Friday, April 5, 2013

Zucchini Inspiration

Last weekend’s Bountiful Baskets delivery was filled with bright green zucchinis and cucumbers and plump Roma tomatoes and I’ve been spending way too much time during the evenings this week perusing through cookbooks and surfing the Internet looking for a recipe that catches my eye.
Fresh produce!
I didn’t want something baked. I’m trying to stay away from desserts for a few days after enjoying my fair share of Chewy Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies this week. That’s when I decided to search The Lunchbox Bunch blog and discovered Kathy Patalsky’s Summer Green Zucchini Guacamole recipe! Her blog is packed with great, nutritious vegan-friendly recipes and information along with cute photos of her cat!

This is a light, cool and tasty recipe that I easily whipped up after work this afternoon and I’m letting it sit in the fridge overnight for the flavors to really come to life. I wanted to make something colorful and springy again this weekend (even though we had a wicked spring snow storm here in West Yellowstone today) for my good friend Giselle’s baby shower tomorrow afternoon. She is having a girl at the end of May and it’s been wonderful seeing her shine and progress throughout her pregnancy.

Here’s my rendition, which I’ve decided to call Zucchini Guacamole Salad adapted from and inspired by Kathy's recipe.

I think it’s best enjoyed with yellow corn tortilla chips!

Zucchini Guacamole Salad
(vegan, gluten-free, no dairy or eggs)

• 1 large avocado, diced
• 2 cups raw zucchini, diced into small cubes
• 1 tbsp olive oil – for sautéing the zucchini
• 1 tbsp minced or chopped garlic
• sea salt and pepper to taste
• a pinch of garlic salt
• 1 cucumber, peeled and diced into small chunks
• 1/2 orange bell pepper, diced into small chunks
• 1 Roma tomato, diced into small chunks
• 1/2 cup white onion and leeks, diced
• 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
• juice from 1/2 a large lemon
• a squeeze of lime juice
• 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• a dash of cayenne pepper

- Peel and dice all of your vegetables and the cilantro and place everything except the zucchini in a large bowl and mix together gently. You don't want to accidentally mash your avocado chunks.
- Heat up the olive oil in a skillet and add the garlic and zucchini. Saute for just a couple minutes. (Kathy notes that it’s just to caramelize the edges of the zucchini.)

- Remove from heat and season the zucchini with salt and pepper. Let the zucchini cool off for a few minutes.
- Squeeze the lemon and lime juice over the bowl of vegetables. Add in the red wine vinegar, garlic salt and cayenne pepper.
- Add the zucchini and garlic to the bowl and any oil that was left in the skillet and gently mix everything together. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if you wish.
- Cover the mixture in a sealed container or with plastic wrap and set in the fridge to cool and marinate.
- Gently stir the mixture before serving and serve with yellow corn tortilla chips or tortilla chips of your choice and enjoy!

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