Growing up as a kid, I was a notoriously finicky eater. I wouldn’t go near anything that was a shade of green, and considered eating vegetables in the form of french fries or crispy onion garnishes that appeared on salads (I obviously wouldn’t touch the salad). As I’ve gotten older and as I started to broaden my understanding of both nutrition and home cooking, my appreciation for good vegetable dishes has gone up substantially. How much I’ve grown into being a veggie lover is found in my deep fondness for zucchini and the vast number of recipes that are out there from both a sweet and savory perspective. Zucchini recipes used to intimidate me since eating something like that in volume seemed off-putting. Not so much now. On a weekly basis I have a few pounds of this wonderful summer squash lying around and zucchini recipes at the ready to make something new and fun with it. Combined with the fact that I also caved and bought a Paderno spiralizer, and I can honestly say that eating zucchini really excites me. You’ll find a lot of zucchini recipes for side dishes, but what I’ve found is that you can sneak in eating an entire zucchini before lunchtime and after 6pm. So, in knowing all of that, I thought I’d share a few of my current favorite ways to eat zucchini and some of my recipes that I swear by on a weekly basis. Hooray for zucchini and the all of the wonderful zucchini recipes that are Paleo, macro-friendly, low-carb, sweet, savory, and everything in between!
I honestly was unsure about how to incorporate zucchini at breakfast until I read up on “zoats.” In an effort to find a way to make breakfast filling, but also macro-friendly and nutritious, finding zoats have been a life saver for me. Since I also like eating my protein rather than drinking it in the form of a post-workout shake, I also throw in some egg whites! Below is my rendition of Zoats, which can be topped with anything your heart desires (I like bananas right now – especially for some post-workout carbs!). A few other ideas for zucchini breakfast recipes are also listed!
Kitchen Guadzuka “ProZoats”:
1 packet of Quaker Instant Oatmeal (I like Lower Sugar Maple & Brown Sugar or the Weight Control Banana Bread)
1/2 cup egg whites
6 oz. shredded zucchini (approximately 1 medium zucchini)
Stevia or preferred sweetner to taste
1. Combine all ingredients into a microwave safe bowl. Stir everything together and mixing well. Be sure to stir from underneath to get all the flavors combined.
2. In :30 increments, microwave everything until the consistency is up to your liking. I like my ProZoats a little more on the thicker, porridge-y side, so it takes me somewhere between 2:00 – 2:30-ish for it to be done. After every :30, I give everything a quick mix to make sure the egg whites don’t turn into solids. If you overdo it on the microwaving, you end up with too many egg white solids which makes for a dried out ProZoats. Vigorous mixing in between the short microwave increments prevents the solids from forming!
3. Top with anything you want! I’ve topped mine with 50g – 100g of banana, but also have thrown in some grass-fed butter or some Chocolate PB2.
HOLY VOLUME! I haven’t mixed in any protein powder, but that could also be another way to go to try and up the protein amount with some additional flavoring. This has definitely kept me full for awhile and is a great way to get in my veggies early on.
Other breakfast zucchini recipes:
- Paleo zucchini fritters via Stupid Easy Paleo
- Zucchini and egg breakfast via Paleo Leap
- Zucchini breakfast casserole via Simply Recipes
There’s something deliciously filling about having a burger for lunch. But in my case, having a huge beef patty generally leads to a food coma, and usually has more fats that I can accommodate from macro perspective. I came across this AMAZING turkey burger recipe from Gina Homolka’s SkinnyTaste cookbook (one of my favorites!) which utilizes grated zucchini to “beef” up the burger. When combined with a refreshing salad that uses cucumbers and fresh tomatoes, this made a complete and delicious meal that I had for lunch that kept me full. Not only that, but this was super easy to whip up after work and made for absolutely amazing leftovers the day after!
Other lunch zucchini recipes:
- Cream of Zucchini Soup via Skinnytaste
- Grilled Zucchini Hummus Wrap via HelloHealthy
- Provençal White Bean Salad via The Clever Carrot
I’m a big believer now in a vegetable spiralizer. When the idea of eating Paleo first came out and “zoodles” were the thing, I sort of thought it was silly. How can you possibly replace noodles and their infinite gluten-filled awesomeness with a squash? Well, the truth of it is, it will never replace what pasta can do. But, what you can do is make a super awesome kick ass sauce like you would for a pasta dish and top your zucchini noodles with it! I’ve made The Domestic Man’s Superior Spaghetti Sauce a number of times and I think it’d be an amazing way to dress up your spiralized squash. Other ways that I’ve used zoodles is in the place of noodles in stir frys as well. I recently made this super easy shrimp & scallion dish from Martha Stewart and rather than eating it with white rice, I used zoodles instead! Here are a few other ways you can top off your zucchini noodles with some great looking sauces!
Other dinner zucchini noodle recipes:
- Superior Spaghetti Sauce from The Domestic Man
- Zucchini Noodles with Pesto from Two Peas & Their Pod
- Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai from White On Rice Couple
We all know about zucchini bread and how awesome it is. I for one was highly skeptical of eating bread that had shredded zucchini in it. As it turns out, it wasn’t until I made Cooking Light’s Chocolate Zucchini Bread that I found out that eating zucchini bread doesn’t have to suck. In fact, it’s got a lot of dessert like qualities! The consistency of the bread turns into soft, moist almost cake-like because of the use of oil and the moisture from the shredded zucchini. But, using zucchini in bread isn’t the only way to go! You can throw it into brownies, whoopie pies, muffins, and cakes! Check out a few of the ways I’d like to use my zucchini in desserts!
Other dessert zucchini recipes:
- Zucchini Bread Cookie Whoopie Pies from Iowa Girl Eats
- Zucchini Brownies from Crazy for Crust
- Zucchini Pie from Little Sous Chef
- Zucchini Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life
So there you have it! Zucchini four different kinds of ways that address your sweet and savory palates. I hope this gives you some ideas to put those green oblong shapes to good use. Stay updated on what I’m making these days via Instagram too – especially for those desserts!