zucchini glut

It’s zucchini season—and if you don’t have neighbors guiltily leaving you their surplus under the cover of nightfall so as to avoid detection, consider yourself very lucky!

I have four small raised beds in my back yard (although I keep threatening to go against all the homeowners’ association rules and tear up my front yard for a huge garden), and I learned a long time ago that even for four of us, one zucchini plant is plenty.

Only one. Only one.

(Sorry. I know Bill Cosby has fallen from grace—and yet his “Noah” remains one of the most quotable comedy routines I know.)

And now that it’s just two of us—soon to be three as my daughter returns from Germany and spends fall semester doing college online at home—I just leave the zucchini to my CSA.

It’s been a few years since I planted a garden. This year, with the pandemic affecting the food system and the grocery shopping experience, it felt like the right time to take it up again.

So far, I’ve had a bountiful harvest of dark leafy greens (spinach, arugula, gailan, and kale). Because dark leafy greens—you really can’t get enough of them.

The ground cherries are getting ripe, and the herbs are flourishing. The tomatoes have been a disappointment: huge plants, almost no fruit.

As for the cucumbers, well, I should have remembered that they are like zucchini. I foresee a lot of cucumber salads and even some cooked cucumbers (not popular in America, but a common ingredient in Chinese food).

Ah, you didn’t know that my first blog was on Chinese home cooking? Feel free to dig around on the Tangstein blog, just know that I no longer add new posts there, and I no longer believe canola oil is healthy, so use coconut, sunflower, or peanut oil in its place. (None of those compare to some good lard or bacon fat, though, just so you know.)

I’ve recently fallen in love with this recipe for a quick cucumber kimchee. Of course, I seem to be incapable of making any recipe (including my own) as written, so I substituted ground red chili flakes for the gochugaru and rice wine vinegar for the white vinegar.

And guess what? The recipe is even better made with zucchini!

I’ve made ratatouille, zucchini muffins, zucchini fritters, zucchini gratin and stuffed zucchini “boats.”

I plan to make a chocolate zucchini cake and decided against the zucchini crisp recipe (yes, it’s a dessert?) provided by my CSA farmers. I know—it’s technically a fruit, and yet….

I’m trying out a new plugin on my website, so here’s the first recipe using it—you can now print it out or save it as a PDF file, and you can even scale it up or down for more or fewer servings by clicking on the “yield” link!

(And if anyone knows how to make the duplicate image disappear, I’m looking for advice on that.)

Remember: our goal is to make 50–75% of our plate vegetables at every meal (yes, even breakfast). If you missed the series of workshops on healthy eating, you can catch the replay by joining my Simply: Health Coaching Facebook group and finding them in the Media tab.

make the connection

As a vegetable—well, technically a fruit—Zucchini is extremely healthy, full of the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) we need to make sure our bodies are putting the macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates) to their best use.

Try out my very versatile recipe for zucchini boats, then leave me a comment and let me know how else you like to cook zucchini.