Dr. N.A.N.'s Blog

News, views, and how the world skews from San Antonio, Texas

The Other Kind of Green

You know, it isn’t easy being a vegetarian.  I guess it’s kinda like Kermit being green.    I made the decision to go meat-less in 1992.   I still remember the conversation I had with a couple from Springfield, Missouri.  They didn’t set out to change my carnivore habits but simply explained to me why eating vegetables was a better choice.  In the 16 years that I haven’t eaten meat, I have eaten some fowl and I continue to eat fish (fish feed themselves).  I could never give up dairy products or eggs (my “world’s best chocolate chips” wouldn’t taste the same if I didn’t use eggs or butter).  For me, being a vegetarian is a personal choice.  I don’t expect anybody else to adopt my lifestyle choice.  The only problem is that my cats refuse to join me in my meat-free diet.  They insist on eating chicken and turkey and one of them even likes pork products!  What is a mother to do?

I love almost all vegetables with the exception of zucchini.  I have hated zucchini since I was a little girl.  My mother still doesn’t understand why.   I think it is the bitter taste that the nasty vegetable leaves in my mouth. I remember when she would serve her famous zucchini boats (even the mere thought of them makes me cringe), I would look for ways to “dispose” of my portion without her knowledge.  I spent many an evening waiting for her to leave the kitchen so I could quietly dump the boat in the trash.

I do like zucchini bread so go figure…

Did you know that eggplant in Arabic is zaalook?

That chickpeas in French are poi chiches?

That the word for chocolate is almost universally the same?

That fried tofu is actually very tasty?

1 Comment»

  mitzouko wrote @

In Defense of Zucchini Boats

From Charlotte (Nicole’s mother) My recollection of the unfairly judged zucchini boats (bateau de courgettes) is TOTALLY different from Nicole’s. This memory of her culinary woes occurred while we were stationed at Ramstein Air Force Base. As we were less than 40 miles from the border between Germany and France, we traveled frequently to visit my husband’s French family in Paris. We ate a lot of wonderful food on these forays and I happily adopted and adapted recipes from that cuisine.

Now, let’s see–it was fairly complicated to prepare the much-maligned zucchini boats. These were pre-Cuisinart days, so everything had to be chopped and diced by hand. As I remember, I sliced the zucchini in half lengthwise and scooped out the flesh, leaving an empty boat…the zucchini interior had to be pressed through a sieve to remove as much liquid as possible. The zucchini was then sauteed briefly in melted butter with minced shallots, seasoned and mixed with crushed, lightly-toasted almonds, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Cream was added to the zucchini-almond mixture before it was added to the “empty boats” and then they were topped with freshly grated parmesan. These boats were baked until warm and placed under a broiler until the topping was lightly browned.

I mentioned Nicole’s post to my husband, Gino, and listed the ingredients for him…cream, almonds, butter, parmesan cheese, and oh yes, the zucchini. “What’s not to like? “Agreed” according to Gino. “You need to make them again!”


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