Zillions of Zucchini – Part 2

Just as I suspected, I harvest a zillion more pounds of zucchini since the last time we met. Alright, this time I’m really lying. My zucchini production has slowed tremendously -and it’s not because I pulled half of the plants out…hehe. I HAD TO! My freezer is getting full of vegetables, not that that’s a horrible thing it’s just I’m typically a meat and taters type of gal and I’m running out of precious space reserved for some homegrown beef. *mmm* I also am trying to make some room in the garden for pumpkins, so there was no choice. The zucchini had to go. Don’t forget, this is my first garden and I am cataloging some very useful information to be used next year. Before you know it I will be a master gardener. (BAHAHA!).

As promised here are three more great zucchini recipes I’ve used in the past month (I’m not joking there. We’ve had zucchini at least every other day. No wonder my family hates doesn’t like it.).

1. Make a casserole of it
One afternoon I was staring at my heap of squash and zucchini thinking “what in the world can I do with this for supper tonight?”. My husband’s translation of that thought would read, “How can I torture my husband and ruin supper?”. So, I took to google and found a recipe that looked worth trying, “Boston Market Squash Casserole.” You can find the original here. As usual I made half the recipe and I didn’t have the exact ingredients, so I’ll share below what I did. Two things I want to point out that I didn’t realize: 1. This is less like a casserole and more like stuffing (at least my version was) 2. You can’t quickly whip it up. It takes a little planning on account of you have to make cornbread, cook your squash, and then bake it all for an hour or so.

Let’s loop back to my husband real quick. He LOVES stuffing. And I know in my heart of hearts he would have LOVED this if he tried it. It was so much tastier than the dang box stuffing he adores, and the squash and zucchini were not the typical mush you would assume. It was surprisingly very delicious. As if YOU need convincing 😉
IMG_2153Ok back to business. Here’s what you’ll need:
6 cornbread muffins prepared as directed on the side of the cornmeal can. *Here in Oklahoma we have a mill that sells their products in grocery stores throughout the state, Shawnee Best, so of course I purchase their products (all about supporting products made here). Now that being said, I like the recipe on the side of the Quaker can for cornbread. So I kept the Quaker recipe and use Shawnee Best cornmeal.*
I made half the recipe into six muffins. Here’s the recipe –> cornbreadrecipe

Ok now now that those are taken care of let’s continue. You’ll need:
2 1/4 c. yellow squash diced
2 1/4 c. zucchini diced
1/2 of a yellow onion diced
6 Tbsp. butter
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/2 Tbsp. dried parsley

Put diced squash and zucchini in a medium or large sauce pan (I used a medium one. It was pretty full during this process, but the vegetables shrank and there was enough room to mix it all together. Carefully.). Add enough water to just cover and cook on medium heat. You want your vegetables to cook until just tender. I cooked mine until the sides were transparent and the centers were just starting to turn transparent.

Save 1/2 c. of the liquid and drain the vegetables in a strainer, and leave aside. In your saucepan add the butter, melt. Then add your onions and cook them until they are clear. Stir in the salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, and bouillon cube.

Dump your vegetables and cheese in with the onions and mix all together. Hopefully by now your cornbread muffins are finished and cool enough for you to crumble them over the squash mixture. If not wait a few minutes until they’re ready. After you crumble the cornbread over the mixture add your reserved 1/2 cup of water and mix everything well.

Pour everything into a 9×9 baking dish and cover. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, remove the cover and continue to bake for 20 more minutes. Then devour. I mean, enjoy!

2. Create pie bars
I originally saw this recipe on Pinterest. I was immediately intrigued, so the next day I tried it. Let me be honest, I was very skeptical about these pie bars being as delicious as apple pie. I married the BIGGEST APPLE PIE CRITIC the world has ever seen. You don’t believe me? Ask his mom and grandma. Thankfully he likes my apple pies (what I mean is after many failures I finally found the right combination.). Anyways, I knew I had to keep the filling ingredients a secret until he filled his bowl up and took his first bit. Aside from my husband not liking it, I was also worried zucchini pie barsthat the zucchini would be disgusting and completely ruin the dessert. Much, MUCH to my surprise I was wrong and Dorothy was right (sorry I doubted you). I put a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of my helping and covered it sloppily with caramel sauce (from Braum’s of course). H.E.A.V.E.N IN. MY. MOUTH. I will say this: it’s not apple pie but it’s dang close and when you don’t have apples, zucchini surprisingly will step in quite nicely. What’s off, for me, is the texture. There wasn’t that apple crisp/grit. AND there wasn’t that apple flavor, it was a very faint zucchini flavor. DON’T BE DISCOURAGED! Seriously, if you try any of these recipes put this at the top of the list.

So Greg had been working hard that day putting together a swing set for the kiddos, and he finally came in well after 9 P.M. I was in bed reading and could hear him dishing up a bowl. (I’m secretly laughing and snickering to myself) I hear him sit down in the recliner. Then the sound of the spoon clanging against the bowl. (What did I just read? Oh well I’ll reread it in a couple seconds…) Then, “What’s in this?” MUAHAHAHAHAHA! As sweetly as I could without bursting into laughter, “Umm, nothing. Why?” I hear a few more bites. I slink out to the living room. “It’s just” – “zucchini.” he says flatly. I knew it. He secretly liked it, but since it was zucchini it wasn’t THAT good. He did admit to absolutely loving the crust and the crumble on top. So I suppose I can make it again with apples instead. Or part apple, part zucchini. MUAHAHAHA! Anyways, you can find this recipe here. You won’t be disappointed. Promise.
*Dorothy also has some other sweet zucchini treats I’ll probably end up making in the following week.*

3. Add it to banana bread
I had some bananas that were in desperate need of being turned into bread. The same goes for my zucchini. Then it occurred to me: zucchini bread and banana bread are pretty much the same, why not put them together? So I did! Now I’m not experienced or brave enough to just go throwing things together (at least not when it comes to baking). So of course I took to google and found this. But again I tweaked it just a little like this:

1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. ripe bananas + 1 more banana (about 4-5 bananas)
1/2 c. oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 medium zucchini, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl whisk all the dry ingredients. Mash your bananas and add to the mixture along with all the wet ingredients, except the zucchini.

Once everything is mixed well fold in the zucchini. Then dump in a bread pan. You can make one large loaf, or smaller loaves if you like. If you do one large pan bake for 1 hour. If you do smaller loaves I would check after 45 minutes. +/- time as needed.

BONUS RECIPE
As if you wanted more…
How I cook yellow squash.

2 yellow squash, sliced
2 Tbsp. butter
salt & pepper to taste

Slice your squash, put it in a sauce pan and cover with water. Boil until the squash is very tender. Drain the water, keep the squash in the pan. Add the butter and mash. Sprinkle salt and pepper to your liking.

Welp, that’s all I’ve got for now. I hope you enjoy your zucchini as much as I have!

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