Ever Abundant Zucchini Squash

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Soon it will seem like we have a never ending supply of zucchini squash, and while it is terrific sauteed, it is too much to eat every day. Thankfully zucchini squash grows well here in Eastern NC and also thankfully zucchini can be preserved for use in many ways.

Many of you have tried baking quick breads and side dishes with zucchini, but did you know it makes an excellent addition to cakes and muffins, and it can be pureed in soups or even fried. Zucchini can be stored in the freezer for use in recipes throughout the year, you can also extend the life of zucchini by creating relish, pickles, or chutney.

Here are some yummy “healthy” recipes for you to give a try!

Creamy Italian Chicken Tenders

(Keto Friendly)

1 pound chicken tenders

¼ teaspoon salt, divided

¼ teaspoon ground pepper, divided

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

½ chopped onion

1/3 cup dry white wine

1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes

2 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes

1 cup Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ chopped fresh basil

Sprinkle chicken with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165 degrees F. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, zucchini and onion to the pan. Cook, stirring, until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add wine. Cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the liquid has mostly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, cream cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring to melt the cream cheese, for 5 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce. Serve topped with basil.

Serves 4, each 1 cutlet & 1/3 cup sauce serving contains;  Calories 301, Protein 27g., Carbohydrates 9g., Fiber 2g., Fat 4g., Cholesterol 97mg., Sodium 251mg.

“Good For You” Zucchini Bread

2 cups finely shredded zucchini, packed, do not squeeze

1 large egg

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

¾ cup local honey

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups whole wheat flour

Cooking Spray

Add ins, optional, chocolate chips, nuts, blueberries, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, line 9 x 5 loaf pan with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add egg, applesauce, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt; whisk until combined.

Add zucchini and stir.

Add flour and mix gently with a spatula just enough to combine.

Pour batter into previously prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool off for 10 minutes.

Holding onto the flaps of parchment paper remove healthy zucchini bread from a loaf pan and let it cool off completely before slicing with sharp serrated knife.

Yields 12 slices, each slice contains; Calories 148, Protein 3g., Carbohydrates 34g., Fiber 3g., Fat 1g., Cholesterol 14mg., Sodium 291mg.

Enchiladas with Zucchini Tortillas

(Also, Keto Friendly)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

¼ teaspoon salt

12 ounces cooked chicken breast or tenders, shredded (about 3 cups)

1 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese

1 (15 ounce) can enchilada sauce (1 ½ cups), divided

3 medium zucchini, trimmed

1/3 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons softened cream cheese

1 cup shredded romaine lettuce

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, poblano and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened and are beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium if vegetables start to burn. Transfer to a large bowl. Add chicken, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 cup enchilada sauce. Stir to combine; set aside.

Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin slicer, slice zucchini lengthwise into thin strips (strips should be thin enough to roll around chicken mixture without breaking). Discard any uneven and broken pieces. You should end up with 48 slices.

Meanwhile, combine the sour cream and cream cheese together in a small bowl. When the enchiladas have finished baking, top with lettuce and cilantro. Drizzle the sour cream mixture over the top.

Serves 4, each 4 enchilada sized serving contains;  Calories 443, Protein 27g., Carbohydrates 10g., Fiber 2.5g., Fat 14g., Cholesterol 117mg., Sodium 316mg.

Easy Sea Salt and Vinegar Zucchini Chips

1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/8-inch slices (about 48 total)

1 tablespoon malt vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 200°F.

Combine zucchini, vinegar, and oil in a medium bowl, tossing to coat well. Let stand 10 minutes.

Place zucchini slices in a single layer on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper; sprinkle evenly with salt. Bake at 200°F for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until chips are dried, crisp, and lightly golden, flipping chips halfway through baking. Remove from oven; cool completely.

Serves 2, each serving contains;  Calories 57, Protein 2g., Carbohydrates 5g., Fiber 1g., Fat 4g., Sodium 158mg.

Zucchini Pizza Bites

4 large zucchini, cut into ¼ inch thick slices

Olive oil spray

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons marinara or pizza sauce

¼ cup shredded mozzarella

Turkey pepperoni slices

Spray both sides of zucchini chips lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil or grill the zucchini for about 2 minutes on each side. Top with sauce, cheese and turkeyroni for an additional minute or two.

Mexican Skillet Zucchini

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound zucchini, diced

1 large tomato, cored, seeded and diced

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon chopped pickled jalapeno

½ cup crumbled queso Blanco, or queso fresco, cotija or feta

Fresh lime juice, to taste

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground pepper

Cook the garlic in oil in a large skillet over medium heat 1 minute, stirring until sizzling.

Add zucchini and cook stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes or until slightly softened.

Add the tomato and green onion and cook about 3 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and add cilantro, jalapeño, and lime juice.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with cheese of choice. Serve hot!