Monday, May 5, 2014

Dinner Diva: Zucchini - Tips, Tricks and a Recipe

Today's focus is on Zucchini

I am lucky enough to have some planted in my garden and it's going crazy. I've had about 4 zucchini so far and YUM, delish! Here are some things you need to know about zucchini:

Massively low in calories--one large zucchini is only 16 calories!

Plenty of phyto nutrients including beta-carotene, B vitamins, a little vitamin C and plenty o' potassium!

Here's a TIP:

Small to medium sized zucchinis are most tasty. Look for a smooth, unblemished skin and nice dark green color. Tasty zucchs skin should feel soft, but the zucchini itself should be hard and not squishy (that means its past its prime, yuck!)

Here's Today's TRICK:

To change things up, I grate my zucchini, sautéing it in garlic and olive oil, topping it with a little freshly grated Romano cheese and fresh ground pepper. Nice side dish and almost rice-like or pasta-like in texture.

And your RECIPE:

(from Saving Dinner the Vegetarian Way)

Mediterranean Orzo Salad
Serves 6

2 1/4 cups orzo

2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced

15 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

6 green onions, thinly sliced

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1 large tomato, seeded and cubed

1 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded, deribbed and chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 cloves garlic, pressed

1 1/2 teaspoons oregano

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

Prepare orzo according to package directions; Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain again very thoroughly. Place in a large bowl.

Stir in the zucchini, olives, green onions, celery, tomato, and green bell pepper.

In a small bowl, beat together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, dill, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and toss to coat well. Sprinkle on the feta cheese and toss again. Add the mayonnaise and toss gently. Chill at least for 2 hours and bring to room temperature before serving.

Per Serving: 575 Calories; 34g Fat; 14g Protein; 57g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 28mg Cholesterol; 528mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 Grain (Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 5 1/2 Fat.

SERVING SUGGESTION: Serve with a simple caprese salad: sliced ripe tomatoes, layered with fresh basil leaves, sliced mozzarella and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Fresh ground pepper over the top finishes it beautifully.

Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

Your Dinner Diva at your service on

Copyright (C) 2010 Leanne Ely, CNC All rights reserved.

1 comment:

Fairytales and Fitness said...

I would Love to have a garden full of zucchini like you!