Valentine’s Vegetables

This is the recipe I alluded to back in the beginning of this blog, here.  It is gluten free, can be vegetarian, kosher, vegan…everyone finally has a dish they can make.

I found magic in this dish.  Truly, the taste was magical.  Perhaps I need to start at the beginning.

In 2015, our first Valentine’s Day as SpecialK and wife (that’s me), I made chicken en croute for dinner.  It was from a Gluten Free on a Shoestring cookbook, and we loved it.

In 2016, I was eating low carb, and Valentine’s Day came around again.  I decided to make an unfried chicken parmigiana.   I decided to use my mandolin to thinly slice an onion, hoping it would melt into the sauce.  Another vegetable, then another, two more another’s, I was almost done with the dish.

I am currently out of love with zoodles; I am saturated, I am done.  But I ate the zucchini in this dish, and enjoyed it.

Here’s what I did, how I cut the vegetables, and how I achieve the magic.

I started with a large sweet onion, the only kind of onion that SpecialK wants in our home.  I had to use the widest setting on the mandolin, as I didn’t want the onion to become mush. If you have better knife skills than I do today, you could just cut it with a knife.

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Heat a large frypan on your stovetop, then add some olive oil.  Once the oil is hot, add the onion and lower the heat.  If the onions look dry on top, add some more olive oil.

Wash a zucchini, then cut off the top and bottom.  Run the zucchini through the mandolin.  Once the onions have softened, add the zucchini to the fry pan.  Once the zucchini have softened, add some chicken stock to the fry pan.  Season the mix with salt and pepper, to taste.

Next in the fry pan is a half of a bag of Trader Joe’s Mushroom Medley.  These are the only mushrooms Specil K wants to eat.  If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby, use 1/2 pound of slice mushrooms.

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This is the time I would be cutting up a large chicken breast, into large bite size pieces.  You could add the cut up chicken to the fry pan with the vegetables.  Cook until the chicken is no longer pink.  I would have done that, except I left the chicken I the fridge for too many days…  It got tossed in the trash.

I take the soon to be discarded tomatoes, dice them up, and toss them in the pan.  Then I add a can of diced tomatoes, with basil, garlic and oregano.

Finally, I add a good spoonful of chopped shallots to the fry pan.  Mix altogether, season again with salt, pepper and dried  basil to taste.

 

To top with cheese, I sprinkle a good layer of parmigiana cheese over the pan, then cover all with a layer of part skim mozzarella. You can cover the pan and wait for the cheese to melt, or leave uncovered and heat the pan at dinner time.

Finally, it is time to enjoy!  By the way, when I served this dish, SpecialK told me to remember what I did, how I seasoned the dish, so I could make it again.  In the past four months, I have made this maybe 6 times.  I know what you are going to say, try another combination.  I agree and the time is right!

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Notes:

*To make kosher, leave out the chicken OR leave off the cheese.

*To make Vegetarian, leave out the chicken, try vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

*To make Vegan, use vegetable stock and skip the chicken and cheese.

*If you are like my friend, Kate, and don’t like mushrooms, leave them out.  You could add a sliced pepper with the onions, or asparagus, or whatever vegetable you do like.

*You are certainly welcome to adapt this to your tastes.  If you try this with fish, or any meat, share a comment and let us know how it works.

*The shallots ingredients are, shallots, water and citric acid.  When I told  Special K it was the citric acid that gave the dish the magic, he suggested otherwise.  I no longer think the shallots are the magic, maybe it is just the seasonings.  When I over salted one time during the first seasoning, I didn’t use any salt the second time.  The dish was delicious!

This is what the pan looked like when I moved the vegetables to the casserole dish.  I added nothing to thicken this, and it thickened on it’s own.  image

 

 

 

If you absolutely love zucchini, or mushrooms, or onions, add more than I do.  I want you to love this as much as we do.

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