Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Roasted Zucchini and Garlic Dip

I've received so much great feed back so far, thanks to everyone who's visited my blog! I originally intended to post a couple of days ago but have had a rough week. Seems like I would have an easier time if I just followed my own rules. 
In my first post Chocolate Chip Pancakes I mentioned my unwritten rule "I only eat delicious food". This one is a little frivolous, but most are very serious, life-saving rules. I have lots of them now, my list keeps growing. On this list, I now have to add "don't touch anyone if they've eaten wheat". For this to make sense, you have to understand how insanely hyper-sensitive I am to wheat. There is no wheat in the house, but the other day my husband was out and ate a hamburger with a bun. When he got home I gave him a hug and my nose touched his face. I immediately started sneezing and long story short, I had to go to the hospital. Instead of getting frustrated (which is my initial reaction) I'm trying to look at that one as a learning experience and hope that it doesn't happen a second time.

I made these rules in order to protect myself - and still I break them all the time. I broke one just the other day. This rule is "don't use/eat anything before reading the ingredients". The other day I used some old hair mousse that I had. I was sure I had used it since all of these allergies began, so I slathered it all over my hair. Then I thought, "Hmm...better double-check, even though I'm already sure it's OK". And good thing I checked because it had WHEAT in it! Needless to say, I immediately washed the heck out of my hair to get rid of it all. I had a reaction afterward, but I was able to handle it at home with Benadryl. OK....also a learning experience. I get it!

Another rule that I try to follow as best I can is that "I only eat food I have made for myself". I have had countless reactions from food prepared by friends, from restaurants, and pre-packaged foods so that is the reason for this rule.  When it comes to pre-packaged products, unless something specifies that it is free of all gluten or wheat, I will not eat it. If I have a concern about my other allergens, especially banana, I call the company and find out what is processed in the plant. This makes my options for food very limited. I do not even buy things like jam or juice because they may have cross-contamination with other fruits I'm allergic to - the same goes for sauces, soups and dips. Essentially I make all my own food, from scratch. There are few shortcuts - one that I get excited about is using beans from a can....sad, I know.

Following this rule means that I spend a ton of time in the kitchen on a regular basis. But, the silver lining is that this is beneficial for my blog! So, for all of you lovely allergyers out there who tirelessly make all of your own food, here's another recipe. This is my Roasted Zucchini and Garlic Dip. The preparation is quick and easy and it is so delicious and versatile - I also use it as a sauce for pasta, or a condiment. I'm sure you could even add a touch to homemade soups, or even as a pizza sauce. The zucchini in my garden are a little slow this year, but I expect an abundance in no time and when they arrive I will be trying to bottle some of this sauce for later days. If you have latex-food allergy please make sure that you are OK with squash and zucchini before making this recipe. I have seen them listed on some latex lists. If you are unsure, speak to your doctor before introducing a new food. If you are allergic to zucchini I think it would be delicious using roasted asparagus, fennel, cauliflower, or try experimenting with your favourite vegetable. Please let me know how it goes, I'm very interested in hearing about your experiences with my recipes and your comments will be very useful for others too! And remember, try to follow your own rules, they will help protect you.

Roasted Zucchini and Garlic Dip

Serve this dip hot or cold, with crackers or veggies, or try using it in place of other sauces or spreads.

2 medium zucchini
1 bulb of garlic
About 3 tbsps of olive oil (or oil of your choice) plus more for roasting.
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400˚F/200˚C. Line a baking sheet with parchment and drizzle oil over the surface. Slice zucchini length-wise and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Drizzle more oil on top of the zucchini. Cut the top off entire bulb of garlic and place on the baking sheet and drizzle top with oil. Roast on the top rack of your oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. Remove zucchini and reserve in another container, continue roasting the garlic until the cloves are soft and can be squished out of their skin easily, about another 10 minutes.

Cool zucchini and garlic so that you can handle them safely. Put the zucchini, 4 cloves of the roasted garlic, and the oil into a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth, adding a bit more oil if necessary. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Makes approximately 1 and 1/2 cup or 375 mls of sauce.


- If you find that your zucchini is not pureeing easily, it may not be cooked enough or you may need a little extra oil to help it along.


- If you are allergic to zucchini substitute it for roasted asparagus, fennel, cauliflower, or try experimenting with your favourite vegetable.

- If you are allergic to garlic simply omit it from the recipe.

- The recipe calls for only 4 cloves of garlic. With this amount, there is a subtle flavour of garlic, without overpowering the taste of the zucchini. Feel free to add more if you are a real garlic lover. I suggest to roast the whole bulb of garlic, simply because it is easier to do it that way. I also find that any leftover roasted garlic can liven up many dishes like soups, or even be used as a spread on a cracker.

1 comment:

  1. hey sheen - it's va and mom. she's very impressed with all these recipes and will wait for your book very soon! ;)
    we miss you around here and hope you can visit soon. we'll try it as a pasta sauce and let you know how it goes!