Saturday, January 2, 2010

Stuffed Zucchini "Parmigiana"

Happy New years everyone!
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

While the details of this recipe may seem a bit lengthy in comparison to my usual recipes, I promise you that it's much more simple than it appears - and the results are very very rewarding. I really hope you'll give this recipe a try, and pass it along too! Here are the tools you will need:

  • 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
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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
Sea Salt
*Grind*
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.
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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.
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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.
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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
*Puree*
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
*Puree Again*
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!
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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.
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Assembly Step 2 - "Parmigiana":
In your other shallow bowl OR deep dinner plate pore a layer of your dried "Parmigiana" mixture and place a slice of the "Basted" Zucchini on top. Use a fork to press the Zucchini into the "Parmigiana" mixture. Turn the Zucchini over and repeat until the Zucchini has been evenly coated.
Yummm!
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".
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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!)
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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...
Yay! Look at that lovely stuffed Zucchini "Parmigiana"! Don't forget to add a layer of the Apple-Tomato-Bell pepper Marinara on either the bottom of the plate, or poured over the top of the Zucchini...or both. Either way you can't really go wrong with this meal.
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.
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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!
xoxo,
Sarahfae - AtV

18 comments:

  1. That looks and sounds spectacular, and not too difficult. Good time to get swiss chard, too!

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  2. oh thank you good sir!!! you rock for reading the whole post and commenting too :))

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  3. Soo creative and looks absolutely delicious!

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  4. this looks so yummy. can't wait to try. i suppose i have to figure out the grinder bit.

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  5. cuteanddelicious: thank you SO much for the comment! your site is adorable!
    one thing i've done in the past with nuts(before i bought my grinder) was place them in a zip lock baggy, remove all of the air from the bag, flatten it out on a cutting board, place a thin towel over the bag, and pound the bag-o-nuts with a heavy flat object. a cast iron skillet, or even the smooth side of a meat tenderizer would work great. keep in mind that you wont get a perfectly even ground nut, but it's done the trick for me in a pinch! :)
    thanks again!

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  6. Thank you for the comments Pomegranate and Lisa!!

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  7. I love my vegetables and am so glad I have stumbled upon your blog.

    This is a delicious and very creative way to eat courgettes. I am looking forward to trying your recipe when I get to grow my own courgettes.

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  8. Oh My Garlic those look amazing! I have to agree, the instructions look daunting, but it definitely looks like it's worth the trouble! Unfortunatley, I'm allergic to sunflower seeds, so do you know what other types of seeds/nuts I can use instead that would give it somewhat the same flavor? Thanks!

    I will definitely keep an eye on your blog and post it on my own eating-healthy blog. =)

    UnReFiNeD http://nocrapdiet.wordpress.com

    Kate

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  9. someone needs to come to Nashville and make this for me :HINT:

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  10. heh...now that my lil bro is out there I'm looking for all the reasons I can conjure up to go out for a visit....you never know!

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  11. Just made this dish - it was delicious! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

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  12. This looks fantastic, I will definitely need to try this!

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  13. I'm eating this right now!!! :D Absolutely fantastic! YUM!!!!!

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  14. Annalise - thank you SO much for this comment! It made my night!!

    ~Sarahfae

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  15. I made this tonight and although I messed it up by rolling them the wrong way they tasted delicious - will make that sauce for other things too as we have an abundance of tomatos in our garden - thanks!

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  16. Well if you ever want to come over to the uk and teach me how to do this you are nore then welcome, looks bloomin delicious btw

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