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Friday Foodie: Incredible Meatless Spaghetti Sauce

spaghetti sauce

This is my much loved meatless spaghetti sauce. This recipe is full of veggies, which makes for a super hearty, rich sauce. You can adjust this recipe with more or less veggies. To make it saucier, add another can of tomatoes. Add more spice as you desire. Extra Oregano would be super! I also love garlic, so I usually up the garlic depending on the size of the cloves. Chopping the cauliflower finely will keep anyone from knowing it’s there, if you have picky eaters.  In the above picture you can see the bay leaves there on the top. Those come out before serving. Just dig around with your spoon and you’ll find them. If you don’t find them all, just warn people ahead of time, but generally when you start serving up plates any lost leave will present itself. This makes enough for a family of four to have three or four meals. Store in quart size containers in your freezer and pull out to defrost for a quick evening meal. You can also use this as a pizza sauce.

3 large onions, chopped

6 cloves garlic, crushed

1 ½ pounds of mushrooms, sliced (I prefer baby Bella’s’, but white buttons are fine)

3 zucchini squash, grated

1 cup finely chopped cauliflower

4 large carrots, grated

3 Tbs. Italian seasoning

2 28 ounce cans of diced tomatoes, pick the lowest sodium and sugar content

1 28 ounce can of tomato puree or sauce, lowest sodium and sugar (Wal-Mart Great Value   Puree has no other added ingredients)

1 can tomato paste with no other ingredients listed on can

3 large bay leaves

Place a large Dutch oven or large soup pot on oven burner set to high. Once pan is hot and water drops skid across pan, add two Tbs. of water and immediately add onions. Turn heat to medium/high and sauté the onions for about three minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the mushrooms  and cook until they release their juices, stirring occasionally.

Add the crushed garlic and cook one minute more. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook for five minutes, until all have begun to soften.

Add the Italian seasoning and stir to coat vegetables. Cook for one more minute then add the tomatoes, tomato puree and the paste. If you wish to add salt, add about a teaspoon.  Stir all ingredients together and bring to just boiling, then turn the heat to low. Place three large bay leaves on the top of the sauce and fold them in. Cover and allow to simmer for an hour.

Friday Foodie: Incredible Meatless Spaghetti Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
This veggie filled spaghetti sauce is a great way to get your family to eat their vegetables.
Ingredients
  • 3
 large
 onions,
 chopped
  • 6 
cloves 
garlic,
crushed
  • 1
1⁄2 
pounds 
of
 mushrooms, 
sliced
  • 3 
zucchini 
squash,
 grated
  • 1 
cup 
finely 
chopped
 cauliflower
  • 4
l arge
 carrots,
 grated
  • 3
Tbs.
Italian
 seasoning
  • 2 
28 
ounce 
cans 
of 
diced 
tomatoes,
  • 1 
28 
ounce
 can
 of 
tomato 
puree 
or 
sauce,
  • 1 
can 
tomato 
paste 
with 
no 
other 
ingredients 
listed 
on 
can
  • 3 
large 
bay 
leaves
Instructions
  1. Place 
a 
large 
Dutch 
oven 
or 
large 
soup 
pot 
on 
oven 
burner 
set 
to 
high.
  2. Once 
pan 
is
 hot 
and 
water 
drops 
skid 
across
 pan, 
add 
two
Tbs 
of 
water 
and
immediately
 add
 onions.
  3. Turn 
heat 
to 
medium/high 
and 
sauté 
the 
onions 
for 
about 
three 
minutes,
 until 
they
begin 
to 
soften.
  4. Add
 the 
mushrooms 
and 
cook 
until
 they 
release 
their
 juices, 
stirring
 occasionally.
Add
 the 
crushed 
garlic 
and 
cook 
one 
minute 
more.
  5. Add
 the 
rest 
of 
the 
vegetables 
and
 cook 
for 
five 
minutes,
 until
 all
 have 
begun 
to
soften.
  6. Add
 the 
Italian 
seasoning 
and 
stir
 to 
coat
 vegetables.
  7. Cook 
for 
one 
more 
minute 
then
 add
 the 
tomatoes, 
tomato
 puree
 and 
the 
paste.
  8. If
 you 
wish 
to 
add
 salt,
 add 
about 
a
 teaspoon.
  9. Stir 
all
 ingredients 
together 
and
 bring 
to 
just
 boiling, 
then 
turn 
the 
heat
 to
 low.
  10. Place 
three 
large 
bay 
leaves 
on 
the 
top 
of 
the 
sauce 
and 
fold 
them 
in.
  11. Cover 
and
 allow
 to 
simmer
 for 
an 
hour.

 

TIME EFFICIENCY USING A 6 QT CROCK POT: The night before you wish to make this,  sauté the onions, mushrooms and garlic as directed above. Chop and grate all remaining vegetables. Place them, all in refrigerator for the night. (If you have a crock pot with removable crock, place them in the covered crock for the night.) The next morning, add remaining ingredients, turn crock pot setting to low and come home to a ready made sauce.

Baked NM bean enchiladas

Friday Foodie: New Mexico vegetarian enchiladas with red sauce

If you live in New Mexico, you know the official state question is: Red or Green! I love them both, but have certain dishes on which I want each one. This is one of my all time favorite recipes using red sauce made from sun dried Chimayo red chile. Give this one a try; you won’t be disappointed!

Chimayo sun dried red chile powder and chopped onions

Start with 1/3 – 2/3 cups of red chile powder, depending on the level of heat desired. Finely chop half an onion.

Saute onion

Saute onion and a couple of cloves of garlic in 2 tbs. of water.

Red chile powder mixed into onion

Add red chile powder and 1 tsp Mexican Oregano.

vegetable broth added to red chile mixture

Add vegetable broth and simmer for twenty minutes or so, until reduced by 1/3 and sauce has thickened.

black beans spread onto blue corn tortillas

Layer 1/4 of sauce in bottom of casserole, top with blue corn tortillas and spread 1/3 of black beans on tortillas. Add chopped onions and any other chopped vegetable desired to each layer. I usually use zucchini, but had none on hand this time.

cheese and onion layer

Layer 1/3 cheese on top.

red sauce

Layer with another 1/4 of sauce.

enchiladas before the oven

Layer with remaining sauce.

Baked NM bean enchiladas

Bake until edges begin to brown and cheese is bubbly in the center.

Serve with a side salad for a delicious healthy meal!

Peace and Enjoy!

Friday Foodie: New Mexico vegetarian enchiladas with red sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: New Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-8
 
Chimayo sun dried red chile sauce on a stack of blue corn enchiladas, layered with black beans, onions, veggies and cheese.
Ingredients
  • 2 tbs. water
  • ½ cup minced white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓-2/3 cup red New Mexican chile powder (Chimayo is my fav)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6-12 blue corn tortillas (depending on size of casserole)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can refried black beans
  • ½ an onion, chopped
  • 1 chopped zucchini, or any other vegetable(s)
  • 4-6 ounces of grated cheddar cheese without BHT
Instructions
  1. Prepare chile sauce (can be made a few days ahead if desired.)
  2. Chop onion.
  3. Place 1½ quart sauce pan on stove and heat on high.
  4. When water will skate across pan, add 2 Tbs. of water and onions.
  5. Reduce heat to med. and sauté onions until soft.
  6. Add garlic and sauté one additional minute.
  7. Add chile and spices.
  8. Stir until onions are well coated and then add liquid.
  9. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. While sauce is simmering, chop onion for enchiladas.
  11. If using a full dozen tortillas, choose an 8X8 casserole. (tortillas may overlap some)
  12. If reducing by half, use a casserole that will hold two tortillas. (may overlap slightly)
  13. Spray casserole with non-stick cooking spray.
  14. When sauce is ready, ladle a ½ cup or so in bottom, enough to thinly coat dish.
  15. Line with tortillas.
  16. Spread ⅓ of refried beans on enchiladas and sprinkle with ⅓ of whole beans that have been rinsed and drained.
  17. Layer with ⅓ onions and other vegetable(s) of your choice.
  18. Layer with ⅓ of grated cheese.
  19. Layer with ¼ of sauce.
  20. Repeat three times and pour remaining sauce over entire casserole.
  21. (If using smaller casserole, pour enough sauce to cover and reserve remaining for another use.)
  22. Bake in 400 degree oven for 30 mins.
  23. Serves 4 to 8 depending on whether 6 or 12 tortillas were used.

 

Vegetable Provencal

Friday Foodie: Vegetable Provencal

Martegues boats

I recently returned from a trip which included the Provence region of France. This picture is on the L’Isle of Martigues. The colors, the sunshine, the countryside, all beautiful, but most of all, the food was delicious! Today’s Friday Foodie is inspired by the food of Provence,  as well as by Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe, Eggplant Provencal. Her cookbook, Appetite For Reductionis a new fav for me. I’ll review this book as soon as I try out a few more recipes. So far, all are wonderful! I changed her original recipe by adding lots of the different vegetables of the region.

Though there is a lot of chopping and slicing going on, this is actually a very easy recipe. I hope you will give it a go!

Slice a baseball size fennel into thin slices.

Fennel
Fennel
Sliced Fennel
Sliced fennel

Half a medium size onion, red, yellow or white, whatever you have on hand, in half from stem to root. Slice each half into thin slices. Chop carrots into 1/2 in slices. I used orange and purple carrots. Slice a zucchini into 1/2 to 1 inch slices. Dice an eggplant into 3/4 inch chunks.

chopped veggies, eggplant, carrots, zucchini and onions

Chunk a large yellow potato. Yukon Gold are nice if available.

Yellow potato in chunks

I used a bag of mushrooms and 1/2 cup of red lentils, though any kind of lentils will do.

mushrooms and red lentils

Chop some Kalamata olives. I used about 1/2 a cup.

chopped Kalamata olives

There is red wine in the sauce, which meant the chef had to have a small glass. It was the middle of the afternoon when I made this and thought a full glass might be over the top!

glass of red wine

Then add the liquids to the vegetable mix.

vegetable provencal liquid and veggies

The liquid should almost cover the vegetables, so add more broth if needed. Add more wine to the cook if needed.

And Voila!

Vegetable Provencal

I served this on a bed of brown rice, seasoned with Herbes de Provence and garlic. Delicious!

Friday Foodie: Vegetable Provencal
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Provencal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This dish is inspired by the vegetables and flavors of the Provence region of France. It is a hearty dinner served over brown rice.
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs. water
  • 1 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut in ¾ in chunks
  • 3 medium carrots of any variety, cut into ½ in slices
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into ½ inch slices
  • 1 bag of sliced cremini mushrooms or baby bellas
  • ½ c dried red lentils
  • 2½ tsps dried thyme
  • 1½ tsps dried marjoram
  • ¾ c of dry red wine
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ c finely chopped kalamata olives
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat a 6 quart pan over high heat.
  2. When a drop of water will skate across the bottom of the pan, add 2 Tbs. water.
  3. Add sliced fennel and onion.
  4. Turn heat to medium and saute for 5 mins.
  5. Add garlic.
  6. Continue to saute for five more minutes.
  7. Add the mushrooms, and saute until they release their juices.
  8. Add salt and some freshly ground pepper.
  9. Add the bay leaves and stir for another minute.
  10. Add eggplant, potato, carrots, zucchini, red lentils and spices.
  11. Mix together so all ingredients are interspersed.
  12. Add the wine and vegetable broth.
  13. Broth should almost come to top of vegetables.
  14. Add more if desired; it's okay if some veggies are poking out.
  15. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then lower to simmer.
  16. Simmer for 20 minutes and then check the potato, carrots and lentils.
  17. If all are fork tender, add the olives and tomato sauce.
  18. Continue cooking until heated through; about five minutes.
  19. Remove the bay leaves.
  20. Add salt to taste.
  21. Serve over a bed of brown rice that has been flavored with Herbes de Provence.

tortellini and veggie mix

Quick veggie pasta dinner

2nd zucchinni and yellow squash purple cauliflower
Beautiful colors!

Friday evening, I wanted something quick and easy. Searching through my cabinets I found a half used bag of pesto filled tortellini that had been around awhile. In the fridge, I found zucchini and yellow squash and a few pieces of purple cauliflower.

grated squash and chopped purple cauliflower

I always have onion and garlic, but I have never seen a clove of garlic this large. This is one I bought at the farmers market. The garlic I purchase there is so juicy and flavorful and this one was no exception.

very large clove of garlic

I sauteed some onion, finely minced the garlic and added it to the onion, then added the zucchini and yellow squash, for the last few minutes to soften it. Meanwhile, I added my tortellini to boiling water and two minutes before it finished, I added the chopped cauliflower. Two minutes is plenty or the cauliflower will be overdone. When the pasta was finished, I drained the mixture, reserving a 1/2 cup of the water in case the final result was too dry, added the zucchini mixture and tossed with just a bit of freshly grated parmesan, salt and red pepper flakes.

tortellini and veggie mix

Try this with any pasta and veggies you have on hand for a quick and easy dinner. If you have some leftover pasta sauce from a previous dish, add it as well. The point is to use lots of veggies. I generally use brown rice pasta these days, so this was an unusual combo for me, but the tortellini was good. Share with us your combo!

Peace and joy!