Zucchini Recipes and Health Benefits
Zucchini is one of those vegetables that have a very bland flavor or very mild taste. This makes it perfect to use in recipes with tomato sauce and other more potent flavors.
One of the things that makes zucchini a popular vegetable is it's versatility. It is equally delicious anyway you cook it. At least, that my biased opinion. I love zucchini, it's my favorite vegetable.
It can be steamed, boiled, broiled, barbequed, baked, fried, grilled, and stuffed. Did I miss anything? Oh yes, it can be baked into bread, cookies, and cakes.
Did you know that you can even eat the flowers? They are delicious deep fried.
Oh yes, this terrific vegetable can even be eaten raw. So, get out your salad bowls and salad fixings, dust off your culinary imagination, and get stated making yourself some of the most delicious vegetable dishes around.
This is one terrific zucchini cookbook
This is the best zucchini cookbook I have come across. It is filled with every type of recipe using zucchini that you can image. The recipes range from appetizers to casseroles, to snacks to wonderfully rich, decadent desserts.
Not only does it have unbelievably creative recipes but it includes all the information you need to make your zucchini dish the best you've ever tasted. Included is such pearls of wisdom as: how to select a good zucchini, how to store it, and how to properly clean your zucchini.
You'll love reading the zucchini folklore stories they have included and you'll be amazed at all the zucchini festivals described.
All in all, this is one terrific zucchini cookbook
The story behind my stuffed zucchini recipe
There is a story behind my stuffed zucchini recipe below. For years, more than I can remember, I have eaten stuffed zucchini. In our family, it has practically been a staple.
Anyway, I grew up loving the dish. Unfortunately the recipe we had all been using for year just didn't love me. All of the sudden I was unable to eat it the way we had always cooked it. It was filled with fat and sodium and since I was put on a heart diet it was now not allowed.
What a girl to do? My favorite dish in the whole world was now off limits. I'll tell you what I did. I pulled up my big girl panties and set about making it a dish I could once again eat. Of course, it had to be rich and flavorful while following the confines of my diet.
I have to admit, my first few tries were dismal. But I persevered and finally I came upon a combination that satisfied my diet limitations and my need for flavor. What you see below is the results.
1 1/2 cup prepared marinara sauce ( I use Bertolli Five Cheese sauce
4 large fresh zucchini
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cups of finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 tsp preminced garlic ( I use preminced garlic in a jar)
3 garlic clove, finely minced
1 lb chicken sausage, remove casing) ( I use Johnsonville Italian Chicken Sausage)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I use Kraft Brand)
3 tbsp. Romano and Parmesan cheese blend (Again, Kraft Brand)
1. The first thing I do is set a large soup pot size pot of water on to boil. I add a dash of salt to the water.
2. Then I set the oven to preheat at 400 degrees.
3. Preparing the zucchini:
*Cut your zucchini in half length wise.
*Scoop out the flesh leaving a 1/4 inch thin shell.
*Cut the scooped zucchini into small pieces and set aside.
*Drop you zucchini shells into the boiling water and let boil for one minute.
*Remove zucchini and set to the side.
4. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish measuring 9 X 12 inches. Place zucchini halves that you just boiled on top of the sauce.
5. Preparing the sausage stuffing:
*Brown chicken sausage in a large frying pan. Make sure to break it up into small pieces as it browns.
*Remove sausage, set it aside, and drain any grease from the pan that may be there.
*Add your olive oil to the drained pan and heat.
*Add your onion, garlic, and green pepper.
*Saute until onions become transparent.
*Add chopped zucchini and mushrooms to sauted mixture and sautÃ© for two to three minutes.
*Add sausage to the pan and saute for a few more minutes. This is to help the flavors intermingle.
6. Fill each zucchini with 1/4 of the sausage stuffing.
7. Top with sauce, mozzarella cheese, and romano and parmesan cheese.
8.Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
Fried Zucchini Flowers
1 dozen zucchini flowers
4 oz beer of your choice (I use the cheapest I can find)
4 oz water
1 cup flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. The first thing you need to do is to clean the flowers. To do this you need to:
* Trim the stems from the flowers.
* Remove the pistils.
* Carefully wash the flowers.
* Pat them dry with a paper towel.
2. Pour about 3 inches of oil into a large frying pan and heat.
3. While heating oil, mix together beer, water, egg, and flour. Blend until batter is the consistency of heavy cream. If batter is too thin, add more flour a little at a time.
4. Place two flowers into batter and cover completely with batter.
5. Carefully drop into hot olive oil and fry until golden brown. This should take about two minutes.
6. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Make sure you eat them while they are hot.
Zucchini Health Benefits
Zucchini is one of the healthiest foods there is. The list of benefits is quite impressive.
- The potassium level in zucchini helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
- The high level of Vitamin A helps promote healthy eyesight, skin, and lung function.
- The magnesium content plays a role in healthy muscle contraction.
- The high level of dietary fiber helps prevent constipation and makes you feel fuller. This is great for those on a diet.
- The high level of Vitamin C help people with asthma.
- The level of foliate helps with keep a healthy metabolism and a healthy heart.
- Zucchini is very low in calories. A small zucchini contains 19 calories.
- Zucchini helps prevent the risk of having multiple sclerosis.
- The dietary fiber also offers some protection against colon cancer.
- ZUCCHINI NUT COOKIE SANDWICHES
Not sure what to make next with all that zucchini? Try this zucchini sandwich cookies. Denser than zucchini bread and slightly sweeter, they make a great little dessert for the lunch box.
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© 2013 Susan Hazelton