Gluten-free Zucchini Slice

Zucchini Slice is a perennial family favourite and a staple in our household. It’s nutritious, quick and easy to prepare and is delicious for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A most versatile dish paired with salad and potatoes, roast vegetables or even just as a snack both hot and cold. Excellent food for spring and summer dining.

Eggs are an excellent source of nutrition and practically the most versatile and easiest protein to prepare. While eggs do contain cholesterol which has been a ‘dirty’ word in recent decades, they do not adversely affect blood cholesterol and actually raise good HDL cholesterol. Eggs contain all the essential amino acids in the right ratios to build and repair all of the cells in our body.

 

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When I’m touring with the Ballet Company, Zucchini Slice becomes quite a regular Sunday cook up so I am prepared for the week. I never forget to pack my handy Ikea Grater! Also on tour, I find a packet of eggs is an economical choice that limits the amount of things left in the fridge of hotels or serviced apartments when we leave.

Boiled, poached and scrambled eggs are great too but if you are looking for something different this Zucchini Slice is definitely worth a go. Plus, you will have leftovers of days which means less cooking!

 

Pre-performance fuel

Zucchini Slice makes for a great pre-show meal when I combine it with some roast vegetables, gluten free bread or wholegrain like brown rice or quinoa, plus some rocket and spinach on the side or some steamed green vegetables like broccoli, green beans for example. It means I am fuelled for the show but being easily digestible without that heavy feeling in my stomach which I struggle to dance with. Zucchini Slice makes it easy to eat a balanced and satisfying meal without feeling uncomfortable afterwards.

Post-performance recovery

Likewise, after a performance, I may have a good appetite but don’t like to go to bed on a heavy meal because too much digestion is required which interrupts important restorative sleep. The protein of the eggs plus the bonus of added vegetables in the zucchini and carrot ensure this is a great post-show recovery meal which serves my body well for the next day.

 

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Zucchini Slice

I have adapted this recipe from my Mum’s treasure trove of family favourites to make it gluten free and cow’s milk free. Sometimes I add some shredded goat’s cheddar other times I go without. See how you feel and go with what you have in your fridge, it tastes great either way.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large/3 Medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 Carrot, grated
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 rashers of Free Range Bacon (or ham if that’s all you have), diced
  • 1 cup of gluten-free Self-Raising flour mix
  • 1/2 cup of oil (I use macadamia nut oil or olive oil)
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional:

  • 1/2 – 1 cup of grated Goat’s Cheddar or regular cheddar cheese if you prefer
  • or 1/3 – 1/2 cup of Nutritional Yeast Flakes

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC and lightly grease a rectangular brownie tin or a glass pyrex dish.
  2. Grate zucchini and carrots and press out any excess moisture with a strainer or paper towel. Finely chop the onion and dice the bacon.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to mix well. Adjust for excess moisture by adding more flour or if the mixture looks a little try perhaps a little extra oil but be mindful that too dry is better than too moist.
  4. Bake in oven for 30/40 minutes until brown on top and a skewer comes out clean. Place aluminium foil over the top if the Zucchini Slice is brown on top but not baked in the centre.
  5. Allow to cool in tin slightly before slicing into 6 big pieces and serving.

 

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Tip: It’s best to squeeze some of the moisture out of the grated zucchini particularly to avoid the Zucchini Slice staying gummy and soft in the middle. (FYI it still tastes really good just texturally it’s not as solid).

To do this, put the grated zucchini in a fine mesh strainer and press down to squeeze some water out or alternatively, lay some paper towel down on a plate and over the top and press down and squeeze some of the water out this way. Change the paper towel a few times and you are good to go.

It seems like it won’t make a difference but it really does so persist.

 

Note on freezing: Although egg dishes aren’t usually the best to freeze, I have had no troubles freezing individual
pre-cut slices of this recipe. Perhaps because it also contains gluten free flour the texture isn’t ruined by the freezing and reheating process. Or maybe I’m just too hungry and just not that fussy!

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