Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Zucchini Solution

If you’ve ever known someone who had a garden, chances are you’ve had them come to you trying to pawn off their overabundance of zucchini. It’s the one plant that can make the blackest of thumbs turn bright green yet leave the backyard gardener a little bit panicked as they begin to realize that the few seeds they planted in spring have turned into epic proportions by summer. Me…I’m not a big fan of anything from the squash family unless it’s whipped up into a creamy pumpkin pie or camouflaged into sweet zucchini bread. But as a novice gardener I just can’t resist a vegetable that makes me look and feel like I actually know what I’m doing. So for that reason I’ve learned to adapt my dislike of squash into a way to feed my gardening ego. And as a result, I’ve found some amazing recipes that transform zucchini into something I actually enjoy eating. So if you find yourself drowning in these prolific veggies, these recipes might help you and your family find a new way to appreciate them.

Parmesan Zucchini Strips

  • 1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 4 small zucchini quartered lengthwise
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, combine bread crumbs and cheese. Dip zucchini strips into egg, then into crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and tender. Serve with ranch or marinara dipping sauce.

Frosted Zucchini Bars


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil (or applesauce for a healthier version)
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda


  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (3 ounce) package softened cream cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • milk, as needed

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease/flour a 13x9-inch baking pan. Beat eggs; add sugar and oil/applesauce. Add the zucchini and vanilla; stir to mix well. Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the egg mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until done. While the bars are baking, whip the butter and cream cheese until light; add vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy, adding a little milk as needed if frosting is too thick. Spread frosting on top of the bars when they are cooled.

Zucchini Lasagna

  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick to resemble lasagna noodles
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 teaspoon flour

Cook zucchini until tender, drain and set aside. Fry meat and onions until meat is brown and onions are tender; drain fat. Add next 8 ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered 10 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups. In small bowl slightly beat egg. Add cottage cheese, half of shredded cheese and flour. In (1 1/2-qt.) baking pan, arrange half of the meat mixture. Top with half of the zucchini and all the cottage cheese mixture. Top with remaining meat and zucchini. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Adeline/France said...

Great recipes, thanks ! i also cut zuchinis like tagliatelle and make them stir fry with parsley, kids love them !

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

I love the zucchini bar recipe! That sounds awesome!

April @ The 21st Century Housewife said...

I like your Parmesan Zucchini Strips. I've had something very similar to this at our favourite Italian restaurant but they were fried so not exactly figure friendly. But the way you have baked them makes them good for you too! And I like the dipping sauce ideas too!