Got zucchini? Make the most of this prolific veggie, with easy and healthy main dishes, sides and yes, even dessert.
Cheesy Zucchini Rice
Mix shredded zucchini (2 medium) and 1 cup of part-skim cheddar cheese into just-cooked brown rice; the residual heat will steam the squash and melt the cheese, creating a healthy and tasty side dish.
Zucchini Ribbon Salad
Use a vegetable peeler to shave long, thin strips of zucchini (stop when you reach the seedy inner core). Toss with lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper for a bright-tasting, no-cook salad.
Zucchini with Pearl Pasta
Sauté diced zucchini (3 medium) in olive oil; toss with cooked pearl pasta (Israeli couscous) or whole-wheat orzo. Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a small handful of toasted pine nuts (optional).
Zucchini Oven Fries
Slice zucchini into 3-inch-by-1/2-inch sticks. Dip into beaten egg (or egg substitute), then into seasoned breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet, spritz with cooking spray and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, turning zucchini fries after 15 minutes.
Mac and Cheese with Zucchini
Mix shredded zucchini (2 medium) and 1 cup of cooked green peas into your best low-fat macaroni and cheese recipe to sneak some healthy green veggies into this family fave.
Sauté diced zucchini and chopped onion in olive oil (use an oven-safe pan). Whisk 4 whole eggs, 2 egg whites, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Pour over vegetables; cook on the stove until eggs are almost set, then finish in the broiler so the frittata puffs and browns. (You can add any veggies you like; we like chopped tomatoes and mushrooms, too!)
Zucchini Pasta Salad
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add 1 cup whole-wheat orzo. Cook according to package directions. With 5 minutes remaining, add 1 diced zucchini, 1 cup frozen shelled edamame and 1 cup fresh green beans (cut in 1-inch pieces). Continue cooking, then drain pasta and vegetables. Toss with lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.
Zucchini in a brownie? Absolutely! This low-fat brownie recipe includes grated zucchini, applesauce and banana for a nutrient-packed chocolatey treat.
‘Hidden’ Zucchini Spaghetti
Grate 2 medium zucchini and squeeze out moisture; stir into your favorite healthy store-bought spaghetti sauce as it’s heating, to add an extra serving of veggies. Toss sauce with whole-wheat spaghetti.
What roundup of zucchini recipes would be complete without a quick bread? With the addition of whole-grain oats, pineapple, dried apricots and flax meal, Chef Meg’s healthy zucchini muffins make a terrific on-the-go breakfast, and they freeze well.
Which of these recipes will you try first?
Bryn Mooth is extending her 20-year career in publishing as an independent journalist and copywriter. She shares seasonal recipes, kitchen techniques, healthy eating tips and food wisdom on her blog writes4food.com.
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