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Zucchini Recipes and Health Benefits

Updated on March 24, 2016
Zucchini
Zucchini | Source

Zucchini

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 Classic Zucchini Cookbook: 225 Recipes for All Kinds of Squash
The Classic Zucchini Cookbook: 225 Recipes for All Kinds of Squash

This cookbook is filled with delicious zucchini recipes. No kitchen is complete without it.

 

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.

Heart Healthy Cookbooks

This is a terrific collection of heart healthy cookbooks. Any one of them will help you along the way to converting your own recipes to delicious heart healthy recipes.

Stuffed zucchini - delicious looking isn't it?
Stuffed zucchini - delicious looking isn't it? | Source

Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients:

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)

*or*

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)

Directions:

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 sauté 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
Fried zucchini flowers | Source

Fried Zucchini Flowers

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

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.


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    • darkflowers profile image

      Anja Toetenel 

      5 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      I simply love Zucchini, I eat it a lot, you are very creative with your recipes, well done!

    • hazeltos profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Summerfield, Florida

      @msseiboi: seiboimisao, try them, they are good.

    • hazeltos profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Summerfield, Florida

      @othellos: othellos, thanks for your comment.

    • hazeltos profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Summerfield, Florida

      @DLeighAlexander: Thanks DLeighAlexander, you'll like the recipes.

    • profile image

      msseiboi 

      5 years ago

      Nice recipe..I would like to try.

    • profile image

      othellos 

      5 years ago

      What a wonderful resource. Thank you for sharing such a comprehensive guide. Appreciate you sharing these recipes.

    • hazeltos profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Summerfield, Florida

      @DLeighAlexander: I'd like to take the time to thank everyone for commenting on my lens. You sure know how to make a gal feel welcome.

      Thanks:

      OhMe

      favored1

      sandyspider

      artbymichelle

      jericho011

      angelatvs

      DebMartin

    • DLeighAlexander profile image

      DLeighAlexander 

      5 years ago

      Great information, zucchini is so versatile. I'll have to try your recipes; they sound delicious!

    • profile image

      DebMartin 

      5 years ago

      Okay. I want to try a little bit of it all. Fried Zuchini flowers look yummy. And your stuffed zuchini looks amazing. I say you can't have too many zuchini recipes.

    • profile image

      angelatvs 

      5 years ago

      One of my favorite veggies! Welcome to Squidoo!

    • profile image

      angelatvs 

      5 years ago

      One of my favorite veggies! Welcome to Squidoo!

    • jericho911 lm profile image

      jericho911 lm 

      5 years ago

      I live in the town of Obetz, Ohio...home of the Zucchini Festival. Nice lens !

    • michelleart profile image

      Michelle Collins 

      5 years ago from Florida

      The stuffed zucchini looks yummy!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      5 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      I love zucchini. Thanks for the recipes.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      5 years ago from USA

      Hopefully my zucchini will be ready to pick soon. These would be good to try.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      The Zucchini is coming in right now by leaps and bounds so I will be trying your recipes and sharing them. Thanks.

    • hazeltos profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Summerfield, Florida

      @SusanDeppner: Susan, we love zucchini also. The stuffed zucchini is a personal favorite of mine.

    • hazeltos profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Summerfield, Florida

      @SteveKaye: Steve, home grown would be nice.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Oh, my husband would absolutely love the stuffed zucchini! Must try that soon. We love zucchini around here!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 

      5 years ago

      Zucchini also make fantastic gifts because no one expects to receive one (or two).

    • hazeltos profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Summerfield, Florida

      KitandCaboodle, home grown zucchini is the best.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 

      5 years ago from Kansas

      Just about ready to pick my first zucchini of the season. My grandmother used to make the stuffed zucchini. Love it.

    • hazeltos profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Summerfield, Florida

      @tobydavis: tobysartbazaar, thanks.

    • tobydavis profile image

      tobydavis 

      5 years ago

      Love Zucchini and I've been looking for some more things to do with it - wonderful lens! :-)

    • hazeltos profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Summerfield, Florida

      @TapIn2U: Tapin2U, nice to meet you.

    • hazeltos profile imageAUTHOR

      Susan Hazelton 

      5 years ago from Summerfield, Florida

      @takkhisa: takkhis, thanks for visiting.

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 

      5 years ago

      I go for Zucchini and it's so healthy. Sundae ;-)

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing these yummy recipes, yeah I like having Zucchini and it is very healthy :)

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