Sunday, 3 June 2012

Lovely lunches: zucchini pizza bites, fritters and a sandwich

"It's just a case of the mumbledebumps, I think" says the doctor in one of Sylvia's favourite book (Little Mommy).  I think that is the diagnosis for our household.  Snuffly, croaky and feeling a bit sorry for ourselves.  So it is little bit ironic that we've had a few lunches lately that are a bit fancier than my usual cheese sandwich or bowl of soup.  It is all to do with having the time and the right ingredients on hand.

Firstly let me tell you about the zucchini pizza bites that we made last weekend.  I made them when we had zucchinis to use but no bread.  They are so simple.  Just oil, top and bake zucchini.  Great for kids to help out.  Unfortunately Sylvia's enthusiasm for making them didn't extend to eating them.  She merely ate the cheese and tofu bacon off the top of hers.

E and I ate up our vegies.  Not overly filling, even despite the cheese.  Yet they were tasty wee morsels.  I would like to think they might make excellent finger food for entertaining.  However they were terribly soft because cooked zucchini is so watery.  I fear that I am the type who might pick up one at a party and find it collapsed on me, leaving a trail of pizza sauce down my front.  I didn't do too well with the quantities as reflected in the recipe below.  I noticed that Kalyn who inspired me was also vague on quantities.

During the week when I wasn't feeling well I made some pumpkin chickpea fritters. I already had the roasted pumpkin so it was just a matter of mooshing up all the ingredients and griling them.  I only have rice crumbs in the house (no bread crumbs) so they were vegan and gluten free.  Delicate but delicious.  Even better because we had fritters leftover for dinner.  Perfect with some corn on the cob, carrot sticks, and this lentil and pea salad with almond feta.

This last lunch was the simplest to assemble and yet is the one of which I am most proud.  This is a made-from-scratch triumph!  I baked the honey and oat bread, roasted the pumpkin, made the almond feta and even made the tofu bacon that was fried with some cabbage.  Leftover sandwiches are the best!

I am sending the zucchini pizza bites to Jac for Bookmarked Recipes (founded by Ruth); the pumpkin chickpea fritters to Ricki for Wellness Weekends; and the Almond feta, pumpkin and tofu bacon sandwich to Deb for Kahakai Kitchen's Souper Sundays (which also includes sandwiches and salad).  Now I am off to have lunch

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Plum Gingerbread Sponge Pudding
Two years ago: Banana Weetbix Muffins for Sylvia
Three years ago: Green and black cupcakes
Four years ago: Rabbiting on about Cheese and Rarebit!
Five years ago: Degraves Espresso Bar – Built to Last

Zucchini Pizza Bites
Inspired by Kalyn (with some baking advice from Ashley)
Serves about 2-3 people or more as a side dish

2 largish zucchinis (courgettes)
1 tsp olive oil
130g tin of baked beans
1 tsp mixed herbs
2 tbsp tomato paste
Salt to taste (I think I added a couple of pinches)
Grated cheese
Finely chopped green capsicum
Tofu bacon -  about 4 slices chopped finely and fried in a little oil

Cut zucchinis into thick slices, arrange on two baking trays and brush one side with olive oil.  Bake at 220 C for about 10 minutes.

While they are baking blend up the beans, herbs, tomato paste and salt to make an easy pizza sauce and prepare (chop and grate and fry) the rest of the toppings.  (NB I had leftover sauce and toppings.)

Take zucchini out of the oven.  Spread a dollop of pizza sauce and spread over each zucchini slice.  Top with capsicum and tofu bacon then carefully sprinkle cheese over the top.  Return to the oven for about another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Eat warm - just cool enough so you don't burn your mouth on the molten cheese!

Pumpkin Chickpea Fritters
Adapted from Healthy Happy Life
makes about 6 small round fritters

400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin
3 tbsp sesame seeds
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
1 to 2 tsp lemon juice
5 sage leaves, finely sliced
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt flakes
a few dashes of cayenne pepper
rice crumbs to coat
oil spray for grilling

Mash together chickpeas and pumpkin in a mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined.  Place rice crumbs in a small bowl.  Take handfuls and shape into a patty. Dredge in rice crumbs until covered.  Place on grill (broiler) and spray with oil.  Grill until they are golden brown (this will take quite some time - perhaps 5-10 minutes).  Turn over, spray with oil and grill until golden brown on the other side.  Eat warm.

On the stereo:
Wonderland soundtrack - Michael Nyman

26 comments:

  1. those zucchini bites look sooooooo good! and how fun to make them with your little one! those will be precious memories one day:) thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks GF happy tummy - it is always fun to bake with sylvia

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  2. As soon as I read that quote I knew which book you meant exactly! I had that book too :) I hope you're all feeling better soon! BTW love the monsters t shirt!

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - I never had the book but sylvia was given it (and I at first thought it an odd role model for a modern girl until I saw how old the book was)

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  3. It all looks so good. Wish I could pop round for dinner :)
    Maybe you could serve the courgette pizzas on some little crackers or toasted bread to make them more stable, or some kind of seed and nut brittle. All looks so delicious

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    1. Thanks Katie - would feed you any time you turn up - I thought of serving the zucchini bites in one of those little serving spoons so that you could sort of slurp them off the spoon but what about serving them on a slice of crispy roast potato (though would the zucchini make them soggy)

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  4. These all look wonderful Johanna, and are particularly impressive for a week when you haven't been feeling the best (I hope you're all recovered soon). I love the sound of the fritters, and having made bread today (!) am even more impressed than I would usually be with the sandwich made from scratch. It looks picture perfect!

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    1. Thanks Kari - I actually made most of these before I got sick though I have been cooking while sick because just hanging around the home more than usual - yay for bread making!

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  5. LOVE the look of those zucchini bites, I will be trying these!

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    1. Thanks Chocolate Shavings - enjoy the zucchini bites

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  6. The fritters sound perfect, and those little zucchini bites are so cute! But I have to agree with Sylvia--I'd probably pass on the zucchini part, too. Zucchini does get rather limp and mushy when cooked. . .can't say I'm a fan of that! But pizza toppings, on the other hand. . .mmm!! :)

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    1. Thanks Ricki - I love grilled or roasted zucchini when it is crisp on the outside and soft inside - which is partly why the idea of pizza on zucchini appealed

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  7. What a beautiful collection of delicious lunchtime treats! Beats my cheese sandwich any day of the week (even if I do bake the bread myself!). Hope you're all feeling better soon.

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    1. Thanks Caroline - wish my lunches were always so beautiful too - though I think cheese sandwiches with homemade bread isn't too shabby. Am feeling a bit better thanks

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  8. Everything sure looks delicious, Johanna. I can't believe how much Sylvia has grown. My word! I am especially impressed with the notion of Pumpkin Chickpea Fritters!

    Thanks for sharing...

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    1. Thanks louise - the pumpkin chickpea fritters were so good for how quickly and easily they came together - highly recommend them

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  9. Some great dishes coming out of your kitchen. The sandwich looks especially delicious with the almond feta and tofu bacon. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays. ;-)

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    1. Thanks Deb - the sandwich was great! happy to share!

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  10. I LOVE Sylvia's tshirt - where did you get it??!

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    1. Thanks Ess Mick - it is from the Sprout range in Myer - we bought it a year or two ago (I love Sprout but sadly it only goes up to 2 year old sizes and now Sylvia is 3)

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  11. I would totally be the person spilling zucchini/pizza sauce down my shirt also. So perhaps these are best eaten for lunch or dinner in teh quiet of my own home. Also...because I wouldn't want to share.

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    1. Thanks Joanne - I agree - it would be hard to share them - though not so great with sylvia if she eats the topping and all I am left with is the zucchini :-(

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  12. I love the idea of usind zucchini slices as the basis for pizza bites! Thank you! :D

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    1. Thanks Kath - hope these work well for you and your family - there are lots of zucchini chips in the blogosphere too - some with gluten and other just with a parmesan coating that looks quite good

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  13. What a fabulous dish to make for the Queen's Jubilee!! I watched the concert on telly last night. Ruby beer - cute!

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - my mum has taped us the jubilee concert but will bring it down next week

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