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Tag Archives: zucchini

Zucchini-Beef Enchiladas

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Enchiladas are one of my favorite foods, but they are a bit filling and heavy for summer fare.  I had a few zucchini to use up, and decided to try adding one to enchiladas.  Worked great, added some low-calorie nutrition & a little extra texture without detracting from the yummy flavor.  These were a hit, and we all liked them so much, I know I will never make my Mom’s Beef and Cheese Enchiladas without zucchini added in again.  And pssst: you can totally “bake” these in the microwave – doesn’t take long, just until the cheese is melted.

Zucchini-Beef Enchiladas

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium zucchini, quartered & chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
2 1/2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (or 1 packet store-bought)
2 tablespoons water
15 corn tortillas
1 (8 oz) package cheddar cheese, finely shredded
1 (19 oz) can red enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13 dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Heat skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil, swirling to coat bottom of pan.  Add the zucchini and cook about ten minutes, stirring often, or until soft.  Remove to a plate, then add the ground beef and cook until browned.  Drain and add taco seasoning, water, and the cooked zucchini.  Stir well and cook a few minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Wrap four tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds. Set aside a cup of the cheese to use for the top. Take tortillas one at a time, keeping the others wrapped, and put a little cheese in a line down the middle, then some of the beef mixture, about 2-3 tablespoons. Roll up tight and place in prepared dish. Repeat, warming additional tortillas as necessary, until all the filling is used. Pour enchilada sauce over the top, then sprinkle the remaining cheese over. Cover with foil and bake about 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Veronica’s note: I know it’s so much easier to buy pre-shredded cheese, but you just will never get the same glorious melt that you get with cheese you’ve shredded yourself. It’s worth the few minutes and extra clean up. Also, if you’d like to “bake” these in the microwave, it’s best to divide the recipe between two smaller microwave-safe dishes. Keep an eye on it and just let it go until the cheese is melted – should take five minutes or less. I prefer to do a few at a time on a plate.

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Chocolatey Chocolate Zucchini Bread

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Back when I made the super-fantastic Double Chocolate Banana Bread, I also made a loaf of chocolate zucchini bread, hoping it would turn out as good as the banana bread.  It was a huge, miserable disappointment.  Dry, and hardly any chocolate flavor.  I didn’t mention this on that post, but out of the blue, reader Caren K. mentioned she had a chocolate zucchini bread recipe that was to die for.  Of course I had to ask her for it, and she thankfully obliged.

This bread totally met my expectations!  As you can see in the pictures, I barely had half a loaf to photograph the next day because we couldn’t help but dig in, and dig in some more, while it was cooling the night before.  It is so incredibly moist, to the point of being fudgy, and I love the hint of cinnamon – it really adds some warmth and mystery to the bread.  You don’t taste the instant coffee, and I suspect it is there to enhance the chocolate flavor.  If so, I think it does its job well, as this bread is perfectly chocolatey!

Chocolatey Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 cups grated zucchini, measured after draining
1 ¼ cups (5 ¼ oz) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (3/4 oz) unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup (5.25 oz) sugar
1 large egg
6 tablespoons melted butter
¼ heaping teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
Mini semisweet chocolate chips for top, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray the bottom of an 8×4 loaf pan with oil; set aside. (I have an excellent nonstick pan, so you might want to spray the sides too, or use Miracle Pan Release if your baked goods tend to stick to yours.)

Grate zucchini and place in a colander in the sink to drain while you continue with the recipe. After it has drained, squeeze it to get out the extra liquid before measuring. Don’t pack the cups too much or your bread might be a little soggy the second day.

Whisk together the flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined. In a separate larger bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg until smooth. Add the melted butter, instant coffee granules, and vanilla extract and whisk until well combined. Add the shredded zucchini into the sugar mixture, then add the flour mixture in small sections, stirring to combine after each addition.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely on a rack.  If desired, sprinkle some mini chocolate chips over the top while it cools. The heat from the loaf will make them soften and melt a little and stick well to it.

Recipe source: Caren K.

You may also be interested in…

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins (healthy!)

Double Chocolate Rum Amish Friendship Bread

 

Zucchini Pizza Casserole

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Zucchini recipes abound this time of year and that usually makes me sad and wistful since I don’t grow them myself.  However, they are so prevalent at the farmer’s market that I was able to get super gigantic ones for just a quarter each!  Kitchen Bitch emailed me this recipe a couple weeks ago so I whipped it out to use one of them.  It is a good one–I would definitely make this again and next time might try a different meat (pepperoni or sausage)–I think the possibilities are pretty endless with this one.https://i1.wp.com/a2.ec-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/95/cf612b44822b4b02be9495843e2829b1/l.jpg

Zucchini Pizza Casserole
Adapted from
this recipe at www.tasteofhome.com
Serves 6 (9 Weight Watchers Points per serving)4 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Salt & pepper to taste
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes, extremely well drained

1 medium green pepper, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Spray a 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Place zucchini in strainer over a bowl; sprinkle with salt & gently toss. Let stand for 10 minutes. Squeeze out moisture. I took handfuls and squeezed them out over the sink–a ..LOT.. of liquid will come out!

While you’re waiting, whisk the eggs up with the parmesan and half of the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. When the zucchini has been squeezed out, stir it into the egg mixture & press into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.

Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 20 minutes.

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Meanwhile, cook beef, onion, garlic & spices over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add tomato sauce & tomatoes; spoon over baked zucchini mixture. 

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Sprinkle with remaining cheeses; sprinkle green pepper over the top. Bake 20 minutes longer or until heated through.

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