Saturday, September 7, 2013

Leader Enterprise - Sept 4 2013 - Summer Squash & Zippy Zucchini

I love fall, and am already excited about getting to share some wonderful apple and pumpkin recipes soon, but because I've been cooking up a storm making all kinds of zucchini recipes the past few weeks, I decided I would put together some nutritional info for zucchini and summer squash; very popular and available vegetables this time of year.

Like other members of the summer squash group, zucchini tends to grow in a bush rather than the vine spread of the winter-squashes. Its fruits are normally ready for harvesting about 40-50 days after seed implantation.

Zucchini is one of the lowest calorie vegetables; one cup chopped provides about 20 calories. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Its peel is good source of dietary fiber that helps reduce constipation and offers some protection against colon cancers.

In general, considering both of these squash, here's 'The good' info: This food is low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, very low in Cholesterol, a good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Thiamin, Niacin, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese.

The bad: A large portion of the calories in this food come from sugars.

In the stores, choose small to medium-sized zucchini featuring shiny, bright green skin, firm and heavy in hand. Minor superficial scratches and mild bruises are oftentimes seen on their surface but are perfectly fine. Almost all the members of the squash family vegetables feature smooth, tender skin and flesh with small edible seeds and high moisture content.
Store fresh zucchini inside the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator set with adequate moisture. They can be stored for up to 2 - 3 days.
Fresh,tender zucchini can be eaten raw in salads. It mixes well with potatoes, carrots, asparagus, green beans, etc., in soups, stews and stir-fries. Chopped or grated, it can be added to bread, pizza, etc.
If you have never tried this yummy dessert, you have missed out! It tastes just like apple crisp, but it is made with zucchini! What a way to get veggies into your family without them even knowing. I love how zucchini easily takes on the flavor of other things.


8 c. peeled, sliced zucchini
1/3 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. water
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3-3/4 c. flour
1-1/4 c. sugar
1 cup margarine, plus 4 Tb.

(I've already cut that back from 3 sticks!)
dash salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375. Cook zucchini in lemon juice and water until tender .Add sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg.  Mix crust ingredients until crumbly.  Use 1 cup crust mix to thicken filling. Pat 1/2 of remaining crust into 9"  X  13" baking pan. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven, spoon filling over crust and spread evenly. Top with the rest of the crumb mixture, patting down. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake 30 minutes more.   


1 c. (white) whole wheat flour
1/2 c. white all purpose flour
1 TB. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. coconut oil,melted (or butter)
2 eggs, beaten
1-3/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. zucchini, pureed in food processor
1 c. chocolate chips
Mix dry ingredients (whole wheat flour through cocoa powder) in large bowl. In separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar and melted coconut oil. Whisk in beaten egg, milk and pureed zucchini. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk just until combined. (Do not over mix). Stir in chocolate chips. Pour about 1/4 c. mix per waffle onto prepared (spray with cooking spray) waffle maker and bake until done. (About 3 - 3/1-2 minutes). Top with fruit and/or cool whip. Yield: 15 - 4" waffles.

I had never made soup with tortellini before trying this recipe. It didn't appeal to me much when a friend gave me the recipe, but because she did, I decided to try it. We were NOT disappointed. It was delicious. A great warm-you-up dish for cooling temps. And a good way to 'hide' zucchini.


2 Tb. olive oil
1 med. onion,chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 sm. zucchini, diced
1 med. carrot,peeled and diced
5-1/2 c. chicken stock
1 tsp. dried basil
(use more if using fresh)
1 bay leaf
1 (15 ozs) canned crushed tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp. salt
8 - 9 ozs. fresh or frozen tortellini (cheese or meat filled)
2 - 3 Tb. chopped fresh parsley
Black pepper, to taste
Heat the olive oil in medium soup pot or large saucepan. Add onion, garlic, zucchini and carrot. Saute over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, until onion is soft and translucent. Add the stock, basil, bay leaf, tomatoes and salt to the pot. Increase hat and bring to low boil. Add tortelllini and bring soup back to a low boil. Cook for 2 minutes, then reduce heat and let simmer for 5 -6 minutes longer. Gently stir in parsley and pepper during last minute or so. Yield: about 5 servings.

I saw this on Facebook recently and thought it was worth sharing. "Life is a Kitchen; Put on your prettiest apron and whip up something incredible." So have an incredible day! Looking forward to seeing some of you at one of my booksignings! I truly appreciate your support.