Get Baked: Zucchini, Raisin, and Toasted Pine Nut Salad

This salad is delicious and really easy. And vegan!

While the original recipe doesn’t, I toast the pine nuts, because toasting things is fun. If you are in a hurry or disagree, add them when you add the raisins.

Zucchini, Raisin, and Toasted Pine Nut Salad

Adapted from Vincci Ceci nest pas un food blog.


1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium zucchini, sliced into coins
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup raisins (golden or otherwise)
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to make sure they brown evenly and don’t burn. When they’re evenly golden and fragrant, transfer them to a plate to cool.

2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the zucchini, and sauté until it begins to soften (after about five minutes).

3. Add the garlic, raisins, and salt and pepper. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the toasted pine nuts, add the lemon juice to taste, and toss. Serve.

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. Does every recipe have to be vegan? I don’t like the stereotype that all lesbians are vegans. Most of the ones I know are not.

    • I think she meant vegan AND vegetarian. You all seem to ignore that having the privilege to live off an organic, vegetarian, or even vegan diet is a classist privilege. I myself, as many of my lesbian friends, cannot afford to live off of soy products and even vegetables. We stock up on buy one get one free low quality pork chops or whatever meats are about to expire at the grocery store. Most of us lesbians throughout the country can’t afford to live off this stuff, so it would be nice to see something we could cook very cheaply, while still getting full off it, and maybe even get some nutritional value out of it.

      • I am sort of drunk, so this was pretty hard, but I figured out that at Wal-Mart, anyway, a serving a pinto beans (dried) is 8 cents. That’s filling, protein and fiber-rich, and probably cheaper than any sale meat you can find. I live pretty much at the poverty line, and depend on food stamps to feed myself, and veganism is pretty much the cheapest way to do it.

      • I don’t know where you live but where I live the opposite is true. It’s way cheaper to be vegan or vegetarian. Part of the reason I became a vegetarian is because, as someone with a really low income, I couldn’t afford to buy meat. I get 8 blocks of tofu in a tub from the local Chinese grocery store for about $5. TVP is about $1/100 grams and it makes heaps when you rehydrate it. I don’t buy any fancy vegetarian products because they are ridiculously expensive. I don’t buy organic because I can’t afford it. Organic food is definitely classist but I disagree that having a vegan or vegetarian diet is.

        • Like I said, meat sells very cheaply before it expires and there are always buy one get one free deals on meat. Even then, those are cheap cuts of low quality meats. And if you look at the recipes that have been on here, they include other things than cheap canned beans… Goat cheese, pine nuts, fresh vegetables even… And I make slightly too much for food stamps or assistance, so that doesn’t exactly help me. Tofu is very expensive here because being vegetarian is the cool, it thing to do. And when I was growing up in my farm town, beef was incredibly cheap because everyone raised it.

          If you look at what low income people actually eat, especially within families, it’s going to be hot dogs, boxed Mac and cheese, white wonderbread and shit like that. I know incredibly poor people who tried to be vegetarian, and they couldn’t afford it, had health problems, and went back to meat rather quickly. One friend in that situation was a nurse, so she knew about al the health implications to being vegan (which is expensive no matter where you live) and vegetarian. And as Stephanie’s first comment showed, this isn’t just about money for a certain life style choice of food. You vegetarians and vegans get so bitchy and defensive about how moral and resourceful you all are due to your animal loving, arrogant position. And it is a stereotype that lesbians are vegan, at least in cities. The ones who grew up in area like me who are actually trying to get full and somewhat nurished, will never be vegetarians or fucking vegans.

          • You’re the only person getting bitchy and defensive here.

            I eat meat, so you can’t chalk my opinion up to my ‘animal loving, arrogant position’. The cheapest recipes I can think of are vegetarian, and are based primarily on beans, chickpeas and lentils. These are cheaper than any meat that is available to me, including cheap cuts and meat on special. Tofu is optional. Yeah, Autostraddle posted some veggie recipes that use ingredients that are fancier than a tin of beans. So what? They’re not under a moral duty to post the cheapest recipes in the universe, nor have they ever pretended to.

          • So true. Right after I found out I have a crapton of food allergies, including things like gluten, tomatoes, bell peppers, and other utterly random things, I was also living on about $30 a week for food and sundries (this included ANYTHING I wanted to do with friends).

            You know what I ate? Beans and rice. Lentils and rice especially, with a little bit of frozen spinach thrown in and some bouillon that came in a jar and lasted forever. And I’m not a vegetarian. I couldn’t afford meat, even the cheap stuff. But I could buy a bag of lentils for $1 that stretched over 6-8 meals. Cheaper than boxed mac and cheese, and far better for you.

            Dried beans and lentils are some of the cheapest food you can find for the nutritional value. Frozen and canned vegetables you can easily buy on sale for very little ($.80-$1 a bag). And the only particularly expensive thing in this recipe is the pine nuts. So replace them or leave them out–but don’t think that vegetarianism is only for snobby rich people, because I was mostly vegetarian that semester due to circumstances and I managed. It requires some creativity and general knowledge of food, as well as planning, but it’s doable.

          • I’m a vegetarian because I have very little money and because I find it easier for myself to keep a healthier diet that way, not because I like to “get so bitchy and defensive about how moral and resourceful [I am] due to [my] animal loving, arrogant position”. I am always “full and somewhat nurished” because I’m careful to eat a lot of things that have protein, even when I can’t afford meat (Beans! Lentils! Tofu! Nuts!)

            Yes, I recognize that this diet doesn’t work for everyone, and some people are able to be healthier with meat as a regular part of their diets. Yes, I care about animals in a general, vague, probably fairly privileged and detached sort of way. Yes, I recognize that our meat-as-food industry is kind of a shithole. BUT. If someone from PETA handed me one of those stupid pamphlets right now, I would go google-map the nearest KFC and demand extra bacon on my Double Down. Because, yes, a lot those people are dicks. Just like a lot of lesbians are dicks, and so are a lot of vegetarians, and so are a lot of carnivores.

            Also, I think it’s hilarious that people keep going after Riese posts 20 whole links to non-vegan/vegetarian-centric recipes.

            Also, goat cheese has its own item line in my monthly budget. Some things are just worth it. (FEELINGS FOR GOAT CHEESE.)

  2. Neat recipe! In lieu of pine nuts, what else do you think could be used? Perhaps almonds or maybe sunflower seeds? I have a very bad allergy to pine nuts – they induce anaphylaxis, and it caused a really not-so-fun trip to the hospital for me one time.

  3. toasted pine nuts! so delicious. although technically they are seeds, not nuts, because they come from within the pine cone and are not contained or surrounded by a fruit. yep, I’m a botany nerd.

  4. Yo dawgs eating a healthy, tasty vegetarian diet is difficult for low income people generally. Vegan diets are even more difficult.

    It requires a lot of planning re: preparing the food/figuring out the best diet that has ample protein for your needs. I guess you could eat beans and rice everyday but that’s a pretty awful existence. Nicer vegetarian diets/meals often include expensive spices, take longer to prepare (cooking tofu well so its not wet and rubbery can be difficult), and are more exotic (you didn’t learn to cook them in your meat and green beans home, so you gotta teach yoself).

    It is true that many low income people do not eat vegetarian and it is a tough diet to sustain in a healthy, tasty way, if for nothing else than the extra time it takes to learn new recipes/ways of cooking/ways of balancing your diet.

    The poster had a point though the anger was pointless………..if anything vegetarian recipes are helpful for people who need to learn new/cheaper ways of cooking things….boxed mac and cheese recipes would be pretty pointless…I think we all know how to do those ;)

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