Tag Archives: Zucchini

the most obnoxious vegetable

Every year, summer rolls around and zucchini and squash take over the town. They are hawked at the farmers market as the vendors desperately try to get rid of their endless supply before it can rot, they are displayed  front and center at every super market with signs screaming sale, and they weezle their way into practically every seasonal recipe.

Thus, I get annoyed with zucchini and especially summer squash.

Like everyone else, I had a massive zucchini that I didn’t want to just waste and throw away, so I set out on a mission to make it taste delicious. I wanted that damn mutantly-huge zucchini to taste so good that I would forget it was 99% water and 1% cellulose. And did I succeed? Why yes. Yes, I did.

zucchini salad with fresh herbs and feta cheese

who are you and why do you taste so good? 

Recipe: Makes 3-4 servings

1 large zucchini

3 sprigs parsley, chopped

1 tsp dill

1 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

dash cumin

salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions – Chop the zucchini into cubes. Finely chop the parsley and dill (or you can use dried dill). Toss the zucchini with the parsley, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, cumin, salt, and pepper. Fold in feta cheese and enjoy!

simple and delicious

Benefits

Zucchini * this veggie is high in vitamin C, folic acid, niacin, potassium, and beta caroteen! It is also high in fiber and eerily low in calories

Dill * aids in digestion, is a relaxant, can help ease insomnia, and contains the antioxidants monoterpenes, which protect against cancer!

Lemon * a great source of vitamin C. Lemons are also said to help aid in digestion by stimulating the secretion and activation of certain enzymes!

Neener!

So today I was out in the garden and I found this poor, dehydrated little orphan baby…

Because she was the cutest thing I have ever seen and she let me pick her up, I decided to take her in. She could hardly hop away and seemed lost. We are going to try to reunite her with her mama this evening. But first I am feeding her and taking a zillion pictures…

Merhhh!

Boob pouch! Can’t I just be a kanga?

Okay okay, no more.

While I was out there I also found a BEAST of a zucchini. Who needs chemical fertilizer and GMO’s when you can get this in your front yard?!

I am definitely going to do a post very soon about why you should try to only eat local/farmers market produce. In short, they have much more nutrition than conventionally grown produce that you find in the supermarket. Since you are eating veggies anyway, you might as well get the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals out of it as you can deserve.

Today’s recipe is perfect for a hot summers day, especially here in Texas! I wish I had made it before the 4th, but c’est la vie. This is seriously the best Spicy Watermelon Gazpacho I have ever had.

Recipe: Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 cup of watermelon (plus a few extra balls for garnish)

1 tbsp diced white onions

a slice of lime

half a lemon

powdered ginger

chili powder

cayenne pepper

1 tbsp cilantro (plus some for garnish)

salt

Blend the diced tomatoes until they are to your desired consistency. Add 1 cup of watermelon, 1 tbsp onion, lime juice, lemon juice, 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, several shakes of chili powder and salt, a few shakes of cayenne pepper, and couple shakes of ginger. Blend again. Try it and if you would like to add anything else.

There is one more secret ingredient…

Half a shot of cointreau!

Mmm liqua in my dinna.

The cointreau is optional and totally depends on your tastes. I have had it without and it was just as delicious. Garnish with watermelon balls and cilantro. Enjoy!

Benefits:

Watermelon * a great source of vitamin A, C, B1, and B6. The antioxidants derived from the vitamin A help fight inflammation which contributes to many ailments, including heart attacks, diabetes miletus, and arthritis.

Tomatoes * also contain a LOT of vitamin A and C. Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant that has been shown in studies to reduce the effects of smoking. This does not mean it is okay to smoke, but if you do, it is a VERY good idea to make sure are getting lots of vitamin A daily. Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, which has been proven to halt the growth of cancer cells!

Cayenne and chili pepper * both contain antioxidants and temporarily raise your metabolism!

PS: Don’t forget to enter the Vega giveaway!

Veggies in my bread…

I had Plyoburn bright and early this morning! Since it is an hour of cardio and weights, I eat my carbs before the workout and my protein immediately afterwords. This zucchini bread (and all of my muffins) are the perfect pre-workout breakfast. Then, right after class, I get a whey protein smoothie with fruit to replenish the glycogen stores quickly.

I am looking forward to having this in vanilla greek yogurt with cashew butter tomorrow morning!

Vegan Zucchini-Carrot Bread

Recipe: Makes 8 servings

Place all the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Stir. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir with as few swoops of a spatula as possible. Grease a pan with 1 tsp butter. Bake at 360 for 60-70 minutes.

Wet ingredients:

1 cup shredded carrot

1 cup shredded zucchini

2/3 cup apple juice

1/2 cup vanilla almond milk

1 egg (or some mashed banana to veganize)

Dry ingredients:

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup brown sugar (this is a MINIMUM, do not use any less! Use more if desired!)

1/2 cup toasted shredded coconut

1 tsp baking powder

dash of salt

few shakes pumpkin pie spice

Benefits:

1 slice of this bread has 5.5 grams of fiber  and 6 grams of protein! It also has 40% of your daily needed vitamin A, 5% vitamin E, 5% copper, 4% folate, 28% manganese, 8% phosphorous, 7% thiamin, and more!

Zucchini Fritters! Fritters.

These were a bit of a challenge to make, but the pay off is huge. Thats actually an understatement; it took two tries and two roomies to finally yield a visually presentable product. But all the experiments were delicious too!

Recipe:

A few hours ahead of time, julienne style cut two zucchinis. You need to cut them into the thinnest tiniest match-shaped strips you can muster. Cut them long ways and then in half once so they are only a couple inches long. Then, place them on a paper towel in a strainer and let sit for a few hours in the fridge. This is to dry them out a bit.

Spray a pan with canola oil. Saute 1 minced sweet onion and 1 clove of garlic. Add the zucchini and cook until it just begins to get tender. Don’t overcook! Remove the vegetables and place in a strainer to drain the liquid again.

With an electric mixer, beat an egg until foamy. Add 1/2 cup non fat milk and 1/2 cup buttermilk. Add 1/4 cup whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup white flour. Add as much salt as you like and half a tsp baking powder. Stir in the zucchini mixture and season with parsley, oregano, and fresh ground pepper.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan. Using a large spoon, scoop blobs of zucchini mixture into the hot pan. Saute the fritters on each side until browned. If they are too moist you can bake them for a few minutes to dry them out a bit.

Benefits:

Olive & Canola oil * Lots of good fats (MUFAS!)

Zucchini * this veggie is high in vitamin C, folic acid, niacin, potassium, and beta caroteen! It is also high in fiber and eerily low in calories