Zoodles with Peanut Sauce

I bought a spiralizer at a school fundraiser yard sale for $1 and now that it is summer and zucchini is pleniful, it’s a perfect time to use it to make zoodles (zucchini noodles).

I haven’t had much luck with growing zucchini in my garden. This year, I planted some zucchini in a bucket on my deck and so far have only gotten 2 zucchini from it. They were kind of funky-looking, but tasted great as zoodles.

I have worked on perfecting my Peanut Sauce for years and I think I have finally nailed it. This stuff is great on all kinds of noodles (rice noodles, spaghetti, zoodles, etc…) and as a sauce for grilled chicken (think Satay) and Summer Rolls.

The Peanut Sauce recipe includes a paste made from a clove of garlic. This is an excellent tutorial on how to make garlic paste with a knife. This is how I do it:

Zoodles with Peanut Sauce

Special tool needed:  spiralizer

1 tablespoon (or less) of mild-tasting oil (I used canola)
4 medium-sized zucchini, ends trimmed, spiralized
1 carrot, peeled and grated
prepared Peanut Sauce (recipe below)

fresh cilantro
crushed peanuts

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spiralized zucchini and shredded carrots and cook, tossing often with tongs, until tender (but not mushy). Turn off the heat and add the peanut sauce to the zoodles. Toss to coat. Serve topped with fresh cilantro and crushed peanuts. Can be eaten warm or cold.

Peanut Sauce

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced and made into a paste with the side of the knife’s blade (see tutorial video above)
1 – 2 teaspoons sriracha
juice of 1/2 lime
warm water (about 1/2 cup)

Combine the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, garlic past, sriracha, and lime juice. Add water, a little at a time, until you reach a somewhat thick, but pourable consistency. You want it just so that it coasts the noodles but isn’t too thick or too thin. Refrigerate any leftover sauce.


Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

These muffins are sooo good. They turn out light and moist. They are packed with zucchini so you don’t have to feel guilty about eating what is essentially breakfast cupcakes. The kids will love them too.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 firmly packed cups of shredded zucchini
1 – 3 tablespoons of milk (if necessary)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line muffin tins with baking cups.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, combine oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and shredded zucchini. Pour the zucchini mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. If the batter is dry and crumbly, add milk, a tablespoon at a time, until it is smooth. The zucchini will release moisture while the muffins are baking, so you don’t want to add any more milk than necessary.

Divide the batter between 18 muffin cups. You want them to be about 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.


Grilled Zucchini Salad

Roasted Vegetable Salad

This salad is summer in a bowl. It’s perfect for when you have way too much zucchini and tomatoes in the garden. This recipe serves about 4, but it can easily be doubled or tripled.

Grilled Zucchini Salad

2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
2 medium tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted, cut in half
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled (or chunks of fresh mozzarella)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of oregano
salt and pepper to taste

In a grill pan over high heat or on an outdoor grill, cook the zucchini quarters about 3 minutes on each side. You want them to be tender, but not mushy. Grill marks are nice. Let the zucchini cool until they are easily handled. Cut the zucchini into bite size pieces.

Make the dressing by combining the lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in a Mason jar. Place the lid on the jar and shake to combine.

Combine the grilled zucchini, tomatoes, olives, and feta in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the vegetable mixture and gently mix. You may not need all of the dressing, just enough to coat the veggies. Serve at room temperature.

 


Squash Ribbons

Squash Ribbons 2

This is a quick, simple, and colorful side dish. It’s a great way to use all that squash you have from your garden or CSA. This dish can easily be made vegan by using olive oil.

Squash Ribbons

2 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

Trim the ends off the zucchini and yellow squash. Using a vegetable peeler, make thin slices lengthwise down the squash until you reach the seeds. Turn the squash and make more slices until you reach the seedy center. Repeat until only the core of the squash is left. You can discard the center portion or save it for another use (cut up and throw into a vegetable soup).

Heat the butter or olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the squash ribbons and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and serve

Squash Ribbons

 


Zucchini Bread

IMG_6839 (640x480)

I cannot believe I have never blogged this recipe. It’s a classic in my house. I have used this recipe for at least the past fifteen years. I have never been disappointed. It is a no fail recipe. I baked a batch of 3 mini loaves yesterday and my crazy toddler raved about it. He ate a mini loaf all by himself.

Zucchini Bread

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups (lightly packed) unpeeled zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a 9 X 5 X 3-inch loaf pan (or 3 mini loaf pans)  with cooking spray. Set aside.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs and oil, then stir in shredded zucchini (and pecans if using). Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix together by hand. The batter will be pretty stiff. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan(s) and bake for 50 minutes (30 – 35 minutes for mini loaves) or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly before serving.


Zucchini Gratin


It’s zucchini season and if my garden wasn’t such an epic fail this year, I would be sneaking bags of zucchini onto my neighbors’ porches in the middle of the night. I didn’t get a single zucchini from the plants I planted this year, but I did just pick up a bunch of zucchini from the farmers’ market. I love zucchini. I use it in soups, make pasta dishes with it, make zucchini bread, use it in veggie enchiladas, as well as other veggie dishes, but I am always up for a new zucchini recipe. This is a basic gratin recipe and works well with zucchini. I used cheddar cheese when I made this, but I think swiss or gruyeres would be really good too.

Zucchini Gratin

1/2 stick butter
1 large onion, sliced
3 – 4 zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup shredded cheese of choice
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until tender and just starting to turn golden. Add the sliced zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until zucchini starts to get tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of flour. Add the milk slowly, stirring to remove any lumps. Cook until sauce thickens and then stir in the shredded cheese. Season again with salt and pepper to taste. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish (1.5 qt size works fine). Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until browned and bubbly.


Lentil and Vegetable Soup

I’m loving the cooler weather and it has gotten me in the mood for soup.  Well, honestly, I’m always in the mood for soup, but I’d rather eat it when it’s not in the triple digits and oppressively humid outside. This is a nutritious soup with just a little kick.  It’s quick and easy enough for a weekday.  Serve with crusty bread and a simple salad for a complete meal. If you don’t like your food spicy, leave out the jalapeno and cayenne. You can use red lentils instead of regular ol’ brown lentils in this recipe, but watch them, they cook up a bit faster.

Lentil and Vegetable Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno or serrano, seeds removed and minced (optional)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 – 8 cups vegetable broth (depending on how brothy you like your soup)
1 cup lentils, picked through (rocks and broken lentils removed), and rinsed
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
2 medium zucchinis, diced

Saute onion, celery, carrots, jalapeno, and garlic in the olive oil in a pot until veggies are tender.  Add potatoes and spices and saute 1 minute more.  Add broth and bring to a slow boil.  Add the lentils and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini and spinach and continue to simmer until lentils are completely cooked, 5 to 10 minutes.