Friday, March 19, 2010

A Very Veggie Pesach: Mediterranean Zucchini and Quinoa

I found a recipe for Mediterranean Zucchini that looked good, but it didn't have a protein source.  I found a recipe for Mediterranean Quinoa that I thought needed a vegetable.  The recipes were quite similar, so I put them together and got Mediterranean Zucchini and Quinoa!

I have one more main course idea, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet.  I plan to make it on Wednesday night during Passover, bring the leftovers to work Thursday for a second opinion from my friend, colleague and taste-tester Rachel, and if the recipe gets "two thumbs up" it will be posted here on Thursday.  If it doesn't go so well, I'll skip the complete recipe, but I'll post what I was trying to do.

Most of the ingredients are fresh vegetables, which are not a Passover problem.  The only ingredients that would be challenging are tomato paste and black pepper.  This recipe is vegan (contains no eggs or dairy), gluten-free and non-gebrochts (contains no matzah products).

  1. 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 cup chopped onion (a medium-large onion)
  3. 1 bell pepper, chopped
  4. 1 zucchini, diced
  5. 3 oz can of tomato paste (about 1/3 cup)
  6. 12 oz of water (refil the empty sauce can 4 times or measure 1 1/2 cups)
  7. 6 oz of dry quinoa (refill the empty sauce can 2 times or measure 3/4 cup)
  8. 2 cloves garlic
  9. 1 tsp. black pepper or more to taste
Kashrut Notes:
  1. OU's website currently states that all extra virgin olive oils are kosher for Passover without any certification.
  2. Onion, bell pepper, zucchini and garlic are fresh vegetables.  Star K's website says that fresh supermarket produce is not a Passover problem.  Note that bottled garlic powder is definitely a problem -- it is rumored to be diluted with flour when the source garlic is too strong
  3. Quinoa is discussed at length with my recipes for Quinoa Stuffed Peppers and Quinoa Stuffed Cabbage. UPDATE: Even OU now accepts quinoa, but of course they insist on using KFP certification.
  4. Tomato paste requires kosher-for-Passover certification.  Gefen makes a very nice Passover tomato paste in 3 oz cans that is available in better Passover aisles.  If you can only find larger cans (Avi Glatt has 12 oz cans), measure out about 1/3 cup.
  5. Spices are a problem, because they are not kosher for Passover without certification, but black pepper is one of the more commonly available Passover spices.  You can skip the black pepper if you can't find it, but I like the spicy kick it gives this recipe
  1. Saute the onions and peppers in the olive oil in a 2 quart saucepan until the onions begin to become transparent.
  2. Add the zucchini and continue to saute until the onions begin to brown
  3. Add the remaining ingredients (tomato paste, water, quinoa, garlic, pepper) and stir well until the tomato paste is fully blended with the water into a thin sauce consistency (don't worry; the quinoa will absorb the water as it cooks)
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the temperature and cover
  5. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
This can be left on low heat with minimal attention for a long time, so it might be a good choice for a vegetarian seder meal.

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