Ok, so it has not even been a month since I have started blogging but I have managed to post at least twice a week so there are 10 entries by now. Browsing through those 10 recipes coming with the posts, do you notice something? No?
They are all terrific Four of them have zucchini. And
you know why that is so? Because I LOVE them! Zucchini and tomatoes
are two vegetables (well technically, they are both fruits) I pretty
much live on during the warmer months of the year. There is just
nothing not to love about them. Don't believe me? I give you 5
reasons why you should love them, too:
1. They are tremendously healthy.
With 15 teensy-weensy calories per 100g (that's 3.5 oz. for you jolly people over the pond) one does not even really have to think about calories. And them containing potassium, folate, vitamin A and manganese (does the term “free radicals” tell you something? Mangenese helps to detoxify them and already 100g is enough to cover 19% of what is recommended daily.) only adds up to their goodness! But enough with the boring health blabber.
2. They are versatile!
bit bland have a very mild flavour. I'll give you that, zucchini
haters (and I KNOW you are out there, I just don't know WHY!). But
that is not a bad thing at all. That just means that they soak in the
flavours of the other ingredients well like in the recipe that is at
the bottom of this post. Want a bit of a crunch? You can eat them raw
or lightly blanched like here. Enjoy soups? Blended zucchini give
them an almost starchy creaminess like potatoes would but low-carb
and calorie (Oh suprise! There is this awesome summery soup I have
posted a few weeks ago.). So, you don't feel like eating something
savory, now. How about something to satisfy your sweet tooth? Grated
zucchini makes cakes and muffins perfectly moist. However, not even
them can make this recipe healthy...
You can even stuff, grill and bake and fry them!
3. They are not bound to one particular cuisine.
Ok, I am aware that this also applies to a plethora of other veggies but it was not that clear to me when it comes to zucchini. When I think about them, my first thought is Italian or maybe also just western.
Here is a(n totally incomplete) list of links to recipes from different countries that contain zucchini:
Italian: Pasta Con Zucchine & Menta from Apron and Sneakers
Japanese: Chicken Curry from Just one Cookbook
They also work great as Tempura!
Lebanese: Keshké Salad from Taste of Beirut
Indian: Zucchini Curry from Simple Indian Recipes
French: Ratatouille from Burghilicious
Chinese: Mushroom Chicken from Rasa Malaysia
4. They freeze well.
Although they lose in texture, I find they generally freeze pretty well. I would recommend to already prepare them in the way you intend to use them later (chopping, slicing, grating) because that part could be tricky after thawing but apart from them: Put them in a freezer bag and they are good to go.
5. They are easy to grow in your garden (given you have one).
Alright, I am a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to this point because the last person who grew zucchini in our garden was my grandfather but still, it IS fuzz free! The soil does not need to be particularly good and as long as you keep it moist I cannot imagine anything that could go wrong. Oh, and did I mention that two plants are more than enough to get you and your loved ones well fed through summer? And as a plus, you get to enjoy their blossoms that are not only beautiful, but also edible.
Still not convinced? Here is my grandmother's quick-fix week-night low-carb super-tasty zucchini dish that does not require lots of ingredients and is low in price yet a real comfort food. I don't know exactly how to name it because it's not really a soup, nor a stew. Maybe a soupy stir-fry or a light summery pan stew at best. But what's in a name, anyway. All those juices come directly from the vegetables as there is no adding of water involved.
Zucchini Pan Stew
- 300-500g (10.5–17.5 oz.) ground meat, half beef, half pork
- 3 medium sized zucchini
- 3-4 tomatoes, depending on size
- 3 eggs
- 4-5 splashes of soy sauce
- pepper to taste
- Cut zucchini and tomatoes into slices of about 5mm (about 0.2''), set aside
- In a pan, roast meat without additional fat until it gets crumbly. You still want some bigger chunks, though.
- Spread zucchini slices evenly on meat, do the same with tomatoes afterwards.
- Add a few splashes of soy sauce and close with a lit letting it simmer on low heat until zucchini are tender (the tomatoes will pretty much dissolve).
- Remove lid, stir and add more soy sauce to taste. In a cup or a small bowl, crack open the eggs and stir them just slightly so that yolk and egg white are not completely combined. Pour evenly over pan. Turn heat up to medium.
- When eggs begin to set, stir for the last time and keep the heat on until they are completely done.
- Add some pepper and enjoy!
This really is a simple, down-home dish that my grandmother especially used to cook on particularly hot days in summer when she would rather do anything else but cooking. The soy sauce goes so well with the juices of the vegetables and if you still feel like you need your carb fix, serve with some bread to soak them up!
Still need some inspiration? Well, you know where get that!
Do you have a zucchini dish that you are particularly fond of? Feel free to post them in the comments. :)