It’s Summer time. Besides the warmer weather it means, at least to me, fresh fruits and vegetables. One of the major summer harvest items is zucchini. You can find them in so many varieties. The most common variety seen in the markets are the green zucchini. Those are the ones I used for this recipe but you can mix and match them if you want. Please be aware that zucchini is one of the top 10 Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) produce in the U.S. It’s important that you #KnowYourSource, so please support your local farmers and farmers’ markets.
In my last blog post I said i would share the zucchini fritters recipe I did at The Monroe Farmers Market. And as a woman of my word here we go. There are some very important things to note. It is CRUCIAL that you squeeze out as much liquid from the shredded zucchini as possible. If you don’t your fritters won’t come together properly as there is too much liquid in ratio to the amount of flour. Also don’t be afraid to add other things to your mixture. Some ideas are grated carrots or bacon bits, fresh herbs or try a different cheese. The options are limited to your imagination.
I don’t know if I have ever told you guys this but recipes are just guidelines. You can take away or add whatever you like to make the dish work the best for you.The only recipes that you have to follow a bit more exact are baking recipes. There is a science involved with baking recipes so those shouldn’t be fudged with much. Other than that have fun making changes and trying new things in a recipe
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a large bowl, combine zucchini, flour, Parmesan, garlic and egg; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Scoop tablespoons of batter for each fritter, flattening with a spatula, and cook until the underside is nicely golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side, about 1-2 minutes longer.
So while perusing a Facebook group dedicated to people who like cooking, I came across someone’s picture of a pot pie they made. It instantly brought me back to my childhood, where my Mom had a freezer with individual boxes of pot pies for us (something for lunch she wouldn’t have to slave over and we liked them). We even had a choice of what kind we could eat, chicken or turkey. I loved them. One it wasn’t Jamaican food ( it was food I could relate to with the other kids in school) and two I had come to love pie crust( little did I know at the time that was an inferior product compared to what I would later learn to make).
(In my Gollum voice) I must have the pot pie. So what I would have a late lunch. It would be well worth it. And so my journey began into making an individual chicken pot pie for myself. First things first, I needed to make the pic crust and get it in the fridge so that the fat and flour could make happy time together while chilling out (if you want a truly flaky dough you must use butter and shortening to achieve it). Then I proceeded to chop vegetables and dice chicken breast for the filling and….. And well 2 1/2 hours later I was enjoying (with a slightly burned tongue) Chicken Pot Pie.
I know on the blog I share a lot of things that may not be so health conscience but they aren’t meant to be eaten on a daily basis. If you follow me on social media you can get a feel for my daily eating habits, which isn’t all bad. With that being said I approached Miss Ebby K of I am EbbyK (a blog about fashion, fitness and faith) about being a guest on her blog. She loved the idea. So I share with my readers what is going to be shared with her readers. I hope you guys enjoy and take a moment to visit Miss Ebby K’s blog. Now go forward and make memories.
The food pyramid says …oh wait it’s no longer a pyramid it’s now a plate. Right, so it suggests that as an adult woman you should get between 2-2½ cups of veggies daily and as an adult man you should get 2½-3 cups of veggies daily. So I’m always looking for ways to get vegetables in my meal. From adding fresh spinach and sweet bell peppers to my scrambled eggs or adding shredded zucchini and carrots to my spaghetti sauce when I’m creating an Italian styled meal. In the following recipe you can more than meet your daily vegetable requirement. I served it with brown rice cooked with vegetable broth and olive oil (instead of butter).
1 large zucchini 7”-8” long
1 small yellow 4”-5” long squash, diced
3 mushrooms (white button or baby portobella), stems removed
1-2 cloves of garlic minced
½ of small onion, diced
¼ sweet bell pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small carrot, shredded
¾ cup kale, rough chopped
¾ cup spinach, rough chopped
¼ cup of broth/stock ( chicken or vegetable)
¼ – ½ cup of panko breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 450. Half zucchini. Using a spoon remove the core of the zucchini creating a shell. Save core to the side. When both halves are cored drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Take the reserved zucchini cores and dice. Heat a saute pan with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil add onions,bell peppers, celery, yellow squash and diced zucchini core. Saute vegetables for about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, spinach and kale cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add broth and then add breadcrumbs until mixture starts to come together. Turn off heat. Add 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Fill zucchini halves with mixture, over stuffing. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and remaining parmesan cheese on top of halves then drizzle with olive oil. Bake in oven for 15- 20 minutes or until shell is tender.
You know that spaghetti sauce I mentioned earlier in the post? Why not take a chance on another stuffed squash. Buy a spaghetti squash, half it, scoop out seeds and then place it cut side down into a casserole dish. Add enough broth to cover the bottom of the pan. This helps to steam the squash and adds flavor. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 400 degree pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes or until tender. Remove squash from pan. Saute your favorite vegetables and add to your favorite sauce. Take a fork and flake up the spaghetti like strands of the squash then top with your sauce mixture and parmesan cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, 5-10 minutes. Eat with a side salad.
I hope this moves you closer to your healthier you in 2015. Now go forward and make memories.
The Chef In Pearls is a blog where food and fashion meet. A retired Chef learning to live life to the fullest. Please follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @TheChefInPearls