Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy Animals and Zucchini

So. I don't really eat that much meat. I don't object to eating meat, I just prefer to not make it a daily staple. However, every once and a while, I get so hungry that nothing but a hunk of animal flesh will fill the empty hole in my stomach. It's not often, but when it happens, I go with it.

The other day, after walking about the countryside, and paddling away in the sea, I was so hungry I thought I was going to pass out. I didn't have any meat on hand, so I ate a spoonful of peanut butter to tide me over, and I walked into the village to buy something that would satisfy my carnivorous cravings.

I stood in front of the meat shelf for what seemed like half a day. I had forgotten that all the labels are in Greek, making them completely....well, greek to me.

The problem is -  I have a requirement of my meat when I do eat it. Don't laugh, but it has to come from a happy animal. Don't. Laugh.

After reading various books, and listening to a few documentaries while being stuck in rush hour traffic, I came to the conclusion that the meat from factory farmed animals is disgusting. It should only be touched while wearing gloves and a mouth mask. And possibly goggles.

I have to look at my plate and be able to envision a sunny meadow, and a gamboling animal, and a gentle farmhand, and fresh clean feed, and a soft bed, and.....

Isn't that a nice picture?

The point of all this is, I couldn't figure out if there was any happy animal meat at all, and so I went home empty handed. And I stared into my fridge, and contemplated carving a piece of flesh off my thigh (where I could most stand to lose it), and roasting it with some garlic and olive oil.

But after assessing my ingredients, I came up with magic. It was so filling, I almost could not move afterwards. I am going to share it with you, and after trying it, you will forever thank God that I am in your life.

Wondrous Zucchini Patties

(Keep in mind, these measurements are approximate - I never really measure anything. You are going for the final texture - it should handle almost like raw hamburger.)

2 cups grated zucchini
1/4 cup quick cook oats
1 egg
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
2 tbsp crumbled goat feta
salt and pepper to taste
a dash of red pepper flakes
olive oil for frying


Grate zucchini, and put it into a bowl with a healthy sprinkle of salt. Let sit for at least twenty minutes, so it starts to sweat out some of its water content. After at least 20 minutes, squeeze out as much water as you can.

Once zucchini is de-watered, add in the rest of the ingredients (minus oil), and mix it all together. It should be a thick, moldable mixture. If you can, let it sit for at least an hour, because the flavors really start to meld into everything.

Mold into patties (this recipe makes 4 good sized patties), and fry over medium heat, in a pan drizzled with olive oil, until both sides are a lovely golden brown.

I ate mine drizzled with:

Tahini Sauce

1/2 Tbsp Tahini
Splash of Lemon Juice
A small touch of crushed garlic
salt and pepper

Mix that up, add some water to thin it out, and VOILA.

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