Tag Archives: zucchini

Zucchini Lasagna

27 Jun

One of the best things about the blogging community is its infinite amount of inspiration.  There are so many bloggers and countless recipes that the possibilities are truly endless.

This recipe is the love child of two stellar recipes, Lightened-up Lasagna from meals & moves and Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna from Peas and Thank You.

I love the idea of using zucchini in place of noodles for the added nutrition and flavor.  And using cottage cheese in place of ricotta is brilliant since it’s chock full of protein!  I’m always looking for more ways to incorporate protein into my diet.  (Vegetarians; you could even leave out the meat and still be left with a protein rich meal.)

Zucchini Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 zucchini slices into strips, lengthwise
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese (I used an Italian blend.)
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Place an oiled skillet over medium heat and cook onions until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add ground beef and cook until browned.  Drain fat once the beef is cooked through and add the tomato sauce to the skillet.  Heat thoroughly.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix cottage cheese, egg, and parsley through pepper.
  4. Lightly oil a 9×5 loaf pan.  Begin layering your ingredients; start with a single layer of zucchini, then add half the cottage cheese mixture, and half the beef mixture.  Repeat once more and top the final layer with shredded cheese.
  5. Cover with foil and cook for 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and cook for another 10 minutes, or until cheese begins to bubble.
What recipes blog-inspired recipes have you created?
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Zucchini Oven Chips

19 Jun

Now that the warm weather is here and the official start of the season is only two days away, everyone is gearing up for summer.  Summer is a time for getting together with family and friends to enjoy the beach, pool parties, or cook-outs.  Often times that means heavy, unhealthy side dishes like potato salad or chips and dip.

It’s understandable as to why these foods are so popular; they’re quick and easy to prepare which allows you more time with family and friends.  However there are healthy options that will help lighten your load (pun intended).

Zucchini oven chips are very easy to prepare and they’re full of flavor.  Fresh out of the oven, they’re light and crisp.  Even the veggie haters will love this one!

Zucchini Oven Chips
(adapted from My Recipes)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/3 cup planko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine the last five ingredients in a shallow bowl.  Mix well.
  3. Chop zucchini and dip zucchini pieces in milk.  Dredge the pieces in the breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Coat an oven safe cooling rack with cooking spray and place it on top of a baking sheet.  Lay the zucchini pieces on the cooling rack and spray with additional cooking spray.
  5. Cook for 30 minutes, making sure to flip the chips halfway through.

Next time you’re in need of a tasty and healthy side dish, give these a try.  Make sure to have an extra zucchini on hand as your family will surely be asking for more!

What’s your favorite summertime side dish?

Health(ier) Zucchini Bread

18 May

Hi there!  How’s this week been treating you?  For me, this week has been Draaaaging (yep, with a capital D and four a’s).  It’s probably the combination of crummy weather (aka, rain non-stop and mid-50s temps), the fact that I’m taking a mini-vacation next week, and that work has been a little slow as of late.  Do you ever find that the week before some time off just crawls by and all you can think about are those few luxurious days of rest you want so badly to enjoy?

Also, today happens to be passing even more slowly since I’m really looking forward to hot yoga after work.  Have you taken hot yoga before?  I went to my first class a couple weeks ago and I really enjoyed it.  There is just something to sweating your heart out while you stretch every muscle in your body.  I’m excited to go back for a second round.  If my schedule permits, I hope to make it a weekly event! 

Over the weekend I got to thinking about quick breads.  What?  You don’t spend your free time contemplating such things?  Ah well, even if I am alone, humor me by reading this.  Please?  Okay, thanks. 

I think the most common quick bread out there would have to be banana bread.  It’s a sweet treat that if prepared properly can also be quite healthy.  Banana bread is a great addition to the breakfast table but can also be enjoyed as a snack or dessert.  But I’m not here to sing the praises of banana bread.

Today I want to talk about it’s less fornuate cousin, zucchini bread.  Zucchini bread is often underrated and overlooked.  You see, I think most people don’t like the thought of vegetables in their bread.  And I understand that.  It’s not something most people are used to and therefore they stay away from it. 

But I urge these doubters to reconsider!  This bread is moist with a spicy, sweet kick.  The cinnamon and nutmeg really shine through each doughy slice.  I reduced the amount of butter and sugar and added some whole wheat flour to make it a little healthier.  While I wouldn’t say this is the healthiest bread around, it is quite a tasty, health(ier) quick bread.

So next time you’re in the mood to bake some quick bread, please don’t leave the zucchini behind!

Zucchini Bread
(adapted from simplyrecipes.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp applesauce
  • 1/2 cup pure cane sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups grated fresh zucchini
  • 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the applesauce, sugar, egg, and vanilla.  Mix in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter.  Sprinkle baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.  Slowly add the flours.  Sprinkle in the cinnamon and nutmeg and mix.
  3. Pour the batter into a greased 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in to the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.

Have you ever made zucchini bread?