When I left for an eight-day vacation recently, I asked my wonderful friend, who looks after my garden when I’m away, to help herself to any of the squash, zucchinis and tomatoes as they ripened. She was tickled to have the fresh produce and I was thrilled to have her keeping my containers and flowerbeds watered! But, upon my return, I found she had missed one zucchini that was now approximately the size of Chicago! Two and a half feet long, this ball bat of a vegetable was intimidating in both length and girth.
Now I come from a real “Waste not, Want not” kind of background and challenged myself to find ways to use this monster up. I wracked my brains to think of ways to use up such a large quantity of zucchini . A little background here, my sweetie really views zucchini as one of the dreaded green vegetables, and I just recently got him to like it grilled. So my work was cut out for me!
First I thought to myself, “What have I liked with zucchini in it?” Well, there were those tasty pancakes with fruit jam I had years ago at a friend’s house. Just throw some egg, a few tablespoons of pancake mix and the zucchini together until it is the desired consistency and fry it up. For a real sweet and savory mix, top the pancakes with a fruit jam (plum and strawberry were the favorites).
Then, I already knew we could grill the zukes as a nice side dish with dinner. Super easy to make, all you have to do is cut the zucchini into rounds, brush on a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I used Trader Joe’s 21-spice combination this time and it was extra good!
Off to the computer for a Pinterest recipe search and, lo and behold, I found a chocolate zucchini cake recipe! That’s what I’m talking about! The recipe I used is below and I would recommend it. Only a box of cake mix, 3 eggs, 3 medium zucchini grated finely and a little water are needed. Mix it up and bake in an oiled loaf pan or two small loaf pans. Takes a little over 30 minutes at 350 F and you have a super moist chocolate cake. Something my husband is wild about is chocolate cake and this was a big hit. Since I had so much zucchini, I made a couple extra loaves and gave them to friends. We just drizzled a little chocolate syrup on ours, but you could make a confectioner’s sugar glaze or use icing as you please. Fairly low in calories and what a great way to sneak some veggies into your unsuspecting family : )