If you are up to your gourds with zucchini this season 😉, you are not alone. We can thank the Italians for introducing us to this abundant vegetable in 1920. Some gardeners boast thinking the size of their zucchini is kind of a big deal, but truth be told, it is the smaller, darker colored variety that packs the most flavor. But if anyone has bragging rights, it is Bernard Lavery from the U.K. who holds the record for a zucchini that measured 69 1/2 inches long, and weighed 65 lbs.
A regular size zucchini is only 25 calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low in sodium, rich in manganese and vitamin C and is packed with more potassium than a banana. They are made up of 95% water, which makes them the perfect companion for any flavor combination you match it with.
Recently zoodles have been all the rage, with the low carb community seeking out ways to replace pasta in their favorite dishes. While you can spiralize just about anything, zucchini is gaining popularity and as such has earned the crown as the vegetable of choice.
I have previously posted healthy recipes that may be more mainstream, so I wanted to step outside of my culinary comfort zone in bringing some new and exciting flavors to the forefront. I hope you enjoy!
Shrimp Scampi (with zoodles)
- • ½ pound large raw shrimp, shelled
- • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- • ¼ cup diced white onion
- • 2-3 garlic cloves
- • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley
- • Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1. In a cooking pan, sauté the garlic and red pepper flakes in coconut oil for roughly 1-2 minutes on high heat.
- 2. Add the shrimp, turning the shrimp over after a few minutes to cook both sides.
- 3. Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the shrimp with parsley, lemon juice, and black pepper, and toss to combine.
- 4. Serve over a bed of zucchini noodles.
- • 2-3 medium sized zucchini’s
- 1. You can use either of the following tools to make your noodles. Spiralizer, vegetable or julienne peeler, as well as you can even finely slice the zucchini.
- 2. Add noodles to a pan and sauté on medium heat with coconut oil, salt and pepper to taste for a few minutes.
- 3. Place noodles into a bowl and top with shrimp scampi!
Editor’s Note: 6 Veggies That Cause Fat Gain
Zoodles with Basil Avocado Sauce
- • 3 large zucchinis
- • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- • 3/4 cup bone broth
- • 1/3 cup finely minced parsley leaves
- • 1/2 cup Flaxseed Meal
- • 2 shallots, chopped
- • 2 tomatoes chopped
- • 1 Tbsp olive oil + 1/2 tsp
- • 1 bunch of basil leaves
- • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- • Fresh ground pepper & salt (to taste)
- • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1. Slice off ends of zucchini and discard. Depending if you prefer skinless noodles or like the skins on, you may peel prior to “zoodling” or leave as is.
- 2. Prepare the zucchini noodles in your spiralizer of choice. If you do not have a spiralizer, you may slice horizontally in thick ribbons. Set aside.
- 3. Add half of the bunch of basil leaves, 1/2 cup of bone broth, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp lemon zest, 1 chopped garlic clove, salt, pepper & red pepper flakes to a food processor and blend to a thick soup consistency. Add more vegetable broth if needed. Set aside.
- 4. In a non-stick skillet, add 1/2 tsp olive oil and flax meal and sautee until brown & crunchy.
- 5. In a pasta pot or large deep skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over low-medium heat. Add 1-2 chopped garlic cloves, chopped tomatoes and shallots and cook until soft and translucent (about 2 minutes).
- 6. Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup bone broth and bring to boil.
- 7. Add 3 Tbsp of basil sauce to zoodles and cook roughly 3 minutes.
- 8. Add parsley, 1/4 cup chopped basil, s&p, and toss to combine.
- 9. Serve with a big sprinkling of toasted flaxseed on top for crunch, sliced avocado & fresh sliced tomatoes.
Chef Tip: I usually add red pepper flakes and/or a splash of hot sauce to my recipe to kick things up a notch.
- • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes (preferably heirloom), cored, seeded, and roughly chopped
- • 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- • 1 tsp minced fresh garlic
- • 5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- • 2 pounds zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- • 4 small fresh mint sprigs
- 1. Prepare a charcoal grill or a gas grill to high (450°F to 550°F).
- 2. Combine tomatoes, sherry vinegar, garlic, and oil in a bowl.
- 3. Arrange zucchini slices on grill grate (sprinkle with s&p to taste), and grill, uncovered, until charred and just tender, 3 to 5 minutes per side.
- 4. Remove grilled zucchini to a platter, and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
- 5. Cut or tear mint leaves from sprigs, and add to tomato mixture, and pour tomato salad and juices over warm zucchini.
*If you don’t have a grill, this doesn’t mean you miss out on this amazing recipe. Simply use a lightly greased grill pan, and place over medium-high until hot, about 2 minutes.
*This could easily be used as a bruschetta and served atop a lovely Italian type bread. It could even be used as a sauce for other dishes.
*You could also omit the sherry vinegar if you prefer.
Baked Smoked Paprika Zucchini Chips
- • 1 medium zucchini
- • 1/2 tsp salt
- • 2 tsp olive oil
- • 1 tsp smoked paprika
- • Pinch ground pepper
- 1. Preheat oven to 250F & line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 2. Slice zucchini into 1/4 inch thick slices.
- 3. Place zucchini in layers into a colander, sprinkle with a little salt on each layer. Let drain one hour.
- 4. Brush parchment with 1 tsp of oil.
- 5. Pat zucchini slices dry with a paper towel and place on prepared baking sheet.
- 6. Brush tops with remaining oil and sprinkle with paprika and ground pepper.
- 7. Bake 45 minutes or until crispy.
Chef Tip: After 30 minutes, I usually check every 10 minutes, and as soon as I see the slices getting crispy, I remove.
Zucchini Apple Pancakes
- • 1 small zucchini, grated
- • 1 small apple, grated
- • 1 cup almond flour
- • ½ tsp baking powder
- • ½ tsp sea salt
- • 2-3 Tbsp almond butter
- • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped
- • 3 eggs
- • 1 Tbsp honey (raw, unheated)
- • 2 Tbsp of coconut oil
- 1.Beat the eggs, then add apples, zucchini, thyme, honey and almond butter. Set aside.
- 2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder.
- 3. Combine all ingredients into one bowl.
- 4. In a skillet, heat coconut oil.
- 5. Spoon mixture into equal portions in the skillet, turning over to evenly cook each side.
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
- • 1 cup shredded zucchini
- • 3 Tbsp dark chocolate chips
- • 2 Tbsp cacao powder
- • ¾ cup brown rice flour
- • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- • 2 large eggs
- • ¼ tsp sea salt
- • ½ tsp baking soda
- • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- • ¼ cup raw honey
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 2. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- 3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, honey, vanilla extract, cacao powder, coconut oil, baking soda and sea salt. Mix with a hand mixer for 2-3 minutes, or stir with a wooden spoon.
- 4. Sprinkle in brown rice flour, stir until combined evenly.
- 5. Stir in the shredded zucchini, and 2 Tbsp chocolate chips, mix well.
- 6. Pour batter into the prepared pan, and sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top.
- 7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- 8. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
Chef Tip: The only thing that would make this chocolate chip zucchini bread better would be to throw in 2 scoops of your favorite flavor of Low Carb Protein Blend.
Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins
- • 2 Tbsp flax meal
- • 6 Tbsp water
- • 1 cup almond flour
- • 1/2 cup coconut flour
- • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- • 2 tsp baking soda
- • 1 tsp sea salt (optional)
- • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- • 1 cup dates
- • 2 cups canned pumpkin
- • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- • 1/4 cup coconut oil
- • 3/4 cup zucchini grated
Paper muffin liners
- 1.Preheat oven to 350 F.
- 2. Combine flax meal and water and set aside.
- 3. Combine dry ingredients, cinnamon and allspice in a large bowl, set aside.
- 4. Add flax mixture, dates, coconut oil, pumpkin and cider vinegar into food processor. Process until everything is incorporated (and broken down).
- 5. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
- 6. Scoop into a greased muffin tin and cook for 45 mins.
- 7. Yields 12 muffins.
Chef Tip: You could also add chopped nuts and/or fruit if you would like. I have added both walnuts and blueberries, but I think cranberries would also be delicious in this recipe.