A few days ago I got an email from a reader saying that she really wants to be healthier. I hear you! My parents just came to visit and brought what seemed like a whole suitcase of chocolates.. which is already mainly gone. Oops. I am a chocaholic. There is no denying it.
But I am also a vegetable lover, so at least it’s a bit of a ying yang situation. I thought I would do a couple of posts on how to cook vegetables in a healthy but still delicious way. Starting with how to cook courgettes, or as the rest of the english speaking world calls them – zucchinis. You know those long, green cucumber looking things? I chose a couple of different types of courgettes, because they look sweet together, like a family of random shapes and sizes.
Everyone can relate to that feeling when you get sloppy, boring looking courgettes served on their plate. When this happened when I was younger, my sister and I used to squeeze the water out with looks of horror on our faces. For me, courgettes boiled to death in water is JUST WRONG. One of the big issues I hear people complain about with vegetables is that they don’t know what to do with them to make them tasty while still remaining nutritious and healthy. If you boil vegetables to death, so many of the nutrients just get lost in the water – which is then thrown away! A better way of keeping this nutrition would be in a soup or stew. BUT make sure you add vegetables that take longer to cook – like potatoes and carrots – earlier and vegetables that go soggy easily – like courgettes – a few minutes before you serve.
courgette soup recipes:
- Spinach & Zucchini soup
- Courgette & Parmesan soup
- Courgette, potato & cheddar soup
- Roast Garlic & zucchini soup
- Silky Zucchini soup
my tips on cooking courgettes:
- Grate and marinate
- Slice and grill
- Spiralize and steam
- Stew with beans
Grate & marinate your courgettes
This is another great side dish – it’s a courgette take on indian Raita. Great with barbecues, meats and in tacos!
- Grate up some courgettes
- Fry them with some olive oil and garlic over a high heat for about 5 minutes
- Allow to cool slightly
- Mix with plain yoghurt, salt and pepper
- Drizzle pomegranate concentrate syrup on top (NOT the sugary kind, but the kind you can get from turkish/middle eastern shops)
Slice & grill your courgettes
This makes a great side dish or starter – as you can tell… i LOVE courgettes.
- Slice up some courgettes (like in the photos)
- With either some olive oil or garlic “aglio” oil and some dried chilli flakes and salt, Grill them until they go nice and golden with griddle marks.
- In a bowl mix together a teaspoon of harissa and some yoghurt with a nice big pinch of salt and aglio oil. Drizzle this over the courgettes and serve with a pinch of sumac on top.
Spiralize & steam your courgettes
If you don’t have a spiralizer – they are fabulous! They make your veggies into long spagetti like strips and makes them easier to work with as a kind of pasta. This is a great courgette side dish.
- Just spiralize the courgettes, steam them over some chicken stock & water to add some flavour.
- Add salt, some basil oil (if you’re feeling crazy) then add some chopped red onions, sumac (this is a middle eastern spice) and some yoghurt.
Stew your courgettes with beans
This is a great main dish. Haricot beans are super good for you, packed with protein and very filling.
- Take your spiralized and steamed courgettes from above and place them as a bed on the bottom of a bowl
- Add some rapeseed oil, chopped red onion and salt to a pot – and fry until the onions begin to go slightly golden
- Pour in the beans, now add 1 heaped tsp of harissa paste, 4 tablespoons on a plain yoghurt and half a cup of chicken stock. Allow to stew for about 20 minutes
- Pour the stew over the bed of spiralized and steamed courgettes
- You can also add some of the grilled courgettes with harissa and yoghurt on top!