Tag Archives: zucchini

Spicy Zucchini Brownies

This is a most interesting recipe. It lacks eggs and butter in the batter so it comes close to being Vegan; I was not able to eliminate the white sugars, so that is a problem for anyone trying to make a Vegan version.

My muse for developing this recipe was Dr Patricia Engle; we were talking about using our abundant zucchini and she mentioned that she had made zucchini brownies, and added a bit of chili powder to give them some heat; she said that it hadn’t been enough in her opinion, and she would try cayenne the next time.

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The recipe also allows several other alternatives; while it is designed as a spicy recipe, the cayenne pepper could be left out to make a simple zucchini brownie. Surprisingly, the zucchini makes these brownies extra moist and in my taste-testing, I have been told they are a very good brownie.

Another alternative in the recipe are the nuts; they could be eliminated for anyone with an allergy. I have also thought of adding, or substituting for the nuts, chocolate chips; I would use the same amount as the nuts – 1/2 cup.

Spicy Zucchini Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 double recipe chocolate glaze – see below

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, blend together well the oil, sugar, vanilla extract and spices. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Fold in the zucchini and nuts.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Frost the brownies with the chocolate glaze. Let cool completely before cutting into 18 pieces.

Chocolate Glaze (double recipe)

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine cut into chip-size pieces
  • 4 Tablespoons milk
  • 4 ounces chocolate chips
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Place the milk, butter and chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 20 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir the mixture. Repeat the 20 second heating and stirring until the mixture is smooth when stirred.

Add the sugar and stir to dissolve it all into the chocolate mixture. Continue stirring to smooth out any sugar lumps. Use before the glaze cools and hardens.

When you first mix up the batter, you will wonder if there has been a mistake; the batter is very dry- I would say it is almost granular. But when the brownies have been cooked, the zucchini has released its moisture and the brownies are excellent.

I started with a fairly common chocolate glaze; it has a 3-2-1 ratio of ingredients. That would be 3 Tablespoons heavy cream, 2 ounces of chocolate chips, and 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar. I thought about the fact you need to buy heavy cream in larger amounts, and why buy so much more than you need (6 Tablespoons for a double recipe). So, I looked at eliminating the heavy cream by using some solid fat, plus regular milk. I actually like this version of the glaze better; it seems to stay loose longer when mixing in the sugar and thus can be made smoother. That change also makes it easier to move the recipe into a Vegan friendly recipe as the only remaining issues are the white sugars once you substitute one of the Vegan friendly milks – I tried using the Almond Milk successfully.

Stuffed Zucchini

Normally, when I think of Stuffed Zucchini, I expect a stuffing that includes meat, such as hamburger. But this recipe is meatless, and I think it is good tasting, too.
The stuffing contains almonds and cheese. While it might seem complex, you should not have any trouble making it if you take it slow the first time to get use to blanching. I include separate instructions on how to blanch both the nuts, and the zucchini.
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Stuffed Zucchini

  • 3 blanched zucchini of about the same size (about 8 x 2 inches){see below about blanching}
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cooking oil (e.g. olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup ground blanched almonds {see below about blanching}
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup dry, fine bread crumbs
  • 2 ounces grated swiss-type cheese (save 3 Tablespoons for topping)
  • 1 large egg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pinches ground clove
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter

Slice the blanched zucchini long-wise, and scoop out (and save) the center of each half to form a boat, with sides about 3/8 inch thick. Salt lightly and turn cut side down on paper towels to reduce the moisture in the boat.

Chop the removed zucchini flesh and squeeze out any water with paper towels.

In a small fry pan, cook the onion in the oil, covered, over low heat until it is tender and translucent, stirring occasionally.

Uncover, raise the heat, and let the onion begin to brown. Then stir in the chopped zucchini flesh and saute until the zucchini is tender.

Empty the fry pan into a large (2 quart) mixing bowl; stir in the blanched ground almonds and cream. Stir in about 1/3 cup of the bread crumbs, then the cheese. Finally stir in the egg.

Test that the mixture is firm enough to hold its shape by lifting a spoon full; if not, add a very small amount more of bread crumbs.

Blend in the salt and pepper and ground clove.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking dish large enough to hold the zucchini boats

Arrange the zucchini boats, skin side down, in the baking dish. Fill each with enough stuffing to be heaping full. Sprinkle each stuffed boat with the reserved 3 Tablespoons of cheese, 3 Tablespoons of bread crumbs and the melted butter.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbling hot and browned on top. Do not overcook or the shells will become too soft and difficult to serve.

Blanching Almonds

The object of blanching the nuts is to remove the skin that is around the meat; if the almonds you have are white- not brown- then they are already blanched.

Pour boiling water over the shelled almonds and let stand for a few minutes, or until the skins are wrinkled. Drain, rub with your fingers to remove the skins, and dry thoroughly on paper towels. I found that removing the skin was much like slipping the skin of tomatoes that had been scalded.

Blanching Zucchini

Trim and lightly scrub the zucchini; place in boiling, salted water, uncovered, until the flesh just starts to yield to pressure, usually about 10 minutes after the water comes back to a boil. As they finish blanching, plunge them into cold water to stop the cooking. Once they have cooled, dry them and they are ready to use.


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I ground my blanched almonds in the food processor. I think they would grind a bit better if they had dried more after the blanching. The ground almonds were slightly clumpy. They worked okay in the recipe, but next time I might blanch them a day ahead of time to let them dry more.

While the recipe begs for Swiss Cheese, it is hard to find in the stores other than sliced; I don’t find blocks or shredded Swiss Cheese. So, I grated some Asiago I already had for the cheese. That comes from a little farther south than Switzerland, but it worked. Other swiss-type cheeses include Emmentaler and Gruyere.

For the bread crumbs, do not use flavored bread; you would be fighting the basic flavors of the recipe.

I was able to refrigerate the baked zucchini boats and later heat them in the microwave for another meal.

Zucchini Hash and Eggs

My neighbor Jill Swain gave me the idea for this recipe; she stopped over the other day and I gave her a zucchini and asked if she had any recipes for it. She first mentioned Zucchini Bread which we already have. Then she suggested zucchini with eggs; she said “Breakfast for supper is also good”.

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I talked it over with daughter Mindy and decided that we should keep the eggs separate from the hash until after we have cooked them. That way, you can fix your eggs however you like them. We also started calling the fixings a “hash”; I had to look that word up, and it originally meant any combination of chopped foods The idea of a hash has changed over time. More modernly, the idea of a hash has come to imply an inclusion of chopped meat with the other ingredients. This recipe is right on the edge of those definitions since it allows you to include bacon, or ham- any of the breakfast meats. But to be a zucchini hash, it has to include chopped zucchini.

The reason we decided to separate the eggs from the hash while cooking is so people that like runny eggs can still have those on top of the hash, and let them ooze down through the hash. Also the separation allows you to make an omelet with the hash inside. If you want to stir scrambled eggs into the hash, you can also do that.

That all said, it is difficult to write a recipe for the hash; if you are adding meat into your hash, it has to be sauted first. However if you are not using bacon, you might need to add a Tablespoon of oil in which to saute the ingredients. I will give you ideas, but you must feel free to do everything your own way. Add ingredients, delete ingredients, just have fun.

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Zucchini Hash with Eggs

Jill Swain, Mindy Crary

Per Serving:

  • 1 Tablespoon of oil unless you are using bacon or sausage
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped breakfast meat e.g. bacon or ham or sausage
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped green pepper – Japapeno or Bell or …
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 or 2 cooked eggs – cooked as you like them

Saute the meat and vegetable ingredients; combine with the cooked eggs.

I used jalapeno pepper for one ingredient, and I like my eggs with runny yolks. To cook my eggs, I break them into the fry pan, add a little water to make steam, and put a lid on the pan. I have a clear lid, and I let the eggs cook until the glair around the yolk has turned white; at this point, the covering over the yolks has also started to turn white. Perfect eggs for me; the whites are not tough, and the yolks are still runny.

Viva la Difference Zucchini Casserole

We have had this recipe a long time, and it is one to which we go back quite often. It is good, and has all the ingredients for a meal. And it only takes about an hour from start to serving.
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As you can see from the credit line, it was originally published by the San Diego power utility way back in 1975. I am beginning to think that some food ideas do happen at specific times; it seems like some of the older recipes did use the Minute Rice more than we see now days.

Viva la Difference Zucchini Casserole

(San Diego Gas and Electric, 1975)

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup instant rice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed oregano
  • 1 1/2 lbs. zucchini, cut into 1/4″ rounds
  • 2 cups small curd cottage cheese
  • 10 oz. can cream of celery or cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 x 2″ casserole, or two 8 x 8 x 2″ casseroles.

Saute together until browned the beef and onion. Remove from heat and add rice, garlic salt, and oregano.

Prepare and have ready each separately so they can be layered, the zucchini, cottage cheese, soup and cheddar cheese.

In the greased casserole, layer the ingredients as follows:

  • Place half the zucchini mixture in bottom
  • Cover with beef mixture
  • Spoon over the cottage cheese
  • Place the remaining zucchini over the top evenly
  • Spread the soup over all
  • Sprinkle with the cheese

Bake, uncovered, 35 to 40 minutes or until bubbling hot.


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I chose to use the to 8 x 8 casseroles so that I could freeze one to have later.

I was surprised that although it seemed like a lot of zucchini after I had sliced it all, I seemed to be short zucchini for making two layers. I think the hint I have is that you don’t want to work to fit the zucchini tightly like a mosaic. Since the pieces are different sizes, it is hard to judge how much is half of the total.
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While the recipe calls for either cream of celery or cream of chicken soup, that might be a modification that Marlys made for me; I think you could use cream of mushroom soup. I have trouble digesting mushrooms, and so Marlys has modified a lot of recipes to eliminate the mushrooms in favor of something more neutral.

Broiled Zucchini

Here is a simple recipe for zucchini, that is about as easy as it gets. The nice thing about broiled zucchini is that you can cook them to your own taste. I happen to like them “al dente”; this allows me to pick them up with my fingers to eat them. I think they would make nice finger food, or hors d’oeuvres, as well as the classification of a vegetable for the meal.
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Broiled Zucchini

  • zucchini
  • olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Paprika

Slice squash into 1/4″ rounds, ovals or lengthwise into slabs. Lay flat on a shallow baking pan. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle on top the garlic salt, Parmesan and paprika. Broil until lightly browned.


The wishy-washy direction about how to cut the zucchini is because it really doesn’t matter; it is the 1/4″ thickness of the pieces that is important. Thus, you can cut straight across the zucchini and get rounds, you can cut at a diagonal – like 45 degrees, and get ovals, or like I did, long wise and get slabs of zucchini. Probably the diagonal cut is the most appeasing to the eye.
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The broiling can be done in a toaster oven if you have one of those. That is how we did it many times, rather than heat up the main oven. In that case, you are limited to how many pieces you can cook at a time by the size of the broiler pan. I wasn’t using our toaster oven enough to warrant the counter space, and so I packed it away, and use the main oven for my cooking. I suspect you could also do them outdoors on a grill by using indirect heat.
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Recently, I made the recipe a second time- my zucchini plants are producing a lot and I need to use the produce. This time, I thought I would do a couple things differently so you could see the versatility of the recipe. I was cooking a chicken breast on the outside grill, and felt I should do the zucchini there also. I also wanted you to see cutting the zucchini at an angle to get oval shaped pieces.
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On the grill, you want to place the zucchini on the rack, or away from the direct heat to the side. I would also keep the grill pan to help deflect the direct heat.
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I am happy to say that the meat and zucchini both finished together and made a nice meal.
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Creamed Squash

This is an easy, delicious side dish made from zucchini. Jenn admits that it is one of her favorites, and she has made it herself. So I gave her half of what I made.
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Creamed Squash

  • 2 lbs. fresh zucchini squash.
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon flour

Coarsely grate zucchini. Using a 10″ or large frypan with a tight lid, combine the butter, water, pepper salt, basil and garlic. Place on high heat; mix in squash. Cover and cook about 5 minutes or until tender. Remove lid and cook to evaporate the liquid—about 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the sour cream and flour. Mix until smooth; stir into squash mixture. Bring to a boil stirring until blended into a smooth sauce.

While I don’t think any hints are necessary for you to have success with this recipe, I will explain what I did and think. First, the two pounds of grated zucchini takes a large space. It cooks down, but you need to start with a large pan. I used the 12 inch sauté pan, but remember you need a pan with a lid.

It took me a couple minutes longer than 10 to evaporate the water, but then, I don’t like to turn the burner all the way to “high”. I tend to keep the burner about 70-80% of “high” when the recipe calls for high heat.
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When I served myself some of the Creamed Squash, I felt that the salt was not as strong as I would like it. However, I won’t change the recipe, but instead will add salt from the shaker on the table.

I hope you will try this delicious side dish of zucchini, and find it as good as I say it is.

Zucchini Squash Bread

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Zucchini bread is a sweet bread somewhat like Steamed Bread Pudding. But you make it in a couple regular loaf pans, so it is easier. This recipe was given to Marlys by Connie Mayo who was a bridge playing friend. I hope you can try the recipe and find it as a good dessert bread.
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Zucchini Squash Bread

(Connie Mayo 1973)

  • 3 eggs. beaten light and foamy
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini squash
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Pour into two greased loaf pans (or three small loaf pans). Bake at 325°F for 1 hour. Remove from pans at once and cool on rack. Bread freezes well.


When I made zucchini bread last year, I had a couple problems. First, the temperature of the oven was not calibrated and was running hotter than the dial said. This caused the bread to cook too quickly on the outside, and not be able to rise. The moral of that tail is to cook slower and longer, rather than hotter and faster. Once I determined the problem, I was able to get nice fat loaves of bread consistently.

The second problem I had was in releasing the bread from the loaf pans. I probably didn’t grease the pans enough. I am now using the cooking spray and am not having any problem. I have started putting a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the loaf pans; this is because when I put the bread on the cooling rack, the rack cut into the soft bread. Now, I leave the parchment paper on the bottom of the bread while it cools to give a better surface against the cooling racks.
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I am tenting all my breads for the last 10-15 minutes of their bake time. I felt that the top crust of the bread was over cooked and too thick. Tenting seems to reduce that problem. I have only seen tenting explicitly called out in one recipe, the Dilly Bread recipe, but I am doing it with all my bread baking, including this zucchini bread.

Finally, the recipe calls for 2 cups of grated zucchini; I measured the weight on my scales and found that the 2 cups was about 10 ounces. So if you have a pound of zucchini, by the time you cut the stem end off, and maybe the flower end, you probably are in the ballpark of 10-12 ounces, or 2 cups of grated zucchini.

When I eat zucchini bread, I like to spread it with either sour cream, or softened cream cheese. Because it is sweet, you don’t need any sweet spread.