Tag Archives: zucchini

Zucchini Fries/Sticks

No matter what you call them; zucchini fries or zucchini sticks these are out of the garden, baked and so good!
image1 large/2 small zucchini
1 1/2 cups flour (I used gluten free chickpea flour)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups finely shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 cups bread crumbs (I used gluten free)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon dried oregano

Place 2 cookie racks inside 2 separate baking sheets and lightly brush or spray with extra virgin olive or canola oil to coat.

In a medium bowl combine the flour and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
In another medium bowl beat the eggs.
In a medium/large bowl combine the cheese, bread crumbs and spices.
Cut the zucchini into roughly 3″ lengths and then into 1/4-1/3″ sticks.
Coat a handful of the zucchini sticks in the flour mixture (I usually just toss with my fingers) then coat in the beaten egg (I use a fork to flip and rotate around) and finally toss in the cheese and bread crumb mixture (I use a fork to flip and rotate around). Place the zucchini sticks on the prepared cookie racks making sure they are not touching. Continue this process until the racks in the pans are full. When the second pan is half full, preheat the oven to 450.

Bake the zucchini sticks for 15-20 minutes, until they are golden brown. I served the sticks with ketchup and an avocado cut inside the skin and filled with salmon salad.

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Zucchini Cakes; Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Garden Fresh

IMG_07882 zucchini (10 ” long); finely shredded
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 carrots; finely shredded
1 stalk celery; minced
1 small onion; minced
1-2 clove garlic; crushed
1/3 cup fresh parsley; chopped (or 1 1/2 Tablespoons dry)
2 Tablespoons fresh dill; chopped (or 2 teaspoons dry)
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano; chopped (or 1 teaspoon dry)
1 Tablespoon fresh pressed lemon juice
1 egg; beaten
1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
pinch cayenne (optional)
canola or extra virgin olive oil for frying

Shred zucchini, place in a mesh sieve, sprinkle with salt and place in a larger bowl or over the sink and allow the water from the zucchini to drain for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic. Place in a large bowl with the herbs and lemon juice and mix well. In a separate bowl combine the chickpea flour, baking powder, black pepper and optional cayenne. Prepare the rest of the meal (I recommend your favorite grain, salad and sauce). I served them on a chop salad straight out of the garden with ranched sour cream (recipe below).

Preheat a large heavy bottomed frying pan over medium heat. **Preheat oven to 200 IF keeping the patties warm between batches**

While the pan is preheating- squeeze out excess water from the zucchini by firmly pressing the zucchini between your hands and let the water drain out. Place the squeezed zucchini in the center of a kitchen towel, wrap and wring out remaining water by holding the ends of the towel and twisting. Add drained zucchini to the prepared vegetables and herbs. Add the egg and mix well. Add the dry ingredients, combining well.

Oil the pan to coat and allow the oil to heat but not smoke/burn. Scoop 1/3 cup of “batter”, dollop onto the hot oiled pan and press down slightly. Add more patties but don’t crowd them so they are easy to flip. Fry each patty for 3-5 minutes, until they are golden and begin to brown on the edges, flip and repeat on the second side. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels in a single layer. **They can be kept warm in a 200 degree oven or simply serve right out of the pan.

Ranched Sour Cream
1 clove garlic; crushed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
2 1/2 Tablespoons fresh herbs (I used oregano, parsley, dill, French tarragon, marjoram and thyme); finely chopped (or 3 teaspoons dry)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 cup sour cream (or plain yogurt)

Combine all ingredients and chill till ready to serve.

Barbecued Tofu and Gluten Free Pasta with Zucchini and Pesto

IMG_0720BARBECUED TOFU
15 oz block extra firm tofu; use organic to avoid GMOs
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup fresh pressed lime juice (or apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup maple syrup (or brown sugar)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic; crushed

**Prepare several hours in advance or overnight to allow flavors to marinate into the tofu.**

Drain tofu and cut into desired shape and size. Place in a glass or ceramic container. Sprinkle the top of the tofu with herbs and spices. Combine the lime juice, maple syrup, ketchup, extra virgin olive oil and garlic in a small bowl and pour over the tofu pieces. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 375. Pour the tofu and marinade onto a small (9×10″) roasting pan or large cast iron skillet, arrange in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes. You may finish the baking under the broiler for a few minutes (I considered it but the rest of the meal was ready to go).

GLUTEN FREE PASTA WITH ZUCCHINI AND PESTO
14-16 oz (gluten free) pasta
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion; quartered and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 zucchini (I used 1 green and 1 yellow- a cross between summer squash and zucchini); cut into bite sized pieces
pinch-1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup grated pecorino Romano (optional for vegans)

Preheat a wide bottom pot or large skillet with a lid over medium heat. Add olive oil and onion sprinkle with the sea salt and sauté for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.

Add the prepared zucchini to the sautéed onions, stir, cover and allow to cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until starting to get tender. Stir occasionally to cook evenly.

Meanwhile, Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Then place the garlic in a food processor and finely chop. Scrape down sides, add the basil and process till finely chopped.

Drain the pasta and return to the large pot. Add the grated Romano cheese, sautéed vegetables, black pepper and chopped garlic and basil. Mix well and serve.

Garden Zucchini Sandwich

I started the day by baking rolls knowing that I was picking vegetables to stuff them for dinner.
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 Preparing whatever comes out of the garden is wonderful; fresh and rewarding. Featured on this sandwich are zucchini, tomatoes and amaranth greens out of the garden with onions and homemade ranch dip/spread.

Ranch Dressing
1/4 cup mayonnaise (homemade)
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon prepared mustard (I use dijon)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
1/2 teaspoon dry basil
1/8 teaspoon dry dill weed
pinch dry thyme

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Vegan Avocado Aioli
1 avocado
1 small clove garlic; crushed
juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 1/2 Tablespoons)
pinch sea salt
dash white pepper

Process all ingredients in a food processor or use an emersion blender until creamy and refrigerate until ready to serve.

(optional side- Marinated Bean Salad)
11/2 cups purple beans (really, any snap bean will do); cut to bite sized pieces
2 onion rounds; cut into quarters to make strips
1 clove garlic; crushed
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients and set aside.

Wash all vegetables and prep by slicing to fit a sandwich.
Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat, coat with extra virgin olive oil and fry the zucchini on both sides until it becomes golden with some brown areas.
DSC_0004I arrange all of the vegetables on a platter so each person can make their own stack on a roll (or for a gluten free option, the large amaranth leaves used as a wrap is perfect).
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Just a Taste of My Garden Before Stacking Wood

Some of the snap peas got away from me and are now becoming the seeds for next year. I am leaving them on the vine until they are fully ripe and dry then collecting them and setting aside.
DSC_0001I planted purple pole beans this year as a trial. I must say they are beautiful but the true worth will be known once they are ready to eat.
DSC_0011 DSC_0004The yellow wax beans were a great success last year prepared fresh and pickled so in they went again. The first harvest was more than I expected. They are washed and in the refrigerator so I can pickle tomorrow.
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The zucchini is late this year but they grow so quickly that this first little one will be ready by the end of the week and there are plenty of blossoms too.
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The Italian peppers are coming along nicely, here is the first one that may be picked green if I get impatient. These beauties are golden when ripe.DSC_0012
The hops are looking good but I need an expert. I am going to contact our local microbrewery, Relic Brewery, and offer the hops to them.
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The Elderberry bush-tree is both in bloom and forming berries.
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Meze Inspired Lunch

DSC_0047
MENU (clockwise starting at 9 o’clock)
Chili and Lime Broiled Shrimp
“Zucchinoush” (zucchini dip inspired by Baba Ganoush)
Massaged Kale and Carrot Salad
Labneh (yogurt cheese)
Hummus
Quinoa Tabouli
Olive Salad
Dolmas (stuffed grape leaves)
Fresh Garden Salad Greens
Whole Wheat Pitas
Feta Cheese

Start the night before straining the yogurt for the labneh, soaking chickpeas for the hummus and taking the shrimp out of the freezer. First thing in the morning drain the chickpeas, rinse and cook till tender (2- 2 1/2 hours); cook quinoa; check the yogurt, pour off whey (this can be saved in a jar to cook with) and return to the refrigerator. Prepare the cold dishes and let them chill in the refrigerator.

DSC_0046Chili and Lime Broiled Shrimp
2 lbs shrimp; defrosted, peeled and rinsed
1/2 bunch cilantro; chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chili pepper paste
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Place shrimp and cilantro in a bowl. Mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl, pour over shrimp and cilantro, mix and spread onto a baking sheet. (or place in a bowl in the refrigerator until ready to broil) Place under broiler for 10 minutes, check to be sure the shrimp is done and some edges start to crisp, remove and serve hot or cold.

“Zucchinoush” (zucchini dip inspired by Baba Ganoush)
2 medium zucchini
2 cloves garlic; crushed
2 Tablespoons tahini
2 Tablespoons fresh pressed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

Preheat oven to 375. Cut ends off of zucchini, slice in half lengthwise and place on a olive oiled baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the zucchini is soft to the touch and just starting to brown on the edges. Blend together with remaining ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

DSC_0037Massaged Kale and Carrot Salad
1 bunch kale (purple used but any will work)
2 carrots; shredded
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
1/4 cup raisins (optional)

Wash kale, remove stems, tear into bite-sized pieces, massage (just squish in your hands or rub between palms) and place into glass or ceramic bowl. Add remaining ingredients, stir and refrigerate until ready to serve.

DSC_0045Labneh (yogurt cheese)
1/2 cups plain yogurt (or greek yogurt)
sea salt to garnish
black pepper to garnish
smoked paprika to garnish
extra virgin olive oil to garnish

You will need; cheesecloth, wire mesh sieve, plain yogurt and bowl. I make the labneh the night before or first thing in the morning depending on how thick I am making the cheese.
DSC_0113DSC_0114Line a wire mesh sieve with folded cheesecloth so it does not flow over the edge (it will eventually drip and create a mess). Place the lined sieve over a bowl. Pour yogurt into lined sieve, cover lightly and refrigerate overnight. The longer the yogurt drains the more solidified the “cheese”.

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Lift the “cheese” by holding the corners of the cheesecloth and gently squeeze out any excess whey. Turn out onto a plate or into a bowl. Serve as is or drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper. Reserve the liquid for making chapattis, Indian flat bread.

DSC_0020Hummus
1 cup dried chick peas; soaked over night, rinsed and boiled till soft (or you can use 2 1/2 cups canned chickpeas)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup water
1-4 cloves (to taste) garlic; pressed
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
if necessary- add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time for consistency
Traditional hummus uses tahini but my family prefers it without. If you like the traditional style add 2-4 Tablespoons tahini.

Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until smooth and creamy. At this point you will see if more water is needed for consistency. Add more water one tablespoon  at a time as you process. Taste and add more salt if needed. To add a kick you can add some cayenne pepper. Serve hummus with vegetables and/or crackers for dipping (gluten intolerant or celiac will find that tortilla chips dipped in hummus is delicious). To make this into a light summer meal add cheese and fruit.

Quinoa Tabouli
3/4 cup quinoa
2 clove garlic; crushed
1/4 cup fresh pressed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
1 tomato; chopped
1 cucumber; chopped
large handful parsley; chopped
1/4 cup red onion; minced OR 1/4 cup scallions; diced

Cook quinoa- bring 3/4 cup quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer till water is absorbed (about 20 minutes), place into a glass or ceramic bowl/casserole dish and add the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, stir, cover and set aside to marinate at least 1 hour. Add the remaining ingredients just before serving and stir to combine.

DSC_0038Olive Salad
2 Tablespoons minced onion (red pictured but white is fine)
1/4 cup Kalamata olives; sliced
1/4 cup Manzanilla olives with pimiento; sliced
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Mix ingredients together and refrigerate till ready to serve.

Dolmas (stuffed grape leaves) bought from store (yes, I cheated)

Fresh Garden Salad Greens

Whole Wheat Pitas bought from store (yes, I cheated some more)

Feta Cheese

Easy Balsamic Roasted Garden Vegetables

DSC_0013 DSC_0014Preheat the oven to 400. Oil baking sheet(s) by using a brush to evenly spread on extra virgin olive oil.
DSC_0008 DSC_0006 DSC_0009 DSC_0011Place vegetables cut to 1/4 inch thickness (I used zucchini, yellow summer squash, eggplant, and onion from our garden and a local farm)  in a single layer on the baking  sheet. Mix 50/50 extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and brush onto the vegetables. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Turn off the oven and turn on the broiler. Place baking sheets with prepared vegetables under broiler for about 10 minutes (check to be sure there is no over cooking).
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I served these easy vegetables on homemade mini rolls as vegetable sandwiches (with tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers from our garden and a local farm) with cheese and homemade mayonnaise as an option. Gluten free? Torie had schar brand gluten free bread and I had a side of brown rice with the vegetables.

With mouths’ full and groaning with delight my “girls” said- “I love eating.”; “Eating is my favorite thing in the world.”; “Can I be a professional eater.”; “Wow, the mayonnaise makes the sandwich.”

They sure know how to make a Mom feel good!