Monday, November 1, 2010

Restricted Recipe Project - Update 3

As recipes continue to trickle in, I am consistently reminded of how lucky we are to not be on a restricted diet and yet, at the same time, what a blessing it is to know that even if that were to happen, there is still hope. The following recipes came in from a local Austin blogger who has, on more than one occasion, inspired and encouraged me to eat more locally grown and sustainable food. She is a seasoned cook with just the right amount of common sense to spice up your palate. I highly recommend you check out her blog after looking at the following recipes.

Thank you Kristi at

Spicy Stuffed Zucchini

4 zucchini
4-5 peppers, chopped - I used peppers I bought at the market, but you could use Poblanos if you prefer
1/2 lb mushrooms, chopped
2-3 spring onions, chopped
1/2 bunch of Swiss chard, chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
2 tbsps olive oil
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
chopped cilantro, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut 3 of the zucchini lengthwise. Spoon out the insides so that you are left with a zucchini "boat." Save the zucchini flesh for the stuffing. Set the zucchini boats in a baking dish.

Prepare the quinoa by placing one cup of quinoa and 2 cups of chicken broth in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and let the quinoa simmer for 15 minutes. Set the prepared quinoa to the side.

Combine the chili powder and cumin in a small bowl to mix them well together. Do not hesitate to up the quantity if you like things a little spicier.

Dice the 4th zucchini to use in the stuffing. Combine the zucchini flesh, the diced zucchini, mushrooms and green onions in a mixing bowl. Toss with one tbsp of olive oil and the spice mix so that the vegetables are well coated.

Heat the remaining tbsp of olive in a skillet. Add the spiced vegetable mix to the skillet and cook until almost tender. Add the Swiss chard and add until wilted. Take the vegetables off of the heat. Add quinoa to the mix one big spoonful at a time until you get the mix of quinoa/vegetables that you like. (I ended up with about one serving of quinoa left in the pot.)

Stuff the zucchini boats with the quinoa/vegetable mixture. If you'd like to add cheese, sprinkle it on top at this point. I recommend you use queso fresco or mozzarella. Pour a small amount of water into the bottom of the baking dish and cook for 30 minutes or until the zucchini shell feels just tender to the touch.

Farmer's Market Enchiladas
1 Zucchini, chopped
1/2 lb Mushrooms, chopped
A couple of peppers, seeded and chopped - I had a couple of sweet peppers and one jalapeno
1/2 lb Swiss chard, discard the large stems
Salt & Pepper
Corn tortillas
1 Can green chile enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute zucchini, mushrooms and peppers until almost tender. Add Swiss chard, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the chard is slightly wilted.

If needed, soften the tortillas for 30 seconds in the microwave so they don't break while you roll the enchiladas. Place a scoop of the vegetable mixture in each tortilla and roll closed. Place in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas.

Cook for 25-30 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and enchiladas are cooked through.

Poblano Rajas with Zucchini
I originally found this recipe on and have made it with shrimp and chicken as the protein instead of the steak. I’ve also made it with vegetables only and added mushrooms to the zucchini. The original recipe calls for adding cream at the end, but it’s just as tasty without it. Your friend won’t feel like he’s missing anything.

2 large poblano chiles, roasted (see below)
2 12-ounce skirt steaks
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 cup diced yellow or green zucchini
3/4 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Peel, seed and cut chiles lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Set aside. Brush steaks with 1 tablespoon oil. Mix 1 teaspoon cumin and ancho chile powder; rub spice mixture on both sides of steaks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, poblanos and green onions; sauté until zucchini is tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon cumin. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in another large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add both steaks to skillet and cook to desired doneness (about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare). Remove steaks from pan. Let cool 5 minutes. Thinly slice steaks across grain.

Transfer steaks to platter. Top with poblanos and cilantro.

Cilantro Soup
from Mexico the Beautiful cookbook

1 Bunch cilantro
1 lb Small zucchini cut into chunks
oil for frying
4 Day old corn tortillas cut into small squares
6 cups Chicken stock
1/4 cup Butter
1/2 Onion, minced
2 tbsps Corn starch
2 Serrano chiles
Serrano chiles chopped

Cook the zucchini in a covered saucepan with salted water for 20 minutes or until crisp tender.


While the zucchini are cooking, heat 1/2 of the oil in a small skillet. When hot, add tortilla pieces a few at time and fry them turning at least once for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. (GGG note: you can skip this step and just crumble tortilla chips in at the end if you don’t want to mess with frying the corn tortilla strips.)

In a blender, puree the zucchini in the chicken stock. When perfectly blended, add the cilantro and blend until smooth. (GGG note: The first time I did this, I made a tremendous mess in my kitchen. Now, I have a hand blender – the kind you immerse in your pot and blend. Highly recommend as a way to not have stock and zucchini all over the floor.)

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and sauté until transparent. Add the pureed mixture, the cornstarch stirred in a little cold water, the whole chiles, and salt if needed. Simmer covered over low heat for 10 minutes.

Stir the cream in the soup if you wish and heat a few minutes more or until very hot. Serve the fried tortillas, cheese and chopped chiles in separate dishes on the side to be added to the soup as desired.

Southwestern Succotash

Olive oil
1 Medium Onion, chopped
1 Clove Garlic, chopped
About 1/2 a container of okra, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1-2 Zucchini squash, diced
2 Jalapenos or other peppers, seeded and chopped
2 Ears of corn, kernels trimmed from cob
Fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat a pan at medium-high heat and add olive oil. Sauté onion and garlic until clear. Add the okra, corn, zucchini and jalapenos and cook until just tender. Season with cumin salt and pepper to taste and combine well with the veggies. Take the pan off the heat and toss in the cilantro.

Lemon Pepper Zuchhini Shrimp Fettucine

1 Pound peeled, deveined gulf shrimp
1 Pound zucchini, chopped
1 Onion, thinly sliced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
Olive oil
Lemon pepper
1 Package Lemon pepper fettucine
1 Cup White Wine

Toss the peeled shrimp in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, lemon pepper, 1 clove minced garlic and salt. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to cook.

Start water to boil for the pasta. Cook to package instructions.

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add zucchini and sauté until almost tender. Add shrimp, a dash or two of oregano and white wine. Cook until shrimp are cooked through. If I'd had capers, I would have tossed those in, too at the end.

Toss the pasta in with the sauce until pasta is coated.

Zucchini Fettuccine

2 Zucchini
Parmesan Cheese
Small pat of Butter
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Boil some salted water to blanch the zucchini.

With a vegetable peeler or mandolin, create long, thin strips with the zucchini. You want them just thick enough that they don't tear - like pasta. I was able to do this with the vegetable peeler, but it would be easier with a mandolin. I left the skin on the zucchini, but you could peel it if you wanted.

Toss the zucchini ribbons in the boiling water for a minute or two - just blanch it; you don't want the zucchini to get mushy. Drain the zucchini really well. I let mine sit for a couple of minutes to get all the water out.

Toss with your sauce or, in my case butter, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

Green Curry Eggplant
from Jam Sanitchat of Thai Fresh Restaurant

1 Can (mae sri brand, 4 oz) green curry paste
1 Can Mae Ploy coconut milk
1 1/2 Cups water
1 Pound Asian eggplant, diced (can substitute or add chicken, beef, pork, tofu, shrimp or fish fillets
2 Cups zucchini (can substitute butternut squash, green beans or yellow squash)
Fish sauce to taste
Pinch of sugar
5 Kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 Cup Thai basil

Heat 1 cup coconut cream (the creamy part, which is the top part of coconut milk in a can version, do not shake the can) over medium heat. Stir in curry paste and turn down the heat. Simmer until fragrant and coconut cream starts to crack some oil.

Add the eggplant (or meat). Add the rest of the coconut milk and water and bring it back to boil. Add zucchini (or other vegetables.) Simmer until the vegetables are cooked through. Add fish sauce about one tablespoon at a time and bring it to your own preferred taste. Add a pinch of sugar and taste. Add Thai basil leaves and turn the heat off. Serve over rice.

Moussaka Pasta
I usually make this with a tomato sauce, but think that pureeing the red peppers would give you the moisture you need without the tomatoes. I did not have time to test it, but I think it will work.

Onion, chopped
2 Cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Eggplant, peeled and chopped
1 lb Ground buffalo meat
Sweet red peppers, pureed
1 Bay Leaf
Feta cheese
Penne pasta, cooked (I used whole wheat)

Place the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let the eggplant sit for 30 minutes. (This helps make it tender and not chewy.) Rinse well and pat dry.
Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil until the onions are transparent. Add the ground meat and cook until browned. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, bay leaf and pureed peppers. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Adjust the seasoning as necessary - I like a lot of cinnamon(about 1 Tbsp), but other recipes call for much less. Remove the bay leaf.

Plate the pasta, top with sauce and sprinkle feta over the top.