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

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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. 

Friendly Fish Tacos In The Mean Meat Shortage

Friendly Fish Tacos In The Mean Meat Shortage

With the meat shortage making it more challenging to plan meals around beef, pork, and chicken, pescatarian and vegetarian recipes will help see us through on Meatless Monday and beyond!  Click to skip to the recipe

 

Fish in a soft tortilla with cilantro, crema, tomato, lettuce

With a nod towards Meatless Mondays, on the heels of Cinco de Mayo, and with heartfelt concern for our meat supply chain, I decided to make a pescatarian recipe for dinner this week: Fish Tacos! In a word they were delicious and in a second word… this dish is thought-provoking!

We live in a beef crazed society. Meat and poultry are the menu planner’s mantra. Wendy’s made national news this week when they ran short of meat for their Triple-Decker cheeseburger. This led to protests and calls for, “Where’s the beef?!”

This could spark a whole new movement in preparing satisfying pescatarian and vegetarian recipes that will appease our need for meat and potatoes.

Since we’ve been staying at home, our consumption of fast food burgers has declined precipitously. Hubby’s down more than a few pounds in just a couple of weeks!

His recent bloodwork showed a definite improvement from past years and it got me thinking: Could this upturn in his health have something to do with fast-food distancing?

If this is my new working theory, in how many weekly meals can I substitute fish or veggies for beef, pork, or chicken? With the meat shortage increasing steadily and meat, pork, and chicken being rationed in grocery stores around the country, finding meat alternatives in the midst of the shortage is my new challenge.

I think this might be a prudent time to visit no meat main courses, which is why I started with fish. This recipe is based on my Grilled Guac recipe from my cookbook, “Sunday Best Dishes”. That recipe grills all the veggies before you mush them into guac. 

I used that same technique to grill everything from the fish to the lettuce for these tacos and the grilling gave a smokey, lusty taste to the tacos. I used a grill pan indoors and the whole meal took about a millisecond to prepare.

No ground beef, pork, or chicken required to make a satisfying meal!

You can easily share your meatless main meals with all the readers here. We’re all into experimentation these days!

Grilled Fish Tacos

Serves:

Time:

2

30-Minute Cuisine

vegetarian-tacos-meat-shortage 3

Ingredients

I made these for hubby and me, and two large, open-face tacos were plenty. You can adjust the recipe to feed more, by just increasing the ingredients. I found blood oranges at the market and prepared the marinade with this juice, but good old lemons or limes will do just fine.

For filling:

2 (6 to 8-ounce) sea bass fillets (substitute with and white, flaky fish)

1 blood orange (substitute with lime or lemon)

4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced, about 3 tablespoons

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

For sauce:

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup sour cream

¼ cup prepared salsa

Juice of ½ lime, about 1 tablespoon (reserve the other half for seasoning the taco)

2 to 4 dashes hot pepper sauce

For tacos:

1 avocado, cut in half, pit removed

1 tomato, cut in half

½ romaine lettuce head

1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, cut in half, seeded, and deveined

2 green onions

2 (8 or 10-inch tortillas)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Veggies on grill pan with fish

Place the fish into a dish. Squeeze the juice from the blood orange over the fish. Add the garlic and olive oil. Season with some of the salt and pepper. Turn the fillets in the marinade to coat and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, salsa, lime juice, and as much hot pepper sauce as you like. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle some additional olive oil onto the pan. Place the fish, flesh side down onto the grill pan. Place the avocado, cut side down onto the grill pan. Do the same with the tomato, lettuce, jalapenos, and green onion.

Grill the veggies, turning once just until you get a nice char on each piece. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the veggies to a cutting board.

Grill the fish, turning once until it is nicely marked on both sides and cooked to medium-rare in the center. This will take a total of about 8 minutes per inch of thickness of the fillets.

Transfer the fish to your cutting board. Place the tortillas onto the grill pan and grill for several seconds, turn and grill for several seconds more. The tortilla should be warm and pliable. Transfer each tortilla to a plate.

Chop the lettuce. Place half of the lettuce onto each tortilla. Cut the fish into chunks and place on top of the lettuce. Do the same with the tomato, avocado, jalapeno, and onions. Top the taco with a generous dollop of sauce. Garnish with cilantro and an extra squeeze of lime juice.

Gourmet green beans for tonight’s side dish

Gourmet green beans for tonight’s side dish

If you only have 10 minutes until it’s time to eat, and are scrambling to find a side dish that rounds out a full spread dinner, this citrusy and delicious spin on green beans is just what you need. The reason it’s a hit and pairs well with just about any entrée is its nutty, garlicky flavor. You can save extra green beans for use later in the week. They are excellent in soups and chopped salads – even with a little tuna fish. Nicoise salad anyone?

I find that if you don’t do fish –or lean vegetarian – that swapping out the anchovies in this recipe for Kalamata olives works just as well. Anyhow, get ready to transform these babies into something truly special! I bought mine at the farmers market this week. Florida’s grow season is pretty much RIGHT NOW, and we’re the green bean capital of the world. You can always find huge bags of fresh green beans on the cheap at the grocery store too.

Citrus Sautéed Green Beans

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces, about 4 cups

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 anchovy filets, about ½ tin

1 small red onion, peeled and finely diced, about ½ cup

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

Zest of 1 medium orange, about 2 teaspoons

Juice of 1 large orange, about 1/3 cup

        

            Steam the green beans until just crisp tender. Do this in a microwave oven or using a steamer on the stovetop. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the anchovies. Stir until the anchovies completely dissolve. If the oil sputters reduce the heat to low. The anchovies will dissolve quickly. Add the onion to the pan. Turn the heat up to medium high. Cook until the onion are soft and just beginning to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the green beans to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Add the orange zest and orange juice. Cook until the liquid begins to disappear. Remove the pan from the heat. Cover the beans to keep warm until ready to serve. Reserve extra beans to use later on.