Zucchini – one of my personal favorites – is a very sneaky food, for a few reasons:
- Most people think of it as a vegetable, because it is often treated as one, although it is actually a fruit;
- It is one of the classic “bumper crops,” meaning that those who grow it usually end up with a much larger quantity than they had expected; and
- It can be “snuck” into a variety of foods to instantly make them healthier. Zucchini bread is a classic example, and I also like grating or roasting it and adding it to almost any pasta dish. To roast, slice zucchini into thin circles. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil and coated with non-stick spray. Season with pepper and garlic salt, to taste, and drizzle with olive oil. Cook for 12 minutes at 425°; flip and cook for another 12 minutes, or until slightly firm and browned.
In the following recipe (perfect as an appetizer, side dish, or main course), zucchini takes center stage. There is no need to hide (or hide from) this nutritious, delicious food, as zucchini is extremely low in calories; has a very high water content (so it will keep you full and hydrated); and is a good source of fiber, B vitamins, Vitamins C and A, and iron.
3 small zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 handful of baby carrots, cut into quarters
1 large handful of leafy greens
your favorite pesto sauce
fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1. Lay the sliced zucchini flat on a hard surface, layer with the pesto, and add greens and veggies.
2. Starting from the veggie end, roll and stick with a toothpick in the center.
3. Top with cracked pepper. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from One Green Planet