Four Ways with Zucchini

Have you ever looked in your fridge and found you have not much other than 16 zucchinis and a few stray eggs? No? Okay, I admit that it is a kind of weird situation to find yourself in, but one that I was in a couple of weeks ago. You see, my family came to visit me in Melbourne and we went for a quick trip to the Queen Vic markets, which resulted in Mum buying me a tonne of food including a whole box of zucchinis (approx. 16) for $1! On that note, head to the markets around closing time and you are guaranteed to find amazing bargins like that at every stall.

Now it is fortunate that I really like zucchini, but the thought of eating zucchini just steamed or even roasted for weeks on end is, well, just a little drab… Especially when zucchini is a super versatile veggie that can be turned into hundreds of wonderful meals. So, I took my mountain of zucchinis and vowed to create as many interesting and unusual zucchini-containing foods as possible. These were the results:

IMG_7535

Here are the links to the recipes I used:

Leftover Veggie Bread (IQS) 

Paleo Zucchini Fries and Fish and Chips (Food Matters)

Zucchini Chocolate Muffins 

Note: for the muffins I used the cake recipe, left out the avocado and date paste (to reduce sugar content) and didn’t make the frosting or syrup. I also used buckwheat flour instead of almond meal, rice malt syrup instead of honey and corn flour instead of tapioca starch (all due to lack of these ingredients in my pantry). As muffins they also only took about 15 minutes to bake through.

And the recipe for Zucchini Bolognese à la Erica:

Zucchini Bolognese (serves 2-4)

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 zucchinis
  • 500g grass-fed, organic beef mince
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1-2 carrots, finely diced
  • 1 small capsicum, finely diced
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1/4 cup red wine/red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt & pepper
  • Mixed herbs
  • Olive oil
  • Chilli flakes/powder (optional)

Method:

  1. In a large pan fry the off the onion, garlic and beef until the beef is brown all over.
  2. Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, carrot and capsicum, and the herbs, chilli, salt and pepper. Add red wine or vinegar and enough water to create a bit of a sauce if it is too dry. Cook over low heat for about 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly to infuse the flavours into the meat. You can simmer this sauce for much longer if you have time, the longer, the better in terms of flavour. Taste and add more herbs/spices as required.
  3. Using a zoodler or regular peeler, peel the zucchinis into long thin strips (to create your ‘pasta’). When the zucchini becomes too small and fiddley to peel, simply dice it finely and throw into the sauce. Once all the zucchini have been ‘zoodlised’, add them into the pan with the sauce and add the peas as well.
  4. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the zucchini is soft and the peas are cooked through.
  5. Serve steaming hot in bowls, and add some grated cheese over the top if you like.

For further zucchini inspiration, check out this fabulous post on I Quit Sugar: Zany for Zucchinis? Here are 20 zucchini recipes.

What is your favourite vegetable and how many ways do you use it?

Keep healthy, happy,

Erica xx

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