zucchini 1

Zucchini: A Great Addition to Your March Table!

Posted by Beth Peralta Cooking Healthy Eating

Though zucchini is officially classified as a summer squash, it is easy to find at the store all year long. Zucchini is a versatile vegetable and tastes great sautéed, baked into a casserole, added to soups, dipped raw into dip or added to top of a salad. And the extra bonus: zucchini's flowers (aka squash blossoms) are also edible! Our recipe below is a fun way to feature this vegetable and is a great one to get the kids involved in the kitchen.

Zucchini Nutrition: Zucchini is fat and sodium (salt) free, low in calories, and high in vitamin C.

Zucchini Selection: Choose zucchini squash that is green and shiny without cuts, holes, or bruising.

Zucchini Storage: Store fresh zucchini in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to three days. Wait to wash zucchini until right before using, as washing it can lead to the squash deteriorating more rapidly.

Zucchini Preparation: Wash zucchini under cool water, scrubbing gently with a towel or fingers to remove any dirt. Trim off ends of the squash before cutting to eat or use in a recipe.

Easy Veggie Pizza

Serves 4

Ingredients:

- 4 English muffins, split into halves

- ½ cup pizza sauce

- 1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced

- 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced

- 1 medium green or red bell pepper, diced

- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

- 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated

- ½ tsp. dried oregano

- ½ tsp. dried basil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place split English muffins, face up, onto a baking sheet.
  3. Spread 1 Tbsp. pizza sauce in the center of each English muffin half.
  4. Arrange vegetables (mushrooms, zucchini, and pepper) over sauce on English muffins.
  5. Combine mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and dried herbs in a small bowl.
  6. Sprinkle cheese and herb mixture over English muffin halves.
  7. Bake 15 minutes, until cheese has melted and muffins are crisp.
  8. Let cool for 1-2 minutes before serving.

Link to Recipe Online: http://go.illinois.edu/easy_veggie_pizza