Vegan zucchini roll-ups
For today’s post I decided to return to my second favorite cuisine – Italian. Vegan zucchini roll-ups were on my to do list for a very long time, and since my blog is lacking a few savory dishes, I decided they were the perfect recipe to balance things out.
I used to think that this dish required a lot of work, but I could not have been more wrong. It is probably the easiest meal I threw together lately, and it does not require any unusual ingredients. And I have decided to share with you the most simple version of it. This however does not make it any less delicious. If you are a fan of lasagna, cannelloni and such, but you want to dial back on the gluten, this recipe is perfect for you. Or if you are just a fan of Italian food in general, you are definitely going to love this.
And other than being vegan, gluten-free and super tasty, this dish can also be kind of good for you. I wrote down a few things about that in the following section.
Some health benefits
There are some healthy ingredients in these zucchini roll-ups that you don’t want to miss out on. For one, the zucchini itself.
It is high in the antioxidant vitamin C. Research indicates that the skin of the plant harbors the highest levels of antioxidants. Its ample vitamin A content may support your immune system. Carotenoids, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene are particularly plentiful in zucchini. These may benefit your eyes, skin, and heart, as well as offer some protection against certain types of cancer, such as prostate cancer.
Overall, it contributes to healthy digestion, may reduce blood sugar levels, improve heart health, and aid weight loss. It also may have anticancer effects, improve thyroid function and research (on animal models) shows that seed extracts may help limit prostatic hyperplasia.
A lot of zucchini nutrients are in the zucchini skin, which we are not going to peel off for this recipe. These are only a few reasons you might want to treat yourself with these vegan zucchini roll-ups from time to time.
A piece of advice
This recipe was (to my surprise) super quick and easy to make. The baking time is pretty short and it only requires a few basic ingredients. However, there are a few things that you need to pay attention to if you want to make this recipe successfully. I am going to write those down so that you don’t make the same rookie mistakes that I did.
First of all, make sure you use medium or large sized zucchini, and don’t peel the skin. When you cut them up thinly, don’t try to bend them or roll the slices right away, since they will probably break. Put some salt on them and let them rest, that way you will remove the excess water from them and they will relax a bit so you will be able to roll them up easily.
If you can not find a good brand of vegan cheese, feel free to experiment with the filling. You can use hummus instead, or some kind of home-made cheese sauce. These roll-ups do not need to be covered while they are baking.
I really wanted to use some fresh basil, but I could not find any in stores. In that case you can use some parsley. Also feel free to season them as you like, but I doubt you will need any additional salt, since you already used it to remove the moisture. When you finished rolling the zucchini, you can top them of with some more cheese or vegan parmesan if you want to.
I made a very small amount of these roll-ups (as you can see from the pictures) since I wasn’t very hungry at the moment. But the measurements I wrote down will make for a lot more, so you might want to use a bigger dish.
Vegan zucchini roll-ups
2-3 medium sized zucchini
250 g of vegan cheese
fresh basil or parsley
a pinch of pepper
- Wash the zucchini and remove the stems. Cut them very thinly lengthwise. Put the zucchini on a paper towel and rub some salt over them. Let them sit for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, grate the cheese, remove the stems from the baby spinach leaves, and cut the basil up into small pieces. After 20 minutes, press the zucchini down with a paper towel in order to remove the salt and excess water. Put a few tablespoons of tomato sauce at the bottom of a baking dish (just enough to cover it).
- Sprinkle vegan cheese and baby spinach over the zucchini slices and roll them up. Put all the zucchini roll-ups in the baking dish, top them off with some additional tomato sauce and sprinkle with some pepper.
- Bake the vegan zucchini roll-up at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Take them out of the oven and sprinkle with some fresh basil or parsley. Serve while they are still warm.
If you liked this recipe, make sure you check out my other recipes like:
Feel free to tell me what you think about this in the comments below, or send me the pictures of your own vegan zucchini roll-ups. If you did something differently, I would also like to hear that, I’d love to see the things you come up with.
P.S. for more recipes like this and a bunch of other stuff, follow me on Instagram, @margo_drobi.
Also, I recently started a Patreon page, where you can subscribe and help me create more/better content. In return, you will get an exclusive piece of content (recipe) each month. My plan is to increase the amount of that content if I gain a few subscribers. If you are interested and you want to find out more, I will leave the link to my Patreon right – here.