Land of Leftovers

Anyone who complains about having too much zucchini doesn't realize the bounty that they have on their hands. I should know. My garden has been producing them daily for months and I still haven't made the same recipe twice!

Zucchini is a highly versatile little cooking companion. Shredded, it becomes a wonderful addition to everything from quick breads to cakes. Sliced, it can have a starring role in stir-fries and quiches. Diced, it becomes a welcomed addition to meatloaf or soup. The list goes on and on. With so many recipes to choose from, zucchini can star in almost every aspect of your cooking and never end up monotonous. It's all in how you use it. Besides, if you ever really find yourself at a loss for how to use it, simply shred it, pop it in a freezer bag, and save it for a mid-winter batch of zucchini bread or vegetable soup. Whenever you use it, it's sure to be a winner.

This month, I'm sharing three zucchini recipes that have become favorites in my home. Feel free to try them as is or add some touches of your own. I also encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Zucchini Brownies

You won't even notice the zucchini in these delicious quick mix brownies. However, you'll love the moist texture that the zucchini offers to this recipe.
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 c. grated, unpeeled zucchini
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 pinch baking powder
  • 1/3 c. cocoa
  • 1/4 c. oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 c. coarsely chopped chocolate or chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Mix all of the remaining ingredients together and pour into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until the brownies are set. Cool completely before cutting into 36 servings.

  • Yields: 36 servings
  • Preparation Time: about 40 minutes

Simple Zucchini Bake

This hearty casserole is a great way to use an overabundance of zucchini. This recipe transforms eight cups into a great dish for a chilly day. Serve with your favorite bread.
  • 8 c. diced, unpeeled zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 c. fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 c. grated sharp cheese (I like horseradish cheddar for this recipe)
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients until all of the vegetables are well coated with the bread crumbs and cheese. Pour into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the top of the casserole is lightly browned.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: about 1 hour

Lemon Zucchini Cupcakes

These homemade cupcakes have a taste and texture that is similar to carrot cake. Frost them with cream cheese frosting or sprinkle them with confectioners' sugar before you serve them.
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. oil
  • 2/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • 2 c. grated, unpeeled zucchini
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, oil, applesauce, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Once it has been well mixed, add the shredded zucchini and stir to coat.

In another bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add this mixture to the zucchini mixture. Mix thoroughly and then stir in the walnuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting or sprinkling with confectioners' sugar.

  • Yields: 24 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes