More Ways To Use Zucchini

We have a lot of zucchini right now.  I think that’s the case for most people who grow it, and like most, I’m always looking for ways to use it in interesting and tasty recipes.  I’ve made several dozen zucchini muffins over the last week or so, and frozen them.  This is the recipe I used, although I altered it a bit.  I cut the sugar in half (and they are officially approved by my two-year-old) and used ground flax seed instead of the Ener-G egg replacer (don’t know what that is, and I typically use ground flax + water in baking recipes that call for an egg).  I also used maple syrup instead of agave nectar, and skipped the crumb topping.  I’ve made them with pecans and walnuts, and both are fantastic.  I love the fact that I have about 50 whole wheat, zucchini-filled muffins in the freezer right now.

Today, I decided to see what I could do with this recipe for zucchini cakes.  I know, a Paula Deen recipe seems like the last thing on Earth that I’d cook, but this worked amazingly well with the adaptations I made, and it used up a ton of zucchini.  My guys both loved it, so I thought I’d share.  I only had one yellow squash on hand, so I used that and five zucchini.  I used a mixture of dry oats and bread crumbs instead of just bread crumbs.  I also used Daiya vegan cheese (mozzarella – I buy it in bulk at the food co-op) instead of the Parmesan cheese.  And instead of an egg, I used a tablespoon of ground flax seed (I didn’t add any extra water at this step, because the zucchini was still pretty moist even after I pressed most of the liquid out of it).  I was out of Italian seasoning, so I used Old Bay instead.  And I added half of a bell pepper to the food processor when I was chopping the onion, simply because it was taking up space in the fridge.  If you eat eggs and dairy, by all means use the ingredients called for in the recipe.  But this recipe worked great with the substitutions I made, so it’s pretty flexible, and can easily be adapted for people who are sensitive to those ingredients or choose to not eat them.

There was no way that I was going to fry anything in half a cup of butter, so I decided to bake my creation instead.  Instead of making cakes, I turned it into a casserole and just baked it for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees.   We devoured two thirds of it at lunch today, along with some fresh ears of corn from our backyard.

Right now, I’m loving recipes that use up lots of zucchini.  And a recipe that has zucchini as it’s primary ingredient is likely to be pretty inexpensive at this time of year… if you aren’t growing your own, chances are someone you know is, and will be more than happy to share!

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  1. Dani_PA says

    There’s a Mark Bittman recipe for yellow squash/zucchini cakes in “How to Cook Everything” (yellow original hardcover) that’s pretty good- it’s nearly the same recipe. I added curry powder, jalapeno and cilantro to mine, and used panko instead of regular breadcrumbs. They turned out VERY, VERY delicious. You could do an Italian kind with red peppers and basil too.

  2. says

    have you ever tried zucchini pancakes? my mom and dad love them. zucchini isn’t much my thing. I do put zucchini in lasagna when I get a lot of zucchini.

  3. Helena says

    I’ve attempted that Paula Deen recipe before, pretty much as she has it written, and I can say that when I tried to fry them in the pan (using olive oil, but still) they fell apart, so I ended up baking them as a casserole as you did. Worked much better and just as tasty. I think part of it was the moisture–they were so wet, even after I tried to press the moisture out, that they simply couldn’t hold together.

  4. FrugalBabe says

    Dani – Curry powder, cilantro, and jalapeno… mmm! Those are some of my favorite seasonings, and I’m sure that would taste great.
    Leah – zucchini pancakes sound great. I’ve been known to add everything from swiss chard to tomatoes when I make pancakes!
    Kelly – Wow – that sounds interesting! I love a challenge, although sweet recipes are tougher, because it’s harder to come up with a substitute for sugar… but send it over and I’ll give it a try: babe at frugalbabe dot com.
    Helena – I saw in the comments on that recipe that some people salted the zucchini and left it overnight in a strainer with a weight on it (sort of the way you would press tofu) and had better results. I don’t think you can get enough moisture out just by pressing it. But we were happy with it as a casserole, so I think I’ll just continue to do it that way.

  5. says

    I discovered Paula Deens zucchini patty recipe earlier this summer and have been making large batches of them and putting them in the freezer for later. I use more eggs (I love eggs!) and substitute olive oil for the butter.

  6. M- says

    Hey Frugal Babe,

    I was wondering what kind of music do Frugal Hubby and you listen to? I can see you jam’n out to Jack Johnson, and a little Black Eyed Peas when you are in a fun mood. Do you listen to the radio or are you a big fan of free radio on the internet, like pandora? I can also see you back yard oasis with some tikki torches and a little hibachi with roast veggies on it.

    Thank for taking a positive spin on a life! Refreshing and happy!!! nice…


  7. CRANETL22 says

    I too have been experimenting with zucchini recipes this summer. One of my favorites was zucchini enchiladas.

  8. says

    M – Your comment made me laugh, as I read it while sitting on the back porch last night, surrounded by tikki torches. And it also made me (and my husband) laugh because we can’t stand Jack Johnson. My husband and I do share a few favorites (Linkin Park and Tom Petty come to mind), but for the most part, our taste in music is pretty different. I will admit to liking both Cher and Lady Gaga (and sometimes turning up the volume and dancing around the kitchen), both of whom make my husband want to stick a fork in his eye ;) I also love Bruce Springsteen, The Killers, Sarah McLachlin, James Blunt, Tracy Chapman, Boy Dylan and Dave Matthews… and the list goes on. I’ve been frugal since I was a little girl, but the one deviation from that path was music in the mid – late 90s. During college, I bought a lot of CDs (probably about 200) and I love listening to music. I recently transferred all of my music to my computer and donated the discs to the public library, which was great in terms of getting rid of physical clutter and making my music more accessible (we don’t have a stereo – the computer doubles as a TV and music player for us). But it was a little bittersweet to get rid of a collection of CDs that took me years – and lots of money! – to build. I will say, it’s much better this way, and I’m glad I don’t have a bunch of CDs sitting around anymore.
    My husband is a big fan of Pandora, but I tend to go to YouTube when I want to hear a song that I don’t already have in my collection.
    Thanks for reading, and I’m glad you enjoy my positive spin!

  9. Nathalie says

    Hey Frugal Babe,
    I’ve been following your blog for a while and I am really enjoying your posts! I love the design of your blog!
    I will definitely be trying the casserole dish…yum… plenty of zucchini in the garden!
    This may be a daft question, but could you kindly give some advice on freezing/defrosting muffins? It never occured to me to actually freeze baked goods, silly me ;-)
    Thanks a lot and best wishes from the UK :-)

  10. says

    Thanks! Freezing things like muffins is very easy. Since it’s so easy to double or triple a recipe, I often make a lot and freeze most of them, which makes them easy to grab whenever we’re in need of a quick snack.
    All you have to do is let the muffins cool completely on a wire rack, and then put them in an airtight container or bag. In general, I tend to freeze stuff in glass containers, but for things like muffins, I’ll use zip-lock bags because it’s so much easier to get the extra air out of those. (I always wash and re-use my zip-lock bags) I put four or five muffins in a bag, close the bag most of the way, and then stick a straw into the opening and use it to suck out all the extra air. This pulls the bag tightly against the muffins and prevents freezer burn. Pull the straw out and seal the rest of the bag without letting any air back in, and then put them in the freezer.
    You can defrost them at room temperature or in the microwave if you’re in a hurry. I usually just take them out of the freezer, out of the bag, and put them on a wire rack to thaw until they’re ready to eat.

  11. says

    I love zucchini! I love stuffed zucchini with rice & tomato sauce. I love them in my zucchini-pineapple muffins. And chocolate-zucchini cake to stir fries. BTW, thanks for reminding me that I have a ton of it in my freezer just waiting to be used (a neighbor kept giving me tons of zucchini – LOL. I couldn’t keep up with it quick enough!)

  12. Nathalie says

    Hey Frugal Babe,
    thank you so much for the detailed explanation! I did feel a bit silly asking , so I really appreciate you taking the time to reply!
    Great idea to re-use the ziplocks. I always hesitate using them as I have always just discarded them after use. I assume you rinse them with soapy water?

    Off to do some baking now…

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