01 Apr Combineating: zucchini
I haven’t done a combineating in a while, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you should check my first one.
This is a series where I pick one or more ingredients and try to mix them into different recipes and, as you’ve probably guessed, this time I’m bringing zucchini to the table.
I know I’m not the only one that has gotten way too excited at TJ’s or Aldi or whatever store you like to visit the most, and bought like four zucchinis because they looked super pretty (and please don’t tell me I’m the only one that thinks vegetables and fruits can be pretty), and then got sick of making zucchini noodles by the end of the week, letting the other two or three zucchinis in the back of the fridge.
That happened to me more times than I’m proud to say, so I decided to do something about it and ta da! This combineating was born.
I’ll show you three different (and easy) ways to incorporate zucchini into your meals. And if you have any other zucchini recipes or suggestions, let me know! I’d love to try them out.
Of course the first one has to be the all-time favorite: zucchini noodles. If you have a spiralizer or anything similar, you probably bought it just to make these (I know I did, and convinced my mom to do it as well, hi mom!). They’re the best alternative to pasta or regular noodles if you’re trying to cut the carbs. Or if you want to eat a bigger portion but don’t want to overdo regular pasta, you can just mix these two together and I’m sure you won’t see a big difference! Except perhaps in having a fuller tummy when you’re done, which is always good.
I love zucchini noodles as a side for lunch, or even on their own for dinner. I know I’m always excited when it comes to food (and you can probably tell that from my foodventure series), but I try to balance everything by eating as healthy as I can when I cook at home, so I can try all those fantastic dishes whenever we go on a food mission and not feel guilty about it (I also do tons of HIIT and PIIT, but that’s a whole other story).
Bottom line is: these are fantastic and super easy to do. And you can just put some tomato sauce on top (I’m sure any pasta sauce works, and I’m curious on some pesto zucchini noodles!), or even just some olive oil and parmesan cheese! It depends on how fancy you want to be or how busy you are.
If you’re looking for an even easier recipe (and crunchier as well), zucchini chips are great! They’re also a low carb alternative and need almost no preparation. Just slice them with a knife or, if you’re luckier than I am, with a mandolin, put them in a tray, spray some olive oil and spices (I love using Mrs. Dash for this!), put them in the oven and voilá! You have zucchini chips.
You can slice them as thin or thick as you want them. I try to stay in the middle but that’s just me, I’m sure that thiner slices will make them taste even more like chips. Just be careful because the thinner they are, the quicker they cook! You do need to keep an eye on these while you wait. And if you have an air fryer, please try to make these for me! We don’t have one but we do have plans on getting one in the future, and this is one of the first things I want to try when we get it!
Last but not least, I want to share an all-time favorite for me at home! My mom used to make these all the time to squeeze some more vegetables into my diet without forcing me to eat a whole bowl of salad. I had forgotten how good these were and how much I liked them. They’re still an easy recipe, just not as quick or easy as the two previous ones.
For these I decided to fill them with ground turkey, but they work with ground beef, chicken, or even shredded chicken if you’d like. I’ve never tried them with any other kind of protein but I’m sure they’ll still taste great! Let me know if you have!
I just carved out the ‘boats’ and mixed all the zucchini I got with the ground turkey when I was preparing it (I also added chopped onions and peppers because they add such a great taste to it!), and then when the turkey was almost done, I filled the boats with it and put some almond cheese on top (Yes! Almond cheese does exist, but you can use regular shredded mozzarella) and put them into the oven for a little over 5 minutes. Just make sure that you turn it on broil (500F works for me, but keep an eye on them so you don’t burn the cheese!) and presto! You have zucchini boats.
As I said, these are super versatile because you can fill them with whatever protein you want and I’m sure they’ll taste great, and they’re a great way to incorporate some veggies into your meals if you don’t want to eat salad (just like me when I was little, or like G every single day of his adult life).
That’s it for today’s combineating! I hope you enjoyed these ideas and please let me know if you have any other zucchini recipes I should try. You can send me pictures or suggestions on Instagram (@michellelovestoeat), I love to hear back from you guys! And stay tuned for some sweet treats on Tuesday 😉