Tag Archives: zucchini

Dishes of the Week

SEP 26 – OCT 1 

Farmers Market Chowder with Coconut Milk & Lemongrass

1) Thai Farmers’ Market Chowder. Vegan & gluten-free. Will contain corn. A take on a milk-based chowder, but with coconut milk and lemongrass. Serve with rice, quinoa, etc.

2)  “Laab” Thai Noodle Salad with TVP. Vegan; contains gluten. OK, I’m breaking down and using spaghetti* for the first time in 2 years, b/c spaghetti doesn’t get smushy over time like rice noodles in sauce or dressing. “Laab” is a delicious tangy spicy Thai meat & lettuce wrap dish. (See photo & post “Fabulous Summer Luncheon”). Client Sue H says “I could eat this every day for the rest of my life!”.

OCT 2 – 7

1) Tangy Turkish Wheatberry & Chickpea Soup. Vegan; contains gluten. If you want it gluten-free, pls notify me in advance. A very hearty, multi-textured, tomato-based soup with eggplant and lots of lemon & mint. You can add fresh or frozen chopped greens (spinach, collards, etc) too. A good one-dish meal that freezes well.

2)  Cuke & Daikon Salad with Orange-Tahini Dressing. Vegan & gluten-free. Sorry, had planned on zucchini but today there was very little at market. It’s done. So I’ll use cukes & daikon instead. That may be it for cukes, too.

OCT 8 – 14

1) Gingery Lentil & Carrot Stew. Vegan & gluten-free. Simple and comforting, this dish highlights flavorful market carrots. Collard greens will add more texture and nutrition. (That’s two super foods, if you’re counting.) This stew is very easy to make and to freeze. Lentils are quick to cook (15 min) and so versatile.

2)  Millet with Curried Apples, Squash & Caramelized Onions. Vegan and gluten-free. I am adapting a couscous recipe from 101cookbooks.com blog by Heidi Swanson, author of “Super Natural Every Day” and “Super Natural Cooking”. Heidi says curried apples + couscous is a super fast dish to make. But, as you know, I don’t offer couscous (pasta product) and was looking for a millet recipe. The lentil stew and this millet will be lovely together, as well as fine on their own.

NEXT: Beets. Can’t go a month without beets. Besides they’re all over the markets right now. So are tomatillos. If they’re still there in 2 weeks, I’ll do a tomatillo bean tamale pie.

See all past Dishes of the Week from 2011 at the DDoW Menu Archive.


Sustainable Sustenance

Gorgeous local veg for Ratatouille

Last night I oversaw a community dinner for 60. The goal was to make it locavore and vegan. Sized up what was available at the farmers’ market and decided on Ratatouille to take advantage of the very last zucchini and to bid farewell to summer. Main components are zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes, with optional bell peppers. No more local basil, so used sage & parsley instead. We added garbanzo beans for protein and bulk.

To round out the menu, I added roast purple fingerlings & sweet potatoes, a crunchy cabbage slaw with fresh dill, and organic brown rice. Appetizers were fresh baby carrots, an olive tapenade with local parsley & onions and bread from Wuollet’s Bakery. The dinner, you will note, was dairy-free and gluten-free with the exception of bread.

OK, the desserts — ice cream sundaes, silky vegan chocolate pudding and organic oranges — were not locally sourced except for the blueberry sauce (picked this summer from Rush River Produce of Maidenrock, WI, my favorite blueberry farm.) The chocolate pudding is a mix by Mori-Nu, makers of my favorite silken tofu, which I also use in many creamy vegan salad dressings and dips. See Recipes and scroll down for a dill dip. Mori-Nu is the tofu in a vacuum-packed box, which means you can stock it in your pantry and save room in the frig. This low-fat pudding is incredibly easy to make, has a lovely silky smooth texture and is naturally sweetened. I like the taste, which is not overly sugary. You can find both Mori-Nu tofu and the pudding mix at the co-op.


Ratatouille is easy to make, either on the stove or in the oven. If making small quantities, I’ll simmer it on the stove, and if large quantities, I will roast. I have been including this dish in private cooking lessons this summer, to demonstrate how easy it is to cook a versatile vegetable-based dish. You can eat as an entree or side; add it to pasta sauces; throw it in scrambled eggs, omelets or quiche; or turn it into fried rice or a casserole.

“Oversaw” means I planned the menu, shopped, brought seasonings & stock ingredients, and then told wonderful volunteer sous-chefs what to do — which was mainly to chop the 50 lbs of veg I had purchased that morning. I do these community dinners fairly frequently, mostly at First Universalist Church.

Btw the way chef and urban farms advocate Nancy said the purple cabbage was the sweetest she’d ever tasted! It was from Chris Gamm of Reimann Farms (St Francis, MN).

Demos & Classes

Aunty Oxidant and kids making salads at Farmers' Market (photo by Sharon Ramirez)

THIS SUNDAY Aunty Oxidant (that’s me) and the Little Locavore show ride again! I will be demo-ing healthful salads at the Kingfield Farmers Market, one of the best markets in town! Come see me at 10.30am down at 4310 Nicollet Ave, Mpls. It’s open every Sun 8:30 am -1 pm.

I am planning to make — with kids’ assistance — Firecracker Slaw, a gorgeous tasty salad of shredded raw beets, carrots, kohlrabi and apples tossed in a chipotle vinaigrette. It’s sweet & spicy, crunchy & filling and very ‘clean’. FULL of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber fiber fiber. 

Firecracker Slaw: the prettiest slaw you've EVER seen! (my photo)

As my clients and readers know, I am all about Fiber. Fiber is the key to a healthful food lifestyle and a healthy body. It improves heart-health by removing cholesterol & fat from your system, cleans out your colon and makes you feel better. Fiber comes from — surprise — natural whole grains, beans, veggies and fruits, which also contain vitamins and antioxidants. So there you go.

This week I taught a cooking class at the new Rice Street Teen Center run by St Paul Parks & Recreation Dept. My audience was St Paul teens and the topic, unbeknownst to them, was Healthful Snacks. It was a little challenging to come up with dishes that I thought teenagers — vs adults — could easily and inexpensively make at home, ie with readily available, cheap ingredients and short prep times.

This was the resulting lesson plan:
  • fresh salsa w/ market veggies
  • “Texas caviar” aka black bean, corn & veg salad w/ pineapple & lime juice dressing
  • pineapple cream cheese & banana quesadillas
  • banana, peanut butter & craisin balls rolled in sunflower seeds.
The nine teens divided into four teams to make the above, which we served with tortilla chips. We diced fresh green peppers, tomatoes & onions, minced jalapenos, garlic & cilantro and then divided these in half to use in both vegetable dishes. Corn (from frozen), fresh diced cukes and 2 cans of black beans made up the rest of the bean salad. Canned chunked pineapples were strained and mashed with cream cheese, while the pineapple juice went into the bean salad. 

It was lots of fun and the teens took many containers of food home. My next class at Rice Street is in mid-Sept. With the same goal of making easy & inexpensive healthful foods, I’m thinking about Seasoned Oven-fried Potato, Sweet Potato, Rutabaga and Zucchini Spears. Roasting is a wonderful & easy cooking method as well as a healthier (low-fat) way to enjoy root veg. Plus root vegetables are cheap and feed a crowd — you can buy 5# of potatoes for the price of a lg bag of Tater Tots.  So wish me luck! 
I’ll be posting soon about a series of cooking classes that I’m offering at Inver Grove Hts Community Center. They are scheduled on Thursdays from mid-September thru October, to coincide with the mini- Farmers’ Market held in the center’s parking lot! 

If you have any suggestions for foods/dishes that appeal to teens and kids, please include in a comment on this blog, or, email me at tracyksyue@yahoo.com. Thank you!

Zucchini Linguine

Raw zucchini linguine (link to recipe) was a hit at today’s Little Locavore shows!

My wonderful volunteers really got into food preparation. We could have spent the entire half hour on that.  But, then we would not have had the chance to enjoy the Zucchini Baton Relay Race or the Aunty Oxidant & Free Radicals skit.

Raw Zucchini "Linguine" w/ fresh marinara sauce

Raw Zucchini "Linguine" w/ fresh marinara sauce

The kids were very skillful, using “kid” scissors to:

  • snip basil
  • dice strips of zucchini and pattypan squash
  • cut small roma tomatoes in quarters

They also used a potato masher to mash juicy cherry tomatoes for the marinara sauce.

Here’s feedback from Ruth today (also in Comments section) :

Thanks for introducing all kinds of veggies to my girls, Izzy and Vivian. For some reason, the same veg presented by me is not nearly as enticing. Izzy blogged about you and making zucchini linguine.

And a BIG THANK YOU to volunteers Vivian, Izzy, Catherine, Selena, June, JJ, Harper, Madeleine, VJ, Jackson and Caroline!

Raw zucchini “linguine”

Raw Zucchini "Linguine" w/ fresh marinara sauce

Raw Zucchini "Linguine" w/ fresh marinara sauce

Yes, that’s right, raw noodle-like shreds of zucchini, with a fresh marinara sauce. Delicious, zesty, a little crunchy and VERY low in calories.

We’re going to make this dish on Sunday at the Mpls Farmers Market.  See previous posting for Map of location.

Come on down, enjoy the activities and sample the “linguine”!