Saturday, July 16, 2011

"You Choose" - Sarah's ingredient: Zucchini

"You Choose" - Sarah's ingredient: Zucchini

Are you familiar with my summer blog series, "You Choose"?  I posted about this on My Facebook Page a few weeks ago .  In short, I asked some of my friends & page followers to suggest an ingredient that they'd like to see in a (fairly) healthy recipe.  My assignment is to find a recipe, tweak it to make it more my own, and blog about it.  I'll also give a shout out to the person who recommended that particular ingredient in the post on my Facebook page.  What a fun summer challenge for me - and BONUS - I get to try all of these new recipes!

Would you like to participate too?  Please visit my Facebook page, click on "Notes" and add your ingredient - a veggie, a fruit, an herb, a root...(anything that's not meat).  I'd love to see some more fresh, seasonal things that I can find at a farmer's market.  If you can't find the note, no worries!  Just comment on my page.  I'll see it.  I encourage and am asking for more participation, so please join in!  Here's the link: Fit & Healthy Mommy

When my friend Sarah suggested zucchini, I thought "Sweet!!  I love zucchini!"  Originally I was planning on a stuffed zucchini, but the thought of using the zucchini in place of noodles in a casserole or lasagna became very appealing to me.  I was torn between making a traditional Italian version of lasagna, replacing the pasta with the zucchini, or making a Mexican lasagna, replacing the tortilla with zucchini.  I asked Josh what he preferred and he said the Mexican version.

So, tonight I made a Mexican Lasagna with Zucchini.  It was AWESOME!!  Let's see if I can now recall what I did.  I made it up as I went along.

~ 2 large or 3 medium zucchini
~ bag of frozen Morningstar soy crumbles, partially thawed

~ can of unsalted organic black beans, drained & rinsed well
~1/2 small onion, diced
~ pouch of Frontera red chile simmer sauce (I found this at My Organic Market)
~ 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
~ 5 wedges Laughing Cow Light original swiss cheese
~ approx. 2-3 T plain almond or skim milk
~ cumin
~ chili powder

I used a mandolin and thinly sliced the zucchini lengthwise.  Let me back up for a second.  Have you used a mandolin before?  If not, let me give you a tip.  You know the little handle/safety guard that you're supposed to use to hold the vegetable or fruit in place while slicing?  Yeah, don't be a hero and tell yourself you don't need it for a large veggie like zucchini.  I was not paying close attention as I was slicing and I sliced right through my finger nail and cut my finger pretty badly.  It's no joke.  Use the handle/guard - re-guard-less (haha).

Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Once the zucchini is sliced, steam it for a few minutes to soften it.  Remove it from the heat and put it to the side.  (I added more water to the pot I used to steam the zucchini and I boiled corn on the cob in there to go with dinner.)

In a second wide pot, spray a little olive oil and add the Morningstar crumbles to the pot, along with the diced onion.  Let that cook about 8 minutes, stirring often. Add the black beans and the red chile sauce and heat it through, then remove from heat.

While that is cooking, put the 5 wedges of Laughing Cow in a bowl and add the milk.  Mash the cheese with a fork and then microwave for about 45 seconds.  Add cumin & chili powder.  I did not measure, but I'd say and 1/2 tsp of each.  Stir together to make a sauce, a bit like queso.

Time to assemble!  Lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish with olive oil.  Layer the bottom of the dish with slices of zucchini.  Add 1/2 of the soy crumble/bean mixture and top with sparse dollops of your cheese sauce.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese.  Repeat a layer of zucchini, the rest of the soy crumble/bean mixture, and the rest of the cheese sauce.  Top that with the rest of the zucchini slices and top that with the rest of the shredded cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and heated through.

I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but it was SO good.  We both had seconds!  Now, onto the pictures. Please forgive the lack of pictures today.  Between the finger-slicing incident and getting a new puppy today, my camera skills were lagging.

Soy crumbles, onions & black beans (before adding chile sauce)

After baking

Dinner is served!!  I filled 1/2 of my plate with salad
AWW!!  Welcome to our family, Tyson! ♥


  1. Looks very good. Might have to try this one sometime. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I have tons of this stuff growing in my Garden. That's for the great recipe. Now I know what to do with it. :)

  3. Great!! If you end up trying it, please post here and let us know about any substitutions or changes you make. :o)

  4. Love your site. I use Blogger too. Can you tell me how you got those Facebook and Twitter boxed? Thanks for the recipe too!


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