Zucchini & Yellow Squash!

It’s not always about the writing. Sometimes it’s about all that zucchini and yellow squash growing in your back yard. Remember the optimism you had when you first planted those seedlings? Remember keeping your fingers crossed that you’d have a successful little harvest (the key word here being little)? Then, the squash explosion happens and, all of a sudden, you find yourself standing on the street corner, tossing zucchinis into the open windows of passing cars. Paying your vet bill in yellow squash rather than cash. Sneaking around the neighborhood in the middle of the night leaving zucchini and squash on doorsteps. The Craigslist ad: Willing to trade zucchini for ANYTHING!!!

Yep, it’s that time of year so, as I munch on a delicious piece of chocolate zucchini bread, I’m jotting down a few of my favorite recipes that might help you with your summer squash dilemma.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
3 eggs
2 C sugar
1 C vegetable oil
1 TBSP vanilla
3 C flour                                                                                        
3 TBSP unsweet cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
3 C unpeeled, shredded zucchini                                               
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F 

 Grease two 9x5 loaf pans
Combine sugar, oil and vanilla
Add eggs, one at a time, beat after each addition
Combine dry ingredients, add to egg mixture
Add zucchini to the mix
Pour into pans
Bake about 1 hour, or until wooden toothpick comes out clean

                                                  Yellow Squash Casserole (can substitute zucchini)
                                                  For a Side Dish
                                                  1 medium yellow squash, unpeeled and squashed
                                                  1 can cream of chicken soup
                                                  2 C Stovetop Stuffing

                                                 Layer bottom of small baking dish with ½ the squash
                                                 Cover with ½ the soup
                                                 Top with 1 & 3/4 C stuffing (dry)
                                                 Add remaining squash, soup
                                                 Top with remaining stuffing and dot with butter
                                                 Bake at 350 degrees F, 30 minutes
                                                 For a main dish
                                                  Double recipe, use larger baking dish
                                                  Add 2 C cooked, deboned chicken to the soup
                                                  Cook approx 10 minutes longer, make sure topping doesn’t burn

                                                 Zucchini may take a little longer to cook than yellow squash

                                 Zucchini Tomato Pie
                                 1 & ½ TBSP vegetable oil
                                 1 medium onion, minced
                                 2 garlic cloves, minced
                                 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced (blanch tomatoes for easy peeling)
                                 3 medium zucchinis, unpeeled and diced
                                 3 large eggs
                                 1/3 C milk
                                 1 & ½  C grated cheese (Monterey Jack, Swiss or Cheddar)
                                 3 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese
                                 3/4 C Bisquick
                                 salt & pepper to taste
                                 Optional: 2 C cooked, crumbled bacon
                                 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
                                 Grease 10 inch deep pie plate or quiche dish
                                 Heat oil in skillet over medium heat

Add onion and garlic, saute 10 minutes
Stir in tomatoes, saute 5 minutes
Mix in zucchini, cook until tender
Beat eggs in large bowl, stir in milk and Bisquick
Add zucchini mix, mix well
Pour ½ mix into dish, top with cheese (not Parmesan)
Add remaining mix, top with Parmesan
Bake 30 minutes, or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean and top is golden brown

Zucchini Relish
4 - 6 unpeeled zucchini, coarsely chopped
6 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
2 TBSP salt
2 C sugar                                                                                  
1& ½ C vinegar
1& ½  tsp celery seed
1&1/2 tsp mustard seed
(to make the relish spicy hot, add red pepper flakes, or chop up a couple of your favorite hot peppers)

Combine zucchini, carrots, onions salt in bowl. Let stand for 3 hours, then drain.
In large pot, combine sugar, vinegar, spices, optional peppers. Bring to boil.
Add veggies, bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Ladle hot relish into pint jars, leaving ½ inch room for head space
Adjust lids
Immerse in water bath for 15 minutes.
Note: This recipe is for canning the relish. However, the relish can be prepared and used fresh without canning it. Would suggest you cut the ingredients in half for a smaller quantity, if you do not can this recipe.

                           Mrs. Johnson’s Best-Ever Zucchini Bread
                           (Mrs. Johnson was the head baker in my high school cafeteria)
                           3 eggs
                           1 C sugar
                           1 C brown sugar
                           1 tsp baking soda
                           1 tsp cinnamon
                           1 tsp baking powder
                           ½ C raisins
                           ½ C coconut
                           2 C grated unpeeled zucchinis
                           1 C chopped nuts ( your choice of nuts)
                           1 tsp salt
                           3 tsp vanilla
                           3C flour
                           1 tsp nutmeg                                                                         
                           Combine all ingredients
                           Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
                           Grease two 9x5 loaf pans
                           Pour mixture into pans
                           Bake 1 hour, or 'til toothpick comes out clean

So...that’s it.  My contribution to your summer squash overgrowth. Some other suggestions - sliced, breaded, fried; sauteed; pancakes; salads; fritters; stuffed and baked; lasagna; muffins...the sky’s the limit with your limitless supply of squash. So instead of paying neighborhood kids cold, hard cash to haul off bushels of the green or yellow stuff, bake yourself a loaf of chocolate zucchini bread, slice off a piece, sit down and munch it while you write a blog about all the ingenious ways you’ve used your squash.

Oh, and before I go—
Zucchini fresh:
Serving Size: 1 cup (124g), Calories: 20, Fat: 0.2g, Carbs: 4.2g, Protein: 1.5g
Yellow squash fresh:
Serving Size: 1 cup, Calories: 18, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 4g, Protein: 2g

As always, wishing you health and happiness...

Oh, and my new book is out now! Doctor, Mommy...Wife? (Doctor, Mummy...Wife? in the UK) Check my website for places to purchase: www.Dianne-Drake.com/     You can connect me me, too, at: www.Facebook.com/DianneDrakeAuthor


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