In the summer time, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven and make your house even hotter. So what’s a girl (or guy) to do? Break out the grill, of course! Grilled Zucchini is one of our summer favorites. As an added bonus, you get to use of a few of those numerous zucchini plants that are sitting in your pile of bounty from your garden. We also like to throw in some yellow squash if we have some of those around. The first time we made this for my mother-in-law, she was certain that she didn’t like zucchini and she really didn’t like yellow squash. However, she tried her obligatory bite, and was really surprised that she liked it! If all you have ever tasted is boiled zucchini and squash (tasteless mush), then you are in for a pleasant surprise. So, fire up the grill and enjoy some Grilled Zucchini on your next hot day!
Grilled Zucchini & Squash
2-3 medium zucchini or yellow squash (about 1 lb total)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 TB olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp papper
juice of 1/2 lemon
Preheat grill to medium (375 F). Wash and dry zucchini. Trim ends. Slice lengthwise, about 1/2″ – 3/4″ thick.
In a medium bowl, toss zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place slices directly on grill or on a vegetable grilling rack. Grill for 10-12 minutes, turning once halfway through. Zucchini will be lightly charred and cooked through, but still firm. Remove to a serving plate. Sprinkle with lemon juice and parmesan. Serve.
California Beans & Rice is a great recipe for hot summer days when you just don’t want to heat up the house with the oven. Depending on what is most readily available and affordable, you can use more avocados or tomatoes depending on what is on sale and most readily available. A little shredded chicken also goes well in this if you want this to be a more substantial meal. The leftover chicken from Country Chicken Noodle Soup would be perfect for this. This could also be tossed together like a salad and served with a vinaigrette, or served in individual dishes of rice with the other ingredients used as toppings. I have also heard this dish called “California Sushi,” with the ingredients used to make meatless sushi rolls using pita bread or lettuce wraps which would be perfect served as an appetizer at a summer barbecue.
California Beans & Rice
2-3 cups cooked rice
2 cans black beans, rinsed
2 avocados, cubed (place in lemon water to prevent browning)
2 tomatoes, cubed
2-3 diced green onions
1 lb chicken, shredded (optional)
Pita bread (optional)
Directions: Spread in layers or rings on a platter, place sour cream and salsa in middle. Serve with Pita Bread if desired.
You know how it works: you plant zucchini, a single zucchini plant, in your garden, and dutifully eat it in many meals and side dishes from mid-summer on, you share it with all your garden-free neighbors, and finally you can’t handle any more of it in a recognizable form. It’s the time of year to start baking Zucchini Bread. I have tried a few recipes over the years, but this one is by far my favorite. Every time I serve it, someone asks me for the recipe. I even use it as my Banana Bread recipe, just omitting the cloves. I like to make several small loaves at a time, and then freeze them for a later date when I don’t feel like baking but still need a little sweetness in my life 🙂 So, the next time your well-meaning neighbor offers you some extra zucchini from her garden, you can willingly accept the offer and make zucchini bread!
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups zucchini (shredded)
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9×5 loaf pans.
Cream eggs, sugar & oil. Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Add vanilla and zucchini and mix until just blended.
Bake 55-60 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on wire racks. Remove from pans, and allow to finish cooling. Slice & enjoy with a pat of butter!