Jul 192011

You just can’t have the Zucchini Times without at least one stuffed zucchini :) This was a very good stuffing mixture and since I am in my three week vegan living trial, this is completely vegan (which is why the cheese is not melted).

1 gorgeous, yes we still love them, fresh zucchini – size is a matter of preference
1 Italian vegan sausage (mine was homemade, recipe will be posted in the future)
2 Tablespoons quinoa, color does not matter
1/4 cup veggie stock
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 large basil leaves, minced (or 2 tsp dried)
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of crushed red pepper if your sausage doesn’t have it
fresh tomato sauce
mozzarella cheese – I used Vegan Gourmet

Toast the quinoa in a dry pot over medium heat just until you hear it begin to pop, shaking frequently. It will get slightly darker and smell a bit nutty. Add the veggie broth, turn the heat to med-low and cover tightly. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.

Meanwhile, crumble the veggie sausage into a bowl and add the onion, garlic, and basil. Toss in the cooked quinoa and breadcrumbs. Season to taste – yum.

Halve your zucchini lengthwise – I’d say get a medium, but that can mean a lot of different sizes when you are dealing with zucchinis. If you are growing your own, I’ll say it’s a 5-7 day old one :)

Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and drop a few drops of olive oil in each. Give it a good massage – inside and out and season with salt and pepper. Stuff the zucchini halves each with half the stuffing. Coat the bottom of a baking dish with a bit of the tomato sauce (how much is your preference). Carefully set the stuffed zucchini in and cover with foil, being careful not to touch your lovely stuffing with the foil.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes (more or less, depending on the size of your zucc). Uncover and add your cheese. Back into the oven for 5-10 minutes.

Plate and enjoy!

Jul 172011

Yea, I know – there’s no zucchini in chick pea salad. There is when you’re eating your harvest and the cukes aren’t ripe yet!  - and it’s actually pretty darned good :)

Chick Pea Salad with Zucchini
1 15 oz can chick peas (garbanzo beans – organic if you can)
1 small onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
4 basil leaves, torn
1 lemon, juice and zest
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 chive, diced (if you have it)
1 pinch crushed red pepper
salt and black pepper to taste

Put first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Mix next 5 ingredients in a jar and shake to mix. Pour jar into bowl and add salt & pepper as needed.

Great side dish or lunch :)


Jul 122011

I love barbecue tofu sandwiches – we decided to use a zucchini in this also and the result was a moister, very yummy sandwich. I blogged about this one in my Going Vegan adventures.

BBQ Tofu and Zucchini Sandwich
1 cake extra firm tofu, pressed to drain off extra liquid (freezing first works wonders), thickly sliced
1 medium zucchini, cut in half, then sliced lengthwise (peel if you’d like)
1/2 cup of your favorite barbeque sauce

Arrange the tofu and zucchini slices in a shallow pan or on a cookie sheet. Brush all sides with barbeque sauce and allow to marinate for about 20 minutes. Light your grill or warm the grill pan. Place the zucchini and tofu directly on the grill – brush with barbeque sauce. Watch carefully, they will not take long. Turn and brush frequently until all are caramelized. Remove from grill and keep warm.

Assemble the sandwich
We used a whole grain wheat bun, topped with a slice of zucchini, two slices of tofu, about 1/4 cup of vegan cole slaw (recipe follows), and a homemade dill pickle (my brother’s recipe). Feel free to slather with additional barbeque sauce if you’d like.

Vegan Cole Slaw
1/4 head of green cabbage, shredded
1 medium carrot, grated
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons soy milk
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon celery salt
Black pepper

Mix mayo, milk, vinegar, sugar, and celery seed and whisk until smooth. Pour over cabbage and carrots in bowl – mix and add black pepper to taste.


Jul 102011

This is so awesome – you’ll grow more zucchini (and eggplants, and tomatoes, and basil) to have it at least once a week!


The Vegetarian Italian Hero
1 loaf ciabatta bread – homemade or purchased
1 small eggplant, sliced lengthwise
1 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 roasted red pepper
1 fresh tomato, sliced
4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 cup basil pesto – homemade or purchased
1/4 cup olive tapenade – homemade or purchased
4 slices of good quality provolone cheese, halved
extra olive oil as needed

Combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, Bragg’s, and salt & pepper to taste. Place in a shallow pan and toss the sliced zucchini and eggplant in the marinade. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, lite the grill. When marinated, grill the zucchini and eggplant until softer and caramelized. Slice the loaf of ciabatta in half and drizzle each half with olive oil. Grill, cut side down until lightly toasted. When all are grilled, assemble sandwich.

Spread the basil pesto on the bottom half of the bread. Next, layer half of the provolone, then the tomatoes, the eggplant, the zucchini, the roasted red pepper, and another layer of provolone. You could add a few fresh oregano leaves to the center if you’d like.

Spread the top half of the bread with the olive tapenade. Carefully put the top on the sandwich. Press the sandwich down and wrap tightly with foil (recycled if available). Put the whole sandwich on the grill for 4 minutes per side. Remove and allow to cool slightly.

Slice and enjoy with a glass of wine!


Jul 102011

So here we are again – it’s zucchini time. This year, we have 6 zucchini plants (yes, I think we’ve all established long ago that we ARE crazy).  In this time of frugality, we felt it extremely important not to squander any gift of nature. We bought no seeds this year, opting to plant the leftovers from last year, and some – including the zucchini – from years before that. So, when 6 came up, it’s 6 we kept.

Even though I’ve diligently picked zucchini every single day since seeing that first succulent morsel attached to it’s flower, barely a baby zucc – we still got the monster already!

In case you forgot how to deal with these, see our step-by-step Zucchini Relish post from last year’s harvest. We’ll be posting our zucchini recipes as we come up with them this year – stay tuned!


Jul 112010

Admit it, those first few little zucchini that point proudly at you every year are a delicacy. You can’t wait to saute those gorgeous little nutritious nuggets and enjoy them for dinner.

But then something happens, that little zucchini plant becomes Audrey, Jr, screaming ‘Feed me Seymour‘ while belching zucchini at you. When you’ve eaten all the zucchini lasagna, zucchini parmesan, zucchini bread, zucchini fritters, and sauteed zucchini you can stomach – you do the unthinkable – ignore little Audrey Jr – just for a day. Hey, we all need a break – we have a life, right? Just a day, and there it is, the 8 lb zucchini that was hiding under those monstrous leaves just two days ago.
Well, here is a tasty way to preserve that bumper crop of zucchini we all seem to have every year. This relish makes a very tasty complement to burgers, hot dogs, or sausages. It also makes an interesting meatloaf addition. If you like Jamaican jerk dishes, this is a good relish to have on the side also. We adapted this recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
This is a two-day process.
Zucchini Relish
Day 1
12 cups chopped zucchini
4 cups chopped onion
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
The size you make these chopped vegetables is dependent on how you would like to use it. If you like very fine relish to use as a condiment, you may want to use a food processor to make quick work of this. If you like relish on the side, you might want a larger dice.

When chopping large zucchini, you will likely want to scoop the inner seeds and membrane. If you happen to have chickens, they love this!

Put all of the above in a large glass or stainless steel bowl and mix with 1/3 cup canning/pickling salt. Cover and allow this to sit overnight.

Day 2
In the morning, place the zucchini mixture in a colander in the sink or over a bowl and allow to drain for an hour or two.
Wring all the moisture you can out of the vegetables and place in a large pot, then add:
2 cups granulated sugar (original recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups, but we find this too sweet)
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 Tablespoon ground Allspice (original recipe calls for Nutmeg)
1 Tablespoon ground Turmeric
4 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 chopped chili pepper (any you have on hand: wax, cayenne, jalapeno, serrano, fresno)
Mix all together in the large pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat.

Reduce heat and boil this gently until it is the consistency you’d like – I usually cook it down for about an hour.

Prepare your jars, lids, rings and set the canner on the stove filled with water and heat to boiling.
Ladle the relish into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Place lids and finger-tight rings and carefully place jars into canner, making sure jars are covered with at least 1/2 inch of water.
Bring to boil and process for 15 minutes. Leave in canner for 5 minutes, then remove to towel and allow to seal.

Happy relish making!