Vegan quinoa-stuffed grilled zucchini

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil extra-virgin
  • 1/2 medium garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, any color or variety
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (from about 1 medium lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the zucchini:

  • 6 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 24 toothpicks

Instructions:

  1. Place the water and cashews in a blender and let sit until softened, about 2 hours.
  2. Add the oil, garlic, measured salt, cumin, and cayenne and blend until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan.
  3. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer under cold water until the water runs clear. Transfer to the saucepan with the cashew mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon and making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan, until the white outer casings on the quinoa have popped, revealing translucent little beads, about 15 to 20 minutes. (While the quinoa is cooking, heat the grill and prepare the zucchini.) Remove from the heat.
  5. Add the parsley, zest, and lemon juice and stir to combine. Taste and season with more salt as needed; set aside.

For the zucchini:

  1. Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium high (about 375°F to 425°F).
  2. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a small spoon, scoop out and discard the flesh, leaving about 1/4 inch intact around the outer edge. Place the zucchini halves on a baking sheet.
  3. Brush the inside and outside of the zucchini halves with all of the oil, then generously season both sides with salt and pepper; set aside.
  4. When the quinoa mixture is ready, divide it evenly among the zucchini halves, spreading it into an even, flat layer. Close the zucchini halves, matching the halves if possible, to sandwich the filling. Secure each zucchini with 4 toothpicks, crossing 2 toothpicks at each end.
  5. Place the stuffed zucchini on the grill. Close the grill and cook until grill marks appear on the bottom, about 6 minutes. Carefully flip the zucchini over, close the grill, and cook until grill marks appear on the second side and the filling is heated through, about 5 to 6 minutes more. Transfer to a serving platter, remove the toothpicks, and serve.

 

Zucchini wraps

Ingredients:

  • 1-3 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
  • A few small carrots, julienned
  • Sprouts/micro greens of choice
  • Cilantro, optional
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Toothpicks, to hold the wraps together

For the kale pesto:

  • 1 cup basil or kale
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tahini, optional
  • 3 tablespoons or so extra virgin olive oil (if not using tahini add 1 or 2 extra tablespoons olive oil)
  • Himalayan salt, to taste

Instructions:

  1. If you can’t find sprouts or micro greens, try using cilantro or fresh basil leaves.
  2. For the kale pesto, place ingredients into food processor and process until desired consistency. Taste for seasoning.
  3. Lay your zucchini flat on a hard surface, layer with the pesto, add sprouts, and vegetables, then starting from the vegetable end, roll and stick with a toothpick in the center. Top with cracked pepper and serve.