I only ever used to buy courgettes to pad out a meal as a calorie saving initiative. I didn’t mind the taste but they were always just an addition to a meal that I could give or take. As Ali explained in her controversial and troll-enducing post about turning veggie, it was our first trip to Green’s vegetarian restaurant that made us realise that each vegetable deserves to be enjoyed in its own right and is more than capable of playing the lead role in any meal.
With that in mind we’ve taken on our next cooking corner challenge with the humble courgette and here’s what we did:
Courgetti with vegan kale pesto
Courgetti is big these days – so big that Deliciously Ella even chose it as her cover picture meal for her cookbook. It’s so easy to make with a spiralizer (we got ours from UK juicers but if you want to be trendy Hemsley and Hemsley have released their own version too) but if you haven’t got one you can grate your courgette with a wide grater to make more pappardelle style strips.
It’s a great alternative to spaghetti and if you’re just dipping your foot in the whole health food thing a great way to start is by replacing the spag of your spag bol. If you’re following the 5:2 diet as we are at the mo, courgetti makes perfect fast day fuel too as it’s about 18 cals for a medium sized courgette (enough to fill a decent sized bowl). Most importantly, spiralizing is REALLY fun to do. Jak swears he’s never seen Ali happier than she was the day her spiralizer arrived and she ate courgette for lunch every day for about a fortnight after (snapchats from our friends Kate and Mark recently suggested they had a similar experience).
If you’d rather keep it raw then it’s ready as soon as you’ve spiralized, but I prefer to sauté some onions, peas and mushrooms then add the courgetti to the pan for a few minutes. I usually use one courgette per person but if you’re extra hungry you can make two and you don’t even feel like you’re being greedy, the more the merrier when it comes to veg! Once it’s warm all you need to do is stir in the pesto (find our recipe for that here) and if you’re not avoiding dairy, pop a bit of goat’s cheese on top.
Courgette and halloumi falafel
We first had this at our friend Amy’s house as she’s an amazing cook. When Ali turned veggie rather than being put out she was actually excited by the challenge and has served up some delicious plant-based meals since then, which we invariably end up copying, like her beetroot and goat’s cheese risotto and these incredible falafels she whipped up from her Abel and Cole veg box using one of their recipes.
Al has made this a regular fixture on her weekly meal list ever since. It’s gone down so well in her house that it was the only meal Jak wanted to eat at one point (his record is 11 in one sitting), and the fact that she isn’t sick of it already after that is testament to how tasty they are (they were even given the thumbs up by our friend Jo’s veg loathing husband David so they are the perfect dish to convert a hater).
- 200g courgette, coarsely grated
- 150g halloumi, coarsely grated
- 100g breadcrumbs (we whizz up some wholemeal/gluten free bread in the food processor/Nutribullet but you can also use oats if you don’t have any bread in)
- A large handful fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1 lemon
- A pinch of chilli powder/flakes or finely chopped fresh chilli
- 1 egg, beaten
- Olive or sunflower oil for shallow frying
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Lastly on our courgette hit list are courgette fries which we’ve had at Gusto and Piccolinos but are yet to attempt ourselves and courgette cake, which we have tasted at various healthy cafés but is still on the K&G to do list. Keep your courgettes and eyes peeled for the results of these coming soon. Have you got any new courgette recipes we can try?
All pictures taken by us or from Pinterest