Shaved Zucchini Salad

There’s only so many things one can do with zucchini, and then you have to start stashing it in people’s cars, or secretly putting it on folk’s porches. This is a good one with zucchini that are not too big and still flavorful and tender. In fact I think that’s how you get ahead of the zucchini game. Pick them while they are still small- medium-sized. Otherwise, they get ridiculous.

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

2 pounds medium zucchini, trimmed

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)

Small wedge of Parmesan cheese

PREPARATION

Whisk oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and crushed red pepper in small bowl to blend. Set dressing aside.

Using vegetable peeler or V-slicer and working from top to bottom of each zucchini, slice zucchini into ribbons (about 1/16 inch thick). Place ribbons in large bowl. Add basil and nuts, then dressing; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Using vegetable peeler, shave strips from Parmesan wedge over salad.

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shaved-zucchini-salad-with-parmesan-pine-nuts-360251

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Summer Lettuce Cups

I made this up for the summer potluck. I wanted easy finger food with protein, not too heavy, and that featured juicy summer garden vegetables. Since the garden is currently spewing cucumbers and tomatoes, they got the job. I used lettuce cups as a wrap for the ingredients for added crunch, moisture-resistance, fiber and finger-food-ability. Bread or crackers would have become soggy and added an unnecessary caloric burden/blood sugar spike.

Best of all worlds - it’s delicious, not messy, tastes great, and feels good in the body later on too. A true Happiness recipe.

Ingredients: package of tempeh (a package of tempeh will give you about 12-13 batons), or 24 smaller half batons, 12 or 24 leaves of butter lettuce, or another firm’ish lettuce that has medium-sized bowl-shaped leaves - endive would work well too. 12 or 24 Cherry tomatoes, cucumber cut into 12 or 24 batons, tzatziki sauce (see next recipe).

  • cut tempeh into 1/4 inch thick batons, marinate in your favorite salad dressing. (I use a home-made balsamic)

  • sauté in olive oil medium heat until golden brown on all sides, set aside to cool

  • make tzatziki sauce while tempeh is marinating (see next recipe, or create your own creamy sauce)

Bring all the ingredients separately to your event along with a nice platter, and find an accomplice to help you. A great way to easily meet new people is to ask them for help with food prep!

To assemble, put a green leaf down on the platter, add a piece of tempeh, a cherry tomato and a cucumber baton. Drizzle lightly with tzatziki sauce. Serve as individual bites, sushi-style for people to nab, wrap and eat in a bite or two.

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Sautéed Leeks with mustard and cumin

(makes 2 C of cooked leeks)

2 medium leeks (or 4 small)

1/4 C extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 tablespoons of prepared mustard

1 teaspoon honey

Prepare the leeks: remove roots and very tops of greens. Cut lengthwise and rinse well. Julienne cross-wise into thin strips. Combine oil, cumin seeds and green parts of the leek in a medium frying pan and sauté over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Add white portions of leeks and sauté for another 8 minutes  stirring frequently. Add mustard and honey and sauté over low heat for a few more minutes until cooked through – taste them for seasoning. You can serve them hot or cold.