Zucchini-The Naturally Gluten Free Veggie of the Day and Not Really Recipe Fail

Actually it’s the naturally gluten free veggie of the summer.

Actually, all veggies are naturally gluten free.  (That is, in their natural state, and barring any preparation styles using gluten, of course.)

Score!

Zucchini is an incredibly prolific vegetable in the summer.  Around here, it’s everywhere-which is great, because it’s local, in season, tasty, and less expensive than some other veggie counterparts.  It’s also an incredibly versatile vegetable.  I wrote about one use of it here in my post about shredding it up with some carrots. It has an extremely mild flavor, and it takes on the flavors of whatever you cook it with.

So it can be used in both savory and sweet applications.

Double score!

Once again at the market this weekend I found myself face to face with some gorgeous huge organic zucchini.  And they were cheap!

There were some mushrooms that looked lovely, so into the basket they went.

And tomatoes.  I love me my tomatoes.  (Yes, I know they are a fruit, technically so is zucchini, but lets not split hairs shall we?)

I had cooked up a couple pounds of pork tenderloin the other day, so I knew that would be my protein source for dinner.  Why cook one pound when you can cook extra and have leftovers?  Prepare ahead and set yourself up for healthy gluten free eating success.)

Now as you may know, I don’t generally follow recipes.  I’m really bad at it.  I forget to measure all the time.  That’s why I do “not-really-recipes.”  A guideline, a template for which to alter as you see fit and with what you have on hand.

This is great, it creates a sense of freedom and creativity.

Sometimes it also creates spectacular cooking fails.

Cooking fail

D'OH! Courtesy The Simpsons and apchabraja

I decided I wanted to make zucchini pancake type things.

Without consulting any resources (which I should have done) I proceeded to shred the zucchini with a box grater.  I thought I was so smart when I remembered to salt it to draw out the water and squeeze it dry.  I decided it would be fantastic to add in the chopped mushrooms to give the zucchini a bit of a meatier texture.  I threw in some sea salt, garlic, hot sauce, one egg (beaten,) mixed it up and called it good.

Heated up my pan with a bit of coconut oil (from the Misto-love that thing) and proceeded to form little round piles of goodness.

And what to  my wondering eyes did NOT appear?

Browning.  They were steaming and cooking, but no lovely carmelization and browning.  The pancakes weren’t sticking together.

The mushrooms.  They also have a high water content.  Too much moisture=no browning for Erin.  Between the mushrooms and the zucchini, I was toast.  (Figuratively)

Undeterred, I mixed it all up into a pile and cooked it.  And boy was it tasty!

So the moral of the story is this:

Sometimes Not Really Recipes don’t work out the way you think, but taste good anyway.

Sometimes that may happen with real recipes-not to worry!

There are a bunch of great zucchini recipes out there.  Here are a few of my favorites:

The right way to make zucchini fritters at Cook it Allergy Free

Melissa at Gluten Free For Good makes a zucchini tomato basil bake (gluten free zucchini au gratin)

Shirley at Gluten Free Easily’s awesome gluten free Chocolate Zucchini Bread/Cake

And lots of ideas from Eating Well

For more cool free information on eating well and healthfully gluten free, check out GF and Fit 101.

Bring on the zucchini!  What’s your favorite way to prepare it?

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  1. Heidi Kelly says:

    Love it Erin!! I am the opposite of you, I can’t cook without a recipe that I follow to a tee! You have inspired me though, to let loose and run with abandon! :-D

  2. Lol! That is too funny! Great post, Erin! Thanks for the link love!! ;0)
    Your concoction actually sounds quite delicious though! It is my little mantra that sometimes when best laid plans go awry, you still end up with success!

  3. Erin says:

    Hey Heidi!
    Embrace your inner rebel :) Cook without a recipe ;)

  4. Erin says:

    Hi Kim!
    Aye. It tasted very good, just wasn’t quite what I had in mind when I set out to cook my dinner!

  5. In that case, I think you needed that extra moisture, dear. ;-) Still looks and sounds quite tasty though! I’ve made zucchini pancakes, but it’s been a while. FYI–I’m working on “your” post. Birthdays and family events can sure get a girl off her blogging schedule! ;-)

    Thanks for the link love! I wish I had some of that chocolate zucchini bread right now. Have the “after work I want something sweet” cravings. ;-)

    Hugs,
    Shirley

  6. Alta says:

    Love that you posted your failure on here – specially cause it still tasted good, even if it was supposed to be something else!

  7. Erin says:

    Hi Shirley,
    I hope you had a fabulous birthday! You should be “off” your schedule!
    That chocolate zucchini bread sounds good for anytime :)

  8. monica says:

    I found your post about zucchini very funny and very timely. I had 2 nice zucchini in the fridge and couldn’t decide what to do with them. Your no recipe ‘fail’ is exactly the kind of thing I would do and I couldn’t stop laughing. I decided since you did the fail for me, I would make the zucchini fritters and chocolate zucchini bread. Both turned out fabulous! Thank you for sharing those links and your culinary experience too :)

  9. Erin says:

    Monica,
    Awesome! So glad I experienced your fail for you ;)
    And you can send me a piece of that chocolate zucchini bread, please and thank you ;)
    Glad it worked out!

  10. Rogene says:

    I’d tweak it a little, call it “Zucchini Scramble” and you’ve got a new recipe. Painting teacher Bob Ross had a saying, “There are no mistakes, just happy accidents.” Sounds like that’s what happened to you Erin.

  11. Erin says:

    Hi Rogene!
    I think that’s a fantastic idea! I think I remember his TV show-did he paint “happy little clouds?”
    Thank you!

  12. Rogene says:

    Yep, that’s him. Everything was “happy” in Bob’s world.

    No zucchini yet at farmer’s market yesterday. Did get a lovely yellow squash though.

  13. As always, I love your “not really recipes” approach to cooking! You’re definitely a girl after my own heart. I always say I dislike coloring between the lines and sometimes my food creations look like a 2 year old made the meal (insert messy coloring book image here), but like you say, that doesn’t mean things don’t taste wonderful! I’ve done so much backpacking and camp cooking in my life that I know you don’t have to follow a recipe and the food doesn’t have to turn out looking the way you expected for it to taste good.

    Peace, love and creative cooking!
    Melissa
    P.S. Thanks for the zucchini shout-out! I’ve got the stuff coming out my ears, but I’m not complaining. Just had some in my smoothie this morning. =)

  14. Erin says:

    Hi Melissa!
    You are so right. Maybe it’s as bit of rebellion coming out in me-I was always very careful to color within the lines as a child-now I’m striking out!
    Zucchini is pretty awesomely versatile. Good thing too. ;)

  15. Erin says:

    What a lovely world to live in. I definitely remember that show, I think I even tried to paint along with him a few times. Alas, I am artistically impaired ;)

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