A to Z the “Abundance of Zucchini”–a sweet & spicy take on the old zuke

>garden food 015garden food 023
August is coming to an end and zucchini is abundant, hence the need arises to invent some new recipes to use up these lovely long green things…

Using lots of fresh-from-the-garden goodies I made the most delicious LASAGNA I have ever had– twice!

But, First I went sweet, and found most zucchini breads/cakes/loaf recipes used only a little over 1 cup of zucchini—that’s not enough! I wanted to use MORE! and I had alot of other stuff to use up in the fridge too, like sour cream, lemons and blackish bananas. So, I got busy and TA DA! introducing…..a moist, delicious, sweet, & actually quite HEALTHY cake….full of fruit & veggies, whole grains and some protein

    COCONUT BANANA LEMON ZUCCHINI CAKE
    COCONUT LEMON BANANA ZUCCHINI CAKE
    COCONUT BANANA ZUCCHINI LEMON CAKE

(i cant decide…maybe something like “summer-harvest” cake)

    first bowl:

2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup of ground flax (i used golden, but I’m sure it doesn’t matter)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2/3c cranberries (if you get minimally-processed ones…extra excellent!)
2/3c shredded coconut (or more, http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/)
2/3c sugar (more or less to your liking)
3 tbsp poppy seeds (or more, http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-poppy-seeds-5632.html)
1/2tsp salt
note to self: next time add 1/2 cup slivered almonds, adds protein & couldn’t hurt!

second bowl:

4 large eggs (protein baby!)
1/2c sour cream (next time I will use yogurt–less fat, more protein)
2c shredded zucchini (one good medium sized)
2 mashed ripe bananas (medium size)
2 tsp vanilla
1/4c grapeseed oil
zest of one lemon (or orange, or both)
juice of one lemon (or one orange, about 4 tbsp)

mix contents of both bowls together & bake till golden & firm in center
350 degrees for about 35 minutes or more…depends on your cake pan–could make muffins or loaf, but definitely watch your time…

    LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

1/3c cream cheese, 1/4c butter, 1/2 c icing sugar, tbsp of lemon juice (in this case I used “realemon”) rind of 1/2 orange or a few chopped cranberries–makes it extra pretty & tasty

    SPICY ZUCCHINI & GARDEN-GREENS LASAGNA

Delicious made with garden-fresh herbs and can use both a huge garden zucchini & a massive amount of leafy garden greens (spinach, chard, beet greens) depending on the size of pan you use…I made a big one–it could feed 12! (I froze half–it defrosts wonderfully) be sure to put the zucchini on the lower layer as it’s can be more difficult to cut thru & keep lasagna together when its higher up

ZESTY TOMATO SAUCE–chop or mince lots of GARLIC (I used about 8 cloves), simmer in 1/4 cup OLIVE OIL, with a VEG BROTH CUBE, 1 tbsp CHILI PEPPER, SALT & PEPPER, simmer for 10 minutes; then add 2 CANS/JARS TOMATO PUREE & 1 CAN DICED TOMATOES + A COUPLE OF FRESH CHOPPED TOMATOES & FEW SPRIGS OF FRESH GARDEN OREGANO adjust seasoning…let simmer and continue. (take out oregano before using)

Slice a BIG ZUCCHINI (or eggplant) or a few smaller ones into 1/2 inch slabs lightly brush with olive oil (or spray oil) & salt –then grill on med/low BBQ for about 5 minutes on each side.

Combine 1X500gr RICOTTA CHEESE with 2X500gr COTTAGE CHEESE, 1/2 cup PARMESAN, SALT & PEPPER and plenty of finely minced FRESH GARDEN BASIL (I buy ricotta & cottage when its on sale and freeze it for these occassions–works just as well as fresh) taste and adjust seasoning

chop a bunch of GARDEN GREENS (I used “alot” of beet greens, spinach & chard) lightly steam in steamer basket over boiling water until just wilted

Spray-Oil your lasagna pan well.

Spoon a generous amount(1c) of sauce into the bottom of the pan, layer with OVEN-READY LASAGNA NOODLES (make sure you have enough boxes–I used almost 3) layer on GRILLED ZUCCHINI
Now divide your remaining sauce in 3 parts–add another layer of PASTA & SAUCE; then add RICOTTA CHEESE mixture by dollops & spread gently; add more PASTA & SAUCE; then top with STEAMED GREENS; another layer of PASTA & SAUCE & finish with generous sprinkle of MOZZARELLA CHEESE

cover with FOIL and bake for 45 minutes at 350degrees
–ABSOLUTELY YUMMY!! YUMMY, YUMMY, YUMMY!
garden food 026

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