Monday, July 23, 2012

Grilled Zucchini And Bean Salad Is Outstanding!

It continues to be a hot, hot summer and no one wants to spend time over a hot stove, so how about a hot grill?  Just thought I'd throw that in.  I was looking for recipes that would utilize our abundance of zucchini coming in from our garden.  Did you know that zucchini and squash are very prolific plants?  They produce a LOT of produce per plant which is good, but then you want to use it and not  prepare it the same way over and over.

Not only is zucchini super delicious and can be prepared in a great variety of ways, it is very good for you.  It has vitamins, minerals, fiber and even protein.

 One raw medium zucchini, including its skin, boasts 56 percent of your daily recommended value of vitamin C. It also delivers 11 percent of your daily value of vitamin K, 16 percent of riboflavin, 21 percent of vitamin B-6 and 14 percent of folate. Other vitamins present in lesser  quantities include vitamin A, vitamin E, thiamin, niacin and pantothenic acid.

Who knew such a humble vegetable could be so good for you and taste so good at the same time?

This recipe is from a show on the Food Network called Mexican Made Easy.  It's one of my favorite shows and I love to watch it on Saturday mornings.  I know I'm a nerd, but I love recipes and food shows and watching people prepare awesome recipes.  It inspires me to the "nth" degree and encourages me to make better food for us and our extended family.  The host of the show is Marcela Valladolid and she makes amazing food and I have used several of her recipes.  This is one of the best ways ever to use zucchini and it's very easy too.  Everyone LOVED this recipe.

Here is what you need:

3 zucchini, cut lengthwise in 1/2 inch thick slices
1 15 ounce can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 TBSP fresh lime juice (1 lime)
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil plus additional for brushing on the zucchini for grilling
salt and pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 serrano chilis, stemmed, seeded, chopped (I left these out because we have little ones eating.  Serranos are hotter than jalapenos.)
2 cloves garlic, minced

Cut the ends off the zucchini and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices longways.  Brush both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Grill, turning once - about 4 minutes per side.  Cut into 1 inch pieces.  They will look like this.
By the way, zucchini are delicious eaten just like this!

Next, make the dressing by whisking the lime juice, vinegar and oil.  Add the onion, cilantro, peppers (if using) and garlic.  Toss to coat the veggies.  Add the beans, stir to combine.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add the zucchini which has been cut into bite sized cubes.  Stir once more to combine.  Serve.

The combination of flavors and textures is so, so good.  Add the serrano peppers if you like heat in your salad.  Or, you could use a small can of diced chilis, or even diced bell pepper.  It would be your choice.  It was delicious with no peppers.  

This is a great side dish, but could also be eaten as a main dish because it is full of protein, fiber and deliciousness.  The beans provide protein and the zucchini, which is one of my favorite vegetables, exudes that wonderful grilled flavor.  Outstanding.  

You can make a big bowl of this (I doubled the recipe) and enjoy it again and again.  You will be sad when it's gone.  If you have zucchini growing in your garden, you are in luck and  can make it again and again.  The farmer's market is also flush with zucchini and squash at this time of the year so load up.  Here is another way you can use some of that summertime goodness.  Thank you Marcela for this fabulous recipe.  Enjoy!

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

Zucchinis terrific!
Like bunnies, prolific!

-  Author Unknown

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