It's true I was drinking.
I was tired, Miles was cranky and we were out in the yard for "witching hour" play time. I was relaxing with a small glass of red, watching Miles watch the dog, when I decided to check on the garden.
The garden has been less than prolific this year (thanks, drought) but I've consistently had zucchini - two or three a week - and I knew I had three doing their thing. I didn't think any would be ready to pick but I like to keep an eye on them.
Lo and behold, one of three seemingly doubled in size overnight. Not only was it ready to pick, it was ready to share. I'm pretty sure that one squash could feed the eight kids next door.
Or serve as a play thing for Miles. Whatev.
I'll admit that I'm a bit daunted by the giant squash but I will make use of it. Mel's Kitchen Cafe posted a recipe for Cheesy Zucchini Rice this week, and I had it bookmarked before the discovery. Served with a simple grilled chicken, it should make for an easy weeknight meal and a new way to eat one of my favorite vegetables.
It's a good vegetable to have as a favorite. Zucchini contains fiber; vitamins A, B, C and K; minerals maganese, magnesium, potassium, copper, phosphorus, zinc and calcium; protein; and omega-3 fatty acids. (Source). It's also low in calories and carbohydrates - 20 calories and 4.2 grams carbs for 1 cup.
Zucchini is great grilled or sauteed with onions and mushrooms but there are so many ways to prepare it. Here's how we've been enjoying our harvest (if you can call it that):
Skinny Taste's Zucchini Tots. These were a great way to get Miles to eat a vegetable that's not green beans or broccoli. And hey, I liked them, too.
Faux fried zucchini. The fried cheese booth at the big festival the other week had another offering: fried vegetables. While I'm not about to pass up my annual treat, I did decide to make the breaded bites myself.
Hummus plate. One of my favorite restaurants has an antipasto-like hummus plate with fresh vegetables, including raw zucchini. A plate with zucchini - raw or blanched - as well as carrots, red pepper strips, olives, hummus and feta is great to have out while you're making dinner or entertaining friends.
Zucchini bread. There's nothing new here. You can find a million and one recipes for zucchini bread and its muffin counterparts. But I ask you this: Have you ever made French toast with zucchini bread? If you haven't, I dare you to do it. I made this dish with a lower sugar, low fat zucchini bread and a batter made with egg whites, cinnamon and almond milk. Delish.
Need more ideas? I found this article on Health.com. Grilled zucchini with herbs and cheese? Yes. Please.