The Sunday Recipe: Oven Fried Zucchini

These are an old favorite snack. I usually use garden zucchini these days and put the leftover back in the fridge. When I made them years ago I just used a small-ish zucchini, egg beaters, and Italian bread crumbs. These days they make some really great gluten free bread crumbs.

Oven Fried Zucchini

Ingredients

  1. 1 small to medium sized zucchini
  2. 1 egg, whisked
  3. 1/4 to 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  4. Olive oil cooking spray
  5. 1/4 cup grated parmesan (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  3. Beat an egg in a bowl.
  4. Pour approximately a half cup of Italian bread crumbs into a second bowl.
  5. Sliced the zucchini into 1/4 inch to 1/3 inch rounds.
  6. Dip the zucchini slices into the egg with one hand, then shake off the excess.
  7. Drop the dipped slice into the bread crumbs and shake bowl to coat.
  8. Use the tines of a fork to carefully prick the slice, lift it, and shake off the excess crumbs. (I tap the fork on the edge of the bowl to facilitate this.)
  9. Place on the prepared baking pan.
  10. When you’ve breaded all the slices, spritz the top of the slices with cooking spray.
  11. Bake for ten minutes.
  12. Flip the zucchini and bake another ten minutes.
  13. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Decadent Chocolate Snack Cake

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Decadent Chocolate Snack Cake

Okay, honestly, if you do gluten free, you need to try this. I’ve made it several times since I figured it out and it is just incredible. Even if you don’t do gluten free, you’re going to love this. It is a one bowl wonder.

The zucchini is just enough to add an added element of flavor but you don’t necessarily taste it at zucchini. Some people call for shredding your zucchini and squeezing it to remove liquid but I wanted the moisture from the zucchini in this, so I recommend shredding it JUST before you add it in. Use a large whole grater and shred big.

This recipe is also reduced sugar and gluten free, but it may actually be my favorite chocolate cake of all time. It’s good warm or cold from the fridge.

I adapted this from a chocolate zucchini bread recipe I found several years ago that I wasn’t really happy with. The original recipe was dry, not very chocolaty, and just not very enjoyable. I added a third egg, increased the maple syrup and cocoa powder, eliminated squeezing the zucchini moisture out, and increased the chocolate chips, then reduced the oven temperature, and changed the type of pan it is baked in.

If you’d like the link to the original bread recipe, let me know and I’ll be happy to share it.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder (Dutch processed, if you have it.)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of almond butter (no salt or sugar added, preferably)
  • 1 cup of shredded zucchini (150 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray or grease a pan. (8 X 8 or 9 X 9, even a toaster oven cake tin works.)
  2. Beat the eggs with a whisk or blender.
  3. Mix in the maple syrup until well combined.
  4. Add the vanilla. (You might get away with less than a tablespoon but indulge, vanilla makes chocolate SO much better.)
  5. Blend in the cocoa powder and salt until well combined. (Go slow at first until the powder is wet down.)
  6. Drop the almond butter by spoonfuls into the batter, spaced out, then blend in. (This can clog your whisk if it is too cold, until it gets mixed in well so make sure it is room temp.)
  7. Now, shred your zucchini then stir it in immediately.
  8. Last step – Measure the baking soda and put in then pour the vinegar over it and stir in.
  9. Pour into your prepared pan.
  10. If using, sprinkle the mini chocolate chips evenly over the cake.
  11. Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife comes out of the center clean.
  12. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Simple Marinated Grilled Zucchini

Zucchini

Marinated and Grilled Zucchini

Once upon a time, I would have used bottled Italian dressing for this. You can still do that if the ingredients don’t bother you. Personally, most of them use soybean oil and I have a bad reaction to it so I started making the Good Seasons Italian dressing packets with olive oil. Then I cut out gluten, which helped me feel better, and found the Good Seasons has gluten in it. So, here’s my adaptation of Betty Crocker’s Italian dressing recipe to use on zucchini. I cooked and served this with a grilled chicken shawarma recipe and the flavors complimented each other nicely. (Check that recipe out at Plays Well With Butter.)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 2 pounds zucchini

Directions

  1. Mix everything but the zucchini together.
  2. Wipe clean the outside of the zucchini and cut off any questionable looking bits of skin.
  3. Cut the ends off.
  4. Cut the zucchini into ½ inch rounds.
  5. Cut small rounds in half, large rounds into quarters.
  6. Toss in a medium sized bowl with the dressing.
  7. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes at room temp. For longer periods of time, refrigerate.
  8. Skewer through the skin of the zucchini.
  9. Heat a grill to medium low, about 400 degrees if it has a temperature gauge.
  10. Grill for approximately 30 minutes, turning once. (Personally I like my zucchini browned, even a tiny bit charred.)
  11. Enjoy!

The Sunday Recipe: Zucchini and Red Bell Pepper Melange

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Zucchini and Red Bell Pepper Melange

I remember serving this to my father many years ago, it was one of his favorite things that I cooked. I was surprised and elated when my young daughter loved it. She was the one who dubbed it “Veggie Melange.” If you have the option, get a red bell pepper with four ‘lobes’ on the bottom, they are better for cooking.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium sweet red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 medium zucchini squash or 2 small, chopped in about ½ inch chunks
  • 1 – 15 ounce can diced tomatoes (no salt added, or leave out the salt below)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder (or 2 cloves of crushed garlic added in with the onions)
  • ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
  • Pinch of sugar

Directions

  1. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and pour in the olive oil.
  2. Allow to heat on medium while you dice the onion.
  3. Saute onion while you core and chop the bell pepper.
  4. Add the bell pepper, give it a stir, and turn the heat down a little bit, medium low now.
  5. Dice the zucchini and add to the pan. Stir and cover.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Stir and cook another 3 minutes.
  8. Add the diced tomatoes and seasonings. Stir and recover.
  9. Simmer 5 minutes.
  10. Stir and simmer another 3 to 5 minutes.
  11. Add anything you would like from options below and enjoy!

Optional —  Add a cup or two of cooked pasta or tortellini, add some chopped up leftover meatloaf, some meatballs, or Italian sausage. Stir in some cheese. These days I tend to serve it with Italian sausage but my daughter likes to stir in some cottage cheese.