Friday, October 17, 2008

zucchini, zucchini and more zucchini (recipes)!

My neighbor just brought over three ginormous zucchinis, and by ginormous I mean the size of a watermelon! So I'll be shredding and freezing a ton of zucchini this weekend, and in the spirit of zucchini shredding, here are a few zucchini-filled recipes for today's food for thought friday. The first two are tried and true and total favorites in our home. The others are ones I found on that sound super yummy as well. Got zucchini? Then shred away!

Zucchini Brownies
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 1/2 c white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 ts
p baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 c shredded zucchini
1/2 c chopped walnuts

6 T unsweetened cocoa
1/4 c marga
2 c confectioners' sugar
1/4 c milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven or until brownies spring back when gently touched. To make the frosting, melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa and margarine; set aside to cool. In a medium bowl blend together the confectioners' sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies before cutting into squares.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
2 (1 ounce) squ
ares unsweetened chocolate
3 eggs

2 c white sugar
1 c vegetable oil
2 c grated zucchini
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 c semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate until melted. Stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth.

In a large bowl
combine eggs, sugar, oil, grated zucchini, vanilla and chocolate; beat well. Stir in the flour baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean.

Italian Sausage Soup
1 lb Italian sausage
1 clove garlic, minced
2 (14 ounce
) cans beef broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
1 c sliced carrots
1 (14.5 ounce) can great Northern beans, undrained
2 small zucchini, cubed
2 c spinach - packed, rinsed and torn
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

In a stockpot or Dutch oven, brown sausage with garlic. Stir in broth, tomatoes and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in beans with liquid and zucchini. Cover and simmer another 15 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Remove from heat and add spinach. Replace lid allowing the heat from the soup to cook the spinach leaves. Soup is ready to serve after 5 minutes.

Corn and Zucchini Medley
4 slices bacon
2 c chopped zucchini
1 1/2 c fresh corn kernels
1 small onion, chopped
1 pinch pepper
1/4 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings. Drain bacon, chop, and set aside.

Heat the bacon drippings in the skillet over medium heat. Saute the zucchini, corn and onion until tender but still crisp, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper. Spoon vegetables into a bowl and sprinkle with chopped bacon and shredded cheese.

Greek Pasta Salad
Dijon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 large clove garlic, minced
Big pinch of salt
Black pepper, to taste
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Pasta Salad
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 medium yellow pepper, halved lengthwise, seeded
2 T olive oil
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
2 T salt for pasta water
1 lb medium pasta shells
1 lb cooked shrimp, halved lengthwise
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 c coarsely chopped, pitted Kalamata olives
1 c crumbled feta cheese
1/2 small red onion, cut into small dice
2 tsp dried oregano

To make the vinaigrette whisk together the first five ingredients, then slowly whisk in the oil for a thick consistency. Pour into a jar with a tight-fitting lid if transporting the salad.

Adjust oven rack to highest position and turn broiler on high. Toss zucchini and bell pepper with olive oil, salt and pepper and arrange on a large baking sheet with sides. Broil eight to 10 minutes, until spotty brown, turning zucchini slices and pepper halves once. Set aside in a large bowl to cool, then cut into bite-sized pieces.

Bring 1 gallon of water and 2 Tbs. of salt to boil. Add pasta; boil using package times, until just tender. Drain thoroughly (do not rinse) and dump onto the baking sheet. Set aside to cool. Put vegetables, pasta and remaining ingredients (except dressing) in the bowl or a gallon-sized zipper bag (can be refrigerated for several hours). To serve, add dressing; toss to coat.
"Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie." --Jim Davis' Garfield

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