Posts Tagged 'zucchini'

Courgettes (Zucchini) and Buffalo Curry

I needed something to bring to the office for a surprise “man shower” we were having for a soon-to-be new dad. I wanted to make something from my garden, but it was between the spring veggies (snow peas, etc.,) and the onslaught of zucchini and tomatoes that was surely soon to come.  I managed to pick a handful of baby zucchini and yellow squash and cut them up for this nice curry from my favorite low fat Indian cookbook by Husain and Kanani.

One of the quickest ways to lower the fat in many recipes (besides substituting buffalo for the beef) is to eliminate the fat or oil. If the oil is only being used as a vehicle to soften veggies and is not a critical component of the flavor, you don’t need it.  You can steam fry the veggies. Don’t remember how to steam fry? Spray a large frying pan (or wok in my case) with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Add your onions, celery or whatever the recipe calls for. Cook, stirring frequently. As the veggies start to turn golden, add a little water and stir. It will soon evaporate. You can do this several times until the veggies are softened or you reach the shade of golden brown you are looking for.

You lose 14 grams of unneeded fat for each tablespoon of oil you eliminate, and you still get the good flavor of sautéed onions, garlic, and the like.  So in a dish that serves 4, you eliminate 3.5 grams of fat/tablespoon of oil eliminated.

This recipe would have made nice leftovers, but there weren’t any. It is not a particularly incendiary curry, and thus suitable for friends who don’t like “hot” foods.

Courgettes (Zucchini) and Buffalo Curry

Cooking spray
2 medium onions, chopped
8 oz buffalo, trimmed and cut into small strips
½ cup non-fat yogurt (I used Greek, but regular is ok)
1 teaspoon garam masala (see NOTE)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
½ teaspoon ground coriander
2 zucchini, sliced
1 Tablespoon cilantro to garnish

Either broil the zucchini slices in a preheated broiler for 3 minutes, turning once, or cook them in a frying pan or griddle pan coated with cooking spray until they are lightly browned (this is what I did).  Set aside.

Steam fry onion until golden brown. Add buffalo and stir fry for 1 minute. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, garam masala, chili powder, garlic, ginger, and ground coriander. Pour yogurt mixture over the buffalo and stir fry for 2 minutes. Cook over medium to low heat for 12-15 minutes.

Check to see that the buffalo is cooked and the sauce is quite thick.  Then gently add zucchini. Cook for about 5 minutes. Serve garnished with cilantro.  I served it with couscous for convenience, but I think it would be better with rice. Makes 4 servings at about 2 grams of fat/serving.

NOTE: Garam masala is a Hindi term meaning hot (garam) spice (masala). The word garam refers to intensity of the spices;  masala is pungent, but not hot in the same way as a chili pepper. The actual mixture of spices used in garam masala differs regionally, and even from family to family, with a wide variety across India. You can buy an acceptable bottle garam masala from a number of companies, or you can find a recipe in an Indian cookbook and make your own.


Zucchini Cookies

There was still zucchini left even after making zucchini bread. That thing was huge!

It has gotten decidedly chilly, and time to bake things to warm the kitchen up. My television and comfy chairs are in the little family room that is part of the kitchen, so using the oven makes for a pleasant space to relax.

I started to look up Zucchini Cookies.  I didn’t want anything fancy. These weren’t take to a potluck cookies (although a plateful came to the office). I wanted cookies that were low enough in fat to tuck in my lunch bag or eat for a late night (ok, early morning, too.) snack. Many of the recipes had nuts and/or chocolate chips – and even coconut. You could add one of these to dress up the cookies, but you’d have to add them to your fat count.  These cookies are a combination of recipes with some additions of my own. They taste very buttery, and the recipe makes at least 60 cookies, so despite the generous amount of butter, they are individually quite low in fat. They have lasted quite well out of the freezer (except for the ones I took to the office which disappeared immediately).  I plan to freeze some for later snacking.

Zucchini Cookies

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
½ cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked oatmeal (regular or quick)
½ cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat cookie sheets with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg substitute and vanilla. Stir in zucchini. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and oatmeal. Add to zucchini mixture. Beat until thoroughly mixed. Stir in raisins. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes, and transfer to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough. Makes 60 cookies at about 3 grams of fat per cookie.

Note: I made this with yellow zucchini so there are flecks of yellow in the cookies.  I don’t know how they would look with green flecks – although they would probably taste just as good.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Someone gave me an immense yellow zucchini.

Now I love yellow squash, and I have been eating them from the garden sautéed, in soup, and in stews. But this squash had gone way beyond the delicate structure of spring and summer zucchini. It had grown fat and swollen – well beyond delicate. I knew it would be too pulpy to eat plain. So I grated it coarsely and searched for recipes. Besides, it’s baking weather, so that the oven can keep my kitchen and little family room warm.

This moist and very chocolate-y zucchini bread is a combination of many recipes, converted to low fat. Usually, I prefer muffins, but since I wasn’t sure how this would work out, I decided a loaf would be safer for the experiment.  Now that I’ve tried it, I think it would also make great muffins.  I sliced it and froze about half the slices to put in my lunch. It freezes beautifully.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

2½ Tablespoons of butter
3 Tablespoons applesauce
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1½  cups grated zucchini
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Beat in applesauce and eggs. Add water, and vanilla and stir. Beat in flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cocoa powder and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in grated zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake until wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes, and remove from pan. Makes 12 servings at about 4 grams of fat/serving.


I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

More about me.

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