Easy 5-Ingredient Fresh Mint & Zucchini Pasta (Vegan or Vegetarian)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I started this blog on about July 5, 2012.  On July 13, 2012, I posted one of my all-time favorite recipes.  It is one I got from my good friend, Naomi Priestley.  It is Zucchini & Mint Pasta with Parmesan (seen just above).  But – it is such a divine dish – I thought I would post it again with a few new options.  1) It can be made without cheese altogether or 2) without cheese but with a squeeze of lemon juice or 3) with vegan Parmesan.

Do not be thrown by the idea of mint in a pasta dish – it is delicious!  It is especially lovely when you use fresh, homemade pasta – but dry pasta is fine, too.  If you do not consider oil and S&P to be legit ingredients – this is a 5 ingredient dish & comes together in less than 20 minutes.

I bought this ridiculous $5 micro basil because it looks pretty.  It is tasty, too, but it is certainly an unnecessary indulgence.

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Fresh Mint & Zucchini Pasta (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta – cooked & drained

Olive oil

3-5 zucchini – either grated or spiralized or sliced (you can use as much zucchini as you like to mitigate the amount of pasta you eat or to, at least, lighten up the dish)

1-3 cloves garlic – chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint – chopped

S&P to taste

OPTIONS – Parmesan or vegan Parmesan (to taste) and or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Garnish: chopped mint and/or parsley and/or basil, more cheese, crushed red pepper

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DIRECTIONS

Cook & drain the pasta.

I spiralized the zucchini but you can grate or slice it.  Spiralizing is a good way to bury veggies in a spaghetti dish so your kids do not notice the veggies in there.  I sliced the ends that were too short to spiralize.

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Heat a glug or two of olive oil in a large saute pan.  Saute the garlic for about 30 seconds & then add the zucchini.  Saute a few minutes & then add mint and season with S&P.   When the zucchini is soft – add the pasta & combine.  Add cheese or vegan cheese here – if you are using it – or squeeze in some lemon – if you are going that route.  Plate & serve with cheese and/or chopped herbs (mint or basil or parsley).

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Zucchini & Mint Enchiladas

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I am a huge fan of the zucchini & mint combination.  I got the original recipe from my good friend, Naomi Priestley.  It was one of my earliest posts on this blog. Zucchini & Mint Pasta with Parmesan – seen above.

I later adapted it to a Fresh Mint and Zucchini Mac and Cheese version – which was rather lovely – seen below.

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Today, I found myself looking at 4 huge but wilting zucchinis & a bunch of wilting mint – so – I decided to try this experiment.  It is sauceless because the zucchini & mint are such delicate flavors that you don’t want to offer too much competition for them but, if you like wetter enchiladas & don’t mind cream sauces, I would recommend a light Alfredo or something.  They are very easy to make & cook up in about 45 minutes total – prep & baking included.  Light & fresh – they are breadier than most enchiladas seem because of the lack of sauce & because I filled them sparingly.    Still – I would call them a success!

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Zucchini & Mint Enchiladas

Makes 8 enchiladas

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil

8 flour tortillas

4 large zucchini (or more for fatter enchiladas) – grated

6 garlic cloves – minced

1 cup Parmesan – grated – or vegan alternative

1 cup mozzarella – grated (or fresh mozzarella – sliced) – or vegan alternative

1 bunch fresh mint (about a cup) – chopped

S&P

Garnish – extra mint and/or cheese

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grate the zucchini & cheeses.

Heat about 1 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan over med-high heat.  Add the garlic & about 30 seconds later – add the zucchini.  Garlic burns easily & tastes bitter when it does so be quick here.

Saute about 15 minutes or until it becomes a bit of a mush.  Add the mint & 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.  Season with S&P.

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Assemble the enchiladas by rolling 1/8 of your zucchini into each of eight tortillas.  Treat a baking pan with coking spray (or olive oil) & line the enchiladas up, seam-side down.

Cover with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan & the mozzarella.

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Bake for 20 minutes or so or until the cheese is melted to your taste.

Serve with extra cheese and/or mint as garnish.  Easy peasy!

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