Monday, August 19, 2013

Zucchini, Blessing and Curse!

Yes, It's that time of year when everyone who put a few dozen zucchini seeds into the ground is now scrambling to figure out what to do with the monstrous green giants in our veggie patches. Or yellow giants if you grew Gold Rush. If you're smart, you've been picking them when young and tender but no matter how much you look under the leaves there's always a few that get away and grow to enormous and hard skinned beasts. I found this lovely pic on google, that just says it all  :)

If you've left yours too long because you were busy or on vacation, don't despair. There are still plenty of delicious ways of using them in baking and for meals. Our family favourites are chocolate zucchini cake (omit the oil and add a cup of grated zucchini) or stuffed zucchini. This last one is super easy and can be made vegan or vegetarian. You cut your zucchini in half lenghthwise and scoop out the seeds inside. Next you fill the cavity with your favourite stuffing or even a box of Stove Top if you're not used to baking from scratch (my kids like the cornbread one). You then put the top back on and bake it in the oven until the zucchini is tender, usually under an hour. You can also wrap in foil if you like or if you are a microwave cooker you can wrap in plastic and nuke for about 10 mins. Today we're trying something different by stuffing it with the meat/rice mix we traditionally use in cabbage rolls. Here's the recipe:

2 cups cooked rice
2 beater eggs
2 lbs ground beef or ground pork
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt or to taste
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup finely chopped onion

And the sauce that we're serving over the top of the slices of zucchini once it's on the plate :

2 tbsp brown sugar or honey
8 oz can of tomato sauce (or the rest of the can if you've taken out 1/2 cup)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp worcestershire sauce

Just heat slowly over medium heat and serve over your sliced zucchini.

Using up your surplus doesn't mean boring food, it means using your ingenuity and maybe giving some to your unsuspecting neighbours, lol. Just include a recipe and a ribbon and you've got a lovely gift. Enjoy the bounty of summer, it will be over before you know it.

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