I'm having a love affair with summer crops. It's such a nice change from the depths of winter - even though we are lucky to have a year-round farmer's market in our part of London - to see more fruit than just apples and pears. There have been some particularly wonderful berries this year, and more recently, peaches and plums. I know this won't last, so I'm hanging on to every sweet moment. But it's not just about the sweet stuff. Courgettes aka zucchini are around in abundance in all shades of yellow and green. Last week, we picked up 6 small ones, but this week we bagged 3 huge ones. I love that. Seeing how the crops change week to week and altering your meals accordingly.
So we made use of these different courgettes in two very different ways. The first, a spicy Thai curry for dinner. The second, a classic Zucchini Bread but with some healthy and vegan substitutions. Whichever way you use them, make sure to snap up a few before the summer is over. Which, here in England, it feels like it already is!
Thai Curry with Summer Vegetables & Shrimp
- 2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
- 1 large or 2 small yellow onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped into matchsticks
- 1 or 2 chili peppers, finely chopped
- 2 tsp Thai 7-spice
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 red pepper, chopped into strips
- 3-4 small zucchini, chopped into long strips
- 1 cup shrimp, cooked and peeled
- 1 can organic coconut milk
- 1 lime, cut into quarters
- 2 bunches brown rice noodles
- handful unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
- handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- Heat a wok with the coconut oil and the mustard seeds. When they start to "pop", add the onion and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, and chili peppers and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the spices.
- Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil and cook the brown rice noodles (usually takes about 5 minutes).
- Add the red pepper and zucchini to the wok, stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, then pour in the coconut milk. Allow it to bubble away for a minute or so, then add the shrimp and squeeze in 1/2 lime's juice. Bubble and stir for 2-3 minutes, until the shrimp are warmed through and some of the liquid has evaporated.
- Drain the noodles and divide them between two dishes. Spoon over the curry. Sprinkle some peanuts and cilantro over to the top of each dish, and serve with a lime wedge.
Vegan Zucchini Bread with Pecans
Adapted from Eating Clean Recipes
Makes one 8x4 inch loaf
- 1 1/2 cups wholegrain spelt flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup zucchini, finely shredded
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 2 tbsp cacao nibs (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350F or gas mark 4. Line an 8x4 inch loaf tin with baking parchment (stick to the tin with cooking spray or coconut oil).
- In a small bowl or jug, whisk the almond milk with the cider vinegar and flaxseed for a minute and set aside to thicken.
- In a large bowl, mix the spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla powder, salt, and spices.
- Once thickened, combine the almond milk mixture with the sugar, coconut oil, applesauce, and zucchini. Stir until well incorporated, then add to the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.
- Fold in the pecans and cacao nibs. Pour into the loaf tin.
- Bake 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack.