Zucchini, a Casserole, and an Introduction

Welcome to my blog!

I'll be honest.  When I tried to come up with a charming and meaningful introduction to this blog, you can imagine my over-excited brain was swimming with endless possibilities and choices.  After all, this could be my one chance to connect with you if you love cooking and healthy food as much as I do, to share and bond with you over recipes and reflections on life, and to win you over forever with my wit and sense of humor!

I get carried away sometimes. 


In true Type A fashion, I don't do well with too many choices.  Give me a choice between A and B, and I'll pick one every time.  Chocolate or vanilla, winter or summer, beach or the mountains (beach, duh)...see?  Very easy.  And so, among all the ways I could possibly think of to begin to tell you about myself and why I've started this recipe journal, I come back to my first, and most sincere, message (and then I'm just jumping right in, because I think it's the best way for you to get to know me, so get ready for it). 

Welcome, warmest welcome, to my blog: Type A Kitchen. 

My husband and I are new home-owners.  We bought our house in the very beginning of the fall, and we moved in a mere 4 weeks before our wedding.   For someone not-so-spontaneous, this caused me to freak out become a little stressed on more than one occasion.  While I was more than excited about my wedding, I really couldn't wait to finally get settled in the new place and start our life together!

Of course, our new life together would include a garden.  So this spring, the hubby and I broke out the tools and built a box garden in our very sparse back yard.  Who am I kidding, I don't even know where we keep the tools, he built it.  But, together, we planted lots of veggies from seeds.  We were so excited!  In just a few short weeks we'd have cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, and string beans all growing in nice, neat, dainty rows in our 8' x 10' box garden.

Fast forward to present day, and we have this:

And this:

...and got too excited about backyard agriculture.

Looking back, I now understand the amused looks on our new neighbors' faces as we made an afternoon of sowing our packets of seeds into their little rectangular home!  Oh how cute we were, planting 15 seeds in one hole, hoping that at least one would take!  Heh, newly-weds. 

Not that I'm complaining.  There are worse lots in life than having to figure out what to do with a zucchini the size of the cat.  And it's a good thing that I love veggies, because for some reason I don't get overwhelmed by the limitless possibilities for adding them into a quick and healthy week-night meal.

So, I'll leave you with a recipe that I adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, which offers a healthy, satisfying, and easy way to use up some veggies if your garden explodes like mine did.  When life hands you extra zucchini, don't squash your opportunity.  OMG, get it?  I knew my charm and wit would win you over!

Sausage, Feta, and Zucchini Casserole
adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
Yields about 6 servings

2 1/2 cups uncooked short pasta (I use fusilli/penne/rigatoni, whatever is in my pantry)
8 oz lean turkey sausage (I prefer hot, because it's fun to watch my husband sweat)
Cooking spray
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced into half-moons
1 medium yellow summer squash, thinly sliced into half-moons
1 medium onion, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
2 tsp flour
1/2 cup crumbled, reduced-fat feta cheese
1/2 cup shredded, part-skim mozzerella cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 deg F.
Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, and coat it with cooking spray.  Remove the casings from the sausage, and add the sausage to the pan once it's hot.  Cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks so that you're left with crumbles.  Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside.

Add the oil to the pan, and let it heat up.  Add the zucchini, squash, onion, salt/pepper, and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the veggies are tender, stirring occasionally.

While the veggies cook, bring water in a small saucepan to a boil, and add the pasta.  Cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until al dente.  You don't want the pasta to cook all the way through, because it'll get a chance to finish cooking in the oven.   No one likes mushy pasta!  Once al dente, drain the pasta and set aside.

Combine chicken broth and flour in a small bowl, whisking to stir.  Add broth mixture to your veggies, and let cook for about a minute.  Turn off the heat, and add the cooked sausage, pasta, and feta cheese to the pan with the veggies and broth.  Stir well to combine, and then pour the mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle the mozzerella cheese over the top, and pop it in the oven for 20 minutes, until bubbly.  Enjoy!  (the casserole, and the blog)


Meredith said...

AWESOME first post:)!! It almost makes me want to cook for myself...almost:)!! Maybe a few more posts will get me ther e- haha!! I love all of the pictures, too:)!! I can't wait to read more - this is a new favorite for me:)!! GREAT JOB!!!!!!!

Mom said...

Great job! Can't wait to try this recipe, I think I have all I need in the fridge (that doesn't happen too often). I loved your format and layout and pictures add great interest. Can't wait for more recipes.

Kevin said...

Sounds, and looks, delicious! When can I come over for dinner again??

Dad said...

Haha...zucchini the size of a cat! Must be the PA soil. We are making the recipe tonight.

Pam said...

Both the casserole AND the blog look great. Welcome to the Food blogging world.

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