Monday, June 24, 2013

Patty Pan Squash Skewers With Orange Marinade - The Perfect Vegan And Gluten-Free Summer Barbecue!

Vegetable skewers are great to serve at a BBQ!

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Patty Pan Squash
Patty pan, also known as scallop squash, are perfect for barbecuing. Their flesh is firm and they stay on the skewer, unlike their cousin, zucchini. Pair them up with mushrooms, onions, peppers, or other veggies that will take similar amounts of time to cook, and you have a simple, but very impressive looking meal.

If you can find them, buy baby patty pan squash,
 about 3 inches in diameter.

1 cup is only 23.4 calories!

You can buy a marinade from the store or just use your favorite Italian salad dressing. I like to make my own with a little citrus juice (orange, lime or lemon), extra virgin olive oil, garlic (of course), pepper, something salty, and something sweet. Experiment to see what you like. Don't worry too much about the calories from the oil as most of the marinade will drip off during the cooking process. Oil also helps prevent the veggies from sticking to the grill.

Here's a simple recipe for patty pan squash skewers with an orange marinade. Serve them on top of brown rice, orzo, or quinoa or wrapped in a tortilla.

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Patty Pan Squash Skewers with Orange Marinade
Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 6 skewers]

For the marinade
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
2 or 3 cloves garlic, skins removed and pressed
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt 

For the skewers
6 small patty pan squash
18 crimini mushrooms
1 large red onion

Combine all marinade ingredients, mix well, and set aside.

Make the skewers. Clean the onion and cut in half vertically. Then again in thirds vertically. Separate into big chunks. Set aside.

If you buy the baby patty pans, cut in half vertically. If they are large, cut each half again vertically. Set aside.

Clean the mushrooms with a clean, damp paper towel. Without removing the stems, trim them in line with the mushroom cap.

For each skewer, place a double slice of onion, a mushroom, and a piece of patty pan squash, another double slice of onion, another mushroom, another piece of patty pan squash and end with another double piece of onion and a mushroom. 

Place all of the skewers in a large, shallow roasting pan. Pour the marinade over the skewers. Let them sit in the marinade for 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally until they are well coated.

Pour marinade over skewers and turn to coat.

On a low flame, place the skewers on the barbecue and cook slowly, turning every three minutes, until they are tender, about 20 minutes. Save the marinade from the roasting pan and use it to baste the skewers while they are cooking. It's important to turn the skewers frequently, especially when you first put them on, to prevent sticking.

Once the squash is fork tender, remove from the barbecue, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and serve on top of your favorite grain. Rice and quinoa are good gluten-free options. Or, cut them into smaller pieces and place inside a warm tortilla with salsa.

Patty pan skewers served over orzo pasta.


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