The Great Zucchini Extravaganza!!!
Not Your Same Old Squash
What a joy it is to see nature at its best, turning out plump squashes ripened by the sun--but what to do with so much zucchini! The market bins and farmers' markets are also overflowing with gorgeous varieties of summer squashes that ramp up any vegetable enthusiast to bring home bagsful of these summer delights.
Because summer squashes, large, small, yellow, green, scalloped, and round have a similar texture as zucchini, they can be used interchangeably in almost any recipe that calls for zucchini.
We thought it would be a blast to reach out to some of the cyber world's innovative vegan chefs, recipe bloggers, and cookbook authors to gather-up a heaping bundle of great zucchini recipes.
Hopefully, these tempting, imaginative creations and stunning photos will inspire home chefs across the country and across the continents to bring some fresh, new dishes that showcase this humble, yet elegant vegetable--the beautiful zucchini--to the table.
Jennifer Cornbleet is well known for her innovative raw creations throughout the raw food community. She's the author of Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People and Raw for Dessert, both best-selling books on vegan raw cuisine. Her DVDs include Raw Food Made Easy, Raw Food in a Rush, and Raw Travel & Treats. She blogs at Raw Food Made Easy where you can find many more delicious recipes.
Jenny also travels the country sharing her expertise on the preparation and health benefits of raw cuisine. She now has a new raw food online course at http://www.rawfoodonlinecourse.com
Sharing one of her raw zucchini creations, she says, "Zucchini noodles are the secret ingredient in this soothing bowl of broth. While not 100% raw, it's very, very close!
Yield: 2 1/2 cups (600 ml), 2 servings
2 1/4 cups (320 ml) water
2 tablespoons mellow white miso
chef's knife, 8-inch (20 cm)
vegetable spiral slicer
small mixing bowl fork wooden spoon
Deborah Madison is an icon in the vegetarian community. She cut, sliced, chopped, and came face to face with veggies long before many of today's vegan chefs appeared on the scene. She learned her craft at the San Francisco Zen Center where she prepared many of the meals. Her true passion was awakened when she began working in the kitchen at Chez Panisse in 1977. Early in her career she cooked at Chez Panisse and spent a year preparing food at the American Academy in Rome.
Today, Deborah is not only the author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, but she has also authored The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, The Green's Cookbook, This Can't be Tofu, Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen, and Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen among others. Her newest work is Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom.
Deborah is also a veteran food writer and has contributed articles to Gourmet, Saveur, Food and Wine, Fine Cooking, Orion, Organic Gardening, Eating Well, Vegetarian Times, and The Los Angeles Times.
Visit her website and blog at Deborah Madison.
Deborah says a gentle slow cooking brings out the zucchini's full squash flavor, which quick cooking eclipses. Serve these golden coins as a dish on their own, or with pasta.
SLOW-COOKED ZUCCHINI COINS
WITH CHOPPED HERBS AND TOASTED PINE NUTS
Serves 4 to 6
1 1/2 pounds (680g) zucchini, thinly sliced
Sea salt and freshly milled pepper
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs, such as dill, basil, parsley, and cilantro or marjoram
Susanna Liang is the creator of the blog aptly named Divine Healthy Food. She created her food blog on healthy eating after years of abusive eating that resulted in headaches, heart palpitations, and extreme lack of energy. Gradually she changed her diet and noticed positive improvements. Her PMS symptoms lessened, acne decreased, menstrual pain almost vanished, heartburn almost disappeared, and her energy improved.
Now she happily shares her healthy recipes like her green smoothie morning meal. She enjoys music, Anime, games, Wuxia and Ancient Chinese Series, and films about ancient Chinese chivalry and heroic martial arts, with settings surrounding lakes and rivers. Visit Susanna at Divine Healthy Food
Susanna says, "When you realise that raw vegan foods can be so flavourful like this, I think many people would open their eyes to it a lot more! Though the only thing is, raw garlic may not be for everyone, as sometimes eating raw garlic gives me a little stomachache. If you really can't stand raw garlic, perhaps you can even replace it with a couple of teaspoons of garlic powder.
"I would suggest you only really need half the amount of pesto to combine with the zucchini noodles. You can leave the other half for other recipes later. It can even be used for pizza!"
RAW ZUCCHINI PASTA WITH PESTO
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan/Sea salt
Extra basil for garnish
1/2 cup (120 ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons almonds
4 cloves garlic
A sprinkle of Himalayan/Sea salt
Bianca Phillips is a Southern belle from Arkansas who now lives in Memphis where she works as associate editor at the Memphis Flyer. Hanging out in the kitchens of her mama and granny gave her an appreciation of what cooking soul food with love is all about.
After work Bianca enjoys writing about her adventures in the kitchen with tasty Southern eats at Vegan Crunk food blog that attracts a flock of avid followers. Bianca's ability to turn traditional Southern cuisine into delicious vegan dishes led her to gain popularity resulting in her cookbook Cookin' Crunk: Eatin' Vegan in the Dirty South.
To enjoy Bianca's up-to-date kitchen fun, visit Vegan Crunk.
Bianca shares her recipe for a delicious, Southern-style squash casserole just made for summer-ripe zucchini or summer squash.
CREAMY SQUASH CASSEROLE
Makes 6 to 8 helpin's
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
3 medium summer squash (or zucchini), thinly sliced
Nava Atlas is the creator of the Veg Kitchen and author and illustrator of many books on vegan and vegetarian cooking, most recently Wild About Greens and Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Her backlist includes Vegan Express, Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons, The Vegetarian Family Cookbook, and The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet. Her first book, Vegetariana, published in 1984, is considered a classic in its field.
Nava also has written scores of articles on healthful cooking with natural foods, which have appeared in Vegetarian Times, VegNews, Cooking Light, and numerous other publications. Nava is also a fine artist and has exhibited in Museums and universities across the U.S. Read more at http://www.vegkitchen.com/about-nava/#Soa1EivRe7qJ0hfV.99
Nava says, "Making raw spaghetti-like "noodles" with a spiral slicer (I got the one made by World Cuisine and enjoy it quite a bit) is all the rage among those who have adopted raw food diets. It's also a boon to those who've gone gluten-free, as well as gardeners who have more squash than they know what to do with. For anyone else who just wants to eat lighter and fresher during the summer, it's just plain fun.
Granted, summer squashes aren't exactly powerhouse vegetables, but with a fresh tomato sauce and a tasty faux "Parmesan" made of all manner of good things, this is a nourishing dish. If you want to make this, but don't have spiral slicer, use a vegetable peeler to create long ribbons from the zucchini or summer squash, which will be more like fettuccine."
RAW SQUASH "NOODLES"
WITH FRESH TOMATO SAUCE
Serves: 3 to 4
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium zucchini or yellow summer squashes, or 1 of each, about 10 to 12 ounces total (see note)
Raw "Parmesan"-Style Cheez, as needed
Raw Vegan Parmesan-Style "Cheese"
Makes: About 1 1/2 cups (360 ml)
1/3 cup (80 ml) nutritional yeast
1/3 cup (80 ml) hemp or sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
Note: Yellow summer squash works well so long as it's not filled with large seeds.
Sarah McMinn is a happy stay-at-home mom with a 2-year old and another sweet little bundle on the way. The creator of The Sweet Life Blog, she finds blogging one of the most satisfying ways to take her B.A. in photography and her culinary school training into the cyberworld where she finds warm connections to other bloggers and a community of friendly vegans.
The film Earthlings and The New Ethics of Eating by Erik Marcus were strong motivators that led her to adopt the vegan lifestyle. Still curious, she continued to read and learn about everything vegan. The transition was easy for her because of her conviction that all species deserve a chance to live a life free of torture, pain, and enslavement.
Look for her innovative recipes and even more enticing food photos on The Sweet Life Blog.
Sarah shares her tasty zucchini-moistened Chocolate Zucchini Cake.
CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE
Makes two 1/2-pint (240 ml) Mason jar cakes or four 1/4-pint (120 ml) mini cakes
1/4 cup (60 ml) cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp canola oil
3/4 cup (180 ml) finely shredded zucchini
1/4 cup (60 ml) chocolate chips
Sharon Palmer, RD is the Plant-Powered Dietitian. Her passion for food, nutrition, and writing during 16 years in the nutrition profession has inspired her to write over 850 articles that have appeared in Better Homes & Gardens, Oxygen, Prevention, Los Angeles Times, Cooking Smart, and Today's Dietitian. She blogs daily at the Plant-Powered Blog and is advisor for the Oldways Vegetarian Network and Today's Dietitian. In 2013 she received the Loma Linda University Distinguished Alumnus Award. Sharon is also the author of The Plant-Powered Diet and Plant-Powered for Life.
Sharon shares her zucchini-infused recipe for a delicious Mexican-inspired Tortilla Soup.
A traditional Mexican dish, tortilla soup is a spicy blend of tomatoes, vegetables, and crisp tortilla strips. This easy plant-powered version--you can whip it up in no time--throws protein-rich black beans into the mix. Best of all, this dish relies on preserved goods, such as canned tomatoes, frozen corn, and canned beans, so you can make it year-round from your pantry. And it's a great complement for a simple sandwich, burrito, or vegetable salad for lunch or dinner.
Makes 10 servings (generous 1 cup/240 ml each)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 small jalapeño pepper, finely diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup (240 ml) frozen corn
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
4 cups (1 liter) water
1 tablespoon reduced sodium vegetable broth base
Two 14.5-ounce (411g) cans diced tomatoes, with liquid
One 15-ounce (425g) can black beans, with liquid (or 1 3/4 cups/420 ml cooked, with 1/2 cup/120 ml water)
2/3 cup (160 ml) plant-based cheese, optional
Per Serving: 148 calories, 5 g protein, 21 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 263 mg sodium Star Nutrients: vitamin C (40% DV), folate (12% DV), calcium (14% DV), manganese (11% DV), molybdenum (44% DV), phosphorus (10% DV), potassium (10% DV)
Jason Wryick is the creator of The Vegan Taste where he shares his dramatic diabetes crisis and how his vegan path helped him return to health, reverse diabetes, and lose over 100 pounds. After he was diagnosed with diabetes, he realized his diet was the culprit and began learning how to prepare vegan dishes. His new vegan direction sparked his interest in cooking and started his career as a chef. His online magazine The Vegan Taste is the home of a plethora of outstanding vegan recipes, videos, cooking classes, home-delivered meals, vegan vacations, reviews of vegan books and products, and all things vegan.
Jason says, "I developed this recipe while I was in Italy. We had picked up some zucchini and blood oranges from the market that had just been picked that morning. Originally the oranges were going to be for breakfast, but I wanted to do something special for everyone. This is what I came up with. Serve this with lightly grilled bread and dip it in any leftover sauce."
ZUCCHINI ALLA GRIGLIA
IN BLOOD ORANGE BALSAMIC SAUCE
Makes 8 servings as a side or appetizer
3 tablespoons balsamic glaze (balsamic vinegar reduction)
4 large zucchini, ends removed and sliced in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
Note: To make balsamic vinegar reduction, put about 1/2 cup (120 ml) of good quality balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan, uncovered. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat slightly and boil for about 10 minutes, or until the vinegar is reduced to about 1/4 cup (60 ml).
Denise Bird started the Pink Vegan blog because she was always modifying recipes and usually did not write down the changes she made; therefore, it was hard to recreate the recipe again Or, she couldn't even find the original recipe she modified. She decided if she started a blog, she could easily find her recipes! Also, instead of e-mailing recipes to friends and family, she could invite them to just look at the blog. She says, "As a vegan, I am always looking for healthy recipes that are easy to make and taste good. I try to make all my recipes without any added oil. I hope you enjoy the recipe!!!"
Denise tells us, "These are REALLY REALLY good nice and moist and chocolaty !!! If I wasn't planning on having these for breakfast this week, they'd be GONE in a couple of days!!!!! I think each day these muffins just keep getting better!!! They continue to stay moist and the flavor seems to increase with each day."
This is a thicker batter.
CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI NUT MUFFINS
Yield: makes 12 muffins
1/2 cup (120 ml) almond milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 medium to large very ripe bananas, mashed (If your bananas are smaller or not as ripe, you will probably need to add 2 to 4 Tbsp liquid)
1 cup (240 ml) whole wheat flour
Brandi Doming is the creator of The Vegan 8 blog and loves a challenge. She's chosen to create a vegan blog with healthy recipes that contain only 8 ingredients or less. The recipes are also gluten-free, oil-free, dairy-free, tofu-free, soy-free, and gum-free. Recognizing her readers wanted recipes that are easy to prepare and do not contain daunting lists of ingredients, she concluded that 8 ingredients would be the maximum in her recipes, excluding salt and water.
The recipes in her "kid friendly" section are also nut-free or have nut-free options. Visit The Vegan 8 for her beautifully photographed and utterly tempting recipes.
Brandi says this whole recipe contains only 8 ingredients and is made possible by repeating some of those ingredients in both the crust and the filling.
CRUNCHY "NUTELLA" ZUCCHINI CREAM PIE BARS
Yield: about ten bars, 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm) wide
1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped hazelnuts
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup (60 ml) canned low-fat coconut milk, room temp!
2 tablespoons creamy almond butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup (60 ml) finely grated, loosely packed zucchini (about 1/2 of a zucchini)
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped hazelnuts
Zel Allen is co-publisher along with her husband, Reuben, of Vegetarians in Paradise monthly online vegan magazine packed with recipes, reviews, and helpful resources for vegan living. She is also the author of two vegan cookbooks. The first, The Nut Gourmet, spotlights the health benefits of nuts and features them in every form from whole, to chopped, to finely ground in the recipes. Her second cookbook, Vegan for the Holidays, is the perfect cookbook to carry vegan households through the holiday season, dining in grand style from Thanksgiving through New Years. Because so many of the recipes use year-round ingredients, the recipes can be enjoyed throughout the year, some with seasonal substitutions.
Zel says, "Bless the versatile zucchini and the summer squash family for their ability to morph into almost everything from delicious, pungent appetizers to rich, indulgent desserts."
Here's an almost whimsical looking appetizer that's just as tasty as it is inviting. It's a perfect finger food for parties where the guests are mingling before sitting down to dinner. If needed, the recipe can be prepared in steps over two days for convenience, and once prepared, this tasty prep can be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge until ready to serve. For tastier results, bring the finished zucchini to room temperature before serving or preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. and warm them gently for about 10 to 15 minutes.
SEDUCTIVE STUFFED ZUCCHINI
Yield: 10 to 15 servings
3 large zucchini or 20 mini pattypan squashes
10 to 12 Spanish olives, sliced thick, for garnish