26 July 2007

Almond Crusted Zuchinni with Pasta and swiss chard

We're back from vacation, otherwise known as meat-paradise. The family came to visit, and they're on a diet which consists mostly of grilled meats and veggies, so we really indulged. It was a great vacation, but I have to admit, I think I've lost my taste for meat and potato type meals.

I was actually relieved to plan a low-meat week.

Zion, my newly six-year-old crumb-cruncher got, of course, first pick (everyone gets to eat EXACTLY what they want to eat for their birthday) of the menu. He chose:

Almond Crusted Zuchinni, using a trick I took from Seamaiden's Book of Yum

Spinach, sauteed with garlic and maple syrup (Sounds weird but it's FABULOUS. We subbed in swiss chard, because it was available)
Spaghetti with Red Sauce

Dessert: Berries with Chocolate-Amaretto Whipped cream

Surprisingly the zucchini coating, once fried, tasted exactly (to me) like fried chicken, which was unexpected, but not entirely unwelcome. I made sure not to overdo the zucchini, as I like a little more bite and a little less slime to my squash.

The swiss chard wilted into a lovely broth, made from the juices of the chard, some fresh garlic, and a judicious addition of maple syrup. The flavour was complex and satisfying, slightly salty, and altogether fabulous accompanying the meal.

The spaghetti (I chose to use Tinkyada) and sauce (Martin's store brand of organic marinara) was good, if typical, and was helped with a little sprinkling of the almond-yeast mixture, which tasted exactly like parmesean cheese (but was way cheaper than the parm I usually shill out for).

I'm posting the recipes below:

Almond Crusted Zucchini

Several Zucchini, cut into medallions (we used about a half a zucchini per person)
3 cups slivered almonds
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt
1 egg
olive oil and coconut oil

1. Beat the egg in a bowl. Set aside
2. In a blender, grind the almond slivers, salt, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast, until the mixture resembles parmesean cheese. Place in another bowl.
3. Heat equal measures of olive oil and coconut oil on medium high heat (about 300 degrees) in a very heavy saucepan.
4. Dip the zuchinni in the egg, then the almond crumbs pressing to make sure the coating adheres.
5. Fry in the oil, turning once, until each side is golden brown. MAKE SURE that your oil doesn't get too hot or you'll scorch your nuts!!
6. Transfer to a baking dish and cook at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile cook your pasta, heat your sauce, and make the chard.

Maple-Garlic Swiss Chard
2 pounds swiss chard or spinach, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
2 small cloves fresh garlic
2 Tbsp maple syrup
sprinkle of sea salt

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan, adding the chard and garlic. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the leaves begin to wilt. Add the salt and maple syrup and cook for a few more minutes. Serve immediately.

Mixed Red Berries with Chocolate-Amaretto Whipped Cream
2 pints raspberries
1 pint strawberries
1 cup whipping cream, chilled
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate
1 Tbsp amaretto liquor

1. IN a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips with the amaretto and 1/4 cup of the whipping cream. whisk well, and allow to come to room temperature.
2. Meanwhile, pour 3/4 cup of whipping cream into a mixing bowl and put in the freezer for 30 minutes, along with the beater(s)
3. Beat at high speed until soft peaks form.
4. Slice berries and place in a bowl. Top with the cream and serve immediately.

1 comment:

~M said...

Yum! So far, I've only managed to convince my fiancé to eat zucchini in soups, but times will be changing soon! Are you cutting the zucchini into circles or long-wise? Also, is there a reason you grind our own nuts versus use almond meal? I have blanched almond meal (Bob's Red Mill) and an unblanched variety...would either of them work as well? Thanks for the yummy-looking recipes!