Friday, August 26, 2011

Zucchini Season

Zucchini season is in full swing on the Canadian Prairies. Lucky for me a co-worker at my husband's office bought some of her zucchini harvest to share (thank you so much Sharon!).

A little background on the zucchini taken from Wikipedia. The description presented doesn't exactly inspire --- anything that contains the words "swollen ovary" is not music to my ears or any other female on the planet earth I'd dare to hazard to guess! I'm always surprised at the produce that I think is a vegetable is actually a fruit. Here's the direct quote from Wikipedia:

"In a culinary context, the zucchini is treated as a vegetable which means it is usually cooked and presented as a savory dish or accompaniment. Botanically, however, the zucchini is an immature fruit, being the swollen ovary of the female zucchini flower." 

Anyhow don't let that put you off -- it's darn healthy: 1/2 cup provides 19% of the recommended amount of manganese. Also provides useful amounts of  folate, potassium, and vitamin A.  And  lets not forget how fortunate we are that it often grows quite easily in our prairie gardens. 

JFYI: There is a big birthday buffet coming up at Padmanadi on August 31st. Sources have revealed that there will be 1000 vegan cupcakes to celebrate Kasim's birthday.  Count me in!! Maya's vegan vanilla cupcakes are amazing - they get a 10/10 from me and that's not easy to do! I got carried away thinking about the buffet - but time to get back to the matter at hand:  here's my list of ingredients for a healthy way to enjoy beets and zucchini. Start with:

1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion
1 container medium-firm tofu
chili powder, cumin and garlic powder

Dice your onion and cube the tofu. Season with chili powder, cumin and garlic powder. Add a splash of paul bragg and just let it all simmer in the olive oil whilst you start chopping the veggies below.  Add water as needed to keep it from sticking.  Throw in about 2-3 teaspoons veggie broth powder.

Put a lid on it and simmer for however long you like.  I simmered it for about 2 hours.  You can serve it over rice if you leave it liquidy-like.  I didn't have any rice on hand so I stirred in about 1 cup of mashed potato to thicken and that worked out quite well. Picture of the mixture in the frying pan is how it looked before I added the mashed potato. Picture below has the mashed potato in it.

4 carrots
3 beets
1 zucchini
2 potatoes
1/2 cup diced green cabbage
2-3 teaspoons veggie broth powder
water as needed

This is a recipe that might do well with the slow cooker.  The initial softening of vegetables whilst you chop you have to do regardless  - the bonus of course would be not having to worry about it sticking whilst it is simmering for the next 2 hours. I was just reading the introduction to 125 best vegetarian recipes for a slow cooker so I'm now thinking how I can incorporate my recipes to such. I was reading it aloud at the park to my daughter whilst my grandson was playing on the slide and one part made me laugh.  I said "listen to this" -- over 25 million slow cookers are sold every year world wide.  And my daughter said "and there are only 50 actually being used"!  We continued to peruse the recipes and have plans to try some soon as they all sounded delicious and doable.  I'll post our favorites on here as we try them out.  That might take a while though so I would advise that in the meantime you beg, borrow (it is available through the Edmonton Public Library) or buy the book: 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson.  I was lucky enough to find a pristine copy (for only $2.99) at my local Goodwill Store.

1 comment:

  1. Nope, swollen ovary does not sound too appealing! haha

    Hey, I am not the daughter that said that. In fact, I know quite a few people that use their slow cookers AND swear by them.

    Looking forward to the Padmanadi Party! I might have ONE bite of a cupcake. :)


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