|If you like zucchini, fresh basil, and cheese, you'll love this Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake.|
When I noticed how many people are visiting my round-up of 20 Zucchini Recipes I knew it was time to share this fantastic new zucchini recipe called Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake, recommended by my sister Pam. She found the recipe in Penzeys Back to School 2011 Catalog , where it was submitted by Karen Niessing. Pam changed the recipe a little and then I changed it a tiny bit more, and we were both impressed with how this very basic idea of tossing zucchini with a few fresh and dried herbs and cheese and then baking it can produce a dish that's so delicious. I could make an entire meal of this, but it would also be perfect as a zucchini side dish, and Pam told me she ate some of her leftovers for breakfast one day. If you have zucchini from your garden or the farmers market, you must try this!
This was my latest picking of zucchini and straightneck squash, and I used the four in the front in this recipe.
If you had really small zucchini you could just slice them, but I cut mine in half lengthwise and then into half-moon slices.
The recipe called for dried basil. Pam used about a tablespoon of chopped fresh basil. I bumped it up to nearly 4 tablespoons of fresh basil. You can adjust the amount of basil to your own tastebuds.
Pam had the idea of adding a few tablespoons of sliced green onions, which I thought was perfect in this recipe.
To keep this dish South Beach Diet friendly, I used this low-fat blend called Pizza Cheese. It's a mixture of Mozzarella, Provolone, Romano, and Parmesan cheeses with only 6 grams of fat in 1/4 cup. (You could use any type of low-fat white cheese.)
Toss together the sliced squash, chopped basil, sliced green onions, dried thyme, garlic powder, and both kinds of cheese. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Bake 10-15 minutes more, or until the cheese is melted and nicely browned and the zucchini is cooked through. Serve hot.
(Makes 4-6 servings; recipe adapted from a recipe by Karen Niessing in Penzeys Back to School 2011 Catalog, with suggestions from my sister Pam.)
2 medium-sized zucchini, cut in slices or half-moon slices
2 medium-sized yellow squash, cut in slices or half-moon slices
2-4 T chopped fresh basil (or even less, depending on how much you like the flavor of basil)
2 T thinly sliced green onion
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup + 1/2 cup low-fat white cheese (I used Pizza Cheese, which is a low-fat blend of Mozzarella, Provolone, Romano, and Parmesan)
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan (I would use a little less if you only have the very finely grated Parmesan from a can)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Spray an 8" x 8" baking dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. Wash the squash and cut in slices or half-moon slices. Wash basil, spin dry or dry with paper towels and finely chop. Slice green onions.
Combine the sliced squash, chopped basil, sliced green onions, dried thyme, garlic powder, and both kinds of cheese and stir together until the veggies are coated with cheese and the herbs are well-distributed. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Put the mixture in the baking dish and bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes.
When the zucchini is nearly cooked through, take the casserole dish out of the oven and sprinkle over the remaining 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Put the dish back in the oven and bake 10-15 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and nicely browned and zucchini is fully cooked. Serve hot.
This kept well in the fridge overnight, but mine was gone the next day so I don't know if it would last longer than that!
South Beach Suggestions:
This low-glycemic recipe would be a good choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet, although it might be a "once-in-a-while treat" due to the amount of cheese. Be sure to use low-fat cheese if you're making the dish for South Beach, and I would eat a small side-dish portion for phase one.
More Great Recipe Ideas for Using Zucchini:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Meat, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Zucchini Pizza Slices from Kalyn's Kitchen
Stuffed Zucchini with Brown Rice, Ground Beef, Red Pepper, and Basil from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Zucchini and Sausage Kabobs from Kalyn's Kitchen
Zucchini Breakfast Casserole from Simply Recipes
Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread from Gluten Free Goddess
Baked Zucchini Fries from Two Peas and Their Pod
Zucchini Pickles from Andrea Meyers
Zucchini with Golden Raisins, Pine Nuts, and Lemon from The Perfect Pantry
Greek Zucchini Fritters from Whipped
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)