Fried Zucchini Spaghetti

Fried Zucchini Spaghetti

This dish is adapted from Gwenyth Paltrow’s fried zucchini spaghetti recipe from her new cookbook My Father’s Daughter.  Now this Oscar-winning, country-singing, glee-starring, lifestyle-blogging, rockstar-marrying, mother-of-twoing, is also a bonafide cookbook author.  I watched her make this simple dish on Rachel Ray today and happened to have a couple of fresh zucchini in the fridge and thought, let’s see how good this Goopster’s food is.

ingredients zucchini pasta

GP’s version was a little simpler, but I happened to have some fresh herbs in the fridge so I added those.  And I wanted to do a bit of a detox today after a big-eating weekend, so I opted out on the cheese she used as her sauce base.  Instead, I made lemon, garlic, and chili-infused olive oil which is jam-packed with flavour and a little more heart-healthy than cheese.  (PS – D put some parmesan on his and said it was awesome).

lemon zest garlic chili flakes on plate
adding to infused oil in pan

Infused olive oil is super easy to whip up, useful, and tasty.  A trifecta.  I first learned how to make it watching Food Networks Anne Burrell on her show ‘Secrets of a Restaurant Chef’.  I combined her infused oil with GP’s fried zucchini and voila – a tasty fast light meal from my two favourite blonde foodies.  You’ll end up with extra infused oil which you can use to grill veggies or to dip your bread into.

sliced zucchini green and yello

Fresh summer zucchini is so yummy – delicate and light.  The nutrients are all in the skin so don’t peel them.  Using a mandoline makes the slicing super fast and uniform.

zucchini in pan
browned zucchini on plate

I know fried food isn’t exactly detoxifying but… you know… it’s delicious, vegetarian and gluten-free.  I mean it works for Gwenyth right (like how hot is her body?)  And it’s seriously fast.  From beginning to end, the entire thing took me 18 minutes and this recipe is definitely going in the weeknight dinner rotation.  Good going Gwenny.

zucchini pasta done close up

pasta package and bobs gf flour close up

My preferred GF pasta and Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Flour

 

 

Fast Fried Zucchini Spaghetti

GP's version was a little simpler, but I happened to have some fresh herbs in the fridge so I added those. And I wanted to do a bit of a detox today after a big-eating weekend, so I opted out on the cheese she used as her sauce base. Instead, I made lemon, garlic, and chili-infused olive oil which is jam-packed with flavour and a little more heart-healthy than cheese. (PS - D put some parmesan on his and said it was awesome).
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Bob's Red Mill, corn-free, dairy-free, egg-free, fast, gluten-free, mint, nut-free, pasta, rice & grains, vegetables, yeast-free, zucchini
Servings: 2
Author: ness

INGREDIENTS

Infused Oil:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • zest of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes
  • In a small saucepan (bring all the ingredients to a boil. Let simmer for about 1 minute, until fragrant, and remove from heat. Set aside until ready to use.)

Fried Zucchini Pasta:

  • 6 oz dried Gluten Free Spaghetti (enough for 2)
  • 2 zucchinis (thinly sliced into rounds)
  • 2 Tbsp Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Salt + pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint (chopped)
  • Chili flakes (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese (option, omit for vegan version)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Boil pasta in salted water according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add sliced zucchini and GF flour. Toss until zucchini is evenly coated.
  • In a large non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Add zucchini slices in batches. Lay zucchini in an even layer and fry on each side until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt immediately. Continue frying until all zucchini is done.
  • In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta and 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water, 3 tablespoons of the infused oil, mint, parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and Parmesan cheese if using. Toss to combine. Add fried zucchini and serve. Garnish with extra Parmesan, chili flakes, and infused oil (optional).
White Grape Juice Cocktail

White Grape Juice Cocktail

A refreshing summer drink made with half white grape juice, half club soda, and fresh mint on ice.  I call it the ‘Macedonian Mama’ after my friend Jo’s sister who told me to try it, and to try it with vodka.  Thanks Angelene.  You were right, it IS better with vodka.

Happy weekend.

Stacked Crab and Avocado Salad

Stacked Crab and Avocado Salad

Stacked salads look so fancy, don’t they?  I recently had a couple of friends over for a girls night and when I whipped out this salad, they were totally wowed.  ‘Five star’ was what they called it (thanks girls!). But really, they had no idea how easy this is to put together, well until now.  All you need is a 3″ ring and a little patience to put this posh-looking starter together.  And not only does it look glam, it’s so full of fresh yummy flavour.

ingredients for dressing crab avocado on board

A salad is only as good as it’s ingredients.  Nevermind the fancy tower of seafood, if the ingredients aren’t fresh, it’s just a stack of grossness.  So buy the best ingredients you can – you’ll be able to taste the difference.  When cutting fresh mint, make sure your knife is super sharp so you don’t bruise the delicate leaves.  To cut, I stack up a pile of leaves, roll them, and slice into thin ribbons before chopping them up.

mint leaves pile close up
mint slices close up

To get uniformly thinly sliced veggies, you would need a mandoline.  Read more about it here. No mandoline?  No problem.  Just slice thinly and you’re perfect.  This recipe is adapted from the LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine from a few years back.  The great thing about this mag is they post all their recipes and gorgeous photos online.  I simplified the salad and modified the seasonings a bit.  This website is a great source for food and drink recipes – I use it often.

cucumber slices mandoline

How do you get cubed avocado?  I cut the avocado in half and cut the flesh into squares. Then use a tablespoon to scoop out the avocado flesh. This way, you don’t need any of those fancy avocado slicers.  To get slices, just cut the avocado lengthwise and scoop out.

avocado cubes halves

The ring I used here is from Sur la Table for $4.95.  If that’s not convenient, I think you can just go to a hardware store and buy some plastic plumbing parts.  When filling the ring, press the ingredients down gently.  The more compact the ingredients, the less likely it will fall apart when you slowly remove the ring.  Don’t freak out if the crab starts falling out – just gently put the pieces back into place or put them back on top.  Most likely, no one will even notice.  The chives crossed on top are an effective decoy for any errant pieces of crab.

avocado in ring first layer
cucumber layer in ring

This salad can definitely be made ahead of time – up to 4 hours is fine.  Just make sure the avocado is really well coated in the dressing; the lemon and lime juices keep the avocado from turning brown.  The nice thing about making this ahead is that the cucumbers get slightly pickled from the lemon and vinegars in the dressing.  So refreshing.  Reminds me of a California roll.

crab layer in ring
removing ring for salad
stacked salad after a bite on plate

Stacked Crab, Avocado and Cucumber Salad

This salad can definitely be made ahead of time - up to 4 hours is fine. Just make sure the avocado is really well coated in the dressing; the lemon and lime juices keep the avocado from turning brown. The nice thing about making this ahead is that the cucumbers get slightly pickled from the lemon and vinegars in the dressing. So refreshing.
Course: Appetizer, Salad, Snack
Cuisine: Asian
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: avocado, corn-free, dairy-free, egg-free, fish & seafood, gluten-free, mint, nut-free, vegetables, yeast-free
Author: ness

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

  • one 3" metal ring, mine was from Sur la Table

INGREDIENTS

Avocado Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pickled sushi ginger finely diced (I found an organic one here)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt

Salad

  • 2 ripe medium Hass avocados (cut into small cubes)
  • 1 cup cucumber (thinly sliced rounds)

Crab Salad

  • 8 oz fresh lump crab meat
  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro/coriander (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp chives (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp minced shallot
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Combine all the ingredients for the dressing. Set aside.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the crab salad and set aside.
  • When ready to plate, place ring in the center of your dish. In a small bowl, add half an avocado, cubed into squares, and add 1 tablespoon of the dressing so avocado is well coated. Place in ring and press down to make an even layer. Add about 10-12 slices of cucumber to create an even layer to cover the avocado. Press down and add a half teaspoon of dressing. Add 2 ounces of crab and press down gently. Slowly lift the ring off while down the crab. Repeat for additional servings. Refrigerate for up to 4 hours before serving.
  • Garnish with two stems of fresh chives, sprig of mint on top of the stack and scatter chopped fresh chives around the plate.
Lamb Gremolata with Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

Lamb Gremolata with Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes

Everyone needs that go-to entertaining recipe that will make their guests feel honoured, yet is easy to whip up.  Inlaws dropping in?  Hot date?  Hosting Easter dinner?  Don’t worry, try this lamb recipe and you’ll look like a star without breaking a sweat.  The mint, lemon, and parsley in the gremolata are the perfect flavours for a springtime supper.  Make this, and you’ll be able to entertain with ease.

gremolata ingredients close up

What’s a gremolata?  It’s a fancy word for a garnish made of parsley, lemon, and garlic.  I’ve added some fresh mint to the mixture – mint and lamb go together so nicely.  Throw in some gluten-free bread crumbs and you have a delicious breading for your lamb chops.  I use my trusty mini chopper to do the hard work for me.

ingredients in mini chopper gremolata
Bread in chopper gremolata

When zesting the lemon, make sure to only grate the yellow peel part and not the white part underneath – it’s bitter tasting.  I used day-old gluten-free bread and threw it in the chopper and blended until everything was combined.

gremolata in chopper breading

Cutting a rack of lamb is super easy – just use a large sharp knife and cut along the bone.  One rack feeds 2-3 people, depending on the size of the rack (usually 8 pieces) or how hungry your guests are.

raw rack of lamb on board
slicing lamb rack with knife

Once you have the lamb cut into individual chops, you just firmly press some of the breading into the meat on both sides of the chop.  You can totally do this ahead of time – allowing the meat to chill in the fridge with the breading actually helps the breading stick to the meat.

breaded lamb gremolata in dish

 

Mint Gremolata Lamb Chops (Gluten Free)

Everyone needs that go-to entertaining recipe that will make their guests feel honoured, yet is easy to whip up. Inlaws dropping in? Hot date? Hosting Easter dinner? Don't worry, try this lamb recipe and you'll look like a star without breaking a sweat. The mint, lemon, and parsley in the gremolata are the perfect flavours for a springtime supper. Make this, and you'll be able to entertain with ease.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: dairy-free, gluten-free, lamb, meat, mint, nut-free, potato, soy-free, vegetables
Servings: 2
Author: ness

INGREDIENTS

Lamb Chops

  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint
  • 2 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 slices day old gluten free bread
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 rack of lamb

Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes (Dairy-Free)

  • 6 - 7 yukon gold potatoes (peeled)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion (yellow or spanish onion)
  • olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
  • 4 Tbsp soy milk
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chives (finely diced)

Minty Peas

  • Frozen peas
  • Vegan butter
  • Finely chopped mint
  • A splash of fresh lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Lamb Chops

  • In a mini chopper or food processor, combine the first five ingredients and blend until finely chopped. Break up the day old bread and add to the chopper and blend. Add a pinch of salt and combine. Slice the rack into individual chops by holding onto the bone and cutting along the bone through the meat. Season the chops with salt and pepper. Press about 1 teaspoon of the topping into each side of the lamb chop - the breading should be firmly pressed in an even layer. Place in a dish and refrigerate for 1 hour up 4 hours.
  • Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add some 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and swirl around to coat the pan. Add the lamb chops to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Turn the lamb chops to cook the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before serving for medium-rare chops.

Caramelized Onion Mashed Potatoes (Dairy-Free)

  • In a pan on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add onions. Continue cooking for 10 minutes or until onions are golden brown but not burnt. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in salted water until easily pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes, reserving 1 cup of liquid, and return potatoes to the pot. Put butter and soy in a bowl and microwave until butter is melted. Pour mixture into potatoes and mash with a potato masher or fork. Add onions and chives and blend with an immersion blender for smooth texture or a masher for a chunkier mash. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid and continue mashing until desired texture is reached. Potatoes should be moist but not wet. Garnish with store bought fried onions.

Minty Peas

  • Boil frozen peas in boiling salted water until cooked (follow package instructions). Drain and return to pan. Add some vegan butter, finely chopped mint, a splash of fresh lemon juice and salt to taste.
Peppermint Patty Brownies

Peppermint Patty Brownies

Imagine a peppermint patty with its cool creamy middle squished in between two layers of a truffle-like brownie.  It’s the perfect blend of richness, chocolate, and mint.  Now imagine it’s gluten-free, and low fat.  Sounds impossible right?  Wrong.

Brownie + York patty Pkgs
egg replacer whisk

I used a GF brownie mix, reduced-fat dark chocolate York peppermint patties, and coconut yogurt instead of butter.  I also used egg replacer to make it egg-free. So there you have it – a deliciously decadent dessert that requires minimal effort.  I first saw this brownie here on pastry chef David Lebovitz’s blog and knew I had to make this gluten-free version.  He’s so hardcore that he made his own mint filing.  Wow.

brownie mix with egg replacer in bowl

I used Gluten-Free Pantry’s Chocolate Truffle Brownie mix for this recipe – it’s very gooey and fudgy.  If you can’t find it in stores, you can use any other GF brownie mix.  I’ve also used Pamela’s GF Brownie Mix and love the texture – less gooey and more cakey.

coconut milk yogurt 1 cup
yogurt poured in brownie mix

Don’t worry if you haven’t worked with egg replacer before.  It’s basically a cornstarch and potato starch-based mix that you combine with water.  Once heated, it replicates eggs’ binding qualities.  I use Ener-G brand – one little box is equivalent to like a hundred eggs or something.  It makes baking super easy and cuts a few calories too which never hurts.  I find using egg replacer usually means a longer baking time so adjust your recipes accordingly.

brownie layer bottom mint

Can’t find the right-sized York peppermint patties?  You can buy any size really and break them up to fit the pan.  That way you get more minty goodness in each brownie.  The way I’ve done it here, the peppermint patty is hidden in the brownie when you cut them into squares.  What’s the prize?  Surprise.  A peppermint patty hiding in your brownie.

Note: the peppermint patties contain egg and milk so please take note.  I’m only sensitive to eggs and milk and the brownie itself is dairy/egg-free so I can get away with the contents of the peppermint patties.

patties in pan with wrappers
peppermint patty close up
2nd layer of brownie in pan
cut mint brownies

Low Fat Peppermint Patty Brownies (Gluten-Free)

Imagine a peppermint patty with its cool creamy middle squished in between two layers of a truffle-like brownie. It's the perfect blend of richness, chocolate, and mint. Now imagine it's gluten-free, and low fat. Sounds impossible right? Wrong.
Course: Dessert
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: chocolate, coconut, cookies & bars, gluten-free, mint, nut-free, yeast-free
Servings: 16 pieces
Author: ness

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Package brownie mix (Gluten Free Pantry brand)
  • 2 egg replacements (Ener-G brand)
  • 1 cup coconut yogurt (vanilla flavour (or plain yogurt with 1 tsp vanilla extract))
  • 16 York Peppermint Patties

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8"x8" baking pan with parchment paper and cooking spray. In a large bowl, add egg replacer and water and whisk together until frothy about 2 minutes. Add entire bag of brownie package and mix until combined. Add the yogurt and mix until combined. Mixture will be thick.
  • Pour half the batter into the prepared pan and smooth evenly. Lay four rows of four peppermint patties to fill the pan. Press them gently into the batter, but not all the way to the bottom. Pour remaining batter over the patties and smooth. Bake for 27 to 29 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Freeze for 1 hour before cutting. Refrigerate before serving. Serve with a scoop of ice cream, fresh berries, and a sprig of mint for garnish if you want to be fancy or else just eat straight out of the pan.

Pin It on Pinterest