Monday, May 30, 2011

Cooking with Zucchini Ribbons: Gluten Free,Salads,Pastas,Panini's and Quiche!

I absolutely LOVE cooking with zucchinis and yellow squash! It has been nearly a year ago now that I eliminated ALL GLUTEN from my diet and cooking with zucchini's may be hands down one of my favorite gluten free finds and pasta alternatives ever! Here are a few ideas to spark your imagination and get you cooking with zucchinis.:)

You will need:
A wide blade vegetable peeler or a vegetable mandoline.

*Slice your zucchinis lengthwise to about 1/8-1/4 of an inch slices.

Warm Zucchini Salad with Goat Cheese, Pine Nuts and Italian Parsley
Brush your preheathed grill or cast iron grill pan with olive or coconut oil
In a bowl lightly dress your raw zucchini ribbons with salt, pepper, and diced garlic.
Place on grill and let cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until you get golden brown grill marks.
*Eat warm with with fresh goat cheese crumbles (or feta cheese) , toasted pine nuts and chopped italian parsley.

Picnic Perfect Zucchini Salad with Lemon, Dill and Walnuts
Lightly sauteed 8 whole zucchini ribboned with olive oil or coconut oil
Season with salt and pepper (3 minute total cook time).
Add 1 T. fresh chopped dill
1/4 T. of fresh lemon zest
3 T. of roasted and roughly chopped walnuts
fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste.
*Chill or serve room temperature.

Grilled Vegetable and Pesto Panini

For the Pesto:
1/4 cup of fresh herbs ( I use flat leaf parsley, mint and dill)
2 cups of spinach
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of pine nuts or walnuts (toasted)
1 Lemon (zested)
1/2 fresh lemon ( juiced)
4 T olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
* you may add 1 t. of Balsamic Vinegar if you wish (* I love it!)
Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth

To Prep The Veggies:
3 Zucchini's (ribboned)
1 Portobello Mushroom sliced lenghtwise in thin strips
I/4 red onion sliced lengthwise in strips
1 red bell pepper cleaned and cut lengthwise into strips
Ina bowl coat vegetables with pesto.
Lightly sautee vegetables in a pan for 3 to 4 minutes. ( or grill vegetables in a grill pan)

1. Select your bread. Lightly coat your pre heated panini press with olive oil.
2. Build your sandwich. Coat the inside of your bread with a thin layer of pesto. If adding cheese(this is fantastic with fresh or smoked mozzarella cheese, provolone or goat cheese).Place cheese on top of the pesto layer,* add fresh arugula or spinach if you wish layer your vegetables in the middle.
4. Cook sandwich for about 5 minutes until cheese is melted and bread is toasty.

Other FANTASTIC IDEAS: Zucchini ribbons taking the place of your favorite pasta, lasagna or stuffed manicotti recipes!

Zucchini Ribbon Quiche

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