Posted by Janet Harriett on Aug.08, 2009
If you grow zucchini, or know someone who does, you’ve probably faced the midsummer squash glut, when you have enough zucchini to eat it at every meal. On August 8, people humorously celebrate “Sneak Zucchini on Your Neighbor’s Porch Night,” but with these zucchini recipes for every culinary occasion and a full day’s worth of meals, you’ll be ready for the neighborly giveaway of summer squash, and won’t need to foist any of your harvest on anyone else, unless you want to.
The recipes calling for shredded zucchini can be made with frozen zucchini shreds. Simply shred the zucchini now, pack measured amounts in bags, label and freeze. In breads, muffins and soups, add the liquid from the thawed zucchini along with the vegetables. In other recipes, drain the thawed zucchini to avoid a watery dish.
Breakfast: Zucchini Blueberry Muffins
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
3/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup blueberries
Preheat oven to 325 and grease a muffin tin or line with baking cups.
Mix together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon. In a separate bowl, beat egg and add applesauce, yogurt, honey and vanilla. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Stir just until combined. Fold in the grated zucchini and blueberries. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 15-20 minutes.
Lunch: Zucchini-Chicken Salad
For all the ways cooks have found to use zucchini, it is rarely seen raw. Fresh, young zucchini, about 1 inch diameter, are most tender and best for this salad.
1 small zucchini
1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken breast
Seasoned herb vinegar
1/4 cup raspberries
Cut the zucchini into small matchsticks. Toss with the chicken and vinegar. Garnish with raspberries.
Snack: “Fried” Zucchini Sticks
This healthier version of fried zucchini is a great use for the bigger squashes that have been left on the vine a day or two past their tender prime.
1 egg, well beaten, or 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp grated parmesan
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp italian herb seasoning
Cut the zucchinis into 3 x 1/2 inch sticks. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Blot out excess moisture on the cut zucchini with a clean towel. In a shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic powder and herbs. Dip each stick in beaten egg, then coat with breadcrumb mixture. Place on cookie sheet. For a crisper coating, spray the coated sticks lightly with cooking spray. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until browned. Serve with marinara dipping sauce.
Appetizer: Summer-Fresh Crudites
Another recipe that takes advantage of the unexpected, delicate taste of raw zucchini. Makes 24 appetizers
1 medium zucchini
24 Cherry tomatoes
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons snipped chives
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Combine the cream cheese, chives and garlic powder. Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Spread each round with cream cheese and stick a cherry tomato on top. Secure with a toothpick if desired.
Soup: No Ham Split Pea Soup
Zucchini makes an excellent addition to almost any vegetable soup. When making soup in a slow cooker, shredded zucchini added at the beginning of the cooking time thickens the broth. Here, zucchini lightens up split pea soup. You can use green split peas, but the yellow peas give the soup a golden color that picky eaters may find more appetizing than green peas. Make vegan split pea soup by omitting the cheese and using vegetable broth.
1 cup yellow split peas
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 cups shredded carrot
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt to taste
Cheddar cheese (optional)
Place split peas, vegetables and herbs in a slow cooker. Pour broth over. Cook on low 6-8 hours until peas are tender. If you want a smooth split pea soup, puree with an immersion blender. Salt to taste. Serve sprinkled with shredded cheddar cheese.
Side Dishes: Zucchini Coins and Zucchini “Pasta”
Easy Sauteed Zucchini Coins
Because zucchini is often used as a filler or “secret ingredient” in recipes, the delicate, slightly sweet flavor of garden-fresh zucchini is not always appreciated. Light sauteing lets the taste shine. Fresher is better in this simple recipe. While olive oil is a heart-healthy fat that can aid absorption of some vitamins in vegetables, if you are worried about total fat intake, substitute chicken or vegetable broth. You only need enough to keep the zucchini from sticking initially. Once heated, the zucchini releases its own liquid.
2 teaspoons olive oil
Slice the zucchinis into 1/8 inch thick rounds. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the zucchini and saute 3-5 minutes until tender. Makes 4 side-dish servings.
Steamed Zucchini Noodles
The only ingredient is zucchini! Use these as a low-carb, gluten-free substitute for spaghetti or fettuccine with your favorite sauce. Cut wider strips, still 1/8 inch thick, for fettuccine.
With a mandolin slicer, slice zucchini lengthwise into a 1/8 inch julienne. Pour water 1 inch deep in a large saucepan and place a steamer basket in the pan. Place the zucchini noodles in the steamer basket. Heat the saucepan on High until you see steam coming up through the zucchini, then cover with a tight-fitting lid. Steam 3 minutes, or until the noodles are slightly limp. Remove from heat, uncover, and let sit for 2-3 minutes to let the moisture seep out of the zucchini. Drain and serve with herb butter or your favorite sauce.
Dinner Entree: Zucchini-Enhanced Turkey Meatloaf
Vegetables, lean ground turkey and fiber-rich oats makes this comfort food lighter and healthier. This is a great recipe for Once A Month Cooking, and the leftovers make great cold sandwiches. The mix can also be used for meatballs.
1 pound lean ground turkey, ground chicken breast
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 teaspoons italian herb blend
Dash hot pepper sauce
Combine all ingredients. Press into loaf pan. For a more tender meatloaf, refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow the oats to absorb moisture from the other ingredients. Bake at 350 F 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 180 in the center of the loaf.
No-Meat Main Dish: Zucchini Lasagna
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup finely chopped bell pepper (red or green)
3 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Mix the mushrooms, onion and bell pepper, set aside. Cut the ends off each zucchini and slice each zucchini lengthwise into 1/8 inch wide strips (a mandolin slicer makes this easier). Lay the zucchini strips out on a clean kitchen towel, top with another clean towel and press firmly to squeeze excess moisture from the strips.
Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Arrange 1/3 of the zucchini strips on the sauce. Top with 2/3 cup ricotta and 2/3 cup mozzarella. Spread 1/2 cup sauce over and sprinkle with 1 cup of the chopped vegetable mix. Continue layering zucchini strips, ricotta, mozzarella, 1 cup sauce and 1 cup vegetable mix. On top of the last layer, sprinkle the parmesan and cheddar. Bake at 350F one hour, or until bubbly and the cheese is melted all the way through. Cool slightly before slicing and serving.
Vegan Main Dish: Quick and Easy Zucchini Enchiladas
1 roasted red pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp. minced garlic
4 flour tortillas, burrito-size
1 cup enchilada sauce
Vegan cheese (optional)
Cut the ends off the zucchinis and cut into matchsticks. Cut the roasted peppers in to pieces approximately the size of the zucchini matchsticks. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok. Add the zucchini, chili powder and roasted pepper. Saute until the vegetables are warmed through.
Spray a 9×9 baking dish with cooking spray or lightly oil with olive oil. Wrap the filling in the tortillas and place in the baking dish, seam-side down. Pour enchilada sauce over the tortillas and top with vegan cheese if desired. Bake at 350F 5-10 minutes until the sauce is heated through.
Pizza Night: Vegetable Pizza
1 prepared pizza crust
1 cup tomato sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried
3 plum tomatoes, sliced
1/2 red onion, slivered
1 Green pepper, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup chopped green onions
Spread tomato sauce over prepared crust. Top with 1 1/2 cups mozzarella. Arrange vegetables on top of the cheese and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Bake at 400 F until cheese is melted.
Cookout Special: Grilled Zucchini and Vegetable Kebabs
Lemon-pepper seasoning blend
Halve zucchinis lengthwise. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning. Grill until tender.
Green Pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
Red or yellow peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
Vidalia onion, cut into wedges
Zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks
Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes. Thread the vegetables on the skewers and grill 3-4 minutes until tender
Sunday Brunch: Zucchini Frittata
This veggie-packed frittata uses only enough egg to hold the shredded vegetables together. Use a cast iron skillet or other heatproof pan to transfer between stovetop and broiler.
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons minced garlic
6 cherry tomatoes or yellow pear tomatoes, halved
Oil a 6-inch cast iron skillet well and preheat the skillet over medium heat. While the skillet is warming up, squeeze excess liquid from the shredded zucchini and combine the zucchini and carrots. Stir in eggs and garlic and toss to coat.
Pour the egg and vegetable mixture into the prepared skillet. Spread into an even layer, but do not stir once the egg begins to set. Arrange the tomato halves skin-side down on top of the fritata, pressing the halves into the egg mixture. Cook over medium 10 minutes or until the egg is mostly set.
Preheat the broiler. When the egg mixture is about 3/4 set, sprinkle with parmesan and transfer from the stovetop to the broiler to finish cooking. The frittata is done when the eggs are set and the top is slightly browned. Cut into wedges and serve warm or cold.
Article By: Janet Harriett
Profile: Janet Harriett, Green Diva Mom's fomer editor, has been a writer and editor for print and online media, specializing in education and environmental issues since 1999. She lives on 2 acres in central Ohio with her husband, a 275-square-foot backyard garden and a home orchard growing 25 varieties of fruit. Janet holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing.
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