What do you mean it’s too hard to make them taste good?
It’s really not hard if you keep an open mind and take advantage of what is available.
I am very lucky to have a nearby market where they feature locally grown and mostly organic produce. I stop by there on the weekend and pick up whatever looks and smells good to me.
Last weekend, there was a bunch of beautiful bright orange carrots and some zucchini (aka summer squash-as I understand it summer squash can be either yellow or green, and the green variety is zucchini.)
It’s in season now, and was very reasonably priced. I loaded up my basket with those and some other goodies. Had I a clue of how I was going to prepare them? Nope. But, I knew I could figure something out.
In my opinion, that’s a key to preparing your own gluten free and healthful food.
Keep your options open if you are at a market such as this. See what looks good and is reasonably priced. When you start with fresh, local ingredients, generally you will have a much more flavorful start to your meal than if you are starting with something that has been shipped and/or processed. You won’t need fancy sauces or preparation methods to make them taste good.
Diane at The Whole Gang dedicated 30 days of recipes to this idea. It was seen in Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution” TV program. It makes cooking less scary, more accessible, and better for you to boot.
So here I am with my zucchini and carrots. My Dad is in town for Fathers’ Day, and Jeff is at work, so it’s dinner for me and Dad. It was Sunday, so it’s my cook ahead for the week day.
I had been marinating chicken breasts in lemon juice, fresh garlic, and lemon pepper seasoning (this is my favorite) for most of the day. That would be our protein source.
I remembered seeing an idea to make pasta-ish ribbons from zucchini using a vegetable peeler. I thought that sounded good, so I scrubbed my veggies with water and a veggie brush and pulled out the peeler. 2 peels into it I decided that would take far too long. I am definitely not that patient.
I do have a mack daddy food processor which I love. I pulled it out and gave myself a quick tutorial on how to use the shredding blade. It worked fantastically.
I had a beautiful big pile of shredded zucchini and carrot.
Now what to do?
My theory is you can never go wrong with some fresh garlic. Not in the amount that would protect you from vampires, but just a touch for some flavor.
I poured a tablespoon of coconut oil into my pan, and let it warm up over medium high heat. Then I used my garlic press on 1 medium clove of fresh garlic and added that to the pan, stirring frequently as not to burn, just get that toasty garlic aroma floating through the house.
This is when my Dad was drawn into the kitchen by the smell of garlic, and I chased him off.
The chicken was in the oven cooking away while I was doing all this, and some sweet potatoes were keeping the chicken company in the oven. Especially in Florida in the summertime, if you’re heating up the oven, you may as well make the most of it.
Add the shredded zucchini and carrots to the pan, and stir. They cook quickly, about 5 minutes or so is all you need. I added a couple shakes of sea salt and grinds of black pepper, and that was it.
We had a lovely meal of chicken, the shredded veggies, and sweet potato. All naturally gluten free. All wonderfully full of flavor, and easy to prepare.
What’s your favorite way to prepare vegetables? If you have tricks, please share!
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