Sauteed Zucchini with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil

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I hated zucchini my whole life – all squash for that matter. My boss gave me some huge zucchini from her garden and I had no idea what to do with them but didn’t want to say ‘no thanks’. I decided to mix it with my favorite vegetable- tomato, and my favorite herb – basil, thus starting my obsession with zucchini!

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INGREDIENTS:

2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes

2 Medium Zucchini

1/4 Cup Chopped Basil

1 Tablespoon of Butter

2 Chopped Garlic Cloves

1 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper

Salt & Pepper to Taste

First chopped the basil, slice the cherry tomatoes in half and the zucchini into 1/4 inch wide slices.

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Melt butter on high heat and add the zucchini. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper and garlic.

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Sautee for about five minutes until the zucchini is tender and slightly browned.

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Add tomatoes until they are heated through, about 3 minutes. And finally add the basil for the final minute.

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Now that all the veggies are warm and tender they are ready to serve. This salad can stand alone, or be served along side a protein like my whole grain mustard salmon…

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or tossed with pasta. You decide!

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Fresh Meatball Subs

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When I moved into my first apartment-style dorm with a kitchen, I freaked out. I really had never cooked for myself before. My first meal? Meatballs. Cooking those first meatballs is what sparked my love affair with cooking. My recipe has come a long way since my dorm days and I hope you enjoy!

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MEATBALLS:

1/2 Pound of Ground Beef

1/2 Pound Ground Pork

1/2 Pound Ground Veal

5 Garlic Cloves (grated)

2 Eggs

1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs

1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Teaspoon of Salt

1 Teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper

1/2 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper

FOR THE SUB:

2 Cups of Tomato Sauce

1 Bunch of Fresh Basil

2 Large Balls of Fresh Mozzarella

1 French Baguette

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I’m a big fan of combining all three of these ground meats when making meatballs. The pork and veal add a great depth of flavor. To ensure that they are moist and hold together, don’t try to save calories by buying the lean meat. To start, preheat your oven to 350.

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I love garlic, but I don’t love crunching down on raw pieces in my meatballs. To get the maximum fresh taste without that hazard, grate the cloves on a microphone or cheese grater. I usually use about 5 cloves, but you can use less if you don’t love garlic as much as I do.

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After the garlic also grate 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.

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Combine the ground meat, eggs, garlic, Parmesan, salt, pepper, cayenne and Panko bread crumbs. Your best tools are your hands, so just get in there.

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Once everything is mixed together evenly, you can start rolling the balls! Each should be about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, but they don’t have to be exact. This should make about twelve meatballs.  Place them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and pop in the oven for 30 minutes.  (If these were going on pasta, cook for 15 minutes and then throw them in the simmering tomato sauce to finish cooking)

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Now that they are all golden brown, it’s time to assemble the sub! While the meatballs cook, slice some fresh mozzarella, basil and a french banquette so everything is ready to go.

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STEP 1: Place meatballs on bread

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STEP 2: Cover with tomato sauce

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STEP 3: Layer mozzarella on top.

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Pop the sandwich back into the oven at 500 for five minutes until the cheese is all gooey and the bread is toasted. Sprinkle with some basil and serve!

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