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Tag Archive: zucchini

Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables

July 25, 2016 Print this page

If I were a food, I’d be gnocchi: a happy potato dumpling! 🙂 While the gnocchi takes some time to prepare, the result is so worth it: fresh, chewy, slightly doughy pasta with fresh notes of basil, the sweetness of corn, and umami zing of roasted tomatoes and zucchini.

Inspired by this recipe

Ingredients

Prep Time 1 hr
Cooking Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hr
Yield 4-5 servings

For the gnocchi:

2 lb starchy baking potatoes (about 2 large baking potatoes)

1 egg

1 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

For the vegetables:

2 lb cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cloves of garlic, smashed

2 large zucchinis or summer squashes, halved and sliced into half moons

1 head of basil, leaves finely slivered

2 cups of fire-roasted corn or 2 ears of grilled corn, kernels separated

1/4 cup of olive oil, divided, plus more to taste

2 teaspoons of salt, divided

1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions

For the gnocchi:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake until tender, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Let the potatoes cool for just a few minutes upon removing from the oven, then peel off the skin and discard.

Using a ricer, food mill, or box grater, process the potatoes. Dust a clean workspace with plenty of flour and spread the riced/grated potatoes in a thin, even layer atop the flour. Let cool.

Meanwhile, beat together the egg, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Once the potatoes are cool, form them into a mound and make a small hole in the center. Pour the egg mixture into the hole and, using a large fork or your hands, incorporate the egg into the potato.

Pour flour in, 1/2 cup at a time, until a slightly sticky dough begins to form. (I highly recommend using a dough scraper to incorporate all of the flour!) Towards the end, add the 1/4 cup of cheese. If you feel the dough is too sticky, add more flour — but don’t go overboard!

Remove the dough ball and re-dust the workspace with plenty of flour. Using a sharp knife or dough scraper, cut the dough ball into six equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then roll the ball into a log about 1/2 inch wide. Cut the log into 1 inch long rectangles.

Gently roll and squish each rectangle so it’s a decent-looking dumpling. A lot of people roll the gnocchi against a fork to create ridges, but that’s too fussy for me, so I just leave them as is. It saves time in an already labor-intensive recipe.

Repeat the process with the remaining dough balls. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and place the gnocchi atop them until you’re ready to boil them.

For the veggies:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease two large baking sheets with olive oil. On one sheet, toss the tomatoes with the garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of salt. On the other sheet, toss the zucchini half moons with the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Roast both in the oven until the zucchini is golden-brown and the tomatoes begin to bristle, about 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside.

To assemble:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi, 1/4 of the batch at a time, and remove from the pot with a slotted spoon when each dumpling floats to the top. Place the cooked gnocchi in a large bowl.

Once all of the gnocchi have finished cooking, add the roasted vegetables, corn, cheese, basil, and a little drizzle of olive oil to taste. Toss together and add a little salt and/or pepper, if necessary. Serve immediately.


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Zucchini Crusted Pizza with Caramelized Onions

November 14, 2013 Print this page

Simple yet full of flavor, this “pizza” is both fun to eat and super tasty! Feel free to mix and match your favorite toppings to make a unique pie.

Ingredients

Prep Time 35 min
Cooking Time 35 min
Total Time 1 hr 10 min
Yield 2 medium pizzas (3-4 servings)

2 zucchinis (yielding about 2 cups)

1 teaspoon of salt, plus a pinch more for the onions

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, plus more for dusting

2 tablespoons of coconut flour

1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, plus extra for sprinkling

1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling

1 teaspoon of dried basil, plus extra for sprinkling

1 teaspoon of dried oregano, plus extra for sprinkling

2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided

1 large onion, sliced

Directions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line two pie pans with parchment paper. Dust each with a little arrowroot powder so the crust won’t stick.

In a food processor or with a hand-grater, grate the zucchinis until you yield two heaping cups of zucchini shreds. Toss them with the salt and let sit in a colander over the sink for half an hour so the salt can help the zucchini release some of its water.

Once the half an hour has elapsed, wrap the zucchini shreds up in a cheesecloth or thin dish towel, twist the top, and squeeze out as much water as you possibly can. Your goal is to have the zucchini as dry as possible!

Add the zucchini into a big bowl and mix with the eggs, arrowroot powder, coconut flour, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, dried basil, dried oregano, and olive oil.

Divide the dough in two and put each half in its own pie pan. Squish it down with your hands and spread to all of the corners, making sure there are no bumps or holes.

Bake until golden brown and bubbly on top, about 15 minutes, then flip over and let brown on the other side for another 10-15 minutes.

Remove the pizza crust from the oven and turn it up to broil.

This time, I used caramelized onions to top the pizza. To make them, simply heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Saute until golden brown and softened, about 10 minutes, sprinkling with salt to help release some of the water.

Top each of the crusts with the onions, extra cheese, and a sprinkle of basil and oregano.

Broil the pizza in the pan until the cheese has melted and is beginning to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 or so minutes, and then slice and serve with a simple green salad. Eat with a fork and a knife, or just go for it with your hands!


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Zucchini Crusted Pizza with Caramelized Onions

November 14, 2013 1 Comment Print this page

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I haven’t eaten a slice of pizza in over a year and a half.

I know what your reaction is.

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I am proof that yes, a teenager can survive without an IV drip of greasy, cheesy goodness. It’s not that I don’t like pizza–I LOVE a good slice–but more often than not, I feel tired and a little sick after I down a few pieces. I’d rather eat some meat, chicken, or fish with vegetables, because that way, I know I’m being nourished and can feel it in my body and mind.

Let me tell you something about real-food and “paleo” eating: a lion cannot be a tiger, even if he shaves his mane and paints himself orange with black stripes. “Paleo” pizza and “paleo” cake and “paleo” pasta will NEVER be the real thing, and that’s that. Sure, they might come close, but there is no feasible way to recreate an exact version of the dishes you miss so much. My attitude (which my mom taught me) is eat the real thing, but only have a little bit, and don’t have it too often. Really savor whatever it is because it’s good, and treat it like what it is: a treat. (Now, if you have allergies or food sensitivities, this is of course a different story. Don’t ever eat anything that will actually make you sick.)

This Zucchini Crusted Pizza is NOT just like real pizza. It tastes amazing and has a good texture, but it’s not a perfect replica: I’m merely calling it a pizza because that’s what it best resembles. It passed the picky eater test: my mom absolutely LOVED it and claimed the leftovers for herself. My dad and I really liked it, too: it was hard to stop eating! The ingredients are so simple–zucchini, cheese, onions–but each one is treated perfectly to have an incredible outcome. I will definitely be making this again…it was memorable.

Ready to make some “pizza” for yourself? Good. Let’s get started.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line two pie pans with parchment paper. Dust each with a little arrowroot powder so the crust won’t stick.

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In a food processor or with a hand-grater, grate 2 zucchinis (mine were teeny tiny) until you yield two heaping cups of zucchini shreds. Toss them with about a teaspoon of salt and let sit in a colander over the sink for half an hour so the salt can help the zucchini release some of its water.

Once the half an hour has elapsed, wrap the zucchini shreds up in a cheesecloth or thin dish towel, twist the top, and squeeze out as much water as you possibly can. Your goal is to have the zucchini as dry as possible!

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Add the zucchini into a big bowl and mix with 2 eggs, beaten, 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, 2 tablespoons of coconut flour, 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon of dried basil, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. No, I don’t know if you could sub out the cheese for anything: I’ve seen it done with almond flour, but I haven’t tried it myself. And you definitely can’t skip the eggs: it’ll fall apart!

Divide the dough in two and put each half in its own pie pan. Squish it down with your hands and spread to all of the corners, making sure there are no bumps or holes.

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Bake until golden brown and bubbly on top, about 15 minutes…

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…then flip over and let brown on the other side for another 10-15 minutes.

Remove the pizza crust from the oven and turn it up to broil.

Top your crust with your favorite toppings before finishing it off under broil; I wouldn’t recommend a tomato sauce, though: it’ll make the crust soggy and icky. Your best bet is to slice tomatoes and put them on top or use a really thick tomato sauce–one made with mostly tomato paste, which has the least amount of water in the universe of tomato products. This time, I used caramelized onions (just a sliced onion sauteed with a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt for ten minutes), a little extra cheese, and some more oregano and basil. You could also use…

  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Sauteed or roasted bell peppers
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Broccoli florets
  • Pesto
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • Bacon
  • Sausage (preferably sweet Italian)
  • Pineapple (because hey, why not)
  • A handful of toasted nuts (I’d recommend hazelnuts, pistachios, or pine nuts)
  • Pieces of pre-cooked chicken
  • Leaves of fresh basil
  • Chocolate (no, sorry, just a joke…)

Broil the pizza in the pan until the cheese has melted and is beginning to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 or so minutes, and then slice and serve with a simple green salad. Eat with a fork and a knife, or just go for it with your hands!

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What are your favorite pizza toppings? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Ratatouille (Ratatouille Style)

October 26, 2013 , Print this page

What I make to satisfy my need to eat ratatouille after watching Ratatouille for the ten thousandth time in French class.

Ingredients

Prep Time 35 min
Cooking Time 50 min
Total Time 1 hr 30 min
Yield 3 servings as a main dish or 4 servings as a side dish

2 small eggplants (any variety)

Salt

2 medium zucchini

2 large bell peppers

14 ounces of tomato paste or plain tomato sauce (about 1 medium can)

2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

A generous pinch of salt

2 teaspoons of dried thyme

2 teaspoons of dried basil

2 teaspoons of oregano

A good crack of black pepper

Good soft cheese (optional)

Directions

At least a half an hour before you want to bake your ratatouille, slice the eggplants into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch rounds.

Liberally salt the eggplant rounds and let them sit on a baking sheet or cutting board until assembly time, at least 30 minutes. This is to help some of the water get out and make your eggplant tender, not mushy and gushy.

Next, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the zucchini into 1/4-inch rounds and the bell peppers into 1/4-inch rings.

Set the sliced veggies aside. On the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish, mix together the tomato paste or tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, onion, garlic, and the generous pinch of salt. With the back of a spoon or a small spatula, spread it out so the bottom is completely coated.

To assemble, put one piece of eggplant with two or three slices of zucchini and a slice of pepper. Keep going until you run out of space or vegetables…whichever comes first.

Sprinkle the top with the dried thyme, basil, and oregano, a black pepper, and an additional tablespoon of olive oil.

Cut out a piece of parchment paper to fit snugly atop the dish. Stick the ratatouille in the oven until the veggies are tender and beginning to curl around the edges, about 45 to 50 minutes.

If you don’t want cheese, you can stop here. If you’re opting for the dairy, top the ratatouille with your desired amount of cheese (for me, about 10 tiny squares cut from two slices worth) and broil until completely melted, about 5 minutes.

Serve immediately with a large fork and a hungry belly.


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Loaded Zucchini Bread

October 18, 2013 Print this page

The best bread to have for breakfast or snack in the summertime! Filled with vegetables, fruit, and deliciousness, your stomach will thank you for feeding it this.

Ingredients

Prep Time 20 min
Cooking Time 50 min
Total Time 90 min
Yield 1 loaf

1 medium zucchini

3 large eggs

1/3 cup of coconut nectar (can be substituted with honey or maple syrup)

1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups of blanched almond flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ginger

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg (optional)

1/4 teaspoon of cloves (optional)

3/4 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut or slivered almonds

1/2 cup of raisins

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cut out a piece of parchment paper to fit snugly on the bottom of a 9 x 5 loaf pan. With non-stick cooking spray or a paper towel with some coconut oil, heavily grease the pan.

Using a hand grater or a food processor, grate 1 heaping cup of zucchini.

Once you have your zucchini measured out, scoop it up and put it into a large piece of cheesecloth or paper towel. Form it into a ball, twist the top, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Set aside until ready to use.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the eggs and coconut nectar. When the liquids are homogeneous, add in the applesauce, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar. Beat on medium until well-combined.

With the mixer off, pour in the blanched almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and cloves, if you’re using them.

Mix everything together on medium-low until no clumps of almond flour remain, about two minutes. Scrape down the bowl once or twice, if necessary.

With a spatula, gently fold in the zucchini, unsweetened shredded coconut, and raisins.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and bake until golden brown on top and a knife comes out clean in the center, about 45 to 55 minutes.

Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for at least an hour before removing and slicing.


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