Oh hello, everybody! Man, do you ever have those phases where just can’t seem to get it together? I mean, those times when you are annoyed by yourself, much less the rest of the world around you. All those people depending on you to keep it together? I have been feeling that hard this past week. Maybe it’s because (pre) school starts back up soon-ish, or because of all the smoke in the air combined with the heat, but whatever it is I’m working hard to rise above. Having a sick and crabby little never helps, though. Either way, I’m back to feeling like myself and wanted to share something that I’ve been spending a fair amount of time on this past couple of weeks: figuring out what to do with all the vegetables we have been pulling from our glorious garden! Specifically, I will be talking about zucchini today.
We try really hard to waste very little of the produce that we grow. It is so expensive in the grocery store, especially after the growing season is over. And I find myself craving healthy vegetables in the wintertime, when it’s double the summer prices in stores. Also, we spend a lot of time out there tending to our garden, so we need to respect the time and work it took to grow all that lovely goodness! So, I have really been searching some creative ways to use up our produce this year, and wanted to share with you all. Let’s get to it:
Aside from the obvious use of zucchini, which is cutting it up and eating it as-is or in a salad, there are so many great ways to eat it. My favorite way to cook it is as follows:
SAUTEED ZUCCHINI, SQUASH, AND ONIONS
1 summer squash (optional)
1 small onion
1 small pat of butter
1/2 cup of water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chunk up one small onion, 1/2 zucchini, and (optional) 1/2 summer squash, set aside.
Melt a small pat of butter in a pan (we prefer cast iron) on medium-high heat.
Add veggies, and stir around until onions are softened slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
Add water and lemon juice to mix, and allow to cook down slightly (about 1-2 mins). Then cover and turn down heat to medium, allowing the veggies to steam in the juices for about 5 mins. Stir occasionally as needed.
Season to taste and serve.
SAVE IT FOR SOUPS:
One of the easiest ways to enjoy summer flavors far into the depths of our freezing cold Idaho winters is by saving some in the freezer! We like to chunk it up and save it in Ziplock bags, or vacuum seal it with our Food Saver. The link is for Amazon, but lots of stores sell them. We use ours all of the time!
We plan to use the zucchini in stews, Italian wedding soup, and good ol’ Pinterest will come through for us in coming up with more recipes when cold weather approaches!
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 375* F. Slice a zucchini, and place in a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Arrange the zucchini rounds on a cooking sheet. I personally like to line mine with foil or, even better, parchment paper. Sprinkle Parmesan over the top.
Place zucchini in the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes. I like to broil mine on high for about 5 minutes at the end to make brown the cheese slightly and make it a little crunchy. This is a personal preference 🙂
ALL THE BREADS
We have personally been making lots of zucchini-based breads lately! Lovely Pinterest land has SO MANY recipes for breads and brownies using zucchini. We are loving these:
Via Real Life Dinner
This recipe is really good. I appreciate that it is baked at lower temperature, so the ends don’t get darkened (aka: burnt-ish). I make it with 3/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup vegetable oil instead of the full cup of olive oil. It works great that way, and I don’t feel as guilty when we eat a loaf in 2 days (ahem, a day and a half…or less).
Via Lil Luna
Ummmmm, HELLO LEMON LOAF! Oh man, we are suckers for a good lemon loaf. AND we can fool ourselves into calling it “health food” because, zucchini. And lemon.
OR, add some blueberries in and:
Via Amanda’s Cookin’
SHARE THE LOVE
The best part of extra produce? Sharing with the people you care about! We love to put together bread plates for our neighbors and friends in the fall (Pumpkin Bread anybody? Oh, that’s another post!). Last week, we took a basket of veggies to our neighbors along with a loaf of zucchini bread, and they were absolutely thrilled. We also take extras to work. I love that we can share the love with our circle of friends and family. Think of it as another Random Act of Kindness!
Well, friends, that’s all for today. I would love to hear how you use your extra zucchini. We have so much of it around here right now, we could use any suggestions we can get! Until next time!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are entirely my own; I will never share anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.
Thehouseofdrews.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com