When you hear “zucchini” do you get excited? I don’t, but I try to eat it maybe once every two months. I like it for making muffins or bread because it gives these baked goods sufficient moisture (they have a high water content). You know that feeling, don’t you: “I don’t mind eating it as long as it’s tucked in somewhere…”
Yet, I make it a point to eat it…even if it’s in full view!
I’ve decided that zucchini is the kind of vegetable that tastes better when combined with other vegetables or other ingredients like beef or pork. On its own, it has very little character or taste. Carrots even taste better. Zucchinis are a plain Jane.
But before we turn up our noses…
They are packed with Vitamins A & C, potassium and calcium. A nutrition web site said that the flavor of zucchini is better when it is less than six inches long. (Oh…okay). It can grow as large as a baseball bat, but are flavorless when they get to that size. It’s the best vegetable you can put on your plate when you’re counting calories (and pennies). Choose the darkest green you can find, and please…don’t peel them. The skin is where you get all that wholesome goodness. Half a cup of uncooked zucchinis is equivalent to 13 calories. Now…that’s a very good reason for falling in love with this Plain Jane, isn’t it?
Here’s a completely vegetarian dish that won’t break the bank. One thing good about zucchini is it does not fluctuate in price with the seasons, unlike broccoli that seems more expensive in the winter.
This budget recipe is rather simple.
3 zucchinis (about 4-5 inches long)
2 medium carrots
1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms (you can use the ones in a tin)
2-3 tbsp onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
canola or vegetable oil
beef broth (next time I’ll use oyster sauce diluted in a few drops of water for more flavor)
salt and pepper to taste
Cut up your zucchini, carrots and mushrooms as shown in the picture. Heat oil in a large frying pan (about 2 minutes). Sauté onions and garlic (1-1/2 minutes). Add your veggies in this order: carrots (cook for 2 minutes), zucchini (cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender but not soggy), mushrooms (another 2 minutes).
Pour your vegetable broth (or oyster sauce) just before serving.
Unless your fellow diner(s) adore vegetables, I don’t think this dish is going to be an instant hit or evoke fond memories…so you may want to have a luscious and evil dessert on stand-by. Reward them for giving this meal a try.