I'm excited to have more free time now that the Holidays have passed. I've missed my kitchen, and weekly foodie routine...so, cheers to falling back into normalcy and regaining our lovely routines.
I had every intention to post this recipe yesterday, but the laziness of new years day got away with me...no excuses, but better late then never.
And I'm truly excited about this one!
Stuffed Zucchini "Parmigiana" w/ Apple-Tomato-Bell Pepper Marinara
- 1 large cutting board
- 1 of the following: A very sharp knife, A vegetable peeler, or A veggie mandolin.
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 small mixing bowl
- 2 medium sized shallow bowls OR 2 deep dinner plates
- 1 basting brush
- 1 nut grinder OR coffee grinder (clean from coffee grounds of course)
- Blender OR Food Processor
- 1 fork
------Step 1 - the "Parmigiana":
In your nut grinder/coffee grinder place the following:
1 c Sunflower Seeds
1 tbsp Onion powder
2 tbsp Nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried Parsley
Now you have your dried Parmigiana mixture! Put this dried mixture into an air tight container and store in the refrigerator...but don't forget about it because you'll need it very soon.
------Step 2 - the Basting mixture:
Bare with me here - this may seem a bit strange, but I promise all of these flavors work really well together!
In a small mixing bowl place the following:
2 tbsp Yellow Mustard (you can use Stone Ground Mustard if you prefer)
2 tbsp pureed Medjool Dates (I always keep a jar of pureed dates in my fridge for my sweetener, if you're not like me then you can just sub the dates with another form of sweetener to your liking such as honey, maple syrup, or stevia)
2 tbsp of water
Mix well. Set this Basting mixture aside...but not too far from your work station.
------Step 3 - The Zucchini
1 to 2 Large Zucchinis, washed, and the ends removed
Thinly slice the Zucchini Length-wise. You don't want the Zucchini to be any thicker than 1/4 of an inch.
Set aside the Zucchini and move on to the last step in the preparation phase.
-------Step 4 - (One of my newest favorite foods) Apple-Tomato-Bell Pepper Marinara:
Place the following in your Blender OR Food Processor
1 Medium Apple - cored and sliced
1 Medium Tomato
1/2 Large Red or Yellow Bell Pepper
Add to the pureed mixture:
1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Onion Powder
2 pinches of "Italian Seasoning" (Dried: Basil/Oregano/Thyme/Rosemary/Marjoram)
2 pinches of Parsley
2 pinches of Garlic Granules
Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper to taste
Remove mixture from blender/processor and store in an air tight container in the fridge. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can meld.
Now - on to the assembling!
------Assembly Step 1 - Basting:
In your your shallow bowl or deep dinner plate begin "Basting" both sides of your thinly sliced Zucchini:
You do not want to over saturate your Zucchini with the mustard base - only a very thin coat is necessary, just enough to wet the Zucchini and give it a light yellow tint. Once you've basted all of the Zucchini (roughly 6 to 10 slices - depending on how large your slices are, and how big your want your portions to be --- see below for variations on plating size) Set the "basted" Zucchini aside and move onto the "Parmigiana" step.
------Assembly Step 2 - "Parmigiana":
Okay. So at this point you should have coated all of your Zucchini with the dried "Parmigiana" mixture. Set all of your lovely coated Zucchini aside (but not too far away), and move on to making the "Stuffing".
Here's my very rough recipe for a simple yummy wilted Swiss Chard salad that is the perfect "stuffing" for this recipe. (If you don't have Swiss Chard on hand you can use Spinach instead)
Wilted Swiss Chard (Or Spinach) Stuffing
In large mixing bowl prepare the following
1 bunch of Swiss Chard, stems removed, chopped roughly, and massaged until wilted/broken down
1 hand-full of Walnuts, chopped very well
2 to 3 heaping tbsp of the dried "Parmigiana" mixture
3 to 4 heaping tbsp of the Apple-Tomato-Bell Pepper Marinara
1 tbsp of the "Basting" mixture
*Mix all of the above very evenly*
(I forgot to metention that when I don't feel like getting my hands all wet and messy I'll opt to use a potato masher like the one featured in the above picture. It's a great tool for not only mashing, but massaging your greens! Try it sometime!)
Assembling the Plate
Lay the the strips of Zucchini "Parmigiana" parallel to each other, each strip should be slightly overlapping...
Then you take your fork and press down on the seams of each zucchini strip so they "bond"...
From here you will want to place a good heaping amount of the Wilted Swiss Chard "stuffing" on the strips of Zucchini...like you would if you were rolling sushi. Use your hands, or a good sized knife to lift up the edges of the zucchini and begin rolling it up properly into a lovely log...
And if you prep ahead of time and store all of the ingredients in the fridge the assembly for this simple meal goes rather quickly. I've already enjoyed this recipe four times since putting it together...and it's probably going to stay high on my list of favorite foods. It hits your taste buds in all of the right places, and I really hope you take the time to make it so that you can agree with me.
------Here are a couple plating variations, just know that the "look" of this meal can really be whatever you'd like...as long as it's eaten and enjoyed!
With no Marinara and lots of Walnuts
View from the top...a smaller plate, but still lovely I think.
Thanks for tuning in!
Sarahfae - AtV