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Seriously flavorful and delicious restaurant-style hunan chicken! Bites of tender chicken and stir-fried veggies tossed in a savory hunan sauce. Super quick and easy to make, ready in just 15 minutes!

overhead image of hunan chicken in a skillet with sesame seeds and sliced green onion on top.

What is Hunan Chicken?

Hunan Chicken is a healthy, popular Chinese-American dish made with pieces of tender chicken stir fried with veggies and tossed in a tangy, sweet, and spicy sauce. This dish originates from the Hunan province of China and is traditionally hot, spicy and loaded with chilies. In this Hunan Chicken recipe, you can control the spice level by adding as much chili paste as you like.

close-up image of hunan chicken in a skillet.

What You’ll Need To Make Hunan Chicken

Chicken Breasts – This dinner recipe starts with one to two pounds of boneless and skinless chicken breast. To prepare them, start by patting each chicken breast dry with a paper towel, then thinly slice them into bite-sized pieces. Once cut, season them well with salt and black pepper, before coating in corn starch, then stir-frying!

Corn Starch – Coating this hunan chicken in corn starch before cooking will help each piece cook up a whole lot crispier and delicious! However, if you don’t have corn starch, you can certainly use arrowroot starch or tapioca starch instead. And if you’d like to cut down on the amount of corn starch, you can leave it off the chicken pieces, and instead add just a tablespoon of starch to the sauce ingredients. You’ll need at least a tiny bit of starch in this recipe, to help thicken up the sauce.

Soy Sauce – Any kind of soy sauce you’d like will work! If gluten-free, be sure to use tamari instead of soy sauce. Tamari is the gluten-free equivalent to soy sauce. Or, for a healthier option, use 1/3 cup of coconut aminos instead.

Fish Sauce – Most hunan chicken recipes are made with oyster sauce, which is a thick, dark sauce made of soy sauce, oyster extract, and sugar (lots of sugar!). So to make this classic recipe just a bit healthier, I swapped out the oyster sauce for a tablespoons of honey, plus a teaspoon of fish sauce. The honey helps to sweeten things up, and the fish sauce gives this dish its signature briny flavor. I also figured, while neither oyster or fish sauce are super common in most kitchens, fish sauce would be a bit easier to get your hands on!

hunan chicken on a plate over rice.

Tips and Tricks

  • If you have a wok, use it! Wok’s cook quickly, and heat to a higher temperature, which is perfect for this stir-fry recipe. However, if you don’t own a wok (it’s ok, I don’t either), use either a large stainless steel or cast-iron pan instead.
  • Once done, if the sauce isn’t as thick as you’d like it to be, then add in some corn starch. But don’t simply add the corn starch in by itself. Instead, whisk 1 tablespoon of corn starch with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl until dissolved. Then, pour that corn starch slurry into your sauce and give it 2-3 more minutes to thicken.
  • Serve this hunan chicken however you’d like! I enjoyed mine over cauliflower rice for an extra healthy meal. Though it also tastes delicious over white rice, brown rice, or even quinoa!

Adjust This Recipe To Your Dietary Needs

Make it Paleo: Turn this into a paleo chicken stir-fry by using tapioca starch instead of corn starch, and coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce.

Make it Vegan: Make a hunan tofu by replacing the chicken breasts with a large block of extra-firm tofu, cut into 2-inch cubes! Also, leave out the fish sauce, and replace the honey with maple syrup.

Hunan Chicken

5 from 4 votes
Recipe by Samantha Course: MainCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes
Total time

15

minutes

Seriously flavorful and delicious restaurant-style hunan chicken! Bites of tender chicken and stir-fried veggies tossed in a savory hunan sauce. Super quick and easy to make, ready in just 15 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

  • salt and black pepper, to taste

  • 1/4 cup corn starch, or tapioca starch

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • 1 cup broccoli florets

  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced

  • 1 zucchini, sliced

  • For the hunan sauce:
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce, or tamari if gluten-free

  • 1-2 tablespoons chili paste

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil, optional

Directions

  • Season chicken with salt and pepper, then toss in a bowl with corn starch until evenly coated.
  • Heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook chicken 2-3 minutes per side or golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
  • Add broccoli, bell pepper, and zucchini to skillet – sauté for 5-6 minutes or until tender, but still crisp.
  • While veggies cook, whisk together all sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Add cooked chicken back into skillet along with the sauce, reduce heat to low and cook for a few minutes or until sauce has thickened.

Recipe Video

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Fresh, wholesome, and delicious pasta with caramelized zucchini! This super simple pasta recipe requires just a handful of ingredients – many of which you probably already have at home. Throw together this easy and healthy weeknight meal in 30 minutes!

fork and spoon lifting pasta with caramelized zucchini out of a bowl.

What You’ll Need to Make Pasta with Caramelized Zucchini

Olive Oil and Butter – The combination of both olive oil and butter are perfect for caramelizing the zucchini in this recipe. Olive oil prevents the zucchini from sticking to the pan, while butter gives it that irresistibly rich flavor.

Zucchini – Use as much or as little zucchini as you’d like in this recipe! Though remember, the zucchini will cook down a ton while cooking, so it’s better to start with more than you may think you need. Thinly slice your zucchini into about 1/8-inch thick rounds. The thinner you slice the zucchini, the faster it’ll cook and caramelize.

Pasta – I used gluten-free linguini for my pasta with caramelized zucchini, but any pasta will work!

overhead image of pasta with caramelized zucchini on a plate with a fork.

Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t forget to save some pasta water before straining! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve meant to save pasta water, but totally forgot when it came time to strain it. Reserved pasta water plays a crucial part in the sauce, so make sure you remember it!
  • Cook the zucchini to your liking. I loooove super soft and jammy zucchini, but if you want zucchini with a little more bite, cook it down for just 10-15 minutes. This light and healthy pasta recipe is super easy to customize!
close-up image of pasta with caramelized zucchini in a bowl.

Adjust This Recipe to Your Dietary Needs

Make it Gluten-Free: Simply use your favorite gluten-free pasta like I did!

Make it Vegan/Dairy-Free: Use your favorite non-dairy butter in this recipe, and leave off any cheese when serving.

Pasta with Caramelized Zucchini

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Samantha Course: Uncategorized
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Total time

0

minutes

Fresh, wholesome, and delicious pasta with caramelized zucchini! This super simple pasta recipe requires just a handful of ingredients – many of which you probably already have at home. Throw together this easy and healthy weeknight meal in 30 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (about 1/8-inch thick)

  • salt, to taste

  • 5 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 pound pasta, uncooked

Directions

  • Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once butter has melted, add in the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the zucchini and a big pinch of salt, cook for 20 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes.
  • While zucchini cooks, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water and drain pasta from remaining water.
  • Once zucchini is very soft and caramelized, add in the garlic and garlic powder. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the cooked pasta and ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water to the skillet with the zucchini. Stir everything together, and add more pasta water if pasta seems dry. Serve warm with fresh cracked black pepper.

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This gluten-free zucchini bread is deliciously moist! It’s super easy to make and loaded with fresh zucchini. Enjoy a thick slice of this gluten-free zucchini bread with a little butter for breakfast or as a snack!

gluten-free zucchini bread on a baking sheet.

The Story Behind This Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread Recipe

My parents were those people that built a garden during quarantine. Anyone else?? And while it took a while to enjoy the fruits (literally) of their labor, oh man was it worth all their hard work! They have strawberries, blueberries, lettuce, every herb you can think of, and a whole BUNCH of zucchini. Like A LOT of zucchini. So when they sent me home a couple weeks ago with a massive bag of homegrown zucchini, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it. Though I had never made gluten-free zucchini bread before, so I took a few notes from my gluten-free banana bread recipe, tweaked things a bit, and this incredible recipe was born!

sliced gluten-free zucchini bread on a baking sheet with milk on the side.

What You Need To Make Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread

Zucchini – This dark green veggie is loaded vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants! It’s also high in fiber and has been proven to aid healthy digestion. Good-for-you zucchini also flourishes in the summer months! (A big reason why my parents currently have SO much of it right now).

To prep zucchini for this recipe, simply slice off one end and run the zucchini down a cheese grater. Continue to grate the zucchini until you have one heaping cup worth of shredded zucchini. Once grated, you’ll wrap the zucchini in a dish towel and squeeze out as much of the liquid from the zucchini as possible. This summer vegetable holds on to a lot of water, and to avoid a soggy zucchini bread, you’ll want to squeeze out as much of that water as you can. Once the water is removed, you’re ready to use your shredded zucchini in this gluten-free zucchini bread recipe!

Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour – I use and love the King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour for most of my gluten-free baked goods recipes. It’s a solid gluten-free flour that holds its structure when baked and never fails me. However, you can use your favorite gluten-free all purpose flour for this recipe. My one suggestion is to always make sure that whatever gluten-free all purpose flour you use contains xanthan gum. Xanthan gum is crucial to binding and quite literally keeping everything together.

gluten-free zucchini bread step 1
gluten-free zucchini bread step 3
gluten-free zucchini bread step 4

Adjust This Recipe to Your Dietary Needs

  • Make it Nut-Free: Omit the almond flour in this recipe and use an additional 1/2 cup of gluten-free all purpose flour instead.
  • Make it Vegan: To make this a gluten-free and vegan zucchini bread, try using either two flax eggs, one ripe mashed banana, or 1 cup of apple sauce in place of the eggs in this recipe.
  • Add Gluten: Use 2 cups of regular all purpose flour in place of the gluten-free all purpose flour and almond flour.

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Samantha Course: SnacksCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes
Total time

55

minutes

This gluten-free zucchini bread is deliciously moist! It’s super easy to make and loaded with fresh zucchini. Enjoy a thick slice of this gluten-free zucchini bread with a little butter for breakfast or as a snack!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded zucchini

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour, see Notes

  • 1/2 cup almond flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or butter, melted

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit and lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan.
  • Wrap the shredded zucchini in a dish towel and squeeze over the sink to remove as much water from the zucchini as possible, then set aside.
  • Mix together the gluten-free all purpose flour, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted coconut oil, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract until combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold together until no flour remains.
  • Gently fold in the shredded zucchini until just combined.
  • Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour: I use and love the King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour in this recipe, though you can use any all purpose gluten-free flour you’d like as long as it contains xantham gum.

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Easy, healthy, and extra delicious Italian stuffed zucchini boats! This low-carb meal comes together in under 30 minutes, with only 5 (!!!) ingredients. The ultimate lazy, yet super healthy dinner recipe.

overhead image of zucchini boats on a plate with white wine on the side.

What You’ll Need to Make Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Zucchini – This summer vegetable is super cheap and easy to find! Start by slicing a zucchini in half, then removing the seeds and some of the flesh from inside. You’ll be left with two zucchini “boats,” ready to be filled with our delicious Italian sausage in sauce.

Italian Sausage – Feel free to use whatever kind of Italian sausage you’d like! Though make sure it’s uncooked and removed from its casings before cooking. As it cooks, break the sausage up with a wooden spoon until no longer pink. Italian sausage is packed with herbs and spices, adding even more flavor to this already super flavorful dish.

Marinara Sauce – I use and love Rao’s marinara sauce for when I don’t feel like making it myself. Rao’s is perfectly tangy, has tons of flavor, with just a hint of sweetness. However, you can totally use your favorite jarred marinara sauce for this recipe. Or, if you have some time to spare, go ahead and throw together a homemade sauce to use instead.

Dried Italian Seasoning – The final step before cooking these zucchini boats is sprinkling them with a little bit of dried Italian seasoning. I love the flavor this packs, but it’s totally optional if you’re not feeling up to it or don’t have any on-hand.

overhead image of zucchini boats in a baking dish.

Tips and Tricks

  • Finish off these Italian stuffed zucchini boats with fresh-grated parmesan cheese! It rounds out the Italian flavors in this dish, and make it that much more delicious. Also, who doesn’t love a little bit of cheese?!
  • You can easily prep-then-freeze this dish ahead of time! To do this, follow each step of the recipe, up to cooking it. Then, cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, before freezing for up to three months. When ready to eat, simply defrost, then bake as instructed.
  • This is a great, healthy meal to prep for a crowd! Simply double or triple the amounts listed in the recipe below, and you can feed a whole army (ok …maybe not an entire army, but you get the point). I love throwing this quick and easy zucchini recipe together for friends and family, it’s a total crowd-favorite!
close-up image of zucchini boat being cut into with a fork.

Adjust This Recipe to Your Dietary Needs

Make it Gluten-Free: These zucchini boats are already gluten-free! However, to be absolutely certain they don’t contain any traces of gluten, check your sausage and marinara sauce packaging to make sure those ingredient are entirely gluten-free.

Make it Dairy-Free: For a dairy-free version of this recipe, replace the parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast!

Make it Vegan: Replace the sausage with your favorite vegan meat substitute, and cook it with an additional teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning. Then, similar to the dairy-free version, top with nutritional yeast instead of parmesan cheese.

Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Samantha Course: MainCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Total time

30

minutes

Easy, healthy, and extra delicious Italian stuffed zucchini boats! This low-carb meal comes together in under 30 minutes, with only 5 (!!!) ingredients. The ultimate lazy, yet super healthy dinner recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise

  • salt and black pepper, to taste

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

  • 1 pound sweet or spicy Italian sausage (casings removed)

  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, optional

  • grated parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
  • Using a spoon, scoop out and remove the seeds and a little bit of the flesh from each zucchini half.
  • Sprinkle zucchini with salt and black pepper, then place inside a large baking dish and set aside.
  • Heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add in the Italian sausage and cook until no longer pink. Break up the meat as it cooks, should take about 5 minutes.
  • Add marinara sauce to the skillet, reduce heat to low and simmer sausage in sauce for 2-3 minutes.
  • Spoon the sauce mixture into the cavity of each zucchini half, then evenly sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and zucchini is tender. Serve warm with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Recipe Video

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This summer squash pasta is the perfect way to enjoy one of this season’s BEST vegetables! Fresh summer squash is quickly sautéed until perfectly tender then tossed with your favorite pasta. This simple weeknight meal is light, healthy, and comes together in under 20 minutes!

summer squash pasta being lifted off a plate with a fork

‘Tis the season! If you (like me) feel like you’re drowning in squash this summer, then you NEED to make this recipe. Summer squash peaks in the ….you guessed it – summer! My parents garden is currently being taken over by summer squash and zucchini. They have so much squash at this point that they have no clue what to do with it all! One solution to their problem is sending me home with massive bags of it every time I visit them. And while I still have a few squash sitting in my fridge right now, I was able to use some of them in this delicious pasta recipe!

I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve been a big fan of anything quick and easy when it comes to time spent in the kitchen. Hovering over a hot stove for more than 20 minutes sounds like pure torture in this city heat and humidity. Therefore, I’m on a mission to develop as many no-bake/cook recipes or ready in under 30 minutes recipes as possible! This specific vegan and gluten-free pasta recipe falls into the latter category, and for that reason alone we love it so much.

What You Need To Make Summer Squash Pasta

Summer Squash and/or Zucchini– This recipe is the perfect way to use up any leftover summer squash and/or zucchini in your garden! Simply wash and then slice at least two of them, then throw them in this recipe. If you like your pasta extra squash-y (new word – squashy!) feel free to add an extra squash or two in there. The more, the merrier when it comes to this summer squash pasta!

Pasta – I used Jovial Brown Rice Gluten-Free Farfalle pasta in my dish, however you can use whatever kind of pasta you’d like in this recipe. Rigatoni, orecchiette, ziti, penne, or really any pasta shape would work here. If you’re gluten-free like me, I highly recommend the Jovial pasta as it tastes incredibly similar to the real thing.

Basil – Continuing on with the summer trend, this herb flourishes in the warm weather! Basil really helps pack on the freshness in this simple pasta dish. If you don’t have basil, you can use fresh parsley instead.

Adjust This Recipe To Your Diet

  • Add Dairy: Finish this summer squash pasta off with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese for a delightful, savory bite!
  • Make it Paleo: You can easily make this dish paleo by doubling up on the squash and removing the pasta from this recipe. It’ll be more of a side dish than a main course, but will still taste totally delicious!

Summer Squash Pasta (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Samantha Course: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes
Total time

20

minutes

This summer squash pasta is the perfect way to enjoy one of this season’s BEST vegetables! Fresh summer squash is quickly sautéed until perfectly tender then tossed with your favorite pasta. This simple weeknight meal is light, healthy, and comes together in under 20 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces pasta, see Notes

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 5 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 summer squash and/or zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup fresh basil

Directions

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add in the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Add in the squash and/or zucchini along with the salt, cook 10-15 minutes, tossing every few minutes.
  • Transfer cooked and drained pasta to the skillet along with red pepper flakes and lemon juice, toss everything together.
  • Remove from heat, add in basil, and serve immediately.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Pasta: I used gluten-free farfalle pasta in this recipe, though you can use any kind of pasta you’d like!

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