Friday, July 9, 2010

Fresh Heirloom and Artichoke Au Gratin, Stuffed Zucchini

The other day my friend David posted a picture of some stuffed zucchinis he made for dinner and they looked splendid! So I decided to make some for myself tonight for dinner. The red pepper coulis is quick and delicious and can be used for a variety of things like over pasta or cooled for a delicious and healthy salad dressing. I found some amazing heirloom tomatoes at the store and I had to have them for dinner. If you don't like artichoke hearts enough to make it the base of a side, substitute them for zucchini, potato..even asparagus!

Fresh Heirloom and Artichoke au gratin with Daiya cheese and panko breadcrumbs, stuffed zucchini with seitan and vegetables and thick, roasted red pepper coulis.

Stuffed Zuchhini
2 small zucchinis
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pack seitan
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, small dice
1/2 red pepper, small dice
1 tbl dried rosemary
5 large basil leaves, torn
1 tbl tomato paste
1- 140z can crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450.
In a large sauce pot, heat 2 tbl oil and add seitan. Brown and add shallots, garlic, yellow peppers, red peppers and dried rosemary. Add salt and pepper to taste. Saute until soft, 8 minutes. Add torn basil leaves, tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and simmer for 15 min.
Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut inside of zucchini out, drizzle zucchinis with 1 tbl oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes until soft and slightly browned.
Reduce oven temperature to 350. Add seitan mixture into zucchinis and bake for 30 minutes.
To save time to can set zucchinis aside, prepare the au gratin and bake both at the same time.

Red Pepper Coulis
2 red peppers, whole
1/4c extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
On a hot grill or under a broiler, char whole red peppers until mostly black. Put in a paper bag and allow to sweat for 10 minutes. This will help the skin come off a lot easier. Peel the outer skin off the red peppers (do not rinse under water, you loose all that roasted flavor you just spent time trying to achieve!) Personally, I like to leave bits of black skin on the pepper, I love the smokey flavor. Throw away the stem and the seeds on in the inside and combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and thick. Pour into a small sauce pot and heat through. Super fast and easy!

Fresh Heirloom and Artichoke Au Grautin
4 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 tbl ap flour
1/2c vegan mozzarella cheese ( I used Daiya)
1/4c plain soy milk
salt and pepper
1 small jar of artichoke hearts in oil, oil drained
1 heirloom tomato, cut into 1/4" slices
1/2c panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350.
In a small saucepot, heat 2 tbl oil and add flour. Whisk together until it forms a paste and continue whisking for a couple minutes to cook out flour flavor. Add cheese and whisk until melted. Add soymilk to help with the melting process. Add salt and pepper to taste. Combine with artichoke hearts and pour into individual containers. Top with heirloom tomato slice and season with salt. Top tomato with breadcrumbs, and drizzle with remaining olive oil. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating after 15 to ensure a golden crust on top!

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