and cheese ready to serve.

Or you can pour the sauced pasta into a dish and bake it for baked mac and cheese. You can top this casserole with more cheese or breadcrumbs or crumbled potato chips or anything you like.

 

Got it? There’s no right or wrong. There’s only you having FUN in the kitchen!

 

Let’s do the same thing with a chicken breast. Slice a boneless, skinless chicken breast in half horizontally. 

Then pound the chicken breast so that it is an even thickness. This will make sure it cooks evenly.

Season the breast with salt and pepper and anything else you like. At this point, you can grill it and slice it for sandwiches and salads.

Let’s coat the chicken with anything we like. Brush it with mustard and dredge in breadcrumbs. Brush with mayonnaise and crust in crumbled cracker crumbs. Dust in flour and season with oregano. Anything you want to do will work.

Melt olive oil and butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until golden on one side, turn, and cook on the other side.

This will only take you a couple of minutes depending on how hard you hammered your chicken! Now you have a seasoned chicken breast that you can use for everything.

But let’s make it better! In the same pan, make a pan sauce by adding more olive oil. Cook your favorite vegetables like onions, peppers, garlic, celery…anything.

Deglaze the pan with about a cup of wine or chicken stock. Now you can add in other flavors.

– For Chicken Piccata, add lemon juice and capers. 

– For puttanesca add olives and tomatoes.

– You can add sliced artichoke hearts, freshly sliced fennel, spinach leaves.

 

Anything THING will work.

It’s your sauce for your chicken breast. Add a bit of butter at the end of cooking for a buttery sauce, a bit of cream for a creamy sauce, a bit of tomato paste for a tomatoey sauce, mustard for a mustardy sauce.

Got it? Again, any THING will work!

Here’s a preview recipe from the new book. Use it as a guideline to create your own chicken dish and share it with me and everyone else!

Remember, an upsy daisey can turn into a creative opportunity!!! Especially in the kitchen.

Millionaire’s Chicken

Servings

4

Ready In:

30 minutes

Good For:

Dinner
Entertaining

Tried it? Tag it!

I would love to see what you did with this recipe.  Share your creation by tagging #inthekitchenwithjorj and with Scrumptious Possibilities With Jorj, my free private home cooking group.

Millionaire’s Chicken

Place the chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken to about ½-inch of thickness. Season both sides with some salt and pepper. Brush both sides with mustard. Dredge in breadcrumbs.

Place the chicken onto a platter, cover with plastic wrap, and place into the fridge. You can do this several hours in advance.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken breasts until golden on one side, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Carefully flip and cook on the other side until golden, another 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter, tent with aluminum foil.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion to the pan and cook until just soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the wine, removing all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When most of the wine has disappeared, pour in the chicken stock and cream. Stir in the mustard.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the sauce until it begins to thicken. Add the chicken back into the sauce and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, another 4 to 5 minutes.

Serve the chicken with the sauce and garnish with a bit of caviar on the top. I recommend sustainable American-produced caviar from Marshallberg Farms.

 

Say Cheese! In The Kitchen With Jorj

Say Cheese! In The Kitchen With Jorj

Join Jorj In The Kitchen!

Ready to make a deliciously decadent buffet of cheesy goodness?

Join me in the kitchen and learn how to make magnificent meals that build upon one of my favorite things…CHEESE!

This decadent and well-deserved spread is perfect for your more indulgent Summer menus, with a wonderful pimento cheese twist.

From deviled eggs to really good turkey burgers, there’s a little something for every picnic basket for days to come!

Pimento Cheese with Seasoned Crackers

Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwiches with Bacon and Berry Jam

Crack Crackers

Really Good Turkey Burgers Sliders with Crispy Shallots and Pimento Cheese

Ham and Turkey Roll-Ups with Pimento Cheese

Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs

The Art of The Fresh Market

Grab the book that contains my favorite travel adventures, with inspired original artwork by artist Susan Fazio.
New Year, Old Friends and the Birth of This Book

Recipes You’ll Love On National Cheese Day

Recipes You’ll Love On National Cheese Day

When is National Cheese Day this year?

June 4th, 2022 is a day to celebrate in your kitchen with these easy, cheesy dishes!

What should I make for National Cheese Day?

I always find ways to let cheese creep into my recipes, slowly but surely.

Take a walk on the cheesy side with a few of my favorite dishes that answer the call of your Cheese Day cravings!

how to make easy grilled veggies for memorial day

Hearty, Cheesy Butternut Squash Soup

Soup happens! This easy, hearty soup is perfect for those impromptu dinners when you need something cozy and cheesy.

Happily, the base is easy to get started and the soup will accommodate your cheese on hand.

how to make easy grilled veggies for memorial day

Chicken Ravioli

Too much chicken? Leftovers for what feels this for days? Make these on a day when your chicken overrunneth.

You can store your extra ravioli in a single layer in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer, making this a recipe remix with a cheesy twist that is as efficient as it is delicious! 

Original Eggplant Parm

Eggplant Parm, The Old Fashioned Way

A cast-iron skillet. Thick slices of eggplant. A ladleful of marinara sauce and a double-topping of cheese. 

Take advantage of your favorite variety of eggplant using this simple frying technique to create a super Italian inspired dish and make eggplant parm magic tonight!

how to make easy grilled veggies for memorial day

Cheese and Crackers Chicken

Cheese and crackers are my go-to food when the tummy rumbles and that fasting headache emerges. Just a little bite of cheese takes the edge off. This works…for a while.

What happens next is that cheese begins to sneak its way into my dish. I love cheese on my scrambled eggs. Cheese in my salad. Cheese and crackers for my snack. Then inspiration hits.

So why not cheese and crackers in my chicken dinner? 

Want More Ideas?

Grillin’ and Chillin’ This Memorial Day Weekend

Grillin’ and Chillin’ This Memorial Day Weekend

Strawberry Recipes for Desserts

Make and take this effortless side, or get it going while your main course is on the grill or stovetop! It’s all about grilling and chilling this Memorial Day Weekend.

Whether it’s burgers, brats, ribs, or steaks, the sides are just as important as the main course when you’re planning your Memorial Day bash.

There’s lots of planning and lots of dishes to prepare. Here’s a way for you to make things just a little bit easier on yourself this year. 

Start with grilled veggies!

Any veggie will work here. My favorites are thick asparagus spears, bell peppers, red onions, zucchini and yellow squash, eggplant and portobello mushrooms. 

For the asparagus, break off the tough ends and trim. For the mushrooms remove the cap and inner gills. Slice the eggplant and red onion into ½-inch circles. Cut the squash diagonally into ½-inch ovals.

As you slice your veggies lay them onto a baking sheet. You can use parchment paper to layer everything on top of each other. Brush both sides with vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Now you are ready to grill.

Use an open flame or your trusty grill pan to cook each slice turning once so that you have grill marks on both sides.

Make sure you do not over-cook. You want firm veggies, not mushy ones. Remember things keep on cooking after you remove them from the heat.

Transfer the veggies from the grill to the baking sheet. You can cook these the day before your barbecue. Cool to room temperature and cover with plastic wrap. Chill ‘til you are ready to serve. 

 

how to make easy grilled veggies for memorial day

Now, here is where we get creative!

1: Layer the veggies onto a platter. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Shave thin slices of Parmesan cheese over top and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts.

2: Stack the veggies, beginning with eggplant and layering from largest slices to smallest. Layer in a slice or two of mozzarella cheese and add a few leaves of fresh basil on the top. Drizzle with olive oil.

3: Layer the veggies onto a platter and add slices of tomato and watermelon. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out circles of the watermelon that are about the same size as the tomato slices. Add a sprinkling of blue cheese and drizzle with balsamic reduction.  

4: Chop the veggies into similar size pieces and stir into rice for grilled veggie pilaf.

5:  Slice the veggies into thin strips and pair them with your grilled beef or chicken for fajitas, enchiladas, or quesadillas.

The secret here is that you can grill the veggies in advance and with little effort assemble the dish while the main course is sitting on the grill. What a great plan!