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Zucchini Ginger Brown Rice Bowls

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Light and refreshing is what best describes this recipe. A one bowl meal! It’s no fuss, maximum flavor, raw zucchini with a gingery-soy sauce over a nutty sesame seasoned brown rice. This Zucchini Asian flare recipe, is so light, refreshing and savory, you are going to want to eat it more than once a day.
I know what Brown rice does not have a great reputation among the grains because it tends to be mushy and it can taste like cardboard… Well my friend, I have you covered on this one, you will love the quick easy method that I use. Cook the brown rice as you would cook pasta. Use  a large pot with plenty of water and pinch or two of sea salt. The brown rice boils loosely for about 25-30 minutes; stir often and check for an al-dente consistency. When is up to my desired doneness I strain it and the heat of the steam dries the excess water in the brown rice,  leaving you with perfectly cooked,  fluffy individual grains, with great texture cooked trough and slightly  al-dente.

Using this method, I cook larger batches of brown rice and use them later for a quick sautéed, salads, soups or in this case; this humble and refreshing Zucchini Ginger Brown Rice bowl.

As you can see there is hope for this misunderstood grain. I assure you once you try this method you will love brown rice again.

Enjoy the bountiful zucchini season and stay fresh!

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Zucchini Ginger Brown Rice Bowls

Makes 2 meal bowls

3 medium size zucchini any color is up to your preference.
1/2 cup toasted and finely chopped cashews or walnuts
2 green scallions finely chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (any color)
1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger.
1 small garlic clove grated

For the dressing:

1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons sesame seed oil
2 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar

For the rice:

1 cup short grain brown rice
8 cups of water
2 pinches of salt.

Season the rice with:

1 Tablespoon sesame seed oil
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
2 Tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar.

Preparation Method:

1. Bring to a boil a large pot filled with 8 cups of water and 2 good pinches of sea salt. Once is boiling add the brown rice, bring back to a boil, and then lower the temperature for a slow simmer. Simmer for about 25-30 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
2. While your rice is cooking, shred your zucchini, ~omit the seed core on the zucchinis~ I used one of my favorite uni-taskers, I absolutely adore this julienne peeler! you can get it any cooking supply store or get it on-line. Toast your walnuts, chop the scallions, grate your ginger and garlic.

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3. In a large bowl combine the shredded zucchini and one good pinch of salt, toss well and let it stand for a few minutes. This will draw out some of the excess water out of the zucchini.Toss water from bowl and place zucchini on a clean kitchen towel and gently squeeze with your hands as much water as possible. remove from towel and with your hands fluff up the shredded zoodles. This step is very important, because avoids watering down your vinaigrette.
4. In a large bowl Combine the drain shredded zucchini, finely chopped toasted walnuts, toasted sesame seeds, green scallions, grated ginger, grated garlic.
5. Combine the soy sauce, sesame seed oil, rice vinegar. Set a side you will dress your zucchini right before serving. Please check on your rice.

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6. Check for rice doneness. I usually look for a soft but firm grain, that tastes cooked and has a god bite. Usually is around 25-30 minutes, the doneness I prefer. See the picture below.If you want to go a little further on cooking is up to your preference, give the rice another 5 minutes, re-check and taste; always taste!
7. Once your rice is cooked, with the help of a colander or a sieve, strain the rice. Allow the hot steam to dry the extra water, give it around 5-7 minutes. Once all the excess water is drained and still warm, transfer the rice into a bowl and season with the sesame oil, sesame seeds and rice vinegar toss until well combined.

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8. Once your rice is seasoned, Add the Soy sauce sesame seed oil, and rice vinegar dressing to the zucchini mixture. Toss well.

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9. Using two deep bowls, divide the rice and top it with the zucchini mixture. Sprinkle some extra sesame seeds and for spice maybe some Thai pepper, red pepper flakes, or some Sriracha-hot sauce! Enjoy!

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Fresh, light, easy lunch or dinner…

Music Pairing: Nanobots – They Might be Giants

 

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Roasted Vegetable Napoleon with Spicy Bolognese

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What a crazy title! I think it took me more time to name this dish than to make it. What the title really should say is: Roasted Vegetables stacked with a Bison spicy Bolognese. The “napoleon “part is just a fancy name to say stacked, and this dish by any means is “fancy”…

Well, this was dinner yesterday. They say not to live in the past, always in the now, but memories are important and this meal was one of the memorable ones.

When our carnivorous crave knocks at our door: Lamb, Pork or Beef?… Bison!

Here in Texas that’s what every carnivore should be eating because its extremely remarkable in beef flavor due to its high Iron content. Bison has 80% less fat and 49% less calories than beef. Lets say Bison is the Better Red meat. Just make sure to look for the USDA approval triangle on the front label and look for 100 percent natural-grass feed-hormone free. Keep in mind that you’ll get what you pay for. Tender, flavorful bison costs more to raise, thus it costs a bit more, but one bite and you’ll never go back!… it is indeed a great option.

This is why: Bison spicy bolognese works great because it makes the bolognese sauce lighter yet richer in flavor. And because Bison cooks faster than beef, this 30 minutes spicy bolognese can change your life. You can make a double batch and freeze it for a fast pasta dinner during the week.
Half inch sliced vegetables, roasted at 475 F temperature for 25 minutes can be magical, all the flavor of the vegetables just seems to concentrate and develop their natural sweetness and caramelization.
All in all this is a great recipe, You can serve it with a green salad on the side, a piece of crusty bread, and a glass of wine… Enjoy!

Vegetarian & Vegan suggestions:

Now, I do think on my vegetarian friends and it is such an easy way to transform the recipe, using a combination of bottom and cremini mushrooms instead of meat.
Or if you are fan you can use texturized soy protein.
For the cheese, a walnut sauce is always a great substitution. Here is the link to a previous post where you can find the recipe.

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Roasted Vegetable Napoleon with Spicy Bison Bolognese

Serves 2 with room sauce for 4 or you can freeze the rest of the sauce for another night.

1 egg plant
1 green zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 medium large portobello mushroom
3 sweet red peppers
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup Assiago
1/2 cup Fontina cheese shredded

For the Mirepoix:

1 cup chopped sweet onions
½ cup carrot small diced
½ cup celery small diced
3 garlic cloves
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the Spicy Bison Bolognese

1 pound of grass feed-hormone free-Ground Bison (or beef or turkey or texturized soy or cremini mushrooms)
2 cups Red wine (Cabernet-or a rich tempranillo)
1-12 oz. canned San Marzano tomatoes (this is my only exception to the rule on canned products)
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha* the odd ingredient but it is so good!
Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons of butter optional*

Directions:

1.-

Start by making the sauce;
In a Medium- Large sauce pot, saute the mirepoix ingredients in 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil until onions and celery are translucent. Add the ground Bison saute for 3-4 minutes with the help of a wood spatula making sure you incorporate everything avoiding big lumps of meat. Add the wine and let the alcohol evaporate for about 3-5 minutes. Add the can of diced San Marzano tomatoes, the balsamic, Worcestershire sauce, Sriracha sauce, and adjust salt and pepper. Simmer the sauce for about 15-20 minutes or until the excess juices have evaporated. You want a slightly thick consistency. Cover with a lid and keep the sauce on low. At this point you can decide to add 1 or 2 tablespoon of butter this will round off the flavors on the sauce.

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2.-

Once the sauce is ready, preheat the oven at 450-475F  / 230-245 C
In a large Baking pan lined with parchment paper, arrange the vegetable slices in one single layer. Drizzle some Olive Oil seasoned with salt and pepper. Roast for about 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables have a golden -to dark brown on the edges.
In two oven Ramekins of Pyrex, start layering the vegetables alternating with the sauce and grated cheese. You can add some fresh herbs like basil, parsley or rosemary. Make sure the last layer is cheese and broil in the oven for about 5-6 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and melted. Serve placing the ramekins in a flat plate for safety.

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 Roasted Vegetable & Spicy Bolognese Napoleon..ready to serve!

 

 

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