Seared Zucchini with Beans

Despite having hosted our friends for dinner for many of the Saturday nights over the past 20+ years I still find myself stumped fair to regularly on what to make for dinner. As a result I will often add “2 vegetables” to my grocery list with no real plan and hope for inspiration while in the produce section. Here are the results from such a recent inspiration.

Seared Zucchini with Beans
Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 red onion, 1/4″ dice
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 3 zucchini, 1/4″ dice
  • 1 28 oz. can kidney beans, drained
  • 2 tsp. Penzey’s Mural of Flavor spice blend
  • 1/2 cup water.
  • kosher salt and black pepper


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add the onion, sprinkle with salt and toss to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent; about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, stirring it into the onions and cook until fragrant, which should be less than a minute. Push the onions and garlic to the edge of the skillet.
  3. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and increase the heat to medium high. Add the zucchini and spread it out into a single layer. Allow it to brown on this side, untouched for 3-4 minutes. Now sprinkle the zucchini with salt and stir it to redistribute the pieces. Cook for another minute.
  4. Add the beans, spice blend and water. Stir everything together and cover. Reduce the heat to low and allow it to cook until the beans are warmed through, about 5 minutes.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning to taste.

You can really use any type of bean here that you like. Hominy probably wouldn’t be my first choice but if you rinsed it then it would work.

If you don’t have the Mural of Flavors spice blend you can mix together 1 tsp. dried thyme, 1 tsp. ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, 1/2 tsp. ground coriander and the zest from a lemon or orange. Use 1 teaspoon of that and save the rest.

Saturday night – 04/22/2017

The turkey came first, at least in this menu preparation. It had been sitting, frozen and waiting, in the freezer since after Christmas when my mother gifted it to me so it wouldn’t take up room in her freezer. My husband mentioned the rice in passing, though I think he was more interested in how we have used the leftovers in the past than the side dish itself. The other sides dishes came from foraging at the mega mart for what looked good.

Dessert came from looking at a past menu. The cake itself is not very sweet; the frosting makes up for it with gusto.

Roast Turkey
Mexican Green Rice
Skillet Cauliflower with Red Pepper
Roasted Asparagus with Sherry Vinegar

No-kneed Bread

Old-fashioned Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

Notes under the cut

Almond Cherry Cake

[Almond Cherry Cake]Searching for a suitable dessert to make for Easter Dinner at my mom’s house is a delicious challenge. While most of us enjoy a chocolate whatever-you-bake special dinners are a chance do something different. I had some cherries in the freezer that I wanted to do something with. An hour lost to the Internet provided several options. In the end I opted for this lovely creation on the right.

Notes under the cut

Saturday night – 04/08/2017

V asked if she could bring two guests this week so I wanted a heaping lot of food that would be acceptable to teenagers. Tacos came to mind, ’cause who doesn’t enjoy a taco now and then. I, of course, made too much food.

Ground Beef Tacos and Turkey Tacos
with various fixings (see note)
Baked “Spanish” Rice
Zucchini and Beans

Hot Cross Buns, for dessert

Notes under the cut