Friday, July 27, 2007

Frugal Friday: Lots Of Zucchini

This week, I will share some recipes and ways to use a lot of the zucchini that may be coming your way this summer! We like zucchini a lot, but after a while, we start to grow tired of the old standbys and want to try some new ideas!

For starters, you can freeze shredded zucchini in recipe-sized portions. This can be frozen alone or with the amount of oil needed for your zucchini bread. I freeze mine in 2 cup portions. If using for zucchini bread, leave the liquid when thawing and using-it is part of the zucchini.

Sliced zucchini is great steamed with a bit of olive oil, onion , garlic and salt & pepper. Throwing zucchini into a stir-fry alone or with other veggies is also delicious! My mother-in-law sautees zucchini and then adds a sauce of soy sauce and hoisin sauce(mix to taste). It is really good! We enjoy chunks of zucchini threaded on skewers with chunks of meat, peppers and whatever other veggies that we have on hand. These are good marinated in your favorite dressing or sauce and then cooked on the grill.

Tiny baby zucchinis are really crisp and yummy cut up into sticks and served raw on a fresh veggie platter.

Add a layer or two of shredded zucchini to lasagna. I did this a couple of weeks ago and it was really tasty!

You can google for zucchini recipes. My husband's grandmother gave me a great little zucchini cookbook when we visited her home a couple of weeks ago. There are so many ways to use this plentiful veggie!

Now I will share a few of our family favorites for using zucchini:

Zucchini bread- Here's my recipe. For variety, you can add 1 cup of shredded carrots. Some folks put crushed pineapple in theirs, too. My mom purees an orange with the oil in the blender to add to her zucchini bread.

Zucchini Soup-
1/2 pound sweet or hot sausage, remove casing; crumble as you fry it; drain well.

Add to pot:
1 pound thinly sliced zucchini
1 (14 oz.) can beef broth
1 onion, chopped
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce(I use 2 cans)
1 cup water
2 T. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. basil

Cook on low heat and simmer until zucchini is tender. Serve with crusty bread. This freezes well, so make up a big pot to freeze and enjoy later!

Zucchini Fritters-

Vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 of 1 oz. package ranch dip mix(I just add my own combination of spices)
2 cups shredded zucchini

Fill a skillet with oil to a 2 inch depth. Heat to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, combine milk and egg in a mixing bowl. Stir together dry ingredients and add to egg mixture; blend well. Fold in zucchini. Drop batter by rounded teaspoonful into hot oil. Fry until deep golden brown, turning once. Drain thoroughly on paper towels.

Makes 1 1/2 to 2 dozen fritters.

Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini-

4 medium zucchini(6 to 7 inches)
1/2 pound bulk mild Italian sausage
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Place cut side down, in a large skillet; add 1/2 inch of water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until zucchini are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Remove zucchini and drain water. In the same skillet. cook sausage, onion and garlic until sausage is browned. Drain fat. Add oregano, corn and tomato. Cook and stir until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in 2/3 cup cheese; set aside. Scoop out and discard seeds from zucchini. Divide the sausage mixture among zucchini shells. Place in a greased 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until heated through.

Serves 4-5.

Baked Zucchini Casserole-

3 cups sliced zucchini or yellow squash
1 1/2 cups coarse saltine cracker crumbs(about 20 crackers)
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (4 oz.) jar of diced pimento, optional
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients. Pour into greased 2 quart casserole. Bake uncovered at 300 degrees for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. (May need to bake longer until eggs are set.)
Serves 8.
This is really good for any meal-even reheated at breakfast! Yum!

Enjoy your zucchini harvest this year!

For more frugal ideas, please visit Biblical Womanhood.

1 comment:

Debbie J. said...

Thanks Mary Ann for the recipes and ideas. I think yellow summer squash could also be used in most of your recipes, because that's what we have a lot of! I've heard it said "Never plant zuccini unless you have lots of friends!" I guess my family's favorite squash recipe is to slice them long ways, flour them and fry them. But you have to eat them hot or they get soggy. Debbie J.