Cooking On A Budget: Zucchini Parmesan

Friday, July 26, 2013

Zucchini Parmesan


This went beautifully along side of the seafood risotto.

Zucchini happens to be a favorite vegetable of mine and we grow in our garden. Recently I visited a web site that had a wealth of information regarding the health benefits of this wonderful vegetable. The dietary fiber found in zucchini aids in the digestive process helping to lower cholesterol by attaching itself to bile acids that the liver makes from cholesterol for digesting fat. It said, "Because fiber binds so well with the bile acid, thus crowding its ability to immediately digest fat, the liver is charged with producing more bile acid." Hence the consequence is a lowering of the overall cholesterol in the body. And they further state, "...the high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A prevent cholesterol from oxidizing in the body's blood vessels, thus hampering the onset of atherosclerosis." Atherosclerosis is the fatty plaque that can build up in your arteries. The vitamins and minerals found in the plant serve many other healthful purposes.

The saltiness of the cheese and the combination of flavors from the spices gave this vegetable the spark it needed. Here's how I made a delicious side dish with the zucchini:

  • 3 small zucchini, sliced (any way you want - rounds, half moons)
  • 1  1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • granulated garlic to taste
  • onion powder to taste
  • parmigiano reggiano or regular Parmesan cheese.
  1. Slice the zucchini and in a saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil.
  2. Add the zucchini to the pan, stir to coat with the butter/oil mixture.
  3. Add in all of the spices, stir and cook over medium heat. Let some of the zucchini get slightly brown.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium low, cover and cook until you get the desired tenderness.
  5. Right at the end shave in some of the cheese, cover to melt and you are ready to serve.
Because the zucchini came from our garden it costs just a few cents to make this dish. There were 3 good sized portions of this dish. If you buy zucchini you are looking at about $1.29 per pound. So with butter, cheese, spices it comes out to around $1.63. So for three servings it is only 54¢ each.

If you are cutting back on sodium, don't use the salt because the cheese is salty. And use just olive oil if you are trying to cut back on your butter intake. With no butter and just oil ramp up the heat if you like getting some caramelization on the zucchini. This recipe could also be made with summer yellow squash, but you may want to remove the seeds if they are large. Just slice lengthwise and use a spoon to dig out some of the seeds, or all of them.

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