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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Rosemary Basil Burgers, Sautéed Squashes and Salad {In the Kitchen with Kayla} ~ New Series

So tonight I felt inspired to photograph and blog what we had for dinner. I know there are likely millions of other bloggers out there doing this very same thing. I also know when I'm stumped about what to make, I appreciate the help. I also believe in "the more the merrier" so here we go with a new series called {In the Kitchen with Kayla} where I will attempt to blog every new dinner idea we try. Hoping you'll be able to find something new to add to your recipe stash!

So tonight for dinner we had: Rosemary Basil Burgers, Sautéed Squashes and a Salad.

The Rosemary Basil Burgers recipe comes from a book called The Autoimmune Solution by Dr. Amy Myers, M.D. I highly recommend every one read this book, but that's another post. I made these ahead and froze them. So I let them thaw a little while I did the other prep work.

For the squash I used one small zucchini and one Mexican squash. (I had never seen or heard of them before, but when I went to buy yellow crookneck squash they we're terrible looking, so I opted for the Mexican squash). They have a green and white "speckled" skin (that is if the sign was right at the store). I thought they would help to add some interest to the dish. Anyway, I sliced the zucchini, and quartered and sliced the Mexican squash. I added some coconut oil and bacon grease (for flavor) into my cast iron skillet and let it melt. Then I added the squash, sprinkled it with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and kelp powder (see tip below on why I used kelp powder). Then I let them sit there til I was ready to start the burgers. We like to have dinner at 6 pm so I usually wait til about 5:30 pm to start the actual cooking.

Meanwhile, I started my salad. Now I've never seen anyone do it this way so hopefully, you'll learn something new. For health reasons we don't really buy bottled salad dressing, and though I can make some pretty good homemade ones and store them in the fridge, there are preference issues in our family. So to make it easy, I've really simplified the dressing. {1} Its Olive Oil (Organic), salt, pepper, and any other spices we like. Could be granulated garlic (as was the case tonight and most nights), or cumin, or coriander, what ever you like. {2} Then I chop or shred my veggies. Tonight we had cucumber, carrots, and celery (see tip below). {3} I add them to the bowl right on top of the dressing. {4} Next, I wash and cut any fruit we are having in our salad. We had raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries. Use whatever's in season and affordable. (This is a huge way to make "non-salad eaters" eat salad). {5} Add your greens. Tonight we had spring greens, but other times we'll have spinach or a mix of leftover lettuces from wraps. Tear the pieces that are too big for anyone's mouth. I leave my salad just like this until the rest of dinner is ready and I'm just about to dish up plates. This allows me to do my salad prep at my convenience while not having it get soggy sitting there. I don't like cold salad so I let it sit on the counter while everything finishes cooking. If you think this is unsafe or you like your salad cold simply stick it in the fridge when your done. Just remember that the olive oil will harden and need a few minutes to come to room temperature. I start making dinner at 5 pm so usually the salad isn't out for very long with everything that's going on.{6} I toss to distribute the oil and all the fun toppings and serve.

~Some of you may think "that's way too much fat for the squash" but in reality our bodies can only absorb/process certain vitamins if we've eaten them with adequate fat.
~I use the kelp powder because it tastes salty and lets me use less salt (only concerned with saving money here, good quality salt is good for you!), plus it adds minerals that can be hard to get elsewhere and because its powdered and added in such small amounts you can't even taste it.
~I shred enough carrots for a weeks worth of salads at once. That way I don't have to get out my food processor over and over or shred them by hand every night (plus less clean up). I have bad teeth so I can't eat hard chunks of carrots, so this makes them an easy addition to our week night salads {2}.
~If you have family members who really don't like something you can always leave it out of the major salad and add it as a topping for those who like it. You can see the celery on my cutting board in image {4}. My husband can't stand celery so I put it as a topping on mine and my daughters salads.
~Lastly, others out there have talked about this but I think its so important I will likely share it on everyone of these posts in this series. When you trim your veggies, make a pile. Save things like skin you peeled off carrots that wasn't disgusting, or the ends you trim from you squash, cut off any bad parts and throw away. The rest of it should go into a gallon size freezer bag. Put the bag in the freezer. This saves time and food (= money) when you make homemade chicken stock. And if your not you so need to start!

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