Zucchini and Olive Pasta Bake

It’s SUMMA TIME and there’s an abundance of zucchini! Zucchini is delicious fried, roasted, in a fritter, and in salad, but today we’re using it in a Pasta Bake. Our guest star is the olive, which adds so much dang flavour into the sauce. If you’re not a fan of olives you can leave them out, but you don’t know what you’re missing. Don’t be a party pooper and just throw them in there!

We’re using my fave kitchen tool again- the amazing veggie peeler- to create little zucchini rolls for the bake.

L

The pasta that I used was Go Go Quinoa brand macaroni, and it usually takes about 4 minutes on the stove top to cook. I baked it in the oven for 10 minutes, and it was just slightly past al dente. So if you’re using just regular wheat macaroni or small shells (you don’t want to go any bigger with your pasta selection) that normally take 7-9 minutes to cook in boiling water, I bake them for 10-15 minutes for an al dente texture. My recipe below doesn’t account for that, so just keep in mind what kind of pasta you’re using when baking this bake.

And that concludes my Ted Talk about how great this pasta bake is! DEFINITELY try it out and let me know what you think because it is now officially one of my favourite recipes. Here it is!

Zucchini and Olive Pasta Bake

Serves: 3-4

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 200 ml can of sliced black olives, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup Go Go Quinoa Macaroni **see note above if using a different pasta**
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the sliced onions and cook until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, then add the beans, olives, tomatoes, basil, oregano, balsamic vinegar, chilli flakes, and some salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and then turn the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.
  2. While the sauce is simmering, use the veggie peeler to create as many zucchini ribbons as you can. The centre part of the zucchini, where the seeds are, won’t make nice ribbons, so you can dice it up at toss it in the sauce, making sure it has at least 10 minutes to cook in there.
  3. Add the macaroni into a small glass loaf pan or baking dish. Roll up each zucchini ribbon into a little rosette and place evenly spaced out in the pasta, like this:
  4. Once the sauce is done simmering, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Add the 1/2 cup of water to the sauce and bring it to a hard simmer before removing it from the heat. Scoop enough of it into the baking dish so that the pasta and zucchini are fully covered, about 2-3 cups of sauce. You may have some sauce leftover that you can eat with the pasta after it’s baked or save for later.
  5. Cover the glass dish with foil (shiny side down) and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Hope you like this pasta dish! See you Wednesday;))

Yours Truly,

Olivia;)

Thai Ribbon Salad

Hey there! Today I have a quick and easy recipe for you guys that you can just throw together and top with whichever protein you’d like! This Thai Ribbon Salad looks super fancy, but all you need is a veggie peeler and some veggies and you can whip it up in a snap!

In this salad I used zucchini, which is one of my favourite summer vegetables, along with cucumber, carrots, and bell peppers. Top it all of with some spinach, crispy quinoa, sunflower seeds and a protein of your choice (salmon goes amazing in this salad), and you’ve got a perfect summer salad!

Did I not mention the dressing yet? Because it’s AWESOME. I used the peanut dressing from my Asian Kale and Quinoa Salad with Peanut Dressing. I had to put the dressing in the name because THAT’S HOW GOOD IT IS. I’ll link to the recipe in the ingredients down below. In the meantime, lets get to the salad!

Thai Ribbon Salad

Serves: 2

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp quinoa (optional)
  • 1 batch of Peanut Dressing
  • Protein of your choice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Using a veggie peeler or mandolin, slice the zucchini, cucumber, and carrots into thin strips. Start by dragging the peeler down the outside of one side of the veggies so that you don’t get a piece of all skin in your salad. Then continue to drag the peeler down lengthwise to create thin pieces. Once you’ve reached the middle of the vegetable, you can turn it around and repeat on the other side. It might be hard to get all the way through the middle of the veggies, so you can save that part for a lil snack later;)
  2. Toss the veg with the peppers, spinach, sunflower seeds, quinoa, and dressing. Top with a protein of your choice (or leave as is) and enjoy!

Hope you like this simple summer salad!

Yours Truly,

Olivia

Toasty Curried Zucchini and Hummus Wraps

Hello there! This recipe features a technique that I discovered recently and has changed my life; toasting wraps in a pan! It gives wraps such a toasty, restaurant-like quality that is absolutely amazing. Not to mention that it helps them stay folded! Also, it’s zucchini season, and my grandma gave me some monstrous zucchinis to use up! The plants in my own garden are still in the flowering stage. I used a smaller one for this recipe, but expect to see lots of zucchini posts in the near future;) Here’s the recipe for this delicious wrap!

Toasty Curried Zucchini and Hummus Wraps

Serves: 2

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 small zucchini, cut into rounds
  • 1 small bell pepper, sliced (any colour)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tbs curry powder
  • 1/2 tbs garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs hummus (I like roasted garlic)
  • 2 organic whole wheat tortillas
  • Sprouts or finely chopped lettuce (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a pan over medium heat, heat up the olive oil. Add in the zucchini and bell peppers, and cook until they are just starting to go soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the water, garlic and curry powder. Dump the mixture into the pan and continue to cook until all of the liquid has evaporated and the veggies are soft.
  3. Wipe out your pan with some paper towel and set it aside to be used for toasting your wraps.
  4. Spread a tablespoon of hummus onto each of your wraps. Spoon half of the vegetable mixture onto each wrap as well. Top with sprouts or lettuce.
  5. Fold each wrap tightly, making sure that both ends are closed. Heat the pan over medium heat and place the wraps seam-side down in it. Toast the wraps for about a minute on each side, or until they’re golden brown.
  6. Enjoy!

Sprouts add a lot to these wraps, but if you don’t have any I definitely recommend adding some lettuce or tomato for a bit of freshness. But the toasting just puts them over the top! Let me know what you think in the comments:))

Yours Truly,

MyDayIsBooked;))