A Farmer’s Market Staple: Zucchini

Zucchini Pie

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A Toasty Casserole – Get it Before it’s Gone!

 

I’ve marked my calendar and have my reusable shopping bags ready for the opening of my town’s farmer’s market in a week and a half. Yes, I’m counting down the days! After the harsh, but not too harsh winter and the chilly spring, the farmer’s market is a welcome and familiar sign of summer – like an old friend I’ve been longing to see and catch-up with. Also, one of the new vendors has homemade, flavored iced teas, so I will be there when they open at Noon. I better bring my large travel mug as well.

Later in the summer, while I sip my iced tea and shop at the market, I will be sure to put zucchini in my bag. It is one of my favorite summer vegetables, even though botanically speaking, it is actually a fruit. The dishes that can be made with zucchini, from breakfast to dessert, are as abundant as the vegetable when it’s ready to harvest and seems to multiply at an exponential rate. If you cannot wait for local zucchini, use green squash which is usually available year-round in the grocery store.

I am posting my favorite zucchini recipe below compliments of my Mom (aka Grandma Rita). I did alter the recipe a bit, primarily reducing the oil, because the original recipe was too greasy (Ma agreed). This zucchini “pie” has no crust and is baked in a square pan, but just work with me and let’s call it a pie. Zucchini is a good source of folate, potassium, vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. Choose zucchini that is 8 inches or less in length for the best flavor. Zucchini pie can be served warm as a side dish or main course, but is also delicious when enjoyed cold for breakfast. If doubling the recipe, use a 9 x 13 pan.

What is your favorite summer recipe? Do you enjoy visiting your local farmer’s market? Let me know in the comments below and, of course, let me know if you try this recipe. I hope you enjoy it – straight from Grandma’s kitchen.

 

Zucchini Pie

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups zucchini, shredded (2 – 3 med.) *see below

¼ cup onion, finely chopped

1 ½ cups (4 oz.) cheddar cheese, shredded

1 ¼ Cup Bisquick

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup vegetable oil

½ t salt

1/8 t pepper

½ t basil

½ t oregano

1/8 t garlic powder

1 – 2 T parmesan cheese, optional (for sprinkling)

 

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 8 x 8 x 2” pan with non-stick spray.

*Scrub and pat dry zucchini. Cut each zucchini in half and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Shred the zucchini using the large holes of a cheese grater or food processor.

Place shredded zucchini in a large bowl and gently press with two or three paper towels to remove some of the moisture.

In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil and remaining ingredients. Pour egg mixture into the bowl of zucchini and mix until zucchini is evenly coated.

Pour into greased pan and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired.

Bake 35 – 45 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve warm and refrigerate leftovers.


Zucchini Pie for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner!

Is it correct to call something a “pie” if it is crustless and baked in a square pan?  Well, that’s what we have always called this wonderful recipe that I have enjoyed since I was a kid.  Back then, my eighty-five year-old grandfather lived with us and tended a large garden in our backyard.  He took such good care of the garden, there was never a weed to be found.  Sometimes he would yell at us in Italian if we had to run in and retrieve a ball.  I remember him stringing-up his old pair of long underwear to scare away the birds, but that only lasted a day until my mom made him take it down.  She must have had this recipe memorized during July and August when the zucchini harvest was in full swing! 

Enjoy this time-tested recipe by clicking on the “Recipe Rescue” page (**Note: this recipe has been removed at this time to make room for another recipe rescue**).  The oil in the recipe has been cut in half from the original – it simply was not necessary to have so much oil.  Although I cut the fat by reducing the oil, I increased the amount of cheese from the original recipe.  To lighten things up, use less cheese or 50% low-fat cheeses.  Or, try just 1/4 cup of grated parmesan – the strong flavor goes a long way.  And hey, there’s no crust, so that saves a ton of fat right there.  This zucchini pie can be enjoyed as a side dish or a light lunch or dinner.  I have been known to eat it cold for breakfast as well – enjoy!


Meatless Monday

In addition to thekidscookmonday.org, which I blogged about recently, there is another “Monday” movement for people to latch onto.  You can combine the two and have a meatless, kids-cook Monday, or have a meatless Monday and cook with the kids on a different day during the week.  Either way, it’s all good!

As the website name indicates, www.meatlessmonday.com is dedicated to helping people reduce their meat consumption, starting with just one day a week.  The site provides nutrition and health news, recipes and cooking demos, as well as resources to help schools and organizations reduce meat consumption.  So, click on over to the the Meatless Monday website and check-out their extensive library of meatless recipes.  It’s a great way to get a healthy meal on the table and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time!


Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Sure, there are going to be meals when you only have time to throw some frozen tator tots in the oven to accompany dinner.  They are tasty, you know your family likes them, and are a fine, once-in-a-while treat.  When you have a little extra time, give these sweet potato fries a try.  They are sure to be a hit with your family and are loaded with nutrients and much less fat than those tator tots, but equally tasty.  Click on the Recipe Rescue page for the recipe.

Note:  This recipe has been removed at this time to make room for another “Recipe Rescue”.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries