Zucchini Pasta – Meatless Mondays

GF, DF, EF

Vegan and Vegetarian

If you are anything like me, you have been enjoying the abundance of summer vegetables and fruits like Zucchini which some say is actually a fruit. It can boost skin health, strengthen the immune system, build strong bones, protect against birth defects and reduces blood pressure. Native to Mexico some 7,000 years ago, zucchini make a great base for any topping you like if you want to try a different type of “pasta”.

Fresh Zucchini

“Flowers of zucchini are stuffed, battered and deep fried to make “tempura” – a Japanese dish.
Italian “fiori di zucca” is a variant of the dish.
Mexicans also use it to make soups or as a filling for quesadillas –corn or a wheat tortilla filled with a savoury mixture….
“Ratatouille” is a French cuisine prepared with zucchini and summer fruits and vegetables by cooking them in oil and served alone or as a side dish.
Another French dish is “courgette farcie” which is zucchini stuffed with tomatoes or bell peppers.
Pancakes made from shredded zucchini, flour, and eggs, lightly fried in olive oil and eaten with yogurt are a popular dish in Turkey called “ mücver.”
In Bulgarian, zucchini is prepared as a snack by frying them and serving with a dip, made from yogurt, garlic, and dill.
Egyptians make zucchini with tomato sauce, garlic, and onions.”

Fresh basil from the garden

Fresh basil from the garden

Ingredients

  • 3-4 yellow, green and/or multi coloured zucchini
  • Sea or Himalayan salt
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup grated sweet potato or carrot
  • 1-cup organic canned lentils
  • 1-tablespoon rice honey (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons activated chopped nuts (I used almonds)
  • 200-300 grams pizza pasta sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Sea or Himalayan salt
  • Pepper
  • 1-2 ripe tomatoes
  • Handful fresh basil leaves, stems removed and torn into small pieces

Zucchini Pasta Ingredients

Method

1. Cut zucchini into noodles using a vegetable peeler for thicker shapes or a spiralizer (see photo). Sprinkle with salt and set aside. This helps to remove the bitterness.

Zucchini Pasta Spiralizer

2. Heat pan, add oil and garlic 1-2 minutes to season the oil. Add the onions and sauté till transparent.
Then add the sweet potato or carrot and sauté another 1-2 minutes.
3. Add the lentils, rice honey and nuts if using, give it a stir add pasta sauce and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer 7- 10 minutes.

Zucchini Pasta sauce

Zucchini Pasta cooking

4. Meanwhile add the other oil, and sauté the zucchini 2-3 minutes or until tender.
5. Put the zucchini pasta in a bowl, toss the fresh tomatoes into the sauce with some of the basil and spoon over the pasta. Add more basil if desired and enjoy! You can top it off with some Parmesan or sauté silken tofu or any other protein of your choice.

If you like this recipe, please take a look at my next cooking workshops.

FB Zucchini Pasta Finished

Edible Valentine’s Day Card – Meatless Monday

GF, DF, EG Vegetarian, Vegan

The poet Chaucer in the middle Ages was the first to link St Valentine with romantic love. This marked the beginning of the tradition of a ritual of expressing love and admiration, usually in secret.

My friend’s 12-year-old daughter joined me in the kitchen today. She helped me and then created her own version of an edible Valentine’s Day card for her mom!

FB V Stella measuring ing.

FB V Stella creating

FB V stellas creation

FB V ingred.

Ingredients

Raspberry Date

1-cup fresh raspberries, strawberries or mulberries (fresh or frozen)
2-3 dates, pitted and soaked in boiling water to cover for 30-60 minutes
¼ cup soaking water from the date
2 teaspoons chia seeds OR
¼ cup raspberry jam

Coconut Chia

1-cup coconut milk
2 Tablespoons rice syrup
¼ cup chia seeds

Chocolate Vanilla

2 tablespoons cacao
2-4 tablespoons rice or coconut syrup to taste
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of Himalayan salt
Add some crushed nuts or seeds into the mixture or on top of the whole mixture (optional)
Beetroot heart shapes – different sizes
Chickpea, Quinoa, Beetroot, Organic wraps
Beetroot hearts (optional)

Kids Can

Gather all the ingredients together
Measure out some of the ingredients (with some help if needed)
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl for each of the combinations
Make your own edible Valentine’s Day Card

Method

1. Place the ingredients for the raspberry layer into a bowl and mix well. (If using frozen berries remove from the freezer the night before) Set aside.

2. Combine the coconut milk, sweetener and chia seeds in a jug or bowl. Wait a few minutes and test to see if it is thickening. (You can pour into a bowl and aside for a few minutes until it thickens as well) Set aside.

FB V Stella Coconut chia mix

FB V. Stella mixingG_7176

3. Put the cacao in a bowl, Stir in the other ingredients. Put in the fridge till harden if you want to pipe it on your card.
4. Cut out the beetroot hearts.

Putting it all together

You can steam the wrap (if desired) for a few minutes. This will make it easier to wrap. Otherwise just use it straight out of the packet. This way you can cut it up like a pizza to share.

Place the wrap of your choice on a plate or cutting board.

FB V. Flat bread

Spread the coconut–chia layer down first.

FB V Spreading Coconut chia

Put the raspberry mixture into a piping bag and twist the top to seal.
Pipe a heart shape in the centre or just spoon it into the shape of a heart.

Put strawberries, beetroot hearts, around. Pipe the chocolate around the heart and decorate with different berries or make an edible card like Stella, with your own design.

If there is any left over, layer in a jar, wine glass, moulds for ice blocks or other glass container and refrigerate or freeze or devour immediately. Sprinkle crushed nuts on top if desired.

FB V. Finished final

FB V. Finished side

Chawanmushi (Tea Cup Steam) – Meatless Mondays

FB egg custard 1

GF, DF, Vegetarian

Steam Your Way to Health

Get steaming, get healthy and cool down!

“Tea cup steam” or “steamed in a tea bowl”, is a delicious hot savory custard with a soft, smooth texture and a rich umami flavour found in Japan. Steam cooking is a way of cooking which is used thousands of years. It was used by the Chinese, Indians, Africans and it is now used everywhere in the world.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups (480 mL) stock or water*
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Mirin rice wine
  • ½ cup fresh corn
  • 3-4 shiitake mushrooms soaked till soft or use 2 fresh ones
  • 80 grams chopped firm tofu
  • A few thinly sliced snow peas
  • Coriander or mint for garnish

FB Egg custard ingr

Method

1. In a small bowl, mix tofu pieces with 1-teaspoon tamari soy sauce and 1 teaspoon mirin. In another bowl, mix drained and sliced shiitake mushrooms with 1/2 teaspoon tamari soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon mirin Let them sit for a couple of minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix eggs, stock, salt, 1/2 teaspoon tamari soy sauce, and ½ teaspoon Mirin together. Strain the egg mixture through a sieve. Let as much egg as you can go through the sieve.
Place a small amount of tofu, corn and mushrooms in each of 4 small cups, then pour egg mixture over them to fill 3/4 of a cup. Cover with aluminium foil and put the covered cups into a steamer.

FB Egg custard foil

3. Steam at medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Check with a wooden skewer to see if it’s done. If clear broth comes out when poked, take the cups out from the steamer.

FB Egg custard steaming
4. Place coriander or mint leaves on top and and cover again for 2-3 minutes.
5. Serve hot or at room temperature.

FB egg custard 2