Three Cheese Zucchini Stuffed Lasagna Rolls

Three Cheese Zucchini Stuffed Lasagna Rolls

Three Cheese Zucchini Stuffed Lasagna Rolls

It’s a good weekend for pasta.   You know how I know?   Every weekend is a good one for pasta.

That was easy!!

If there’s a reading nook and a good book involved in the weekend pasta plans….I’m there.

Seriously, though, there are some really good things happening in this dish of weekend pasta.  It’s the height of summer garden produce, so we’re taking full advantage of …..wait for it….. zucchini!!!    (again)

IMG_7944

This time it’s mixed with ricotta and Parmesan cheeses and stuffed into lasagna rolls that are then  topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese–delicious, kid friendly, and kind to waist watchers.  You can make them a day ahead and refrigerate, or if you like to cook for the week(s) ahead, they are freezer-friendly.  This is a great recipe to make double of and share with someone in need, they’ll thank you!  (BTW they are vegetarian also, perfect for Meatless Mondays!)IMG_7947

By now you’ve discovered that these roll-ups are another way to use zucchini.  I’ve been thinking about lasagna a lot lately, but instead of making the traditional lasagna, these rolls are so much easier to make and they’re great for portion control.  I have made this same recipe using spinach in the filling, but when my neighbor brought me some zucchini from her garden I thought I’d try out this zucchini version instead.  These turned out so good;  light, not too filling but very flavorful.  I’m so glad that I have yet another way to use zucchini.

IMG_7946

If you plan to freeze these, you can freeze them individually in ziplock bags or freeze them as a finished dish ready for the oven.  You can also freeze any that you’ve baked, but didn’t finish eating.

THREE CHEESE ZUCCHINI LASAGNA ROLLSIMG_7933

Yield:   Makes 8 servings  @  240 cal./servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium zucchini ( 7 oz. each), grated and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • black pepper
  • 1  3/4 cups Marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • fresh basil for garnish, (optional)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease or spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.   Ladle about 1 cup of sauce onto the bottom of the baking dish and set aside.

2.  In a medium nonstick skillet, saute garlic and olive oil over medium heat for about 1 minute;  add zucchini, salt and pepper to taste and cook about 4 -5 minutes, until soft.

Sauté garlic and zucchini till soft.

Sauté garlic and zucchini till soft.

3.  In a medium bowl, combine the zucchini, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, salt and pepper.  Stir to mix well.

Mix ricotta with the zucchini, Parmesan and egg.

Mix ricotta with the zucchini, Parmesan and egg.

4.  Lay out the lasagna noodles on a clean work surface.  Pat noodles dry with paper towels.  Spread about 1/3 cup filling evenly over each noodle.

Spread each noodle with 1/3 cup filling.

Spread each noodle with 1/3 cup filling.

Roll carefully and place seam side down into peppered baking dish.  Repeat with remaining noodles.

IMG_7941

5.  Ladle the remaining sauce over the lasagna rolls and top each one with 1 Tbsp. mozzarella cheese.

Ladle on more sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Ladle on more sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Cover dish with foil and bake for about 40 minutes or until the rolls are heated through and the cheese is melted.  Top with fresh basil if desired and serve hot.

IMG_7945

IMG_7948

 

SOURCE:   Skinny Taste

Summer Couscous Salad with Grilled Squash and Feta

Couscous Salad with Grilled Squash and Feta.

Couscous Salad with Grilled Squash and Feta.

Sometimes I spend so much time doing something (like manicuring my own nails), that by the time it’s complete, I’m entirely disenchanted with the finished product.

The same goes for some recipes.  The longer I spend peeling, slicing, dicing, stirring, cooking and cooling, the less I want to eat it in the end.  Sad story, right?

Laundry is another example.  Gathering, washing, drying, folding, ironing (really?, who irons?)  and putting away….AAHHHH.  Laundry is boring, not fun, not delicious!

Oh, but this salad though….in and out.  No  exorbitant amount of time spent slicing and dicing.  Just enough to get some veggies ready for the grill.  Just enough time to boil water for couscous.  Just enough time to put it all together with some tangy feta cheese and create a pretty salad.  Let’s carry the bowl over to the table, pull out a chair, sit down and enjoy our efforts.  This salad  is the perfect balance of  veggies, health and kitchen time.

IMG_7911

I hope the start of your week is feeling great!

Let’s put some healthy salad in the mix!

 

SUMMER COUSCOUS SALAD WITH GRILLED SQUASH AND FETA

Yield:  6 – 8 servingsIMG_7908

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini squash
  • 2 medium yellow summer squash
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (optional)
  • 2 cups pearl couscous, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves, garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped or 1 tbsp. dried
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese  (or substitute goat cheese, crumbled )

Instructions:

1.  Preheat grill.

2  Slice both kinds of squash lengthwise.  Baste with olive oil and garlic.

3.  Grill until tender, about 6 – 8 minutes per side.

4.  Remove squash from grill and cut into bite-sized pieces.

5.  In a large bowl, mix cooked couscous with squash and remaining ingredients.  Garnish with feta.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

IMG_7910

SOURCE:   Eating Well

Cream of Zucchini Soup

Cream of Zucchini Soup

Cream of Zucchini Soup

Gad-Zooks!   You planted a few seeds, a harmless enough activity, hoping to get a few zucchini to enjoy over the summer, and suddenly you’re up to your ears in zucchini.  You’ve already been through zucchini bread, zucchini casserole,  zucchini with peppers and onions, zucchini muffins, and stuffed zucchini.  What’s left to make?  zucchini fudge?  zucchini frosting for that chocolate cake?  zucchini ice cream?   Here’s a novel idea, how about zucchini soup?

IMG_7781

I’ll admit it’s weird thinking about soup when its so warm outside.  Hot soup.  I didn’t even have the decency to make cold soup.  It’s just in-your-face hot–smack dab in the middle of a July summer.  That takes some nerve!

But please forgive me because this soup is sooo good!  My family loves it and it is so easy to make. With only 5 ingredients,  it takes only about 30 minutes start to finish, and one large bowl is only 60 calories, or 1 WW point.

I often serve it with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh grated cheese, but that’s completely up to you.  You can add fresh herbs, yellow squash, or some cauliflower, or whatever you wish.  Served with some crusty bread or a salad and it’s a complete meal, or make it as a starter to any meal.  To make it vegetarian use vegetable broth.  I usually make it with chicken broth.

IMG_7784

Make this soup and stay cool;  maybe eat it sitting in front of the refrigerator with the door open……..enjoy!

 

CREAM OF ZUCCHINI SOUPIMG_7770

Serving:  4   size, 1 1/2 cups,  calories, 60,  fat 1g,   carb 10 g,

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 3-4 cloves garlic,
  • 3 medium zucchini, leave skin on, cut into large chunks
  • 32 oz. reduced sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced fat sour cream
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • fresh grated cheese (Parmesan or asiago) for topping (optional)

Directions:

1.   In a large pot, over medium heat, combine the chicken broth, zucchini, onion and garlic, and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

2.  Puree with an immersion blender, add the sour cream and puree again until smooth.

IMG_7771

3.  Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.  Serve hot.

IMG_7782

 

SOURCE:   Skinny Taste

 

(Less is More) Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

This is an  experiment in cutting back, using less, leaving out, and just generally leaving things alone.   You know that when I cook I try to cut back on ingredients that are unhealthy or not good for us, but when it comes to the “good” stuff, well…..that’s another story.  My philosophy is usually “more is better”.

IMG_7662

Today’s baking session went something like this.   I made Blueberry Zucchini Bread, without adding bacon, without lemon zest, without ginger, without crumb topping, without coconut, without chocolate chips.   Oh, the more I mention, the more I want to put into this luscious breakfast bread.   I keep telling myself,  “no, just let it be what it is”.  So, Ok, I added blueberries to zucchini bread, but you know, a green veggie is kind of boring, and blueberries are so pretty, and good for us, (antioxidants and all).  You’ll be so glad I did all this for you.   The resulting bread is just right for breakfast, not too sweet, yet moist with tons of flavor.

IMG_7663

 

Many zucchini bread recipes in my cookbooks seem to call for 1 cup or more of oil, and are also too sweet for my taste, so thinking that the moisture added to this recipe by the zucchini and blueberries would compensate, I reduced the amount of oil to 2/3 cup, and used only 1 cup of sugar instead of two cups as the original recipe called for.  Thus you have less is more.   Less of the unhealthy and unnecessary  ingredients and more of the healthy ingredients that are better for you.

Picky eaters at your house?   I’ll bet they’ll be scarfing down this one!

BLUEBERRY ZUCCHINI BREAD

Yield:   2 loaves,  8″ x 4″  see accompanying conversion list for other size loaves

Ingredients:IMG_7649

  • 3 cups flour  ( I used 1 1/2 cup white whole wheat, and 1 1/2 cups all purpose white flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3  cup vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.   Lightly grease loaf pans.  See conversion list for pan sizes.

2.  In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

Mix together the dry ingredients.

Mix together the dry ingredients.

In another bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar.

3.  Stir flour mixture into egg mixture and combine until well blended.

Add dry ingredients to egg mixture.

Add dry ingredients to egg mixture.

Stir in zucchini, then gently fold in blueberries.

Stir in zucchini, then blueberries.  Batter will be thick.

Stir in zucchini, then blueberries. Batter will be thick.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.   Note:  if using small pans, set them on a baking sheet for stability in and out of the oven.

Pour batter into loaf pans set on a baking sheet.

Pour batter into loaf pans set on a baking sheet.

4.  Bake at 350*F. for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

5.  Cool in pans for about 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  Wrap in foil to freeze if desired.

IMG_7658

These rise nice and high.

These rise nice and high.

Perfect for breakfast.

Perfect for breakfast.

 

Notes from my kitchen:   Many times quick breads can be baked in different sizes than the recipe calls for.  These are some alternate size pans for when a recipe is based on 2  1/2  – 3 cups of flour.  Keep in mind that baking times will vary, so use a cake tester, and rely on color and your sense of smell.

1  ( 9 x 5) loaf pan

12 muffins

2  ( 8 x 4) loaves

4  (6 x 3 x 2-inch) mini loaf pans

1 tube or decorative mold pan

IMG_7662

 

 

SOURCE:   I made some major changes to a basic recipe for zucchini bread that was in my files.

 

 

 

 

Zucchini and Onion Gratin

Zucchini and Onion Gratin

Zucchini and Onion Gratin

I know that later in the summer we will be so overwhelmed by the amount of zucchini that is available, we won’t know what to do with it all, but right now the thought of making a zucchini baked dish with some tender young zucchini, seemed like a good idea to go with my grilled chicken menu.  And later on when all those zucchini show up on my doorstep, I’ll be returning to this recipe again, and again.

IMG_7579

The use of the term gratin in food preparation means that an ingredient is topped with a browned crust that can be made from breadcrumbs, grated cheese, eggs or butter.  A gratin is usually prepared in a shallow dish, then baked or cooked under an overhead grill or broiler to form a golden crust on top and is traditionally served in its baking dish, a gratin dish.

This recipe pretty much meets that description.  Using just a few key additives to enhance the rather bland flavor of zucchini, it turns out to be wonderfully flavorful.  Pre-broiling the zucchini helps to get them browned, and sprinkling a small amount of Parmesan cheese on top further forms a browned crisp crust.  You can serve this dish hot, but it’s also great at room temperature.

ZUCCHINI AND ONION GRATIN

Yield:  serves 6    ( Note:  1 serving is about 1 cup and equals 92 calories and 7 gm carbs.)

Ingredients:IMG_7565

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1  1/2 pounds zucchini, diagonally sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces
  • 1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)

Directions:

1.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan, swirl to coat.  Add onion; cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in tomato paste, cook 2 minutes.   Stir in lemon rind, thyme, 1/8 teaspoon salt and  pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sauté onions and thyme, then add tomato paste and lemon rind.

Sauté onions, then add tomato paste, thyme and lemon rind.

2.  Preheat broiler to high.

3.  Arrange zucchini on a jelly-roll pan.  Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; toss.  Broil 7 minutes or until lightly charred.  Sprinkle with remaining salt.

Lay zucchini slices out on a baking sheet for broiling.

Lay zucchini slices out on a baking sheet for broiling.

4.  Preheat oven to 375*F.

5.  Spread onion mixture in a 2-quart gratin dish.  Arrange zucchini mixture over onion mixture.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover and bake at 375*F. for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven.

Arrange in a baking dish and top with grated cheese.

Arrange in a baking dish and top with grated cheese.

6.  Uncover zucchini mixture; broil 1  1/2 minutes to lightly brown the top if needed.   Note:  I thought mine was adequately browned after baking, so I omitted this step–use your judgement if it’s needed.

IMG_7578

 

SOURCE:   Quick Vegetarian Pleasures

Grilled Steak and Vegetables with Lemon-Herb Butter

Grilled Steak with Vegetables and Lemon Herb Butter

Grilled Steak with Vegetables and Lemon Herb Butter

 

Spring bulbs are blooming, and flowering trees are showing their vivid display.  This is my favorite month of the year.  We can hope for a beautiful weekend for Mother’s Day.  Maybe some of you have taken the grille out of winter storage and are getting ready to use it or maybe you never but it away–like us.  We just cover it for the winter.  Or maybe you live where the grill is in use year round.  In any situation….this recipe will make you want to get grilling.  If that is not a possibility, you can make it totally indoors on the stove. Either way, it will be delicious.IMG_7199

This is a meal that takes only a short time to make it, but is really big on flavor.  It involves making a spicy sauce that bathes the vegetables and steak, then cooking them quickly on fairly high heat so that a browned exterior forms.  The final touch is the lemon-herb butter on the steak.  The recipe recommends using a beef sirloin steak, but what I used were boneless chuck steaks, that were well marbled with fat, so they were extremely tender.  Cooking it to medium-rare also kept it tender, so that it didn’t dry out.  This is definitely  a meal that men will love, even though I’m suggesting it for Mother’s Day, it would also be great for Father’s Day.    Any guy who loves to grill can easily handle making this dish.

GRILLED STEAK AND VEGETABLES WITH LEMON-HERB BUTTER

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:

Have everything ready in advance.

Have everything ready in advance.

 

  • 1  1/2 pounds sirloin steak, about 1-inch thick (or other tender steak of your choice)
  • 1 large red onion, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
  • 2 large zucchini or yellow squash, cut diagonally into 3/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Slice the zucchini on the diagonal for larger slices.

Slice the zucchini on the diagonal for larger slices.

Slice the onion in thick rounds.

Slice the onion in thick rounds.

Directions:

1.  Preheat a grill (or grill pan) to medium high.  Combine the barbecue sauce, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Add steak and vegetables;  toss to coat.  Let stand 5 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, mash the butter with the parsley, lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a small bowl;  set aside.

Get the herb butter ready.

Get the herb butter ready.

3.  Transfer the vegetables to the grill and cook until crisp tender and slightly charred in spots, about 8 minutes.  Set aside to keep warm.   Add the steak to the grill and cook 4 – 5 minutes per side for medium rare; remove to a cutting board and let rest.

Steaks looking wonderful on the grill.

Steaks looking wonderful on the grill.

4.  Cut the steak into 4 pieces.  Top each piece with some of the lemon-herb butter.  Serve with the grilled vegetables.

An outstanding meal; one your family will love.

An outstanding meal; one your family will love.

You will note in my photos that I also served a twice-baked potato with this meal. This was made by first baking the potatoes, then scooping out most of the insides and mashing the potato with some precooked broccoli, a little non-fat Greek yogurt, a drizzle of milk and some cheddar cheese.  Replace all that back into the potato shell and bake again until heated through and the cheese is melted.

Scoop out most of the potato, leaving a shell.

Scoop out most of the potato, leaving a shell.

Mix potato with cooked broccoli, greek yogurt, milk and cheese.

Mix potato with cooked broccoli, greek yogurt, milk and cheese.

IMG_7199

 

Cheese Ravioli with Zucchini

Cheese Ravioli with Zucchini (and peppers)

Cheese Ravioli with Zucchini (and peppers)

Often my cravings dictate what I cook more than what’s available in the produce department of the supermarket.  However today’s meal is not one of them.  At the market this week bell peppers in all colors were specially priced, there was a load of zucchini, medium sized and tender and in the frozen foods section cheese ravioli in all shapes and sizes were being featured.  All that spoke to me, no, shouted at me, ” hey, don’t you think we belong together?”   Embarrassed by all that shouting, I quietly gathered them up and put them into my grocery cart, while thoughts of sugarplums, casseroles, danced in my head.

IMG_0288

Somewhere in the farthest corner of my brain I remembered seeing a recipe that used cheese ravioli and zucchini together. At the time I thought it seemed rather bland, but after I searched it out, and thought about how I could tweak it, I used it as a basis for this version that turned out to be rather fabulous.  Mr. D. said he thinks he likes it better than vegetable lasagna.  The ravioli and vegetables are surrounded by a creamy, not-too-thick cheese sauce, giving the whole lots of flavor.   This was so satisfying, all it needed for completion was a green salad.  This is definitely  a make-again meal.

A bonus to this meal is that it takes very little time to prepare making it a good week night meal, and its meatless too!

 

CHEESE RAVIOLI WITH ZUCCHINI

Yield:    Servings,  4IMG_7048

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 package ( 9-ounces) cheese ravioli
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 medium zucchini, julienned
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/teaspoon dried parsley

Directions:

1.  Cook the ravioli as its package directs.

IMG_0286

2.  Combine cream and chicken broth in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.

3.  Melt butter in a large skillet, sauté the onion until translucent.  Add the pepper strips and cook 2 minutes.  Stir in the zucchini, salt and garlic powder.  Cook 1 – 2 minutes until tender.

Sautéing the vegetables.

Sautéing the vegetables.

4.  Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, basil and parsley to the cream sauce.   Drain the ravioli and add to the cream sauce.  Add the skillet vegetables.   Toss to coat.

Veggies and cream sauce mixed together.

Veggies and cream sauce mixed together.

5.  Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top before serving.

Ready for serving.  Makes a colorful presentation.

Ready for serving. Makes a colorful presentation.

This is so good. :)

This is so good. 🙂

 

SOURCE:   I made major modifications to a recipe from Taste of Home.

Zucchini Frittata

Zucchini Frittata

Zucchini Frittata

Garden fresh zucchini are abundant and delicious right now—everyone’s gardens are overflowing with them.  Pair zucchini with eggs and Asiago cheese, and make a scrumptious frittata that highlights this vegetable’s subtle flavor.

This wonderful recipe lends itself to many variations.  Originally intended for using zucchini, I like to mix yellow squash with the zucchini, to make it more colorful, and nutritious.  Also if you’re counting calories, fat grams or cholesterol,  you can still get the same great results by using an egg substitute .    In place of the Asiago cheese, substitute grated Parmesan for a slightly different flavor.  You can also place a layer of fresh garden tomatoes on top, and this too provides some added color and nutrition.  So mix it up any way you please with what you have on hand, and it will still be successful and delicious.

I love to make frittatas because you can eat them for any meal, and they are so inexpensive to make.  It you have leftovers, they can be tomorrow’s  breakfast or lunch.  Perfect also for meatless meals, gluten free, and low carb diets.

Recipe:  ZUCCHINI FRITTATA

Yield:   4 – 5  servings

Ingredients;

My version uses a mix of yellow and zucchini squash.

My version uses a mix of yellow and zucchini squash.

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1  1/2 cups grated zucchini, or combination of zucchini and yellow squash
  • 1/2 tsp. salt,  pepper to taste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 400*F.

2.   Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.  Stir in onion an cook until slightly golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add zucchini, increase heat to medium-high, season with salt and pepper and cook 2 to 3  minutes or until mixture dries up, stirring frequently.

Saute the vegetables and onion in a little olive oil.

Saute the vegetables and onion in a little olive oil.

3.  In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, egg whites, Asiago, salt and pepper.

4.  Pour the eggs into the skillet, making sure they cover all the vegetables.  (If using tomatoes arrange them on top and season with salt and pepper.)   When the edges begin to set (about 2 minutes) transfer skillet to the oven.  Bake for about 16 to 18 minutes, until frittata is completely cooked.

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the skillet or a casserole.

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the skillet or a casserole.

5.  Remove from the oven and serve hot with tomato wedges or a salad on the side.

Golden with all the melted cheese.

Golden with all the melted cheese.

I made a double recipe here, and baked it in a pyrex casserole, layering in the vegetables first and then pouring the egg mixture over the top.  It looks different because it is not in a skillet.

Cuts nicely and holds its shape.

Cuts nicely and holds its shape.

SOURCE:     Vegetarian Pleasures,  by Jeanne Lemlin

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Here it is Theme Thursday, and I have another recipe for you that makes use of zucchini, this time in a slightly different way.  These little bites of zucchini with  pizza toppings  treat the zucchini like the crust of your favorite pizza so there are fewer calories because you’ve eliminated the carbs!   Small enough for just a bite or two they could be appetizers, snacks, something to go with soup or a salad, just about any way you want to use them.  They are gluten-free , low cal, and perfect for a meatless meal.

So cute, and you can enjoy them guilt-free.

So cute, and you can enjoy them guilt-free.

If you have a big zucchini to use, slice it straight across and get fairly large rounds,  if you have a smaller zucchini, cut it on the diagonal for large ovals.  Top them with some sauce, any kind of topping,  basil and melted cheese, or whatever you like on your pizza.  These are a must to try while zucchini is in season and plentiful.

ZUCCHINI PIZZA BITES

Yield:   Quantities listed are for 1 serving.  Increase as desired to make more.

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices large zucchini, 1/4-inch thick ( or 1 medium zucchini, cut on the diagonal)
  • olive oil, or olive oil spray
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup crumbled, cooked sausage, or other toppings
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions:

1.  Cut zucchini about 1/4-inch thick.  Brush or spray both sides lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Cut zucchini into circles or ovals about 1/4-inch thick.

Cut zucchini into circles or ovals about 1/4-inch thick.

2.  Broil or grill the zucchini for about 2 minutes on each side.  Top with sauce, topping of choice and cheese and broil for an additional minute or two.  Be careful not to burn the cheese.

The ones that are pictured here are topped with fried peppers and onions and some have crumbles of sausage on them.  I’ve also made them with a slice of pepperoni.  All equally good.  You can’t go wrong with these.

So cute, and you can enjoy them guilt-free.

So cute, and you can enjoy them guilt-free.

SOURCE:   slightly adapted from Skinny Taste

Zucchini-Pineapple Quick Bread

Zucchini Pineapple Quick Breads

Zucchini Pineapple Quick Breads

Today we have another way to use zucchini.  Zucchini Bread is a popular quick bread and such a great way to get in some veggies disguised as a sweet.  This recipe is all of that and more because it also contains pineapple.  A new twist on an old favorite!

We like to eat this bread for breakfast, but we also enjoy it as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea or coffee.  The pineapple adds a little sweetness of its own, so I  cut back on the sugar to 1 3/4 cups.   The recipe makes a large volumn of batter, enough for two 8″ x 4″ pans, so you can freeze the extra loaf, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and heavy-duty foil, for up to one month.  Slices are good warmed in the microwave and spread with a little butter.

Some zucchini breads that I have had seemed to have a lot of oil in them and were very sweet.  This recipe is not like that at all.  The oil used is a moderate amount considering that you’re making two loaves.  The color of the bread is also lighter than other zucchini breads that I have had, perhaps because I used a yellow zucchini and a green one. You will note that the recipe calls for 2 eggs and 1/2 cup egg substitute.  However, you could use 4 eggs and eliminate the egg substitute.  Personally, I like using only the two eggs because it’s a way of reducing the overall cholesterol in the recipe.

On the whole we liked this bread very much as a breakfast item because it is not overly sweet.  I am expecting house guests soon and this is one of the items I plan to set out for “make your own breakfast”.

IMG_4707

Recipe:  ZUCCHINI-PINEAPPLE QUICK BREAD

Yield:  2 loaves, 8″ x 4″ each

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour  ( I use half whole wheat flour.)

    I used both yellow and green zucchini.

    I used both yellow and green zucchini.

  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1  1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 1/2 medium zucchini).
  • 2/3 cups canola oil
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2  (8-ounce) cans crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • baking spray

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Spray two 8″ x 4″ loaf pans with baking spray.

2.  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife.  Combine flour, salt, and next 3 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

3.  Beat eggs with a mixer at medium speed until foamy.  Add sugar, oil, egg substitute, vanilla and zucchini beating until well blended.  Add zucchini mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.  Fold in pineapple.  Spoon batter into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops.

4.  Bake at 350*F for 45 min – 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack;  remove from pans.    Cool completely on wire rack.

IMG_4689

IMG_4711

SOURCE:   Cooking Light