Zucchini, Broccoli & Sweet Pepper Vegetable Medley.
“Everything tastes better when cooked by someone else.”
Marillyn Taylor Klam.
My experiments in the kitchen started when I realized I had to cook for a picky eater. Now I can proudly say, he is not that picky anymore!! If reading this reminds you of your own challenges of pleasing picky eaters, next time try disguising previously rejected ingredient in your next cooking session. I bet, you already did, but you never know how it turns out with a new recipe. Zucchini was not on the top of the list of my husband’s favorites. However, I started combining it with other ingredients, and soon it became our staple. Sometimes he may still mention that he is “zucchined out”, but I just smile back. Zucchini has some great health benefits: it is high in manganese and dietary fiber, helps lower cholesterol, supports prostate health, aids in preventing cancer, heart attack, stroke, and helps lower blood pressure. You may check more details of its benefits here. This recipe cooks really fast, under 25 minutes (or even less). If you still experience resistance from the ones you serve, kindly remind them that “everything tastes better when cooked by someone else”.
– 2 medium zucchini, chopped.
– 2-3 broccoli florets with stems, chopped. If stems are tough, peel them and chop the soft part.
– 1 sweet pepper (yellow pepper is used in this recipe).
– 1 red hot chili pepper, with seeds, sliced.
– 1 small shallot (used in this recipe) or 1/2 red or white onion, chopped.
– Herbs: parsley or cilantro, dill weed, scallions, ground paprika, ground black pepper, salt, ground coriander, garlic spices.
– Grapeseed oil for sauteing. I sometimes add a slice of unsalted butter (optional) at the end of cooking.
Wash all vegetables, remove seeds from sweet pepper, chop all vegetables as you wish. This dish will taste a bit different depending how you cook it: mostly on a medium to high heat, stirring frequently or mostly on a low heat, rarely lifting the lid. No matter what method you choose, always start with sauteing onions (shallots), then add a layer of broccoli and a layer of pepper. Add zucchini in the last turn. This sequence provides optimal cooking for all vegetables. Do not overcook the medley, as it may turn out kind of mushy. Broccoli and pepper need more time to cook. Zucchini cooks fast, that is why it should be added after other veggies have been sauteed for a little white. I normally add a slice of unsalted butter at the end. Experiment with the spices you have and with the time for this vegetable medley, and you will get the best result for your taste buds.
First method. Cook mostly on high heat, stirring constantly (so you would often lift the lid to stir). If you like it “more fried”, you should start with stir-frying it (high heat) for 2-3 minutes. After the veggies get the desired brownish color, you reduce the heat to low and cover them with a lid. Let them simmer for 4-6 minutes and taste them. Cook until desired softness is reached. At the end mix herbs and spices in, and the dish is ready to serve.
Second method. Cook mostly on low heat, rarely stirring, under the lid at all times. It is for those who prefer lightly cooked vegetables, almost like steamed, soft but not browned. In this case, start with medium heat, stirring all vegetables constantly for 2-3 minutes. Then lower the heat and cover the pan with a lid immediately. Let them simmer for 2-3 minutes, then taste them. They should be a bit more crispy, seeming slightly undercooked. Add herbs and spices, turn off the heat, and let them remain under lead for another minute or two.
Vegetable medley goes well with mashed potato, rice or pasta. Or even as a dip if you slice it too finely before cooking! Cauliflower may be used instead of broccoli. Enjoy!
Vegetable medley can be stored in the fridge up to 2-3 days and reheated. Best when reheated in the pan on a low heat. If only microwave is available, use lower setting of power (3 out of 10) for 30-40 seconds.
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