zuchinni

Zucchini

or courgette is a summer squash which can reach nearly a meter in length, but which is usually harvested at half that size or less. Along with certain other squashes and pumpkins, it belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo with Vitamins; A, C, B6, containing iron, magnesium and calcium, (Wikipedia)

Very versatile they can be stuffed and baked, made into fritters, roasted, and grilled added to pasta sauces and casseroles and lately there has been a big upswing in using them like spaghetti using a spiraliser.

Health benefits of zucchini (courgette) from http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/zucchini.html

  • Zucchini is one of the very low calorie vegetables; provide only 17 calories per 100 g. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Its peel is good source of dietary fibre that helps reduce constipation and offers some protection against colon cancers.
  • Zucchinis have anti-oxidant value (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity- ORAC) of 180 Trolex Equivalents (TE) per 100g, the value which is far below to some of the berries, and vegetables. Nonetheless, the pods are one of the common vegetables included in weight reduction and cholesterol control programs by the dieticians.
  • Furthermore, zucchinis, especially golden skin varieties, are rich in flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, lutein and zea-xanthin. These compounds help scavenge harmful oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) from the body that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
  • Courgette is a relatively moderate source of folates, provides of 24 µg or 6% of RDA per 100 g. Folates are important in cell division and DNA synthesis. When taken adequately before pregnancy, it can help prevent neural tube defects in the fetus.
  • It is a very good source of potassium, an important intra-cellular electrolyte. Potassium is a heart-friendly electrolyte and helps bring the reduction in blood pressure and heart rates by countering pressure-effects of sodium.
  • Fresh fruits are rich in vitamin A; provide about 200 IU per 100 g.
  • Fresh pods, indeed, are good source of anti-oxidant vitamin-C. Provide about 17.9 µg or 30% of daily-required levels per 100 g.
  • In addition, they contain moderate levels of B-complex group of vitamins like thiamine, pyridoxine, riboflavin and minerals like iron, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.

Recipe: Moussaka (Baked Eggplant, Zucchini, Tomato and Soya Beans)

Ingredients

  • 400 Grams Soya beans; Or Chick peas
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1 medium Eggplants; washed but not peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 large Onion; peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 6 medium Tomato; fresh, ripe, peeled, seeded & finely chopped
  • 3/4 cups Water
  • 1 medium Zucchini; peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 3 teaspoons Salt
  • Black pepper; freshly ground

Preparation

  1. Drain the beans in a sieve.
  2. In a heavy 12 inch skillet, heat about 1 inch of oil over high heat almost to the smoking point.
  3. Drop in the eggplant and zucchini cubes and, stirring frequently, cook for about 5 minutes, or until they are lightly browned on all sides.
  4. With a slotted spoon, transfer them the base of a tagine and spread them out evenly.
  5. Add the onions to the oil remaining in the skillet and, stirring frequently, cook over moderate heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are soft and delicately browned. Watch carefully for any signs of burning and regulate the heat accordingly.
  6. Spread the onions and all of their cooking oil on top of the eggplant and pour over them an additional 1/4 cup of olive oil.
  7. Sprinkle the onions with 1 teaspoon of the salt and a few grindings of pepper.
  8. Scatter the chick peas on top, and cover them with the tomatoes.
  9. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons of salt and a few grindings of pepper and pour in the water.
  10. Bring the moussaka to a boil on top of the stove, then cover with tagine top and cook on low heat until the vegetables are very tender approx 30 minutes.
  11. Cool the moussaka to room temperature and serve directly form the baking dish, accompanied by Arab bread.Mousakka