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8.23.2008

Zuper Zucchini

I love zucchini. It's tasty, healthy, versatile....and cheap! If you know someone who grows it, you're not far from that time of the year when crops are over-abundant, and they're practically showering yummy greenness on you. But even when zucchini aren't free, they are still very inexpensive - I can usually get them for between $0.99 and $1.30 per pound without a sale. They're also a low-calorie, high-nutrient powerhouse...according to Caloriecount.com one full cup of chopped zucchini has only 20 calories, 1.4 grams of dietary fiber, and 35% of your daily vitamin C needs.

These lean greens are on sale this week, so I did a little searching and found a couple of very appealing recipes on MSN.com...I estimated cost based on this week's sale and stuff I already have on hand from past shopping trips. Can't wait to try them out!

Zucchini Cakes with Mushroom Ragout
I am not a big fan of roasted red peppers so I am going to try substituting tomato sauce thickened with tomato paste....

Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 of a medium zucchini, shredded (1 cup)
1 8-1/2 oz. pkg. corn muffin mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 oz.)
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
12 oz. assorted mushrooms, quartered (4-1/2 cups)
1 cup drained bottled roasted red sweet peppers (1/2 cup pasta sauce plus 1 sm can tomato paste)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with cooking spray; set aside.
2. In mixing bowl combine zucchini, muffin mix, cheese, milk, egg, and cayenne pepper; spoon evenly into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 11 to 14 minutes or until golden.
3. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Place roasted peppers in blender. Cover; blend until nearly smooth. (Instead of blending roasted peppers, cook mushrooms in sauce and tomato paste)
4. Arrange 3 cakes on each plate with some of the mushrooms and pepper sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Appx cost:
Zucchini: $0.50
Muffin Mix: $0.99
Cheese: $0.87
Milk: $0.05
Egg: $0.13
Mushrooms $3.00
Pasta sauce $0.25
Tomato paste $0.50

Grand Total: $6.29 or $1.57 per serving

Sausage and Summer Squash
I only buy kielbasa when it's BOGO so this ends up being a really cheap dinner. I would probably use the Naan flatbread and just brush it with olive oil and italian herbs to give it flavor, I know they carry that at Price Rite and it's cheaper than Boboli.

Ingredients
1/3 to 1/2 cup bottled Italian salad dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz. cooked Polish sausage links, halved lengthwise, sliced diagonally
3 small yellow summer squash and/or zucchini, quartered lengthwise
4 wedges Italian flat bread, split (Naan or homemade flatbread)
1/4 cup sliced green onions
Fresh oregano leaves (dried oregano is what I have on hand)
1/4 cup coarsely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional) (regular grated Parmesan from the can)

Directions
1. Preheat broiler. In small bowl combine dressing and garlic. In extra-large skillet cook sausage and squash in 2 tablespoons of the dressing mixture for 8 to 10 minutes or until sausage is heated through and squash is almost tender, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, place bread on broiler pan; brush with 1 tablespoon of the dressing mixture. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 1 to 2 minutes, until lightly toasted.
3. Serve sausage and squash with toasted bread. Drizzle remaining dressing; sprinkle green onions and oregano. Pass Parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

Appx cost:
Dressing: $0.75
Kielbasa: $1.50
Zucchini: $1.50
Naan $1.50
Green onions: $0.15

Grand total: $5.40 or $1.35 per serving



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1 comment:

Petra said...

MMM...I love zucchini! Thanks for the zucchini ideas!