Monday, September 26, 2011

Eating What's In Season...

Eating what's in season is a way to help the environment and ensure you are getting fresher and riper produce.

Eating what's in season in your local area helps reduce the environmental impact of the shipping costs, pesticides, and large amounts of water used.  

Eating what's in season will fill your belly and satisfy your taste buds with fresher less processed food.

Eating what's in season means visiting your local farmers, farmers' markets, or having fresh, local produce delivered to your home or office.

Eating what's in season helps support your local economy and local farmers.

Eating what's in season gives you the opportunity to branch out try new food and recipes.

Eating what's in season means reading the labels and signs at your market to find out where the food comes from. The closer, the better, the fresher and more nutrients.

Eating what's in season means searching for local produce options. The Internet is a great resource and websites like Local Harvest can help as well as the rest listed at the end of this blog.

Eating what's in season differs from region to region but here is a sampling:(see links below)
Fresh growth, leafy veggies such as spinach, chard, parsley and basil plus asparagus and rhubarb.
Cooling fruits and veggies such as strawberries, plums, corn, summer squash, peppermint and cilantro
Warming foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, root vegetables, peppers, persimmons, eggplant, pears, tomatoes, onions and garlic, ginger, and peppercorn.
Keep the warming foods coming. Keep eating what's above for fall plus winter squash, turnips, cabbage, mushrooms, kale, cranberries, and pumpkin.

We at That's Vegetarian want our recipes to be more flavorful by using fresher, riper, more nutritious ingredients because we are eating what's in season!

These websites offer interactive maps for you to find out what is in season in your region and resources to help you find them.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Baked Stuffed Zucchini

End of the zucchini in your garden and time to start warming up the houses in parts of the US.  Here is a recipe that is light enough to satisfy the palate for the Indian Summer we are having in Southern California and warm the houses and bellies for those of you in Buffalo and across the northern part of the country. 

It is has over 25 grams of protein in each serving (1 whole zucchini) with 23.9g in 3.57 oz (100g) in the Cannelini Beans  and 2.25g in the 1/4c cooked quinoa alone.  If you are watching your waistline, although the dish contains healthy oils, the fat can be reduced by decreasing the amount of almonds and oil used.  The recipe contains fat from healthy sources and our body does needs fat to help with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, brain development, energy, healthier skin and cells, making hormones, protective cushion for organs and pleasure - they taste oh so good.(1)

Prepare the Stuffed Baked Zucchini or any of the other wonderful recipes and and you'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"

Stuffed Baked Zucchini (Vegan Optional)

1/2 c Quinoa, rinsed
1 c Water, vegetable broth, or combination of both
4 Zucchini, medium halved lengthwise  
1 15-oz can Cannellini beans, rinsed
1 c Grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 c Almonds, chopped (about 2 oz)
2 Garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 c Parmesan (3 ounces), grated (Eliminate for Vegan)
4 t Olive oil

Heat oven to 400° F.

In a large saucepan, spray the bottom with olive oil, put in the quinoa and toast for a few minutes over a medium high heat. When they start to brown, add the water/broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Arrange in a large baking dish, cut-side up.

When the quinoa is cooked, fluff and fold in the beans, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, ½ cup of the Parmesan, and 3 teaspoons of the oil. Spoon the mixture into the zucchini. Top with the remaining teaspoon of oil and ¼ cup Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake until the zucchini is tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes for quinoa, 30 minutes for zucchini
Serves 4
Level of difficulty - Intermediate.
10PP for a full zucchini. 5PP for half. Reduce to 9PP by using half the amount of almonds, and 8PP if you use only 1t olive oil and a little spray on the top.  
Printable Baked Stuffed Zucchini Recipe