If you’re a gardener, summer is the time for lots of things – lots of watering, lots of tomatoes, and lots of zucchini. Zucchini is one of those things that I sometimes love and sometimes am…. not too excited about. Although you can give me a piece of zucchini chocolate cake any day. 🙂
I actually got the zucchini to make some raw (dehydrated) wraps. Making those has not yet fit into my schedule, so today I decided to go ahead with another mostly-raw zucchini recipe – filled zucchini cups!
They are relatively easy to make, take on the flavor of whatever you fill them with, and are a great finger food that can be used as part of a full meal, or as a nice appetizer for a summer party.
I chose to stuff mine with a nice flavorful quinoa salad. I got the quinoa cooking first, and then prepared the rest of the salad ingredients, along with the zucchini cups.
Please note – this isn’t a recipe with actual measurements. I threw it all together on the spot, and you can customize it for your own tastes.
For the quinoa salad, I used:
- a few cups of cooked quinoa (I have ALOT leftover for snacks)
- chopped kalamata olives
- sun-dried tomatoes that I soaked in a bit of olive oil, tamari, balsamic vinegar, and warm water
- chopped kale
- about 1/4 cup of minced red onion
and I seasoned it all with the soaking water from the tomatoes, more tamari and balsamic vinegar, and a few dashes of cayenne. It could have used a little garlic. Just sayin’.
For the zucchini, I peeled some stripes along the length to make it look interesting, and then cut it into rounds about 1 1/2 inches high (maybe a little shorter than that). Then I used a small melon baller to remove the insides of the zucchini, making little cups. (I did save the insides for my raw dehydrated wraps, so now I have to make them).
Since zucchini has a plain taste in itself, and I didn’t want such a contrast between the raw, crunchy zucchini pieces and the soft quinoa salad, I used my handy Misto and sprayed the cups with a mixture of tamari, balsamic vinegar, and liquid smoke (yes, it’s vegan!). That gave them some flavor for themselves, and also tenderized the zucchini a bit so they cups weren’t totally hard. Great idea, that was! Then I filled them with the quinoa salad and they were ready to go. On a few of them, I gave a couple extra squirts of the tamari/balsamic/liquid smoke mixture, and that was a nice flavor to have when biting in.
These were easy to make, and can be filled with an endless variety of items, from other salads to cashew creams to hummus to almost anything you want!