Category Archives: Healthy Recipes

Sneaky Zucchini – Part 2: Brownies & Cheesy Rice

For Part 2 of Sneaky Zucchini Week, I thought I’d share two other recipes that I love involving sneaking some zucchini.

 

I won’t be giving a step-by-step for either of these, since they are not from my family recipe book. I found these two recipes on Pinterest, and their original sources give pretty thorough step-by-step instructions. I’m not interested in reinventing the wheel, here. Not my style.

 

First Up: Zucchini Brownies

 

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The first time I made these, I did so for the purpose of being sneaky. I saw a pin on Pinterest for this recipe from The Yummy Life, and I couldn’t believe that you could put zucchini in brownies without noticing. So I put it to a test. I signed up to bring the dessert one night for our bi-weekly Sunday Night Dinner that we do with friends, and I made these zucchini brownies. They had pretty rave reviews and repins on Pinterest, so I figured, why not?

 

I even made the homemade chocolate frosting to put on top.

 

I showed up to Sunday Night Dinner and didn’t say a word until almost everyone had tried one. No one said anything about them tasting funny, although, they could’ve just been trying to be polite. When I told everyone, I got a general, “Oh. Really?” reaction from everyone. I was pleased.

 

The verdict: delicious. You should try both recipes. The homemade chocolate frosting is so easy– why would you ever buy that store brand stuff with all the additives?

Next: Cheesy Zucchini Rice

 

 

The picture from the pin for this recipe from Buns in My Oven immediately got my attention. It just looked so yummy. I saw this recipe shortly after my success with the zucchini brownies, and was delighted to sneak some veggies into another dish. This makes a fantastic side dish. I’ve made it to go alongside steaks, chicken, pork chops, fish… and every time, it works!

 

The verdict: yummy. BUT I still haven’t figured out how to make this dish using brown rice. Husband and I prefer brown rice to white… and so far, every time I’ve tried to make this recipe with brown rice, it has turned out crunchy and the rice doesn’t absorb as much of the liquid. I think I just need to alter some cook times or something… when I’ve figured it out, I’ll let you know. In any case, I recommend it! Even when it was crunchy, the flavors were still good.

 

So there you have it– two more Sneaky Zucchini recipes that are Katie-approved. I am an authority on these things, of course. {Not really.} Next week, it’s back to blogging about running. Until then… I’d love to know if you have any recipes using zucchini. I’m always looking for more ways to add vegetables to our menu. Let me know!

Also: make sure and check out The Yummy Life and Buns in My Oven. Both sites have tons of delicious-looking recipes, many of which do not include zucchini. 😉

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Zucchini Bread

I didn’t eat my vegetables as a kid. My papa used to tell me that I was “supposed to eat something green every day.” My clever response would be something like, “I drank some green kool-aid!” Vegetables have never interested me.

Fruits weren’t that much better, either. When it comes to food, I tend to have a bit of a problem with “texture.” I grew up eating bananas, grapes, and apples. That was about it.

As far as veggies go, it was mostly just carrots (raw, only) and lettuce. Plain lettuce. I was often teased for being a rabbit.

 

All this to say, now that I’m an adult and raising a kid of my own, I’m trying to make vegetables a fixture in our family eating plans.

I’ve gotten a lot better, but my son Skip, is not a veggie fan. The kid will fiercely devour any fruit you put in front of him, but the dreaded green stuff? Yeah, right. We still offer him vegetables every time we eat them, but in addition to this, I needed to find a way to “sneak” veggies to get some green stuff in this kid.

 

{Side Note: I’ve found sneaking veggies to be an effective way to get *myself* to eat more veggies, too!}

 

The veggie I’ve had the most success with “sneaking” has been zucchini. I don’t like plain zucchini. It’s kinda boring. Even when it’s grilled: boring. But zucchini in bread? Brownies? Cheesy rice? Delicious! 

I bought a ridiculous amount of zucchini this week, and so I’ll be making a few of my favorite dishes with Sneaky Zucchini– I figured, why not share them here?

 

Up first: Zucchini Bread!

This recipe comes to you from my Great Grandma Gertie. I’ve altered it a bit, to make it a tad healthier, but whenever I eat it and celebrate its deliciousness, I think of her and smile.

 

What You Will Need:

Not Pictured: Cinnamon. I'm an amateur, okay?

Not Pictured: Cinnamon.
I’m an amateur, okay?

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 C. coconut oil (Grandma used vegetable shortening)
  • 2 C. sugar
  • 2 C. grated zucchini
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 C. sifted whole wheat flour (Grandma used regular flour)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts

Also:

  • 2 loaf pans (This recipe yields 2 loaves)

What To Do:

First, grate your zucchini. I love this gadget from the Pampered Chef. I am notoriously terrible at using a standard grater. I’m terrified of cutting myself, which I’ve done many times. {I’m really slow at peeling potatoes for the same reason.} This gadget is much better with hunks of cheese– the zucchini is difficult and needs to be positioned “just so” or it will not grate correctly. But in any case, I’d rather keep repositioning the zucchini then cut myself.

 

Forgive the chipped nail polish.

Forgive the chipped nail polish.

Second, sift your flour. Of the menial kitchen tasks, sifting flour is one of my least favorites. It’s right up there with peeling potatoes. I hate it. Alas, I haven’t tried this recipe with un-sifted flour, so I can’t really tell you if you can skip this step. If you want to try it, be my guest. It’s my experience, though, that when a recipe calls for sifted flour, it means it.

 

Now for the very simple steps for making the bread…

1. Mix coconut oil, sugar, and eggs.

It will look a little lumpy, but I promise it’s alright. You can use standard vegetable shortening for this part, and that’s what my Grandma’s recipe calls for, but I think the coconut oil gives it a really awesome flavor. It’s a tad healthier, too.

 photo 3

2. Add the grated zucchini and vanilla. Mix.

photo 4

It should look something like this now: Nice and lumpy with slivers of green.

 photo 5

3. Add the sifted flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix ‘er up.

 photo 1

4. Add the cinnamon. Mix.

 

5. Add walnuts. Mix.

 

6. Grease 2 loaf pans. Fill ’em up.

 photo 2

photo 3

{6a. Go ahead and lick that spoon. It tastes yummy. Not too much, though. Salmonella and whatnot, right?}

photo 4

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

 photo 2

Then let ‘em cool on a cooling rack. As you can see, the top of my second loaf is a little concave. My pesky timer decided to stop a little early, so this one was taken out a tad too soon and some of the inner goodness fell out. I stuffed it back in and put it back in the oven for a bit. Hopefully it’ll still taste good. I’ll let you know.

 

This is why it’s always a good idea to make two. At least one of them is bound to be pretty.

 

So there you have it: delicious zucchini bread. It’s not the healthiest thing ever. It has a bunch of sugar in it. I used the expensive organic raw sugar, but sugar is sugar, right?

 

Still, I enjoy having a slice for breakfast with a little natural peanut butter on top. My boys like to eat a slice with butter on it at any time of the day. The wonder of zucchini bread is that it can be enjoyed at practically any time of day. So get busy and enjoy!

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