I enjoy sharing delicious traditional recipes that have been modified to meet the needs of those who are vegan or gluten-sensitive.
The Great Zucchini
The summer squash known as cucurbita pepo (baby marrow) or courgette is commonly called zucchini where I live. Whatever you call it, it is an extremely prolific vining fruit (yes, it is technically a fruit).
The variety I grow is a sleek, metallic dark green, and missile-shaped. The covertly overgrown zucchini lurks under cover of its big leaves, producing shock—and often horror—at its discovery. How could that teeny, delectable pepo you glimpsed only yesterday have ballooned into this bloated monstrosity?
Fortunately, even the largest and most unwieldy courgette can be peeled, seeded, grated up, and frozen for a ton of delectable recipes over the winter.
Recipes in This Article
- Zucchini hash: This is a main course dish. I prefer to use small to medium zucchini for this recipe.
- Savory waffles: These waffles lend themselves well to the integration of the grated, courser fresh or frozen flesh of the big bruiser zucchini.
- Brownies: Large zucchini work well for this recipe, too.
Save the Seeds
The seeds of the larger zucchini can be dried and stored for planting next season. In contrast, the immature seeds of the tastier little courgettes will likely not grow anything except perhaps mold.
Recipe #1: Savory Zucchini Waffles
This delightful recipe is light and fluffy vegan fare. It is relatively high in accessible vegan proteins, particularly where the garbanzo bean flour is concerned. It also contains oat flour, which is high in fiber. You have the option of using rolled oats and whirring them up in a high-speed blender to make the flour, and then transferring that flour to your food processor (or bowl, if you are making the waffle batter by hand). Otherwise, you can just purchase oat flour.
The idea is to have a smooth batter, and the easiest way to do that is in the food processor. The food processor is quicker than doing it by hand, and you will save a lot of time in grating up your zucchini in there vs. using a box grater. However, if you are planning to do it by hand, please go right ahead. The results will be similar.
Note About Aquafaba
The recipe below calls for one of the following: ground flax, ground chia seed, psylium powder, or aquafaba. Aquafaba is the liquid from cooked chickpeas. If using, you may want to reduce the milk by four tablespoons.
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3 large waffles (serves 2-3 adults)
- 1 cup garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour
- 1 cup rolled oats or oat flour
- 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons ground flax or ground chia seed or psylium powder, or 4 tablespoons aquafaba (see note above)
- 2 cups zucchini, hand-grated or processor-grated
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened plant milk
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Make oat flour by grinding in Vitamix or other blender—otherwise, use oat flour.
- Combine dry ingredients with a few pulses in the food processor (or whisk by together if doing by hand to combine well in a medium mixing bowl)
- If using a bowl, add wet ingredients to dry, and mix a few times to combine. If using food processor, add in the wet ingredients and and process until well-combined.
- Follow the instructions for the waffle maker. Use oil if needed (my waffle iron does not need oil) and heat as instructed.
- I would make sure to let the batter rest and thicken for about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir once through.
- Add to a waffle iron by spoon (my experience—you might be able to pour it on). Follow timing instructions for your waffle maker.
- Transfer to plate and provide tomatoes, guacamole or just sliced avocado, thinly sliced red onion, sliced olives, garlic mushrooms, hummus, creamy cheesy vegan sauce, pesto, chopped fresh herbs like cilantro, etc. This waffle is great served for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or supper. Enjoy!
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Recipe #2: Fabulous Zucchini Hash
This is the simplest and more satisfying of plant-strong meals! If you are looking for something that is easy to whomp up using some of what left-overs you have in your fridge already and maybe a surplus of harvest veggies, this is going to become your go-to favorite lunch or dinner.
I prefer to use the tender small to medium courgette for this hash, but in the winter you can certainly enjoy it as the fruits of your freezer!
Get out your wok or skillet, and here we go:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 small to medium zucchini
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 small red onion, thin-sliced in rings
- 1 small red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 small organic sweet potato, cooked and diced
- 1 cup of corn kernels, previously steamed or grilled
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- In a large wok or fry pan/skillet, heat the oils over medium-high heat. The coconut oil has a higher heat tolerance, so you might want to use it first and add the olive oil later as needed.
- Add the fresh vegetables to the pan and stir fry for about 10 minutes. Add the olive oil as needed.
- Stir in smoked paprika and garlic powder.
- Add the sweet potatoes and corn, continuing to stir until heated through.
- If needed, add a drop or two of water or soy sauce and continue to stir.
- Remove from heat and add salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately over rice or quinoa if desired, or with a green salad.
Next time you want to use this recipe, do some planning as to what you want to add in to make it more of what you really enjoy eating—and think about the seasoning you would like to use. Some ideas are Italian, Middle Eastern, Japanese, Russian, and Mexican. Think of some vegetables that go with the seasonings. Have a lot of fun! Zucchini hash is not a somber food.
Recipe #3: Zucchini Brownies
When I make brownies, I tend to gild the lily, if you know what I mean. Instead of sticking to a simple cocoa-sugar-milk-oil recipe, I like to put in some walnuts or pecans, decorate with fruit or berries, and add extra chocolate. There are folks who also frost the brownies. I don't do that. If you don't like nuts or berries or extra chocolate, please feel free to leave them out of this recipe. It is quite glorious enough with just a huge clump of vegan ice cream.
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar (use your favorite granular sugar)
- 1 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour (or gluten-free oats ground up if you are a gluten-free advocate)
- 1/2 cup cocoa or cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 teaspoon (pinch) sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups tightly packed zucchini shreds
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup plant-based milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond flavoring
- 1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chips and another bunch for the top (I used little chocolate chunks)
- 12 to 20 organic walnut halves
- fresh or frozen berries (I used huge blackberries, but strawberries, gojis, or peach slices would also be a treat!)
- Line an 8" x 8" pan with parchment paper, or use a silicone baker. Lay out the walnuts or pecans on the bottom of the pan.
- Process all the dry ingredients except for the chips and nuts in a food processor.
- Add in the wet ingredients. Process until everything is smooth but don't over-process (don't go play a game of Lexulous and come back later).
- Stir in the chocolate and decorate the top with chocolate and berries.
- I use my small countertop oven and set it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit / 177 Celsius for 40 minutes. If you want a fudgier texture then check it at about 35 minutes.
- Cool completely on a rack. Cover and store in the fridge (lots of luck with that). Makes about 9 good-size brownies or 12 daintier slices.
- I improvised from several online recipes, but mostly from elavegan.com if you want to check out their instructions and photos.