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Top 7 Great-Tasting Zucchini Recipes

cutting zucchini

Most of the time, I like my neighbors and they like me. We chat over the mailbox or sit on the back porch discussing politics, our kids, and our work. But come August, something mysterious happens. When my neighbors see me coming, they scurry inside, bolt the door, and pull down the blinds.

No, I haven’t been contaminated with a strange zombie apocalypse virus. My neighbors know it’s zucchini season. In my high-plains garden, I struggle to bring most crops to fruition, but zucchini’s another story. This ambitious little cucurbit kicks it into high gear in late summer, pumping out fruit at an alarming rate. Even one plant produces more zucchini than I can use. I take zucchini to church and the library, give it to the mail lady, and even conduct drive-by zucchini drops on my neighbor’s front porches.

Even with all my covert strategies to unload zucchini on unsuspecting victims, I’m still left with an abundance of the stuff. In recent years, I’ve scoured the Internet and begged friends for their favorite zucchini recipes. I’ve amassed quite a recipe collection, which has reduced my zucchini anxiety considerably. If you, like me, are up to your ears in zucchini, read on for some new ways to use the little buggers.

Zesty Grilled Zucchini

Even kids who don’t like zucchini will eat it this way. The grill gives it a smoky, slightly sweet flavor, and tender texture. Just watch it closely so it doesn’t burn.

  • 3 zucchini, scrubbed and cut in 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon assorted herbs (try dill, herbes de Provence, rosemary or thyme)

Heat the grill to medium high heat. Toss the zucchini with the olive oil and seasonings. Place it in a grill basket and grill for 5 to 10 minutes until tender, stirring frequently.

Grilled Zucchini Bean Dip

If you like hummus, you’ll love this easy, inexpensive dip recipe. Keep a few cans of beans in the pantry for a quick appetizer.

  • 1 recipe grilled zucchini (above)
  • 1 14-ounce can white kidney or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper or a dash of hot sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a covered bowl and refrigerate for at least three hours. Serve with crackers, pita chips or vegetables.

Zucchini Quiche

Perfect for a weekend brunch or even a quick evening meal.

  • 2 strips bacon
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 pie crust

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the bacon in a frying pan until crisp. Transfer to a cutting board and crumble. In the drippings, sauté the zucchini and onion until tender. Drain. Combine the bacon and vegetables with the eggs, whipping cream and seasonings. Roll out the pie crust and line a 9 inch pie dish or tart pan with it. Trim the edges. Pour the egg mixture filling into the crust and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the center is firm.

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Spicy Carrot Zucchini Bread

Forget the traditional zucchini bread recipe. This one has a lot more flavor and moisture, thanks to the addition of carrots and applesauce. Replace some of the applesauce with crushed pineapple for even more flavor. Like most quick breads, this recipe tastes even better the next day.

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¾ cup cooked carrots, pureed
  • ¾ cup shredded zucchini
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the applesauce, carrots, zucchini, juice, sugar, and eggs in a bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Sift the dry ingredients together and add them to the egg mixture. Beat just until mixed well. Pour into two greased loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the loaves comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack. Freeze loaves if you like for up to three months.

Zucchini Brownies

When you need chocolate and you need it now, try these moist, delicious brownies. The addition of wholesome zucchini makes them almost healthy!

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla together until thick and creamy. Sift the cocoa powder, flour, and baking soda together and add to the egg mixture. Beat just until mixed. Stir in the zucchini, chocolate chips, and nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean with small fudgy pieces.

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Zucchini Minestrone

Hide fresh or frozen grated zucchini in this hearty soup, perfect for a winter meal.

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound stew meat or Italian sausage
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 14-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 quarts beef broth
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon thyme

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the stew meat or Italian sausage and brown. Add the onion, celery and garlic and sauté, just until tender. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the meat and vegetables are tender. Serve with crusty bread and a salad.

Zucchini Meat Loaf

Sautéed zucchini, vegetables, and bacon add a punch of flavor to traditional meat loaf.

  • 2 strips bacon
  • ½ cup grated zucchini
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the bacon in a large skillet, just until crisp. Transfer to a cutting board and crumble. Sauté the vegetables in the bacon drippings, just until tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Combine the bacon, vegetables, egg, breadcrumbs, and seasonings in the bowl. Add the ground beef and mix thoroughly. Pour in a loaf pan or casserole. In a smaller bowl, combine the ketchup, mustard and brown sugar. Pour this mixture over the meat loaf and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until cooked through.

Quick Tips For Using Zucchini

  • Pick zucchini when it grows no more than 12 inches long. Longer zucchini become hard and bitter.
  • Store picked zucchini in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  • Grate zucchini and store it in freezer bags. To use it, thaw it and drain the excess moisture in a colander.

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