Harvest your zucchini and make sweet, savory treats
Home-grown zucchini seemed to have a slow start this year, but is now abundant, so here are some easy ways to use zucchini. It is also a great way to get those green veggies onto the plate.
One of the nice things about this is that it is cooked on the stovetop versus heating the oven. It can be lunch, dinner as a light meal with a salad and some rolls in about 30 minutes.
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. each dried basil and oregano
1 cup 1 percent low-fat cottage cheese
5 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large fresh tomato, chopped
1 medium zucchini, washed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced.
If you have some bits of green pepper and onion to use, finely chop and use also. (opt.)
In medium bowl, beat eggs lightly with seasonings. Stir in cottage cheese and half the Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
In 12-inch nonstick skillet, lightly sauté tomatoes and zucchini in oil until zucchini is lightly browned. Pour in egg mixture and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cook over medium-low heat until eggs are well set, about 15-20 minutes. Cut into 4 wedges and serve immediately. Note: if using onion and/or green pepper, sauté lightly before adding tomatoes and zucchini.
Good with most any grilled food and easy to take on outings.
3 small zucchini, sliced
3/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (15 1/2 oz.) kidney or garbanzo
beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup canola or olive oil
3 tbsp. vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover after stirring gently. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Stir again just before serving. Makes 5 cups.
ZUCCHINI LEMON BARS
A new twist on and old favorite. From my Brewster, Mass., Cape Cod cookbook.
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup canola oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 3/4 cup fine shredded, unpeeled zucchini
2 cup flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
In medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil, lemon juice and rind. Beat by hand until well blended.
Add zucchini; mix well. Sift together the dry ingredients and stir into zucchini mixture. Fold in nuts. Pour into greased 9 x 13 x 2 pan.
Bake 45-50 minutes at 350. Cool in pan and cut into bars.
VEGGIE MINI MEATLOAVES
Preheat oven to 425. Coat jelly-roll type pan with cooking spray. Coarsely shred 3/4 lb. zucchini. Squeeze until very dry. In large bowl, with hands, mix zucchini, 1 lb. ground chuck, 1/3 cup Italian-style bread crumbs, 1 large egg, 2 T. ketchup and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. Form into 4 loaves each about 5 x 3" on pan. Spread with 2 tsp. ketchup if desired. Bake 25 minutes or until instant-read thermometer reads 160.
Note: I think these would freeze well if only using two and then reheat for a busy day.
FLUFFY CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
Now that school has started, here is a quick recipe with a little nutrition hiding inside!
Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 muffin-pan cups with paper liners. Trim 3/4 lb. zucchini; in food processor, pulse until pureed. (Heavy duty blender should also work). In large bowl, whisk 1 box (18.25 oz.) devil's food cake mix, 3 large eggs, 1/2 cup canola oil and zucchini puree 2 minutes or until very smooth. Fold in 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips. Divide among muffin cups. Bake 24 minutes or so until toothpick comes clean. Cool on wire rack. Good enough without frosting.
One last good zucchini trick; If grilling, slice some zucchini into flat, vertical slices about a quarter inch thick, toss with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. HINT: When slicing vegetables, to avoid slipping, slice off a little on one side and zucchini won't slip - then slice as desired uniformly before grilling. Enjoy one of summer's most "giving" vegetables