Saturday, August 18, 2007
Sauteed green and yellow zucchini
This is the time when zucchini shows up everywhere. I don't grow it because my neighbors and patrons at the library where I work give it to me! Personally, I like zucchini as a vegetable, so I don't generally use it in cakes, muffins, and the like. I'd like to share a couple of really delicious zucchini recipes with you (plus a cucumber recipe) that we've enjoyed lately.
Does zucchini have any real nutrients? They have a high water content (more than 95 percent), so zucchini are very low in calories. There are only 13 calories in a half-cup of raw zucchini, with a slight increase to 18 calories in the same quantity cooked. Nutritionally, zucchini offers valuable antioxidants. They also provide some beta-carotene, trace quantities of the B vitamins, folic acid, small amounts of vitamin C and calcium, and a healthy content of potassium.
BRYANNA'S DELICIOUS ZUCCHINI BISQUE (can be soy-free)
From my book "The Fiber for Life Cookbook".
This is abslolutely delicious and it uses up lots of zucchini-- try it! PS: There's a new version I did with roasted zucchini at this link-- the flavor is a bit different! Both are delish.
2 1/2 lbs zucchini (unpeeled), cubed (any size, but with tender skin, that you can scrape easily with your fingernail)
3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 3/4 cups vegetarian broth
3 Tbs nondairy milk blended with
3 Tbs silken tofu or raw cashews (soak cashews in hot water for 10 minutes)
salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
vegan parmesan substitute (we like GoVeggie! vegan brand)
Heat the olive oil in a medium pot. Add the zucchini cubes and garlic and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes. Don't brown it.
Add the broth and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Puree 2/3 of the mixture in a blender (take the middle part of the lid off to allow hot steam to escape and cover it loosley with a folded tea towel) and then add back to the pot. OR you can puree it right in the pot with a hand immersion blender, leaving it slightly coarse.
Add the "cream" made from the blended milk and tofu or cashews, and taste for salt and pepper. Heat briefly. Serve with vegan parmesan sprinkled on each serving.
Nutrition (per serving): 121.9 calories; 52% calories from fat; 7.3g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 50.6mg sodium; 523.6mg potassium; 12.9g carbohydrates; 3.1g fiber; 3.5g sugar; 9.8g net carbs; 3.6g protein; 2.4 points.
Next come two recipes adapted from my latest cookbook purchase, "Arab Cooking on a Saskatchewan Homestead", by one of my favorite cookbook authors, Habeeb Salloum.
It's a fascinating book, a combination of Canadian history and Arab cooking! Mr. Salloum's parents emigrated to the Canadian Prairies from Syria in the 1920's, as did many thousands from that part of the world. We never hear anything of this, so it is a fascinating story! He relates how they grew chickpeas and lentils and fava beans, unknown to Canadians then, but now grown extensively in the Prairie Provinces, and made their own bulgur wheat. Most of the recipes are ones that his mother made, which sustained them well during the Great Depression. It's not a vegetarian cookbook, but the largest proportion of recipes is vegetarian.
BTW, I don't (obviously) just read vegetarian and vegan cookbooks! I think you miss out on alot when you confine yourself in that way, especially when it comes to ethnic cooking.
Warm Zucchini Salad and Vegan Garlic-Cucumber-"Yogurt" Salad
HABEEB SALLOUM'S WARM ZUCCHINI SALAD (WW CORE PLAN-COMPATIBLE)
From the book "Arab Cooking on a Saskatchewan Homestead" by Habeeb Salloum (see above). (I made only a few slight changes.) This is a fantastic way to enjoy fresh zucchini!
2/ 8"-long zucchini, diced 1/2"
2 Tbs olive oil (Mr. Salloum called for 4 Tbs.)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly-ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground fennel (grind seeds in a coffee/spice mill)
2 Tbs chopped cilantro (I used parsley and mint)
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 medium ripe tomato, chopped
Mr. Salloum said to peel the zucchini, but I didn't. It is pretty with a combination of green and yellow zucchini.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and stir-fry until they start to soften a bit (but don't let them cook through and don't brown them!).
Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the tomato. Toss well.
Spread on a platter and sprinkle with the tomato. Serve at room temperature.
Nutrition (per serving): 87.1 calories; 71% calories from fat; 7.1g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 248.5mg sodium; 365.0mg potassium; 6.0g carbohydrates; 1.7g fiber; 2.7g sugar; 4.3g net carbs; 1.7g protein; 2.0 points.
Printable Recipe (Includes recipe for Cashew Sour Creme or Yogurt)
VEGAN CUCUMBER-GARLIC-"YOGURT" SALAD (pictured above with the zucchini salad)
This is a veganized version of a delicious, creamy Middle Eastern salad. This is adapted from a dairy-based recipe in Habeeb Salloum's book, "Arab Cooking on a Saskatchewan Homestead".
2 cucumbers, about 8" long each (see NOTE below)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbs fresh mint, chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1 cup Tofu Sour Creme (homemade or commercial)
(Cashew Sour Crème [recipe below] is also excellent in this recipe-- see below for Nutrition Facts using Cashew Sour Creme.)
(NOTE: Peel and seed the cucumbers only if necessary. I use English cucumber, or the type you don't have to peel and seed-they are sometimes called "seedless", though they do have tiny, edible, seeds, or "burpless", or "European"or "greenhouse", or "hothouse", or "gourmet" cucumbers,. You could also use "Armenian cucumbers", or"snake cucumbers".)
Slice the cucumber into thin rounds, then slice them in half (or you can dice them small, if you prefer). Combine the remaining incredients and then toss them with the cucumbers in a serving dish. Chill before serving.
Nutrition (per serving): 55.7 calories; 57% calories from fat; 3.7g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 187.2mg sodium; 141.0mg potassium; 4.1g carbohydrates; 0.4g fiber; 1.7g sugar; 3.6g net carbs; 2.6g protein; 1.3 points.
NUTRITION FACTS USING CASHEW SOUR CREME:
76.7 calories; 69% calories from fat; 6.2g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 162.6mg sodium; 163.4mg potassium; 5.2g carbohydrates; 0.6g fiber; 1.8g sugar; 4.5g net carbs; 1.6g protein; 1.9 points.
Printable Recipe (just the Cashew Sour Creme recipe)
BRYANNA'S CASHEW SOUR CRÈME (OR "YOGURT") (wheat-free and soy-free)
This is a delicious dairy AND soy-free vegan product.
1/2 cup raw cashew pieces
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup original nondairy milk
2-3 Tbs lemon juice
Blend the cashews, water and salt in a blender for several minutes, or until VERY smooth. Pour the mixture into a heavy medium saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until the mixture thickens considerably. DO NOT ALLOW TO BURN or the taste will be awful!
Pour the mixture into a microwave-safe bowl and cook on HIGH for 2 minutes, or until quite thick.
With a wire whisk, whisk in the lemon juice (to taste) and the milk until smooth. Place in a covered container and chill. If it's too thick after chilling, add a little water or more non-dairy milk.
For the "yogurt"variation, use just a pinch of salt and use water to thin the mixture to the consistency you want. Add a little more lemon juice if you want more "tang". If you like, you can add some dairy-free acidopholis powder.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Nutrition (per 1/4 cup): 67.3 calories; 67% calories from fat; 5.4g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 86.3mg sodium; 87.5mg potassium; 3.8g carbohydrates; 0.4g fiber; 1.1g sugar; 3.4g net carbs; 2.1g protein; 1.7 points.