Saffron Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Cups

    Ingredients:

    • 1/4 cup currants
    • 1/4 cup dry sherry
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
    • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 red Fresno chili, seeded and finely chopped
    • 1 cup quinoa
    • 2 cups Vegetable Stock or water
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 pinch saffron threads
    • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
    • 1/3 cup pinenuts, toasted
    • 5 medium zucchini
    • 1 cup breadcrumbs

    Directions:

    • Soak currants in sherry until ready to use.
    • Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté shallots, garlic and chile for 1 to 2 minutes, until soft. Add quinoa and sauté for 1 minute longer. Stir in vegetable stock or water, salt and saffron. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
    • Drain currants and set aside.
    • Fluff quinoa with a fork and carefully stir in sherry vinegar, currants and pinenuts. Set aside.
    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    • Cut ends off zucchini and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Scoop a shallow bowl in one end of each piece, leaving at least 3/8-inch at the bottom. Place zucchini cups on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with bread crumbs. (The breadcrumbs will help keep the bottoms from becoming too soft.) Bake for 15 minutes.
    • Fill zucchini cups with quinoa and serve immediately.
    Ann Gentry, host of Naturally Delicious, has spent the past 20 years raising the standard of vegetarian cooking. As a chef, restaurateur, food educator and visionary, she has succeeded in combining macrobiotic food preparation with the richness of her southern upbringing to create a gourmet vegetarian cuisine even meat lovers covet.As the executive chef of Vegetarian Times magazine, Ann creates original vegetarian recipes and contributes articles on healthy eating and living. Ann also writes her own bimonthly column about food and children for the British magazine Junior: The World’s Finest Parenting Magazine.Ann is the creator, founder and operating owner of Real Food Daily, the only restaurant in the Los Angeles area that serves a 100 percent vegetarian menu using foods grown exclusively with organic farming methods. Bon Appetit magazine wrote that “Ann Gentry, the creator of Real Food Daily, has taken two different California trends — vegetarian foods, and the organic seasonal cooking popularized by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse — and come up with a cuisine that is as interesting and delicious as it is healthful.” With two California locations, in Santa Monica and West Hollywood, Real Food Daily has “developed a loyal following.” Its patrons range from the someday to the everyday vegetarian, to celebrities, to trendsetting young eaters with sophisticated palates or the mature diner seeking gourmet, health-supportive cuisine. Ann’s first cookbook, “The Real Food Daily Cookbook,” published by Ten Speed Press, is available for purchase on her website www.realfood.com and at bookstores. As the spokesperson for SOYJOY, an all-natural nutrition bar made with whole soy, Ann has appeared on many radio and television shows as well as various food lifestyle shows promoting a healthy lifestyle. She has also been a guest chef at Canyon Ranch, Pritikin Longevity Center, Robert Mondavi Wine Center, L.A. Times Festival of Books, the Environmental Media Awards, North American Vegetarian Society and Central Market. In the spring of 2008, Ann will be a featured guest chef on a Caribbean cruise ship, in the program “A Taste of Health” on Holistic Holiday at Sea. Ann lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Robert Jacobs, and their two vegetarian children, Halle and Walker.