Japanese Cucumber Salad

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I found this recipe here.

I have been searching tirelessly for new recipes to use all the cucumbers I’ve gotten this year from the garden. Talking to other locals, I have found out everyone is having a good year for cucumbers, so naturally all ingredients to make dill pickles are sold out withing a 20 mile radius. As a result, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and making new recipes. This recipe had lots of great comments, as you’ll see if you look at the original post. I have had to make alterations to the recipe, such as excluding sesame seeds and substituting in white wine vinegar, since I do not have rice wine vinegar. With the substitute, I had to dilute the mixture a bit. This recipe makes lots of marinade, so cut as many cucumbers as you need to serve or you think you can eat. I probably wouldn’t add more than 3, maybe 4 cups of cucumbers before doubling the marinade.

What You Will Need
  • 2 Medium Cucumbers (4 small homegrown cucumbers)
  • 1/4 cup White wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Water
  • 1 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Covered Mixing Bowl, Cutting board, and Knife
Instructions
  1. Peel you cucumbers, cut in half length wise, cored, then sliced into half-moons. Add to mixing bowl. Add pinch of salt and fresh pepper.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix together. Let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.
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Cucumber Salsa

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Salsa in a great snack. It’s healthy and goes with so many different types of food. I made this salsa with what I got from the garden and a bit of lemon and spices. This salsa is refreshing and original. The cucumber flavor brings a light and fresh flavor to any dish. You can alter the amount of chili powder to suit your heat preference, the recipe below is for a very mild salsa. The mixture did very very watery, so if you’d like, you could core the cucumbers to get less juice, or you could just decant some of the liquid from the mixture before adding your spices. This went great with tacos and chips, but be creative and try this with something new!

What You Will Need
  • 3 medium cucumbers (small if store bought), diced
  • 2 small vine tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion salt (or 1 tsp normal salt)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • Blender
  • Storage/Serving bowl
Instructions
  1. Prepare all your veggies. Add to a blender. Add lemon juice and cover.
  2. Using the dice setting, hold for 5 seconds. Scoop mixture into your bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to your taste.
  3. Chill 2-3 hours before serving for better taste, or serve right away.
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Summer Sausage Pasta

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One pan dinners are starting to grow in popularity in our house. Cook your ingredients, add some broth and pasta, let it cook down, and bam! You’ve got a one pan dinner. This was homemade summer sausage we received as a gift, but it was very similar to Hickory Farms summer sausage just with a bit more pepper. The only real advice for this recipe is to be careful of the yogurt you use. You can use milk instead, but you’ll have to add about 2 Tbsp of flour early on to get the thickening. If you use yogurt, it has to be completely unflavored. A good alternative is Greek yogurt if you like to sour cream like constancy.

What You Will Need
  • 10 Oz Summer Sausage Diced
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 3 Beef Bouillon Cubes
  • 12 Oz Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 Small Tomato Diced
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 cup Plain/Greek yogurt (Do not use flavored)
  • 4 Oz White Sharp Cheddar
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Dutch Oven and Lid
Instructions
  1. In a dutch oven, add diced onion and 1 Tbsp oil. Cook until sweating. Add diced summer sausage. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add 4 cups water and bouillon cubes. Stir and add Macaroni. Add diced tomato, and spices (garlic, paprika, curry powder, and chili powder). Stir and cover. Cook til minimum cook time for macaroni is reached according to package.
  3. Remove from heat. Add yogurt, the cheddar sliced, and butter. Stir until all the cheese is melted, you may return to heat if needed.
  4. Let cool for 5 minutes then serve.
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Fried Zucchini

Fried zucchini is another one of my new favorite ways to serve this polarizing squash. The flour crust brings some texture to the squash, and the butter add a good flavor to the side that makes it very enjoyable. I have some advice though based on my mistakes. First, heat the oil fully before hand. I started with barely any butter in the pan and no oil, so quickly my mixture became a thick rue. I was adding oil as it cooked just to get some liquid in the pan. Also, make sure you get off loose flour before it enters the pan. You don’t want an even messier oil after you flip you zucchini over. Finally, I also plated the fried zucchini right away, however I would have benefited by letting them strain on a disposable plate first.

What You Will Need
  • 1 Medium/Large Zucchini
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 cup Oil
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • Large Frying Pan/Dutch Oven
  • Large Ziploc bag
Instructions
  1. Wash and slice a zucchini into 1/2 to 1/4 inch thick slices.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add 3 Tbsp butter, and 1/4 cup oil.
  3. In a large Ziploc bag, add 1/4 cup flour. Add your slices into the bag a few at a time, and cover thoroughly in flour.
  4. Shake off flour, and add to the hot oil. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Remove from oil and strain on a paper towel lined disposable plate. Let strain for about 5 minutes before serving.
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Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a classic french dish that stemmed from poverty. Because they could not afford it, they made do with that they had. I don’t usually make vegetarian dishes because they usually aren’t filling, and I require a lot of protein in my daily regimen. This dish, however was not only incredibly filling, but it was also delicious! I don’t always like the texture of zucchini, but in this dish it has the perfect consistency and the tomato just compliments the squashes so well. For flavoring, I decided to go with thyme, rosemary and basil, and all three spices help unify this dish and add a layer of more flavor. I highly recommend this dish! Finally, though I have not tried freezing this dish, the ingredients are perfect for freezing, so I plan to freeze some the next time I make this giant pot of ratatouille. This recipe makes 6-7 adult sized servings.

  1. Wash, half, and slice 2 large zucchini and 2 medium yellow squash. Dice one medium onion. Add all to a dutch oven.
  2. Place dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil and 1 Tbsp garlic powder. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  3. Add 16 Oz of diced tomatoes, or 3 large tomatoes diced. Add 2 tsp of each thyme, rosemary, and basil. Cook covered for 10-15 minutes or until tomato is cooked, and zucchini and squash are tender.

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