Five ridiculously tasty things you can do with courgette (a.k.a. zucchini)

Last month I did a post called five ridiculously tasty things you can do with chickpeas, so this month, I thought I would turn my attention to the beautiful courgette. Courgettes are currently in season so they are at their very best. I really think that the poor courgette is sometimes overlooked in the vegetable stakes. But in actual fact, they have a really fresh flavour and work wonderfully well when given a little attention. They are not overly expensive and one courgette can go quite a long way. Nutrition wise, courgette is a good source of vitamin C and also contains the phyto nutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, which seemingly promote healthy eye sight. Courgette can be eaten raw or cooked in a number of different ways. Once of the recipes I have included in this post is for a savoury muffin as courgette works surprisingly well in baking.

Here are five ridiciously tasty things you can do with courgette:

1. Make Courgette, Pea and Mint Lentil Salad

This is a quick and tasty salad to make. It can be made in advance and will keep in the fridge for a few days. It's ideal for putting in a mason jar and bringing to work with you. The lentils are a great source of plant based protein, iron and fibre. I try to eat lentils at least once a week, which isn't at all difficult given how tasty they are. Pea, courgette and mint is a pretty well established flavour combination. It is light and fresh and best of all delicious.

Click here for the recipe.

2. Get your spiraliser out and make Courgetti Arrabbiata

Vegetable pastas, and in particualr courgetti are so on trend right now. No surprise as lots of people look to avoid high-carb and high-gluten pastas. To make courgetti, you will need a kitchen gadget called a spiraliser. A spiraliser will set you back around €40 and they can be bought on Amazon as well as on lots of other sites. Courgetti looks like spaghetti and has a siimilar texture. It doesn't taste like spaghetti but with a delicious sauce, it definitely feels like you are eating pasta but without the white carb overload. Add to that the fact that you are also getting a great intake of raw vegetable, it's a win win. Here it is served with an arrabbiata sauce which is a spicy sauce made from tomatoes, garlic, red chillis and olive oil.

Click here for the recipe.

3. Make Savoury Carrot and Courgette Muffins

These little muffins are so easy to make and they taste so so good. They work well as finger food, are perfect for lunch boxes and are ideal for outdoors eating and picnics. They are also quite yum at breakfast time too. The courgette keeps the muffins really moist. You can vary this recipe and replace the savoury ingredients with berries for a sweeter muffin. I really must do a separate blog post with this recipe so watch this space.

Click here for the recipe.

4. Make a Summer Lentil Salad

This is a really tasty dish and a complete crowd pleaser. Veggies and meat eaters alike love this dish and are always asking me for the recipe. Lentils are great for us plant eaters as they provide protein, iron and B vitamins. They are high in fibre so that, along with the protein content, makes them great for weight loss as they keep us fuller for longer. They are really inexpensive making them a great addition to a family cupboard and for those on a budget. I love this dish in the summer time when peppers and courgettes are in season and at their most delicious.

Click here for the recipe.

5. Make Courgette Crisps

I debated whether or not I would include courgette crisps in this blog posts. I am not the biggest fan of kale crisps and my courgette crisps vary between yum and mediocre. However, I still think they are a great option for something to nibble on without resorting to store bought potato and corn crisps. To make them, preheat the oven to gas mark 1/4 or 110 degrees celsius. Slice one courgette thinly. I use a mandolin slicer as it achieves a really thin and consistent slice. Add the courgette to a bowl along with 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of paprika. Mix together. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the courgette slices on the baking tray making sure not to overlap them. Cook in the over for approximately an hour (until crispy), turning half way through. Serve immediately.

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