The award for best supporting actor goes to… Zucchini!

We all have heard that the stars of the nutrition world are the dark leafys and the bright orange/red vegetables. They get top billing. They are nutritionists version of Julia Roberts or George Clooney. But what about the other actors…they deserve a little recognition as well.

Zucchini reminds me of one of those character actors. Google Ed Lauter or Ned Beatty. They are is in tons of movies but blend so well into their character, you never really know them.

A lone zucchini has 33 calories and 2 grams of fiber. It has a modest nutritional resume, providing us with approximately 10 percent of our Vitamin A, B6, magnesium and potassium and over 50% of our Vitamin C needs.

Zucchini’s great gift is the delicate way it can blend into almost anything. Grated zucchini can be added to cakes, cookies, yogurt, smoothies and sauces. I challenge you to name something it can’t be added to!


QUINOA AND GRILLED ZUCCHINI

If you are looking to use up some zucchini, try this easy one-bowl meal.

If firing up the grill for one zucchini seems like to much effort, you can put the sliced zucchini on a baking sheet under your oven’s broiler for a few minutes, to get a similar charred effect (this is how I usually make it).

If you are feeling over-run with zucchini, this recipe can handle two of them, instead of just the one called for in the recipe. And, although the grilled zucchini is delicious here, it also works to substitute 1 to 2 cups of sautéed greens for the grilled/broiled zucchini, if that is what you are trying to use up.


ZUCCHINI FRITTERS

Combine 1 cup panko breadcrumbs with 3 large eggs

Add the following:

  • 1 pound (about 4) shredded zucchini*
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tbl chopped fresh mint
  • ½ tsp grated lemon zest
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp pepper

*before adding to recipe, toss shredded zucchini with a tsp of salt and let it sit in a colander for approximately 10 minutes. Wring out the excess liquid before using.

Form into 3 inch wide patties (about ¼ cup)

This recipe calls for pan frying with 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, cooking the fritters over medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Or… you can flatten the patties to about ¼ inch and “oven fry” them, using parchment paper and a little spray oil in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes per side.