So, I decided to start eating healthier and stop with the constant takeaways and easy-meals, like the shameful microwave meal. I did my usual shop, but decided to buy more fruit and vegetables, in the hope that they wouldn’t just sit in my fridge and go out of date, but that I would actually make meals with them. One product I decided to buy (that I usually wouldn’t), was a pack of courgettes. But when it came to cooking them I had no idea what to actually do with them, so here’s some ideas you can use when cooking your courgettes!
1. Put them in your pasta
This one is simple, all you do is cut up your courgette how you like – dice, slice, whatever and add it into your pasta sauce. They go nicely with mushrooms, onions, peppers, bacon, chicken or prawns! It’s cheap and quick – you can make a cheese and tomato pasta bake, carbonara-style courgette and bacon pasta dish or even a courgette lasagne!
OR you could even make the actual pasta out of courgette if you’re feeling creative! This only takes 30 minutes to cook: just create your courgette noodles, throw them in a pan with some garlic, lemon zest and seasoning, then serve them spaghetti style with meatballs, veggie meatballs or any ingredients of your choosing.
(Image from HealthyFood)
2. Courgette Chips
- Start by cutting up the courgette(s) into the kind of chunks you want and add them to a bowl along with some milk (about 50ml)
- Put the flour (100g) onto a large plate and season well
- Take each courgette chunk and roll in the seasoned flour, patting off any excess
- Heat some oil in a saucepan (until reaching 180C on a thermometer)
- Fry the courgettes in batches for 5-6 minutes until golden
- Transfer to kitchen paper and add salt
- Once finished why not try adding some parmesan or mozzarella to make cheesy chips or if you have the time make some chilli to add to it!
(Image from ItalianFoodies)
3. Courgette Cheddar Soup
One idea I would recommend trying is a Courgette Potato and Cheddar Soup, which is freezable, healthy and vegetarian! Simply follow these steps below:
- Put potatoes (500g, peeled and chopped) in a pan with enough water to cover them and crumble in two vegetable stock cubes.
- Bring to the boil, cover and cook for 5 mins.
- Add courgettes (about 1kg), put the lid back on and cook for 5 mins more.
- Add in the bunch of sliced spring onions, cover and cook for a final 5 mins.
- Take off heat, stir in 100g grated cheese and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Whizz to a thick soup, adding more hot water until getting the consistency you like.
- Serve scattered with extra grated cheddar, spring onions and nutmeg or pepper.
- Or cool and freeze in freezer bags or containers with good lids for up to 3 months.
4. Cheesy Baked Courgettes
I’m sorry for all the cheesy dishes, but it just goes so well with cheese (even if it isn’t always the healthiest) this next dish is another vegetarian one.
- Heat your oven at 200c/180C fan/gas 6 and then use a teaspoon to scoop the seeds from the middle of each of the courgette’s half, then place them in a large baking tray.
- Mix together some ricotta (250g), zest, chilli and herbs, and season with salt and pepper. Pile the stuffing into the courgettes and top with breadcrumbs (4 teaspoons).
- Bake for 35 mins until the courgettes are tender and the topping is golden and crisp.
5. Courgette and Taleggio Orzo Risotto
For this dish you’ll need the following:
3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
300g orzo pasta
200ml dry white wine
1 litre vegetable stock
1 handful chopped fresh chives
85g taleggio cheese.
- Cut courgettes into thick diagonal slices and put in a bowl with 2 tbsp olive oil.
- Fry slices in a pan over a high heat for a couple of minutes on each side until golden.
- Season with salt and set aside in a sieve to drain.
- Wipe the frying pan and heat another 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Slice the onion finely and fry gently for 5 minutes.
- Crush the garlic, stir into the onion and fry for 2 minutes more. Add the pasta and toss briefly to coat in oil.
- Pour in wine (or leave the wine out if you like), turn up the heat and bubble until almost evaporated.
- Add up to 1 litre vegetable stock spoon by spoon and stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from burning.
- When the orzo is al dente, stir in the chives and the cheese (or a vegetarian alternative), cut into chunks.
- Taste and season, then stir through the courgettes.
- Rest for a minute, then serve!