Monday, September 26, 2011

Gotta Love Zucchini...Why and How

Believe it or not, zucchini is botanically a fruit! However, in gastronomic terms, it is considered to be a vegetable. This cylindrical-shaped fruit has many nutritional benefits, and is low in calories! One medium-sized zucchini has just 25 calories in it, making it an ideal stomach-filler for those trying to lose weight. It is rich in Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. It's also a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, manganese and a lot of other nutrients. Gotta love zucchini!

There are many ways to enjoy this nutritional treat. You can use it in place of cucumbers in a green salad. You can slice it up and eat it with dip.
You can also make Zucchini Fries, Mmm!
Zucchini Fries are a great alternative to traditional, potato fries. Try them alongside a burger or panini sandwich.
Another option is to make Zucchini Cheese Squares.
 When I was a kid, my Mom always served Zucchini Cheese Squares piping hot, with Chicken cutlets. Then we would eat the leftovers the next day, as breakfast, lunch or a snack, right out of the refrigerator. Below you will find the recipe for both of these fabulous side dishes!

Zucchini Fries
2-3 fresh zucchini (depending on size)
3 eggs
2 cups Panko crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice up the zucchini (skin on) in long strips, not too thin but not too thick. (Think steak fries.)
Crack the eggs into a bowl and stir until mixed well. Dip the zucchini slices in the egg and then the Panko crumbs. Make sure they are coated well and then place on well greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle the leftover Panko crumbs on top and place the cookie sheet in the oven.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, checking occasionally.  Briefly turn the oven to Broil and let them crisp up before removing from the oven. Let cool for a few minutes, and serve!
Zucchini Cheese Squares
3 large zucchini, thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 eggs
4 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Saute zucchini, onion, and garlic in oil for 5 minutes.
Beat together the eggs, milk, bread crumbs, and seasonings. Add cheese to mixture, then gently stir in zucchini mixture.
Bake in a greased 9x13 baking dish for 35 minutes. Make sure the top is golden brown before removing from oven. Let cool slightly and cut into squares. Serve!
 I hope this post has inspired you to eat more zucchini and reap the health benefits, as well as enjoy the taste!! Ciao!


  1. I wish i would have seen this post before i went grocery shopping, i want to try them both!! They sound delish!! :)

  2. Aww, now I'm craving zucchini. I don't think I ever have before.

  3. You know I love using zucchini when we make pasta salads or mixed vegetable pasta meals but never thought to make fries or cheese squares. I didn't even know what cheese squares were until today. Good to know. Both look mighty good. I'll let you know how they turn out.