Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Zucchini Madness!

It's that time of's starts of with the smiles and cheers that finally something in our garden is ready to eat, and quickly turns to the overwhelming piles of veggies that you don't want to waste. What do you do? How many times can you grill zucchini and squash before it gets old? In our house, any more than twice a week and I'm in trouble. Then I move on to zucchini bread.... one for us, one for the what???

I really don't think I need to explain my obsession with Pinterest, but it has truly saved my life so far this summer. I have found plenty of zucchini recipes to satisfy everyone! 

This one is definitely a new favorite! You get lots of vitamins and minerals without even realizing it. Don't get me wrong, I have been blessed that I actually love veggies and can eat them raw, steamed, baked, etc. I don't need to dip them in ranch dressing or plug my nose as I eat them.....but if this is you, you will even enjoy these babies. 

Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
2 cups zucchini, grated
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey or agave nectar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips 
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper leaving 1 inch of the paper hanging over the edge to create handles. Grease parchment paper. Set aside.
- Grate zucchini. Press with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Fluff with a fork, set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together oil, eggs, agave or honey and vanilla. Add zucchini.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
- Add dry mixture to the wet/zucchini mixture. Stir to combine. Add chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.  Remove from pan using parchment paper handles.  Serve chilled for a fudgy brownie or warmed for a gooey, cakey brownie.
Got my chocolate fix for awhile and I love that they cracked so beautifully, too!

Another favorite comes from an awesome cookbook we got on our Crate and Barrel registry, the Big Green Cookbook:

Cheesy Zucchini Macaroni

1 1/2 t. sea salt, or to taste
8 ounces (2 cups) whole-wheat elbow macaroni
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
3 T. unsalted organic butter
3 T. buckwheat flour
2 1/4 cups 2% organic milk or plain unsweetened soymilk
2 scallions, minced
1/4 t. freshly grounded black pepper, or to taste
1/8 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup shredded organic or locally produced swiss cheese
1 cup shredded organic or locally produced extra-sharp cheddar
1 cup shredded organic or locally produced muenster cheese

1. Bring 4 cups water and 1 t. salt to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the macaroni and zucchini. Bring it back to a boil.  Cover and turn off heat. Let "lid cook" (cook covered while the burner is off) until macaroni is al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour until combined. Very gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the white part of the scallions, pepper, and nutmeg while stirring constantly. Bring just to boil. Stir in cheeses until melted, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat. Cover and let "lid cook" until the cheeses are fully melted. 

3. Stir the cheese mixture into the cooked macaroni and zucchini. Add the remaining salt. Let sit 5 minutes before serving to allow mixture to combine.

4. Serve with green part of scallions on top.

What is your favorite zucchini recipe?????

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