This vegetarian Calabacitas recipe is perfect for any stubborn carnivores out there! Loads of flavor made with healthy, fresh ingredients -- yum!!
- 1.5 lbs. zucchini or squash (I used 2 larger zucchinis)
- 1 small onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 jalapeno
- 3 plum tomatoes
- 2 cups corn kernels (I used a single can)
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- freshly cracked black pepper
- Cotija cheese (optional)
- freshly chopped cilantro (optional)
- olive oil
Give the tomatoes a good rinse and let them roast in a 400F oven for 20 minutes or until you need them. I usually de-stem the tomatoes knowing that any juices leftover in the roasting pan will be used.
Finely chop a small onion and get it cooking in some oil over medium heat. Let it cook until it's starting to brown, approx. 7-10 minutes. Add three minced garlic cloves and cook for 30-60 seconds.
Take a couple spoonfuls of the onion-garlic mixture from the pan and add it to the blender -- this will eventually be combined with the roasted tomatoes.
Give the zucchinis a good rinse and cut them up into 1/4" sized pieces -- be sure to cut off the ends of the zucchinis and discard. Add the chopped zucchini to the onion-garlic mixture in the pan, along with 3/4 teaspoon salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano. Stir well and let it saute for a couple minutes as you put the tomato mixture together.
Rinse the jalapeno and chop it up into quarters, discarding the stem. Add the roasted tomatoes to the blender along with 1/4 of the jalapeno. (There should also be a couple spoonfuls of the onion-garlic mixture in the blender.) Combine well and take a taste. Add additional slivers of the jalapeno until the heat tastes right to you. I used a larger jalapeno for this batch and only needed about half of it.
Add the tomato mixture back to the saucepan and let the zucchini simmer in it for a couple more minutes or until the zucchini is tender but still a little firm -- this batch cooked for a total of 7-8 minutes. If using canned corn you can add it in now as it doesn't need much time to heat up. If using fresh corn kernels you can add them in when you add the zucchini. (I usually drain and rinse canned corn but this is optional.)
Take a final taste for seasoning. I added another generous pinch of salt to this batch.
Serve immediately with your choice of garnish. Cotija cheese and freshly chopped cilantro are good options.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge where they will keep for a few days.
If you're using canned corn you can add it in towards the end of the cooking process as it doesn't need much time to heat up. If using fresh corn kernels you can add them in when you add the zucchini.
If it seems like the pan needs some liquid after adding the tomato mixture then feel free to add 1/2 cup of stock or water.
If you want to turn this dish into a soup, see Easy Calabacitas Soup.
Calories: 118kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 606mg | Potassium: 716mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 800IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1.4mg