Fresh Zucchini Toss and More Salad

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Hearth ‘n Soul, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Wheatless Wednesday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Fight Back Friday, Food On Fridays, Friday Foodie Fix–Honey, Friday Foodie Fix–Balsamic Vinegar, and Friday Foodie Fix–Zucchini.

I’ve eaten more zucchini this summer than at any time previously in my life. I’ve added zucchini to scrambled eggs, Chicken Crepes, casseroles like Cheesy Chicken Zucchini Bake, and ”thrown together” stir fry dishes and skillet suppers. I made Potato-Zucchini Soup in my slow cooker. I baked traditional “vanilla” zucchini bread and the irresistible chocolate version as well. I’ve loved the zucchini in all of these recipes. So when our monthly beekeeping newsletter arrived the other day and it included a recipe for Fresh Zucchini Toss, I knew I had to try it right away. Although my zucchini supply through a work friend had dried up (literally) quite a while back, I knew I could easily pick up some zucchini at my grocery store.

As usual I adapted this recipe to my preferences and what I had on hand. And, to be honest, I didn’t even actually make this salad for the most part. I had run short of time in completing my “to do” list for our support group meeting this past week. So when members arrived and started asking how they could help, I handed them the recipe and all that was needed—well, almost all that was needed. I told my one friend, DeLaura, that we would not be using Iceberg lettuce (as specified in the original recipe), but rather a “spring mix” of salad greens. She nodded in acknowledgement, but then I got caught up in greeting new members and other dinner preparation (like heating Cheese Rolls, baking Oatmeal Marble Squares). Bottom line—I forgot to get out the salad greens. So the Fresh Zucchini Toss did not get tossed with anything that evening, which you can see in the photos taken by DeLaura’s daughter, Tara. (Tara just turned 13 and is in love with photography. She took at least 100 photos at our meeting and really did a nice job—I’ll be sharing some more soon.)

However, the next day I mixed in salad greens and also added roasted chicken for topping. The result was quite the enjoyable dinner meal for one while Mr. GFE was away. Another day for lunch, I ate the Zucchini Toss just as it was (without adding salad greens), as my accompaniment to leftover steamed shrimp—a perfect pairing. You really can’t go wrong with this zucchini toss—however you choose to make it! 

Fresh Zucchini Toss
(Click here for a print version of this recipe.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup honey (I used raw honey from our bees)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (I used a fresh ground peppercorn medley)
2 large zucchini (about 2 cups or so), chopped into small pieces
6 cups or more of mixed salad greens (cut or torn into bite-size pieces, if needed)
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced or chopped (your preference)
1 cup gluten-free croutons (optional; diced Savory Sandwich Waffles would be ideal as croutons)
2 tomatoes (about 1 cup), chopped

Combine first six ingredients thoroughly in a jar. Shake well. Pour over zucchini. Chill 30 minutes or more. Place salad greens in a large salad bowl. Add zucchini mixture and toss lightly. Garnish with, or mix in, onion, croutons, and tomatoes.

Makes about 9 servings. (The serving bowl shown above contains double this recipe.)

Adapted from National Honey Board

Shirley’s Notes: We didn’t chill the zucchini mixture before making the zucchini toss for our support group meeting, but this recipe was still delicious. Depending upon how much dressing you like with your salad, you may be able to add more greens to the mix. With an oil and vinegar based recipe like this one, I don’t usually need a lot of dressing. There’s actually much more dressing than is needed in the photo above. If you feel the same about  a lighter amount of dressing, I suggest either adding  more greens or reducing the amount of dressing a bit.

And More “Salad” …

Mr. GFE often says “If you mix apples and oranges, you get fruit salad.” He is the king of such expressions. Southern upbringing can do that to a person and, frankly, I have my own share of those types of sayings, too. So in the rest of this post, I’m making “more salad,” by telling you some things I wish to share from our current gluten-free world.

Another picture perfect and taste sensation, which my assistant chefs made, was Alta’s (Tasty Eats At HomeEnd of Summer Peach Salsa. Alta shared this Peach Salsa recipe in a guest post over at Amy’s. I thought it was very telling that my “event photographer” took 10 photos of this salsa, including two which captured the empty bowl. How much time elapsed between the full bowl and the delightfully empty one? Not much at all! Run, don’t walk, to grab all the ingredients, chop, and mix; it’s that easy and, yes, that good. Oh, and I could find neither fresh basil nor mint at my local grocer so I just used some basil I had dried from my basil plant that expired earlier this summer. Plus, I skipped the mint. I also didn’t have a lime, so the juice from half a lemon was used. I have enough peaches and tomatoes to make another batch and I’m going to for sure! Mr. GFE and I can enjoy a small batch as an appetizer with our newfound Divers Down, Bottoms Up cocktail on our screened porch. We’re still catching up after his week of scuba diving in Saba and St. Kitts. Saba Spice, a “liqueur” of sorts made by families for generations and which can only be purchased in Saba, is the key ingredient of our aptly named drinks.

If you followed the links back to all the adoption posts from the August Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger roundup or keep up with me on Facebook or Twitter, you probably already know about my exciting news. I’m presenting at the Gluten-Free and Allergen Free Expo in the spring! Most of you know this event as the Gluten-Free Cooking Expo and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing—cooking, and sharing my gfe approach. Some of my other best gluten-free buddies will be presenting as well, but I’m not going to steal their thunder because I haven’t yet seen announcements on their sites. As I shared the other day, Jennifer (Jen) Cafferty (Gluten-Free Life with Jen) is the creator of this event, which has grown yearly in scope, size, and acclaim. This year’s Expo will be held right outside Chicago in Lisle, IL. Yes, this event in months away, but some folks really do need to plan ahead that far. I’m incredibly honored and excited to be part of this event! I’ll share much more info, including a link the new Expo website, as the event gets closer and more information is released.

Speaking of Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger, be sure to sign up for this month’s event over at Sea’s here. I already see some bloggers who are new to me in the adoption line-up, plus old friends as well—fun! Let’s set a new adoption record, shall we?

Another of my favorite, monthly gluten-free events, Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free, is being hosted by two bloggers this month. As Naomi shares in her “launch” post, “This month is bought to you firstly by wholesome Ali Segersten of Nourishing Meals, with a healthy lunch-box theme and a truly inspiring post, bursting with ideas for lunch-boxes and a useful chart for balancing the food you pack for lunch every day. Children can even use this chart to pick their own balanced meal – a very empowering experience, and more likely to ensure that they eat everything they take to school.  Our second host is the chic and playful French blogger, Choupichen of C’est Sans Gluten – who stepped in at the last minute when Ali was AWOL, with the exciting challenge of gluten free bread!”

First, let’s talk about meeting the gluten-free lunch-box needs. Without a doubt this is the request that I get most often from parents of school-age children in my support group. So I hope to get up a post and offer my lunch ideas and thoughts on this topic before the deadline. One big item that’s certainly needed for lunches is healthy snacks. You’ll want to stay tuned for my upcoming review of Katie Kimball’s (Kitchen Stewardship) e-books, Healthy Snacks to Go and Family Camping Handbook. These e-books are already shown on my sidebar, if you want to check them out now. A recipe will be shared! Katie is not exclusively gluten free, but many of her recipes are naturally gluten free and she tells you how to adapt other recipes to be gluten free, and free of other allergens as well.

And, how about Choupichen’s Go Ahead Honey theme … gluten-free bread, you say? Other than bread items like Kiva’s Golden Flax Bread, Popovers, and Garlic Cheese Biscuits, I have pretty much steered clear of gluten-free “traditional” breads. But that might be changing. Linda (The Gluten Free Homemaker) just mentioned that she made her French bread using millet flour instead of sorghum with great success. As I can’t yet tolerate sorghum flour, but am a big fan of millet flour, I’m very anxious to try this variation. Who knows … that might inspire me to get creative and enter a gluten-free bread for Choupichen’s roundup! How about you? Do you have some homemade gluten-free bread that you want to share with all? Okay, you are required only to share your post with recipe and photos; no samples need to be mailed (although I’m sure they wouldn’t be turned down by Naomi, our always gracious hostess, or anyone else for that matter).

Donielle who writes Naturally Knocked Up, the blog designed to increase your odds of conception through natural living and nourishing foods, recently hosted a series on the benefits of living gluten free. Of course, as you would expect, I couldn’t be more on board with this topic. So I was very honored when Donielle asked me if I’d like to do a guest post for the series. My guest post, which simply walks one through the gfe approach as an introduction, is shown here. But be sure to check out the other posts as well: I didn’t get in my answers in time to be on the panel, but I did enjoy reading the Q&A and thought there was valuable info there for all. Everyone has a slightly different perspective, approach, and tips, but I very much appreciate the real food focus shown. Check out the Gluten-Free Panel Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four. Other notable parts of the series were Transition to Gluten Free; Gluten, Grains, and Children with Developmental Issues; and Gluten-Free Beauty. Finally, check out the opening post for the series, which included the association of gluten to infertility and many other health issues, and a podcast from Dr. Tom O’Bryan.

Further on the topic of infertility, Tiffany Janes just shared over the that the connection between celiac and infertility is finally getting mainstream press, but more importantly she stated that, “Dr. Green’s team at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University is now working with fertility experts in the U.S. to further educate doctors in that field about the condition.” As it stands now, education about celiac and non-celiac issues is still largely self-initiated or sort of a grass roots movement, if you will. As Tiffany said, “The reason more and more people are being diagnosed with celiac in the U.S. now is not because the average doctor thinks to test patients for celiac. It’s because people go in and ask to be tested for it.” Tiffany is absolutely correct, and that realization alone is reason enough to keep spreading awareness daily. Although numbers of those diagnosed with either are increasing slowly, they are increasing, so give yourself a pat on the back if you’re helping educate folks on gluten issues!

As I shared the other day, I also did a guest post for Iris over at The Daily Dietribe as part of her ongoing Gluten-Free Fall Specials series. Oatmeal Marble Squares were my featured recipe. I shared two versions, the original indulgent version and a new healthier iteration. Be sure to check out all the posts in the series. The latest comes from Selene of Veganlicious. I love how Selene shares her appreciation of all things fall before she delivers the goods, with a bang so to speak—Blueberry Explosion Muffins!

Dr. Rodney Ford is on a drive to increase the numbers of those who “like” his Facebook page devoted to a Gluten-Free Planet. The ultimate goal, of course, is futhering the concept of a Gluten-Free Planet. So he’s running a contest with prizes for those who bring new readers. You can read all about it here, but prizes include a consultation with him, a Food Allergy E-Clinic assessment (this e-clinic is his online allergy clinic), and some of his books. I love Dr. Ford and his mission! It is my own opinion that gluten does no body any good—separation and emphasis intended. Do not underestimate the harm that gluten can do … to the young and old alike. Please take a moment to read Amy’s (Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free) post today  on the difference a gluten-free diet has made to a four-year old. By reaching out in a guest post—even when it felt uncomfortable to do so—Amy made a huge difference in this child’s and his family’s lives. Again, please read, and share this story. With that in mind, I think most of us can support the Gluten-Free Planet mission, can’t we? There are plenty of non-gluten grains for those who still want to eat grains.

Finally, the winner of the Bodum products giveaway for coffee and wine lovers has been posted here! I’ll be back next week with another roundup and there’ll be some other posts you’ve been waiting for in the mean time, too.

Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


33 Responses to “Fresh Zucchini Toss and More Salad”

  1. Karin (an alien parisienne) on September 21st, 2010 2:40 am

    What a great post! Thank you for all the helpful links to g-free sites and all of the other information here. There are tremendous resources these days out there for those of us who eat gluten-free, but you introduced a few more to me about which I’m glad to know.

    Zucchini feels like it has saved my life this summer. It’s such a versatile ingredient. I’ve been sautéing it a lot this summer and putting it in everything from eggs to making spaghetti sauce with it, but this is a lovely idea for a raw zucchini salad. Yes, it is still to be found in stores (here in Paris, anyway, where I live), but I try to eat seasonally, and know that root veggies and cabbage days are just around the corner. I may try to squeeze this recipe into the line up with the zucchini I have left in the fridge, though.

    Be well, and thank you again!

    • Shirley on September 21st, 2010 7:00 am

      Hi Karin–Thank you so much! Welcome to gfe! :-) Yes, we have amazing resources … the best ones (IMHO) are the gluten-free friends we make and the knowledge that real food is naturally gluten free. ;-) So glad you’ve been sharing the zucchini love this summer, too! Hope you enjoy this recipe if you make it; the raw zucchini just works so well here.

      I’ll be ready for squash and cabbage, etc. soon. The latter is a food that I’ve only recently discovered that I like … a lot!

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Karin. I left a comment on your blog, but I think it went into spam–a recurring issue for me. :-( As much as I’m ready for my beloved fall, that beach you were vacationing on looked awful appealing!


      • Karin (an alien parisienne) on September 25th, 2010 12:26 pm

        Thank you, Shirley, and I saved the comment from the spam box. :) I am glad that I could come back and get the heads up that you’d left it!

  2. Erin Elberson on September 21st, 2010 12:36 pm

    Yay, a throw-together! Right up my alley :)
    Thanks for putting this all together, and yet ANOTHER awesome way to use zucchini.

    • Shirley on September 22nd, 2010 9:53 am

      Hi Erin–You are so right! This is a recipe that’s “not really a recipe” as you would say. You can adapt as much as you want and not worry too much about measurements either. ;-) Glad to spotlight zucchini since it’s often so abundant and folks run out of ideas.

      Love sharing the “good stuff” in our gluten-free world! Next week I might take the easy way out and just link to some other great roundups like yours. :-)


  3. cheryl on September 21st, 2010 1:30 pm

    what a delightful honor! Congrats, and I have no doubt you’ll be putting together something lovely.

    • Shirley on September 22nd, 2010 9:54 am

      Hi Cheryl–Thank you!! I’m tickled pink! :-) Still trying to come up with my game plan on what exactly I will present. ;-)


  4. Jen Cafferty on September 21st, 2010 3:39 pm

    Thanks for mentioning the upcoming Gluten & Allergen Free Expo! I am so excited you will be joining us and can’t wait to finally meet you. We are going to have such a good time!! Keep up your amazing posts…they are always inspiring. Jen

    • Shirley on September 22nd, 2010 9:57 am

      Hi Jen–I’m so pleased to mention the Expo, especially because I will have the honor of presenting! :-) I agree … we are going to have such a good time. Can’t wait! And, meeting you will be very cool indeed!

      Thanks for the super kind feedback! It’s SO appreciated!


  5. Linda on September 21st, 2010 8:57 pm

    I know I would love that zucchini toss any way you serve it. I’m disappointed that my zucchini plants were destroyed by squash vine borer. Last year, my plant produced zucchini for me into November.

    • Shirley on September 22nd, 2010 9:59 am

      Hi Linda–Gosh, I’m sorry to hear about your zucchini plants’ early demise. :-( You were really churning out the new zucchini recipes there for a while. Having them into November would be lovely. Hope you’ve figured out a way to squelch the squash vine borer for next year!


  6. Celiacs in the House on September 22nd, 2010 8:21 am

    Stopped in to read your post last night and started following links and got distracted. You do that to me a lot, Shirley. You lead me all over the gluten-free Internet and then I forget to thank you for all the good info and that zucchini recipe looks so flexible. I think I’m done with zucs for awhile. Remind us next summer with a zucchini roundup?

    • Shirley on September 22nd, 2010 10:02 am

      Hi Wendy–LOL … I wonder how many other folks that happens, too! Might be smart to leave a comment first next time. ;-) Seriously, I’m so glad you find the links worthwhile and, yes, this recipe is a great starting point because it is so flexible … and tasty. I have always steered clear of truly raw zucchini, but they work perfectly in this salad. :-) Posting a zucchini roundup next year is a great idea! Now you’ll have to hope that I remember. ;-)


  7. Kim @ Cook It Allergy Free on September 22nd, 2010 11:49 am

    I totally came by to comment on this last night and then got to reading one of the links and then never wrote up my comment.

    So I am back now. I just love the looks of this salad. These are the kinds of meals I love to make, especially when the boys are out of town.

    I think the coolest thing is that Tara (the amazing 13 year old) took those pictures. How awesome!

    And I am also so glad that there is being work done to educate doctors about the effects of Celiac Disease and fertility. Finally, it is being recognized, mainstream.

    Great post and round up! I love how you are so wonderful at sharing the love of everyone!

    xo kim

    • Shirley on September 22nd, 2010 9:52 pm

      Hey Kim–It’s wonderful to hear that so many are actually following the links I share! I was excited to read the news that Dr. Green’s crew was getting on board with the infertility education. But thanks so much for returning and taking the time to leave a comment. :-) Yep, this zucchini toss would never work as a meal for Mr. Carnivore (aka Mr. GFE), but it’s great for me or as a salad for both of us. ;-)

      Tara did do a lovely job.! I’ll share some more later on FB or here.

      Thanks so much, as always, for your sweet feedback! xo,

  8. Maggie on September 22nd, 2010 9:53 pm

    I love raw zucchini much more than I like it cooked. This looks like a great salad. I often get tired of green salads so this would be a great way to switch it up. Do you think it would taste okay with chick peas ( I know you love them). I would LOVE to come and see you in Illinois. That gives me lots of time to start saving.

    • Shirley on September 22nd, 2010 10:37 pm

      Hi Maggie!–You know I never thought I liked raw zucchini, but love it in this recipe! :-) We all need some variety as you say. My friends and I always joke about how good any salad tastes when it’s made by someone else. LOL But, seriously, know what I mean? I can’t say for certain on the chickpeas until I give it a try, but I think it would be terrific. And, yes, I do love my chickpeas. They are such an easy way to add tasty protein!

      Oh, Maggie, that would be awesome if you could attend the GF Expo! And, that’s exactly why I’m mentioning it now … so folks can make plans to attend. Once the Expo site is up, I’l post again with all the details. For right now, folks only know the dates and some of the speakers, so it will be great when it’s all ready to share!


  9. girlichef on September 23rd, 2010 7:09 am

    I love the sound of this…warm roasted veggies, some chicken tossed on a salad…sounds like perfection, actually! Thanks so much for sharing it with the hearth and soul hop this week =)

    • Shirley on September 24th, 2010 7:05 am

      Hi girlichef!–So happy to have found Hearth ‘n Soul weekly event! Thanks so much for stopping by; welcome to gfe. This is a very lovely salad; however you choose to make it. :-)


  10. Christy on September 23rd, 2010 2:54 pm

    Zucchini is the wonder vegetable – it is so versatile and always sound delicious! I love the colors in this. Oh, and the links you have posted – very very distracting! Lots of good stuff!!
    thanks for linking this to the hearth and soul hop!

    • Shirley on September 24th, 2010 7:10 am

      Hi Christy–Thanks for extending another Hearth ‘n Soul welcome, and welcome to gfe! I so agree on zucchini. I’m very pleased to have come across this recipe and added it to my repertoire. :-) Thanks for the kind words on the my weekly link love, too. Hope you got to check some out and found them valuable!


  11. Alta on September 23rd, 2010 4:09 pm

    That zucchini toss looks great! And I’m so glad everyone liked that salsa! I actually made it on a night I was making kid-friendly tacos (aka seasoned ground beef, cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato…that kind of taco), and I made a salad with lettuce, taco meat, and a huge helping of this salsa, and it was different but great.

    • Shirley on September 24th, 2010 7:14 am

      Hi Alta–Thank you on this zucchini dish! :-) The salsa is a great combination of flavors, and pretty, too. I love how the juice that remains is actually pink. I only got one bite with my equally salsa-appreciative support group members, but it was one terrific bite. I think I’d love it on tacos! And, chopped finely, it would be great on the cucumber chickpea bruschetta I make, too. ;-)


  12. Butterpoweredbike on September 23rd, 2010 6:49 pm

    Boy can I ever sympathize, I was practically overgrown with yellow squash this summer. But how can you complain about an abundance of food? Thanks for linking up with the Hearth and Soul hop this week.

    • Shirley on September 24th, 2010 7:17 am

      Hey Butterpoweredbike–Since I don’t grown my own zucchini, I can’t complain at all. I find zucchini more versatile than yellow squash, so I’ll have to take a look at your blog and see some ways you used your prolific yellow squash. ;-) Thanks so much for another warm welcome to the Hearth ‘n Soul event! :-)


  13. Chaya on September 27th, 2010 5:12 pm

    It is always wonderful to come here because I leave with so much information. Now, I have to go back and read the links. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

    Could I ask you to take a little more time and link this wonderful salad to My Meatless Mondays. It would be a wonderful addition.

    I tried to start one on Comfy Cook but the linkys don’t leave the links to be seen and it became a bother. So, I would love to see more GF bloggers share with me at My Sweet and Savory.

    • Shirley on September 27th, 2010 8:37 pm

      Hi Chaya–Thank you for the kind words, dear—always greatly appreciated! I linked up to Meatless Mondays finally. Thanks so much for reminding me! Because it’s not on your Comfy Cook blog, I keep forgetting. Maybe if I do it a few times, I’ll get in the habit. ;-) Hope more will join in, too. Roundups are such fun. :-)


  14. Stephanie on June 10th, 2012 6:26 pm

    Hi Shirley…I came to GFE last night to find a salad recipe to take to poluck at church today. I have lots of romaine and zucchini coming from the garden right now, so this recipe was just what I needed. It was so fresh and good. As always…Thanks for sharing!!

    • Shirley on June 13th, 2012 11:17 pm

      Hi Stephanie–I’m so glad that this recipe worked out well for you. Thanks for the lovely feedback. :-) I haven’t made it in a while, so thanks for reminding me about it. ;-) I have zuchinni, salad greens, and red onion in the fridge right now!


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