Gluten Free Menu of the Week: Soy-free Zucchini Stir Fry and More Recipes

May 16th, 2009 yum Posted in Chinese, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Grilled, JM friendly, Menu, Menu Plan Monday, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian, Zucchini, soy-free challenges 13 Comments »

zucchinisalad
This week I’m hosting the gluten-free menu swap with zucchini as the theme. I have had a love/hate relationship with zucchini for years, but I realized some time ago that it isn’t that I don’t like zucchini- but that I don’t like some ways of preparing it. In its worst form, zucchini can be mushy and overcooked, with a slimy texture and slightly bitter taste. But it doesn’t HAVE to be! Not only is zucchini great hidden in recipes like gluten-free zucchini bread, but it is also delicious grilled, roasted, or even briefly stir fried. One of my favorite sneaky recipes for zucchini haters is one of the recipes below for a zucchini crust pizza- it’s hard to dislike anything with all that flavor and cheese! Below I’m sharing a tasty Chinese-Thai Zucchini stir fry and a Zucchini salad recipe. Enjoy!

Here are some of my favorite zucchini recipes from the Book of Yum:
Vegetarian Zucchini Green Chili Enchiladas
Grilled Zucchini Parmesan Recipe
Chinese Szechuan Zucchini Brown Fried Rice
Zucchini Crust Pizza Flatbread Recipe

Feel free to share the URL of your favorite gluten-free vegetarian zucchini recipe in the comments, and I’ll add the link to this post!

Celiac Tips shared a recipe for Roasted Zucchini and Goat Cheese. (YUM!)

zucplate


Menu of the Week

Sunday: Thai
Green Bean Pineapple Basil Stir Fry with Jasmine Rice

Tuesday: Vegetarian
Hash Brown Potato Crust Vegetarian Savory Pie

Wednesday: Mexican
Oven Baked Sopes with Zucchini Corn Filling

Friday: Vegan
Brown rice and Caribbean Pineapple beans with greens

You can find more great menus over with Org Junkie. As always, many thanks to Cheryl for temporarily housing the Gluten Free Menu Swap at her blog.

Participants in this Week’s Gluten-Free Menu Swap:

Cheryl of GF Goodness has a menu with plenty of whole grain gluten-free goodness as well as an announcement about a Virtual online Recipe Baby Shower she is throwing Baby Yum! Is it bad if I say that I’d love to see you there? :)

A Modern Gal’s Menu features a variety of international dishes with Mexican, Chinese, and Thai flair.

Gluten Free is Life likes zucchini roasted with EVOO and a little salt, and shares a hearty family-friendly menu using ingredients on hand.

Heather of Celiac Family plans to take inspiration from Elise of Simply Recipes and adapt a recipe for zucchini fritters this week. She is celebrating a birthday this week and contemplating chocolate, but her menu reflects her attempt to balance nutrition with her family’s diverse taste buds. Happy birthday, Heather!

Angela of Angela’s Kitchen is continuing strong with her walk for breast cancer training in the midst of a busy week. She’s planning on sauteeing some zucchini up this week, and has also planted seeds for fresh-from the garden zucchini later this summer. Angela will host next week’s menu swap with an avocado theme and I can’t wait to participate!

Celiacs in the House has a very photogenic post with menu ideas as well as a link to an intriguing Martha recipe for pickled zucchini ribbons.

Esther of the Lilac Kitchen reminded me that zucchini is also known as Courgette in New Zealand or British English, and shared a menu with some local, fresh produce and comforting fare.

I’m including a Thai-Chinese inspired zucchini stir fry recipe I enjoyed for dinner last night, as well as an absolutely delicious grilled zucchini salad that premiered on the Book of Yum two years ago, when I’d just started the blog. I hope you enjoy them, and at least one of these recipes inspires you to experiment with zucchini, even if it has never been one of your favorite vegetables.

Soy free Jicama Zucchini Stir Fry
Ingredients
1 tbsp peanut or other
szechuan peppercorns
1 inch knob ginger, minced
salt

1/2 small jicama, cubed
handful green beans, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
1 zucchini, cubed
1/8 cup raw cashew halves

Sauce:
3/4 cup GF veg broth (from cube like Edward and sons not-beef)
1 tbsp mirin
1/2 tsp sesame oil
white pepper

2 tsp corn starch

1/2 bunch of fresh thai basil

Directions
Heat wok on high and add szechuan peppercorns, toasting lightly. Add oil and let it heat until a white wisp of smoke curls off of it, and then add your minced ginger. When ginger turns brown, strain peppercorns and ginger out of the oil and leave oil in pan. Let oil heat again and add salt to it. When oil is curling up in smoke again, add your cubed jicama and stir fry for a few minutes or until it is lightly seared on multiple sides. Add the green beans and fry for another minute, moving around pan occasionally. Add green onions and let them soften slightly before adding cashew halves and finally zucchini cubes.

Combine veg broth and mirin (or other GF alcohol of choice) in a small bowl and whisk in sesame oil and sprinkle in some white pepper. Add some of the sauce to the vegetables in the pan and let it heat. Add cornstarch to the remaining sauce, whisk in thoroughly, and then add to the pan. Combine so vegetables are evenly coated in sauce. Let thicken to taste and remove from pan. Add thai basil and serve with rice or rice noodles.

Notes
For a variation, fill thai rice wrapper with rice noodles and stir fry ingredients, wrap up, let cool into a sealed pouch, and enjoy.
Grilled Zucchini with Tomato and Olive Salad
Ingredients
1 lb fresh zucchini and/or squash
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp fresh minced thyme
1 medium sized tomato cut in small dice
1 lg garlic clove, minced
16 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced (or regular blk olives)
1 tbsp chopped capers
1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt, freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp pine nuts
8-10 fresh basil leaves
Directions
Heat or otherwise prepare grill or grill pan. (charcoal or propane grill is best) Cut zucchini lengthwise 1/4 inch thick, baste in 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle fresh thyme until evenly coated.

Combine diced tomato cubes, garlic, olives, capers, and red wine vinegar in a bowl and put aside.

Salt and pepper zucchini or squash rounds and grill until marked with grill stripes (3 minutes or less depending on heat). Place on serving platter when done, spread tomato olive mixture on top and season with salt and pepper. sprinkle with pine nuts and attractively cut basil and serve.

Notes
DH and I don’t even like zucchini, and we gobbled this whole recipe up in a night. A good pizza-less “pizza”- very tasty tapa dish. Yum! Perfect for using fresh farmer’s market zucchini available everywhere this year.
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Fourth of July Menu: Grilled Tofu Recipe and Gluten Free Honey Raspberry Financiers Recipe

July 9th, 2008 yum Posted in Dessert, Dinner Party, Eggplant, French, Grilled, Holiday, tofu 6 Comments »


This Fourth of July we went to a local park for a picnic and fireworks with some very special friends. I love packing a picnic lunch for Independence Day, and there are some dishes that have become something of a tradition.

Our 4th of July menu was:
Grilled Sesame Tofu (recipe below)
Summer Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Balsamic Honey Grilled Eggplant
and
Gluten-Free Raspberry Almond Financiers (recipe below)

If you look at my post for July 4, 2007 you’ll note that I made peanut sauce last year too, for sesame grilled vegetables. But I also made some new recipes for this year’s feast… like this delightful recipe for Balsamic Honey Grilled Eggplant.

This recipe was a real keeper, and one that I have a feeling I’ll be making a lot in the years to come. DH is skeptical of eggplant, and he seemed to enjoy it- and I couldn’t get enough of the stuff. To me it was like grilled and savory candy (but better).

I also experimented with a recipe from Martha Stewart that I’d been eying for a while. Of course, as written the recipe was full of gluten, gluten, gluten, but I thought it would probably convert reasonably well to be gluten-free. Even though we’re currently packing up our whole house for a move, I deliberately left out my mini-muffin tins just for this recipe. Oh, how I love my mini-muffin tins. Like real muffin tins, but cuter. Anyway, I was thrilled for the opportunity to use up some of the organic, local raspberries I’d been storing in the freezer, and an Indpendence Day Picnic seemed like the perfect time for financiers. Although, to be honest, I didn’t quite know what financiers were. To me they just seemed like little jam-filled-mini muffins.

Luckily, the Joy of Baking was able to enlighten me.

“Financiers are French tea cakes (pronounced fee-nahng-syehr), also known as Friands (meaning “dainty” or “tasty”). They are made from a sponge-like batter of beurre noisette (brown butter), egg whites, flour, toasted ground almonds, and powdered sugar. Financiers are similar to Madeleines in that they both use a sponge-like mixture that is baked in special molds. When baked Financiers are soft and springy with a slightly domed top and a lovely golden brown crust.” (Source: Stephanie Jaworski)

Financiers are a natural for gluten-free conversion, as a good portion of their batter is made with almond flour and eggs, two high protein ingredients that help compensate for any lack of gluten in our flours. Unfortunately commercial varieties will also contain gluten-flour, but you can make them at home with excellent results. As it happens, I converted the recipe to be dairy free, but for a more traditional recipe you could use butter instead of the DF, CF margarine and let the butter brown. This browning of the butter adds great nutty flavor. Just be careful not to burn it! I think traditionally financiers are made in special molds, like madeleines, but home cooks use mini muffin tins very successfully. I knew I was happy I bought that mini-muffin tin!

In Love with Financiers?
Try Gluten-Free Girl’s Chocolate Financier Recipe, brought to you by Smitten Kitten.
Or, an agave-nectar sweetened version of the recipe
An adorable Gluten-Free Apricot Financier Recipe
Or a gluten-free adaption of a Almond Tea Cake Financier Recipe

But food aside, the best thing about any holiday is sharing it with special friends that are your family-away-from-family. Last year we spent it with my favorite adopted “little sister”- and this year we spent it with one of our favorite couples. These are friends that have been with both of us for the long haul, and I hope will always be a part of our life. Happy Fourth of July, everyone! I hope your holiday was absolutely delicious, and that you got to spend it with your very favorite people!


Yummy Grilled Tofu
Ingredients
1 lb of firm tofu (Chinese Style is best for this kind of recipe)

2 tbsp GF soy sauce (preferably San-J Low Sodium Tamari)
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil (we like a Japanese brand)
2 pressed cloves of garlic

Directions
Drain water from tofu, and cut horizontally in thirds or half. Wrap in towel and leave for 30 minutes or so until water has absorbed into towel.

Mix marinade ingredients, and marinate tofu for at least 30 minutes. If possible, grill, if not, broil or pan fry.

Makes a wonderful protein addition to salads, sandwich fillings, and perfect with rich rice dishes like risotto.

Notes
I’ve been making this recipe for years and it always goes over very well at parties. Very flavorful and easy.

Can be doubled for a crowd.

You may wish to brush or spray grill with oil, as the tofu can stick.

Gluten-Free Raspberry Almond Financiers
Ingredients
8 tbsp. dairy free margarine like Earth Balance
1/3 cup honey (I like raw honey)
2 cups finely ground almonds (I use Trader Joe’s or you can grind your own)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup finely ground brown rice flour (like Authentic Foods’)
1/4 cup sweet (white) rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp salt
5 lg. egg whites (you can probably veganize this by using 3-4 Ener-g foods egg replacer eggs, soy yogurt, or flax seed eggs)
1 cup raspberries (if frozen, defrost first), pureed and strained (not strained is ok if you don’t mind seeds)
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray two mini muffin tins with GF nonstick cooking spray.

Melt your margarine in a small saucepan on medium-low heat, whisking occasionally and heating for 6-7 minutes. At the end, whisk in your honey and let it combine thoroughly.

Put your ground almonds, sugars, flour, and salt in a standing mixer (or large bowl) and whisk together on low. Turn up the speed to medium-high and add your egg whites (or egg replacer eggs) one at a time, combining each one thoroughly until adding the next. Use a spatula to make sure all the ingredients on the side of the bowl integrate with the rest of the ingredients. Lower mixer speed to low and add your warm honey-margarine (whisk quickly first to make sure it hasn’t separated) in one long, continuous stream. Turn up speed to high for 45 seconds.

Fill your mini muffin tins half full. Then take a scant 1/2 tsp of your raspberry puree and pull up a little of the batter with a knife, dribbling the puree in and then settling the batter over the top to make a raspberry heart shape. Or, just make a little jam circle on the top if the heart is too much effort.

Bake for 7 minutes or so, turn your rack around and bake another 7 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Notes
Another cute little mini-muffin, er, I mean financier, recipe!
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