My garden is in full production mode and I’ve been harvesting enough produce to feed a small army. As the greens build up, I’m forced to come up with new recipes to use them up. It’s a terrible burden, but I’ve been doing my best to get through all the veggie sampling, cooking, and visits from friends and family as they help me try out my new creations. I really hope by now you realize I’m super sarcastic because I’ve been in my element the past few months cooking up a storm with home grown produce! Now using up the kale from my garden has been easy; a solid 25% of me is kale. Salads, soups, sauces, sandwiches; basically I put kale in every “s” culinary item that’s not a smoothie. I know green smoothies are all the rage, but personally I detest having veggies in my drinks. I prefer to eat my greens with some garlic and olive oil thank you very much. To each their own. (I do have this green smoothie recipe that is pretty delicious).
While I’m a walking encyclopedia for kale recipes, zucchini is a rather foreign veggie to be used in my kitchen. I blame my minimal zucchini use on the fact that the past three years my zucchini plants have been dismal at best. In fact, last year I had eight zucchini mounds and they all died within the first two months! During the summer I tend to only eat what comes from my garden (considering I’m always up to my eyeballs in fresh veg and never get the urge to buy any more). You can imagine the shock I was in when all six mounds of 3+ plants took off this year and I’m currently picking over 10 zucchini a week! It was time to figure out how to use up such a plethora of zucchini after giving away as much as my friends and family would take.
I started simple. Zucchini bread. Zucchini carrot apple muffins. Sliced zucchini as a substitute for lasagna noodles. After exhausting my slim knowledge of zucchini recipes I had to get creative. I wanted to do something fun therefore I started playing with my mandoline to make zucchini chips. One of the big downfalls of zucchini it they are really watery and tend to be soggy in most sautés and pastas I’ve had them in. Zucchini chips are a great option because they crisp up nice and are a super healthy alternative to regular chips. The problem is they are a pain in the you-know-what to make, super time consuming, and I quickly realized why my mandoline has collected so much dust. I ALWAYS slice my finger on it! For someone who cooks so much I really should not be handling sharp knives and hot pots and pans. If I had a dollar for every time a knife almost landed on my toes…
But I digress. Basically I love zucchini chips and hate to make them. So I took my bandaged finger and got out another fun (slightly safer) kitchen gadget, my spiralizer. I had leftover caramelized onion collard greens from dinner I wanted to use up, so I decided to make a spaghetti pie of sorts with a collard crust and a zucchini noodle filling. Bam. Farmer’s market pie. I kept the seasonings simple to let the vegetables shine through. Salt, pepper, and garlic powder is all the zucchini needed, plus a hit of nutritional yeast to give it a cheesy flavor while keeping it on the lighter side. I love cheese, but sometimes a lighter option is nice. Especially when it’s 90 degrees outside! Omitting cheese keeps this pie vegan as well, so everyone can enjoy! As a finishing touch I served it with a dollop of spicy cashew cream. AH-mazing. I highly recommend serving this with the cashew cream. It’s rich, slightly spicy, slightly sweet, and really adds to the deliciousness factor of this recipe.
Is this dish going to come out in nice clean pieces? No. It’s not your typical wheat and cheese bound pie. It is light, refreshing, and one of the most delicious messes to grace your dinner plate. Or lunch plate. Heck, serve it up with eggs and call it breakfast! I might have to eat this for the next 32 meals straight to use up all the zucchini I have growing. If you, like myself, have an obsession for all things green (or are trying to make get on my level), pick up some zucchini at the farmers market and try this beautiful mess of what I’m calling farmer’s market zoodle pie!
Farmer’s Market Zoodle Pie
1 bunch collard greens; deveined, washed, and chopped
1 medium sweet onion, sliced thin
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2-3 zucchini, spiraled or peeled into thin strips (about 4 heaping cups worth)
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp pepper
spicy cashew cream (optional – for serving)
- Saute the sliced onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown*. Add the collard greens and cook until tender (about 5-10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Spread the cooked collards out evenly over the bottom of a cast iron skillet or other oven-safe pie pan.
- In a bowl, toss the zucchini noodles with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast. Place over the collards and spread into one even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining nutritional yeast.
- Bake for 35 minutes. Broil for the last 2-3 minutes (optional but gives it a nice golden crust!).
- Serve warm with a dollop of spicy cashew cream!