Wednesday, October 21, 2015

End of the harvest spiral veggie dinner

It's always with a heavy heart that I pick the last few veggies from the garden. This year an impending frost ended gardening season sooner then I'd liked (and a crazy work schedule that prevented me from getting things covered in time) 

So as I grabbed the last few items from the garden I decided to make the best of it and create a "Summers End" veggie dish using the last zucchini, kale, basil and some carrots that definitely would have liked to grow longer! 

Spiral vegetable dinner

I use a spirilizer for the zucchini in this dish because it cuts the zucchini into fine strips that resemble pasta. You could actually use zucchini like pasta noodles when it's cut like this. It holds up really well as long as it's not over cooked! At this point in the year I'm about over zucchini so anything that sort of disguises it is great for me!

Ingredients: 
1 zucchini
some 'too small to do anything else with' carrots
3 kale leaves
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbs of fresh basil 
1 tbs olive oil

I started out by chopping the carrots and mincing the garlic and putting them in a steam basket in a pot with boiling water. Cover with a lid, but check that the water doesn't get too low during cooking! 

While those were cooking I chopped the kale (I cheated and used herb scissors to do it super fast. I also used these on the basil instead of chopping it) and added it to the steam basket. 

I then used a spirilizer to cut the zucchini into strips. I added the zucchini to the basket for just a few minutes, until the zucchini turned transparent. Then turned off the heat and drained the water out. 

spiral zucchini noodles

At this point I added the basil to the veggies and put it all in a bowl. I tossed it with a little bit of olive oil. The heat from the vegetables will soften the basil just enough to release the flavor so there's no need to actually cook the basil.

I paired this with some plain sauteed chicken and added some shaved Asiago on top, but you can serve it however you'd like. 

I like using a spirilizer for zucchini because it's super easy to use and gives me more options for zucchini dishes then just plain slicing. This is important in the middle of zucchini season when you have zucchini's piled on every surface of the kitchen!

This is the spirilizer that I have. It comes apart into several pieces to clean and has 3 different cutting plates for the spiralizer so you get different types of cuts. You can slice thin (makes homemade mashed potatoes as quick as those fake bag kind...but taste better!) or cut into thing strips or 'noodles' so you can use veggies for a low carb and gluten free substitute for pasta.

Harvest veggie steamer bowl, healthy dinner

It also slices apples super thin for quick homemade applesauce which is an amazing time saver when the trees are full of fruit! This spirilizer also has a plate that holds the veggie in place by itself when you cut, so you don't end up with food goo all over your hands! I really love this and have found dozens of ways to use it.
        
You can use pretty much any veggies you happen to harvest that day in this mixed veggie dish. Just keep in mind that the harder the vegetable is, the sooner it gets added to the steamer basket. This is a great way to use up those last veggies of the harvest so nothing gets left behind!

~L

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