|This Vegan Mexican Bowl with barely-cooked zucchini is perfect when it's really too hot to cook.|
In Utah it's expected to hit 104F this week, and it seems likely we're going to set a record this summer for the most days above 100F. I hear some people lose their appetite when the weather is extra hot, but that never happens to me; in fact when summer produce is abundant I'm always thinking up new ways to use it. My latest experiment was this Julienned Zucchini Vegan Mexican Bowl with Black Beans, Avocado, Tomato, Poblano, and Lime, and the fact that the only cooking involved was 2-3 minutes to quickly saute the julienned zucchini made this a great hot-weather dish. If you like zucchini and you're looking for a light summer meal where you don't need to heat up the kitchen, I bet you might enjoy this as much as I did.
I did make this with Meatless Monday in mind, but I actually didn't realize the dish was vegan until I was eating it, (and this could also easily be Paleo just by leaving out the beans and using a bit more tomato in the salsa mixture.) One thing I would not substitute is the chopped fresh Poblano chile pepper, which adds fantastic flavor to the black bean, avocado, tomato, and lime mixture. I'm falling in love with these dark green chiles, which are often called Pasilla peppers in U.S. grocery stores. (To see more meatless recipes, use the label Meatless Monday or check Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index. You can also find meatless slow cooker recipe each Monday on Slow Cooker from Scratch, follow our Meatless Monday board on Pinterest, or check Meatless Monday at BlogHer.)
Zest one of the limes and then squeeze the juice. (You need 5 tablespoons lime juice total, probably 3 limes.)
Whisk together lime zest, 3 tablespoons of the lime juice, olive oil, Spike Seasoning, ground cumin, and chile powder to make the dressing.
I used this wonderful Progressive International Vegetable Chopper to chop the Poblano into very small pieces, but you can definitely chop it by hand. (This pepper is fairly mild, but still be careful about washing your hands after you handle it and don't touch your eyes or face.)
Using an inexpensive Julienne Cutter made it easy, although you can also use a Mandoline Slicer or grater to julienne the zucchini. (Edited to add: I later shared Three Ways to Make Noodles from Zucchini or Other Vegetables; that post might be helpful.)
Then stir in a tablespoon of dressing and saute zucchini about 1 minute longer. To serve, divide the sauteed zucchini mixture among bowls and top with the black bean mixture.
(Makes about 4 servings; recipe created by Kalyn when it was really hot but she still wanted to experiment with zucchini.)
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained well
2 medium avocados, peeled and diced
2 T lime juice (to toss with avocado)
1 large Poblano chile, seeds removed and finely diced
1 cup diced tomato
Zest of one lime
3 T lime juice
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Spike Seasoning
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chile powder
4 medium zucchini, julienne sliced
2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, sliced
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Drain the beans into a colander placed in the sink, rinse well with cold water, and let beans drain while you make the dressing.
Zest one lime, then squeeze the juice as well as additional limes to make 5 tablespoons lime juice. Save 2 tablespoons lime juice for the avocado; mix 3 T lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, Spike Seasoning, ground cumin, and chile powder to make the dressing.
Put drained beans into a bowl big enough to hold all the salsa mixture and stir in 2 T dressing. Peel and dice the avocado and toss with 2 T lime juice (in a separate bowl.) Chop tomatoes and toss with the beans. Cut off stem and remove seeds from the Poblano pepper, finely dice the pepper, and toss with the beans. Then gently stir the avocado with lime juice and enough dressing to moisten it into the salsa mixture, saving at least 2 tablespoons of the dressing to season the zucchini.
Use a Julienne Cutter, Mandoline Slicer, or other tool to make the noodles. (After I posted this I shared Three Ways to Make Noodles from Zucchini or Other Vegetables. That post might be helpful. Now that I have a Spiralizer, I would definitely prefer that. ) Unless you have a huge wok-type pan, I would saute the zucchini in two batches. Heat half the oil over high heat, add half the sliced garlic, and saute the garlic just until it's fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the garlic and immediately add half the julienned zucchini to the seasoned oil. Saute 1-2 minutes, just until the zucchini is starting to soften, then stir in 1 tablespoon of the dressing and saute about 1 minute more. Season zucchini to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Repeat with the other half of the zucchini if you're making all four servings.
To serve, divide the sauteed zucchini among bowls and top with a generous scoop of the black bean mixture.
If you're not making four servings at once, don't julienne or saute the zucchini until right before you're going to eat it. The black bean mixture will keep in the fridge for a day or two. (I ate some of mine over scrambled eggs, which was also delicious!)
South Beach Suggestions:
Everything used here is a low-glycemic ingredient, and this would be approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet. (Beans are limited in serving size for Phase One, so don't eat more than the recommended serving if you're making this for Phase One.)
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Tasty Meatless Zucchini Recipes:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Zucchini Ribbon Salad (Plus a fantastic e-book of 23 Zucchini Recipes) ~ The Perfect Pantry
Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini with Brown Rice, Black Beans, Chiles, Cheddar, and Cotija Cheese ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Persian Baked Zucchini ~ Herbivoracious
Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Summer Veggie Stuffed Zucchini ~ Mountain Mama Cooks
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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