Posts Tagged ‘zucchini’

  1. roasted vegetables and couscous

    June 14, 2012 by Angie

    Someone made this for a party I went to in 2006 and it was so good that I still remember it. I found what appears to be a very close recipe at one of my new favorite blogs, Budget Bytes. It’s an easy and delicious recipe that packs a ton of vegetables and flavor.

    I used half of a yellow onion, a large zucchini, two yellow squash, an orange bell pepper, five cloves of garlic, and two small tomatoes. Here they are oiled, seasoned, and ready to spend the next 45 minutes roasting in the oven.

    The key to making the couscous is to use vegetable broth, not water like the box instructs. It’s so much better that way. I followed the Budget Bytes recipe almost exactly except that I added some reduced fat feta cheese and parmesan to the finished salad and used dried parsley instead of fresh. The cheese was good in there but the couscous is so flavorful already that it’s not necessary.


  2. sweet and sour tofu

    May 24, 2012 by Angie

    Sweet and sour tofu is my go-to order at most Asian restaurants (unless there’s massaman curry to be had).  I love the combination of the slightly sweet and very tangy flavors and with all those vegetables it still feels healthy!

    Ingredients

    1 package of extra firm tofu (I freeze mine just for a few hours then move it to the fridge until I’m ready to use it.  It gives it a great texture.)
    1 tbsp cornstarch (plus about 3 tbsp for coating the tofu)
    3/4 cup vegetable broth
    3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
    1 tbsp sugar
    1 tbsp ketchup
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I use a bit less because we are wimps.)
    2 tbsp Smart Balance oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    vegetables for stir fry: onion, bell pepper, carrots, mushrooms, pineapple, and tomato are more traditional.  I used: 1/2 green bell pepper, a zucchini, some baby spinach, and a pre-cut, pre-washed 12 oz bag of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.

    Directions

    1.  Drain and press the tofu.  Cut it into one inch squares.

    Super high-tech tofu pressing device.

    2.  Make the sweet and sour sauce by mixing together the ingredients from 1 tbsp of cornstarch through the cayenne pepper.  Place the tofu squares in the marinade, cover, and refrigerate while you complete the next step.  If you have time it’s good to do this thirty minutes to an hour before you’re ready to stir fry the vegetables so that the tofu can absorb the marinade.

    3.  Wash and cut the vegetables.

    4.  Heat a medium-sized skillet with Smart Balance oil on medium heat.  Pour about 3 tbsp of corn starch into a small bowl.  Using a slotted spoon, lift the tofu squares out of the marinade and shake gently to drip excess marinade back into the bowl.  Transfer the tofu squares in batches to the bowl of corn starch.  Turn to coat the tofu with corn starch.  Move the tofu to the hot skillet and cook until browned on all sides.  Keep the bowl of sweet and sour marinade and set aside.

    5.  Meanwhile, in a larger pan heat some more oil.  Add the garlic and then the rest of the vegetables.  Stir fry until just cooked.  Pour the remaining sweet and sour sauce over the vegetables and stir.

    6.  Serve the tofu and vegetables over rice or noodles.  We like to eat it just the way it is by itself.

     


  3. vegetable lasagna

    April 27, 2012 by Angie

    A homemade lasagna is a labor of love.  The good news is that I’m getting faster at making it. This is my (relatively) lower fat and lower carb vegetable lasagna made with part skim ricotta, reduced-fat shredded Italian cheese, and Dreamfields lasagna noodles.  It’s just as cheesy and delicious as any “naughty” lasagna and packed with zucchini, spinach, and fresh tomatoes.

    You’ll need a big rectangular pan for this.  I use a 9×13 Pyrex that came with a clip-on storage lid for the top.  Three Dreamfields lasagna noodles fit perfectly side by side in there.  I sprayed the pan with olive oil before assembling the lasagna.

    Makes about six servings.

    Ingredients

    Olive oil
    Olive oil spray for the lasagna pan
    1 box of Dreamfields lasagna noodles
    24 oz jar of spaghetti sauce (We openly profess our love for Gia Russa’s Tomato & Basil.)
    15 oz container of part skim ricotta cheese (Sorrento brand was the lowest fat option at my grocery store.)
    Reduced fat shredded parmesan (…if you can find it.)
    Reduced fat shredded Italian cheese
    3 zucchini, sliced
    4 oz of fresh spinach
    1-2 vine ripened tomatoes, chopped
    Any other vegetables you want to add – we’re striving for roughly 4 cups of vegetables total
    Minced garlic
    Dried basil
    Dried oregano
    Dried parsley
    Garlic powder

    Directions

    1.  Start boiling the water to prepare the Dreamfields lasagna noodles according to the package directions.  Unlike some varieties, you do have to boil these noodles before assembling the lasagna.

    2.  While you’re waiting for the water to boil, chop up the zucchini and tomato and any other veggies you’d like to add.  Also, snap the stems of the spinach leaves if that sort of thing offends you.  In a big pan, saute the minced garlic and zucchini in olive oil.  Add in the spinach just until it’s somewhat wilted.  Don’t cook the vegetables very long.  You might be able to skip this step but I think it cuts down on the amount of water the vegetables produce inside the lasagna.

    Cooked Vegetables

    3.  The water should be boiling by now.  Go ahead and make the noodles. While you’re waiting for them to cook, pour the entire tub of ricotta cheese into a medium-sized bowl and mix in 3-4 ounces of the parmesan cheese and the dried spices.  I don’t measure the amount of basil, oregano, parsley, and garlic powder I add to the ricotta mixture and I apologize for that.  I do know that the amount I use is in the order they’re listed – I go pretty nuts with the basil and easy on the garlic powder.  You want the mixture to smell flavorful and to be able to see spices throughout.

    4.  Once the noodles are ready, drain them.  It’s time to preheat the oven to 400 degrees and assemble the lasagna.  Start with a layer of noodles side by side (three should do it).  Follow that with a third of the spaghetti sauce, a third of the ricotta mixture, a third of the vegetables, and a third of the shredded Italian cheese.  Repeat this two more times ending with the shredded Italian cheese.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for an hour.  When the hour is up, take the aluminum foil off and bake for another five minutes or so until the cheese on top is slightly browned.

    First layer: noodles, sauce, ricotta, vegetables, shredded cheese.

    Finished lasagna!

    A serving of lasagna.

    We both got seconds, wiping out half the lasagna between the two of us.  Mmmmm, mmmmm.


  4. pasta primavera

    March 14, 2012 by Angie

    I wanted to eat a ton of vegetables so I made this for dinner last night.  It was really good but next time I’ll go easier on the asparagus per Cute Husband’s request.  Also, I’ll add much more basil, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and add cheese right into the vegetable mixture in the pan.  I found myself sprinkling an absurd amount of these things onto my plate as I was eating because I wasn’t liberal enough with them during the cooking phase.

    Ingredients:
    3 tbsp olive oil
    1/2 tbsp minced garlic
    1/4 c green onion
    4 oz asparagus
    2 medium zucchini
    3 small yellow squash
    2 tomatoes on the vine (or 12 cherry tomatoes, halved)
    about 1 oz spinach
    1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
    3/4 c vegetable broth
    1/2 c unsweetened soy milk
    dried basil, to taste
    dried parsley, to taste
    garlic powder, to taste
    sea salt, to taste
    freshly ground pepper, to taste
    1 box of Dreamfields linguine
    grated Parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast, or grated soy cheese to sprinkle on top (I used freshly grated Parmesan and some powdery Parmesan-Romano cheese.)

    Instructions:
    1.  Wash, trim, and chop the veggies.  Finely mince the garlic and green onion.  You can leave the asparagus pretty large.  Chop the zucchini and yellow squash in the matchstick style.  Snap the stems off of the spinach but do not chop.

    2.  Meanwhile, prepare the box of Dreamfields linguine according to the package directions.

    3.  Heat some olive oil in a largish pan on medium heat.  Add the vegetables in the order listed in the ingredients beginning with the garlic and finishing with the tomatoes (we’ll add the spinach later).  Allow each ingredient to cook for a a minute or three before adding the next.

    4. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetable mixture in the pan.  Stir to coat the vegetables and cook for about a minute.

    5.  Stir the vegetable stock and soy milk into the vegetable mixture.  Bring it to a boil then turn the burner to low and cook, stirring often, for 5-7 more minutes.

    6.  Add the spinach to the milky vegetables and stir until the spinach is wilted.

    7.  Add basil, parsley, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

    8.  Pour the milky vegetable mixture into the drained pasta pot.  Mix them up to coat the pasta.

    9.  Serve and top with grated cheese or nutritional yeast.  Yay!


  5. caprese salad and zucchini spaghetti

    February 10, 2012 by Angie

    For dinner Wednesday night, I wanted to use up some left over ingredients from the pizzas we made last week.  I used the leftover part-skim mozzarella, tomatoes on the vine, and fresh basil to make a caprese salad appetizer.  I assembled the salad then drizzled about 1 tbs olive oil and 1 tbs balsamic vinegar on top.

    Robbie made “regular” linguini noodles for himself but, in an effort to kick it low-carb (as “the kids” say), I made zucchini spaghetti for me.  I followed this recipe from the New York Times’ Health section then covered it in garlicky tomato sauce.  It’s a very simple recipe.  Just use a peeler to trim off long, thin pieces of zucchini.  Stop when you get to the seeds and core.  I used one zucchini since I only needed one serving.  Sauté it in a little olive oil, sprinkle some salt and freshly ground pepper, and serve covered with your favorite tomato sauce.

    Delicious and quick!

     


  6. mini veggie lasagnas

    February 5, 2012 by Angie

    Reddit’s 52 Weeks of Baking challenge for Week 2 was Miniature.  I love baked goods but they aren’t necessary like “real food” is necessary.  Because I don’t own any mini-bakeware I was happy to branch out to savory foods with a rendition of mini veggie lasagnas based on this recipe from Chow Vegan.

    I followed the method she used but with some ingredient changes.  I used spinach, zucchini, and onion for the veggies.  Instead of making the tofu ricotta I made my own mixture using part skim ricotta cheese, a little reduced-fat shredded Italian cheese, and a generous sprinkle of each of the Italian-leaning spices in my spice rack.

    These tiny lasagnas were adorable and tasted fantastic!  Cute Husband and I nearly finished off the entire dozen for dinner.