Saturday, August 23, 2008

Val's Kid-Friendly Broiled Zucchini Rounds with Cheese

Broiled Zucchini with Cheese(Updated August 2008) I'm doing a summer project of updating all my recipes that don't have photos, and this method of cooking zucchini that I learned from my sister Valerie back in 2005 is an easy and delicious option if you have a garden that's producing a lot of zucchini. This version with a mild blend of low-fat cheese is something most of Val's very cute kids would gobble up, but if you want to make adult-friendly broiled zucchini rounds with cheese, just substitute a bit more assertive cheese like Mizithra or Parmesan. I think there are a number of cheeses that would work here.

Don't think this recipe is all about the cheese though. The way broiling barely cooks the zucchini, leaving it just slightly tender-crisp is one thing that makes this so good. You need to season the zucchini before you sprinkle the cheese on, and again the variations are endless. I used my perennial favorite Spike Seasoning, but other types of seasoning salt or spices like cumin, chile powder, or paprika would be good variations. If you have zucchini in your garden, give this a try, and if anyone comes up with an interesting variation, let us know in the comments.

One thing that is important here is to cut the zucchini slices the same 3/8 inch thickness. I used a mandoline just because I had one, but you can cut them by hand as well.

Spray the pan with non-stick spray (very important!) and lay out the zucchini slices so they completely cover the pan.

Season the top of each zucchini slice with Spike Seasoning, or whatever type of seasoning you're using.

Completely cover the top of the zucchini with cheese. (When I saw this photo I was surprised because it looks like more cheese than it really was. I used about 3/4 cup grated low-fat cheese for a small cookie sheet which I cooked in the toaster oven.)

Val's Kid-Friendly Broiled Zucchini with Cheese
(Full size cookie sheet makes about 6 servings, recipe from my sister Valerie.)

3-4 zucchini, 8-10 inches long (same size zucchini works best)
Spike Seasoning or your favorite season salt or spices to season zucchini
finely grated cheese, enough to cover zucchini (I used four cheese Mexican blend, a blend of low-fat cheeses)

Preheat broiler and put rack into middle position or about 4 inches away from broiler. Wash zucchini and cut off ends. Cut into slices about 3/8 inches wide. It's important that all zucchini slices are same width so they can cook evenly.

Spray a large round or rectangular baking sheet with non-stick spray. Cover baking sheet completely with zucchini rounds, putting them as close together as possible. Sprinkle each zucchini piece with Spike Seasoning or whatever seasoning salt or spices you're using.

Completely cover top of zucchini with grated cheese. Broil until cheese is browned and zucchini is barely tender, about 5-7 minutes. Serve immediately.

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South Beach Suggestions:
With low fat cheese and using a moderate amount of cheese, this is a great low-glycemic recipe for the South Beach Diet or any other low-glycemic eating plan.

More Ways to Cook Zucchini:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Ten Delicius Zucchini Recipes from Kalyn's Kitchen
Greek Style Zucchini Fritters from Closet Cooking
Shrimp, Eggplant, and Zucchini Spaghetti from Kath Eats Real Food
Eight Ball Stuffed Zucchini from A Veggie Venture
Zucchini Falafel from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once
Spaghetti Zucchini e Limone from What's For Lunch Honey?

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  1. Hi Kalyn,
    Question for ya--I'm trying to figure out a pattern here in your posts and it hasn't hit me yet--maybe you can straighten me out--are there certain days of the week that you discuss different food preparations? Like, if I wanted dessert recipes, would I know to come see you on a Friday, etc.? Or are these wonderful recipes just random? Enjoying your site--like the pictures, too--they make me hungry!!!! LOL

  2. I am glad you like the site. Oh my, I wish I was good enough at this to actually have a pattern. Really the recipes are just posted according to what I'm eating lately or what the foods are for that season (like right now I'm kind of doing zucchini, for obvious reasons). The only pattern is that when I'm posting something that isn't a recipe I use the maroon color and when there is a recipe I start with the green color.

    If you're looking for a certain thing you can use the search right above "about me" to search by ingredient. I'm not really into deserts so you won't find much of those except some raving about sugar free popsicles and no sugar fudgesicles.

    I'm hoping to get good enough at digital photography to take actual pictures of the food and post it with the recipe. Still working on that. Lots to learn. Thanks for visiting.

  3. Very tasty--we all enjoyed them. Rachel said "this zucchini is the bomb"! That is definitely a great endorsement.
    Thanks again for sharing.

  4. This may sound dumb but-what kind of cheese do I use in this recipe ( Val's Kid Friendly Zucchini Rounds with Cheese).

  5. I'm the dumb one for not specifying; hopefully I've learned a bit since then.

    My sister uses a blend of mild cheese because that's what her kids like. I think the time she made it for me it was a mild cheddar/jack cheese blend. I think any type of cheese that melts well and you like the flavor of will be great here.

  6. this looks so good. might try it out tonight!

  7. My sister and I used to make something really similar in college. We'd also make it with very thinly sliced potatoes. Delicious! Your 3rd grade classroom sounds like fun. I'm a former 3rd grade teacher and always miss it when it's back to school time.

  8. I love how this recipe is simple and at the same time offers so many variations. I can see myself making it very soon as I am still receiving quite a few courgettes in my weekly basket.

  9. Anything zucchini is YUM to me. Add cheese and you definitely have a winner. I'm going to make some tonight with sprinkling of parm cheese after seasoning with some garlic powder and oregano. After the broiling I'm going to sprinkle with fresh chopped basil (I have TONS of basil right now, in fact, I keep meaning to do your freezing method with some of it.) Thanks for a great blog. Love the potato idea, too, that someone just mentioned and may do that, too, tonight.
    Have a great school year!

  10. Yum. This sounds really good. Plus anything with zucchini is good in my book.

  11. No, no, no, I am happy with the kids version, thank you very much :)

  12. Not just for looks great to me and I intend to try it though I'm thinking I'd mix some bread crumbs with a little olive oil and put a little less cheese. I guess that would be the Italian spin...oreganata.

  13. Zucchini broiled with cheese sound so simple and yet good!

  14. Not only kid friendly but me friendly - This really looks great and what a wonderful way to incorporate a great veggie into the picture.

  15. excellent idea! i'll try this one out ;)

  16. Thanks for posting this recipe. I had a zuchini sitting on my counter for the past week. I was trying to think of what to make with it when I saw this recipe! My husband & kids "don't like zuchini"; my husband was brave & tried one - trying to convince our kids to do the same. My husband & son enjoyed it - my husband ate several which I was happily surprised!

    Thanks for this simple recipe - and for helping me to get my family to eat zuchini!
    ~ Leanne from Canada

  17. I'm so happy people can see the attraction in this simple recipe! Leanne, I'll be sure to tell my sister. She'll be happy to know it was such a hit at your house.

  18. Funny that you posted this today. I missed it the first time 'round. When I was a kid, mom made us a modified version of this ... sliced lengthwise, parboiled, then topped with parmesan, salt and paprika.

    I hadn't eaten zucchini this way in about 10 years, and on Friday night I made parmesan zucchini boats. Glad to see I'm not the only one who does things like this. :)

  19. I said I would make these last night and I did. YUMMY! A little dried oregano, garlic powder, s&p and parmesan cheese, then fresh basil. I love it! Got the kids to try it. Super easy.

  20. This looks absolutely wonderful - a combination of two of my favourite foods! I also love the way that you can make it as nursery food, or make it all grown-up with Parmesan. Definitely book marked!

  21. I really want to make this! Problem is, I went to the store today and a small little zucchini is $1.60 each!! I would need $5 worth to make a family appetizer. I should go to the farmer's market and see if they are having a three for a dollar sale. I love that :)

  22. Hi Kalyn!
    I really like zucchini and my husband and kids think I'm nuts. This recipe, though, might just meet with their approval. And if not, it sounds great to me.

    Thanks so much for the creative idea.


  23. Just tried this tonight and it was super tasty! I used a combination of kosher salt, garlic powder, paprika and a bit of black pepper as the seasoning. Even my zucchini-hating husband admitted that it was good. Thanks!

  24. Leslie, glad to hear it was a hit. I'll have to tell my sister!

  25. These look delicious!

    I also like your idea of updating old recipes with photos.

  26. Thanks Alea. It's a never-ending job to update the old recipes where you don't like the photo, but you want to cook some of these old favorites again so it's not all bad!

  27. I love this recipe! It is healthy, tasty, and ready in under ten minutes-- great for a pregnant mom with two young kids. My picky 4 yr old turned her nose up but my 22 month old chowed down. It hits all the right pregnancy craving buttons so I'll probably be making it at least once a week.

  28. Karen, so glad you liked it, and the funniest thing of all is that Val's kids are here staying at my house right now!


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