Here’s my throw together recipe – adjust yours to taste and preference.
3 cups spiralized or sliced zucchini
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
butter or olive oil
On low to medium heat saute onions and zucchini in butter or olive oil until desired softness, sprinkle in flour and stir to thicken, then add eggs and stir to mix. Add salt and mozzarella and cheddar. Stir until blended, then top with Parmesan – turn off heat and cover. Once the Parmesan is slightly melted, serve it up.
Now, to jazz this up by adding protein and calories, i would cook up some sliced beef sausage or home made beef sausage, then in the same pan, continue with this recipe.
What a delicious surprise this recipe is i found in an old recipe book a good friend gave me. In my search on how to prepare zucchiniwithout making a sweet bread, i stumbled on this one! Have already made it multiple times to great reviews and made a couple more that i put into the freezer with cooking instructions written with a Sharpie marker on the foil covering it.
Zucchini & Cheese Enchiladas or Casserole*
2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
1 tsp chili powder (optional)
½ tsp ground cumin
2 cups milk
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
½ tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 large bell pepper chopped (optional)
6 cups chopped zucchini
16 to 18 corn tortillas
2 cups chopped tomatoes
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour, chili powder, and cumin to make a thick paste. Add the milk, a little at a time, using a wire whisk. Slowly add the cheese, stirring constantly until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and zucchini and sauté 2 more minutes. Add ¼ cup of water, cover, and steam veggies until tender. Remove vegetables from heat, and drain excess liquid. Gently mix in 2/3 of the cheese sauce. Lightly oil a 9×13-inch baking dish. To assemble, place two tortillas side by sade at one end of the pan. Spread a generous amount of filling down the center of the tortillas, then fold them over and roll up the tortillas. Place filled enchiladas seam-side-down in the pan. Continue in this manner until you have filled the pan. Spoon remaining sauce on top and garnish to tomatoes. Bake, uncovered, for 20 -25 minutes. Serves 8
*I prefer making this as a casserole since it’s much easier. i do take the time to prepare freshly made corn tortillas with Masa Harina, then loosely layer the flavorful tortillas on the bottom of the pan, then top with half the zucchini/cheese mixture, layer another set of tortillas and spread the remaining zucchini/cheese mixture. Spread the remaining 1/3 of cheese mixture on top, then dot the whole casserole with diced tomatoes.
It’s zucchini season and time to pull out the plethora of excellent recipes to use this bountiful summer squash. If someone secretly leaves zucchinis in your car or at home, be thankful!!
A bountiful number of bread and dessert recipes are found in cookbooks and internet and i will share a couple of our family favorites, but i’m focusing more this year on casseroles and main dish recipes. Here’s one i just developed sort of combining two recipes I already have. It turned out fabulously!!! Not like pizza or anything, but definitely ranks high enough that it can remain in the regular lineup of meals.
From the kitchen of Tauna M (Falconer) Powell
2 cups shredded zucchini
½ lb cooked beef sausage or beef brats* cut in small pieces
1 medium onion chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon mustard
¼ tsp black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 325˚F. Layer half the zucchini, onion, sausage, and cheddar cheese in a buttered oblong baking dish, 11 x 7 x 1 ½ inches; repeat. Mix eggs, milk, mustard, pepper, and salt very well, then pour over the layered ingredients. Sprinkle over top with Parmesan cheese. Cook uncovered in oven until set, 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes then cut into squares for serving.
Note: Once assembled, this casserole can be covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours before cooking.
*I use all beef brats from Coleman Farms grassfinished beef. However, it will also be good with my own home made beef sausage.
Add the butter and flour to a small sauce pot. Heat and whisk the butter and flour together until they become bubbly and foamy. Continue to cook and whisk the bubbly mixture for about 60 seconds.
Whisk the milk into the flour and butter mixture. Turn the heat up slightly and allow the milk to come to a simmer whilst whisking. When it reaches a simmer, the mixture will thicken. Once it’s thick enough to coat a spoon, turn off the heat.
Stir in the shredded cheddar, one handful at a time, until melted into the sauce. If needed, lace the pan over a low flame to help the cheese melt. Do not overheat the cheese sauce.
Once all the cheese is melted into the sauce, stir in the salt and chili powder. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. If the sauce becomes too thick, simply whisk in an additional splash of milk.
Pizza is one of my favorite foods. Since i was a child, Friday evening was made for pizza, which at that time was Chef Boyardee. I’ve continued that tradition with my own family with home made pizza. However, during this Optavia optimal health journey, my husband and i have been enduring cauliflower crust pizza. it’s not bad, but it’s still not my cheese stuffed crust pizza.
We don’t have time to eat out, so it’s much easier to for me to make our meals at home. Plus, i can control all the ingredients used.
Now this is my made up lean and green meal for two people. Whether or not it perfectly meets the Optavia program, i’m not sure. I’ll leave that for you to determine.
As always, try to use locally grown or produced, organic, or home grown.
*i use our home raised grass finished ground beef processed to 90% lean. For sausage, our preference, is 2 teaspoons sage, 2 teaspoons sea salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper. Blend well. Best flavor is to allow to meld for several hours. I mix up several pounds and refreeze in 1 lb packages.
‘Rice’ the cauliflower (it may only take a half a head if it’s large) in some sort of chopper, then simmer it in a dry iron skillet, stirring ever so often. A good portion of the moisture needs to steam away. Use very, very low heat and no lid. It’ll take 20 minutes or more. Then allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Add two eggs, the Italian seasoning, salt, and 1/4 cup cheese and stir well. Plop the mixture onto pan sprayed with cooking spray, then press into a 9 inch pie. Bake for 20 minutes.
Top the cooked crust with pizza sauce, Parmesan cheese, mushrooms, olives, remaining cheese. Bake until heated through and cheese is melted – about 7-8 minutes.
An excellent non meat recipe. But meat can easily be layered on and consider other vegetables. Pictured here, I used sliced zucchini from my garden and added ground chicken breast from pastured poultry raised by my friends at Pigeon Creek Farm.
Cheese and Rice Casserole (Riso e Formaggio)
2 cups water
1 cup uncooked regular rice (or barley or couscous or any combination thereof)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon red pepper sauce (optional
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 medium onion (I used green onions)
1 medium green pepper, chopped (optional)
2 cups shredded mozzarella or Cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 ½ cups milk
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat water, rice, salt, mustard, red pepper sauce, and pepper to boiling, stirring once or twice; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. (Do not lift cover or stir.) Remove from heat. Fluff rice lightly with fork; cover and let steam 5 to 10 minutes.
Layer half the rice mixture in bottom of greased 11 x 7 x 1 ½ inch baking dish. Top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (and 1 cup vegetable if desired); repeat. Whisk together 4 eggs and 2 ½ cups of milk then pour over rice mixture. Sprinkle with ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese. (Casserole can be covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours at this point.) Cook uncovered in 350°F oven until set; 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into squares.