Zucchini Dishes with Lisa Lewey-Shields

We're heading to the garden for today's recipes!

Rantoul, Ill. (WCIA) - It is Zucchini Season! Everyone has been given zucchini... small or large, but is it a vegetable or is it a fruit?  We find out today with guest chef, Lisa Lewey-Shields.

One Pot Teriyaki Beef Zoodles + Meal Prep!

From blog Life Made Sweeter



1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce (gluten free tamari or coconut aminos for a paleo version)

4 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

2 tablespoons cornstarch (or use arrowroot or tapioca starch for a paleo version)

2 tablespoons water, plus more as needed (to thin out sauce)

For the zoodles

2 tablespoons olive oil (coconut oil for paleo)

8 ounces flank steak, sliced against the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Salt and black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup pineapple chunks (drained if using canned)

4-5 medium zucchinis, cut into noodles using a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler (blotting with a paper towel helps to absorb excess moisture)

Salt, black pepper and red chili flakes to taste, optional)


Sesame Seeds

Lunch containers, for meal prep


1. For the sauce: Combine all the ingredients (except for the water) for the sauce into a medium bowl.

2. In a separate large bowl, combine steak with salt, pepper, sesame oil and drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of sauce over top. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes.

3. For the zoodles: In a large bowl, combine steak with salt, pepper, sesame oil and cornstarch. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes.

4. Heat cooking oil in a large skillet on medium high heat until pan starts to get smoky. Add beef and allow to sear and brown on all sides, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer onto a plate.

5. Return pan to heat. Heat another 1 tablespioon of oil, add pineapples and cook until caramelized, around 2-3 minutes. Stir the beef and sauce, coating all the ingredients. Turn heat to high and allow sauce to bubble and thicken up. Add reserved water, little by little, as needed to thin out the sauce.

6. *If cooking the zucchini noodles, add into pan and use tongs to toss and coat with sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes until zucchini is just tender but still firm. Be careful not to overcook.

7. Serve immediately and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.

8. For meal prep - divide evenly into lunch containers. Store in fridge for up to four days.


*Be careful not to overcook zucchini noodles - leave them in the pan no more than 1-2 minutes as they continue to soften once they cook.

Fried Zucchini

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis


Olive oil, for frying

1 3/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan

1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3 medium zucchini, cut into 3-inch long by 1/2-inch wide strips


Pour enough oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F.

Stir 1 1/2 cups Parmesan, the panko, and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Whisk the eggs in another medium bowl to blend. Working in batches, dip the zucchini in the eggs to coat completely and allow the excess egg to drip back into the bowl. Coat the zucchini in the panko mixture, patting to adhere and coat completely. Place the zucchini strips on a baking sheet.

When the oil is hot, working in batches, fry the zucchini sticks until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried zucchini to paper towels and drain.

Arrange the fried zucchini on a platter. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and serve.

Cheesy Zucchini Squares

From the blog of Plain Chicken


5 medium zucchini, diced

2 Tbsp flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk

4 eggs

1 (4-oz) can chopped green chiles

4 cups Monterey Jack cheese


Preheat oven to 325ºF.

Lightly spray a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, cook zucchini in boiling water for 4 minutes; drain and cool for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.

Whisk in milk until smooth.

Whisk in eggs, beating well. Stir in green chiles, zucchini and cheese.

Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake uncovered for 40 to 50 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

Fresh Zucchini Muffins Makes about 12 muffins

1½ cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1½ cups grated zucchini (about 2 small to medium-size zucc’s) 1/2 tsp. salt 2 eggs 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. nutmeg 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1/3 cup canola oil 2 tsp. baking powder Cinnamon and sugar for topping

1. Preheat oven to 375. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

2. In medium bowl, combine grated zucchini, eggs, vanilla, and oil. Stir well to combine, then gently stir into flour mixture. Be careful not to overwork this—it will lead to dense muffins!

3. Fill lined muffin tins about 3/4 of the way up with the batter and then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on each. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden.

Creamy Corn & Zucchini

8 servings, 1/2 cup each



2 Tbsp. Zesty Italian Dressing

2 cups fresh corn kernels

1 zucchini, chopped

1/2 cup chopped onions

1 cup Mexican Style Shredded Four Cheese

1/2 cup Sour Cream

3 slices Bacon, cooked, crumbled

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro


Heat dressing in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add vegetables; cook and stir 8 to 10 min. or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat.


Stir in cheese and sour cream; cook on medium heat 3 to 5 min. or until cheese is melted and vegetable mixture is heated through, stirring frequently.


Top with bacon and cilantro.


Zucchini is a fruit. It is part of the flower blossom with makes it a fruit…

Like an apple or tomato or melon or pumpkin. But it is still usually eaten as savory or as a vegetable…..

You can eat the blossoms

Even though zucchini is served as a vegetable, it's technically a fruit because it comes from a flower: it grows from a golden blossom that blooms under the leaves. They don't normally sell the blooms in the grocery store, but you can find them at farmers' markets. And these beauties aren't just for looking . The most popular way to prepare them is fried or stuffed,

It's super low in calories

Zucchini makes the perfect light side dish for a heavy meal: One cup of sliced zucchini has about 19 calories.

It may be good for your heart

Zucchini has a good amount of potassium: 295 milligrams per cup, or 8% of your recommended daily value

You can substitute it for pasta

You can also use it in place of noodles altogether. So-called "zoodles" are a great pasta alternative.

It's not always green

You may be used to seeing a vegetable that's green and speckled, but there's a yellow variety of zucchini, and it's easy to confuse with yellow squash, a different type. The easiest way to tell the difference is to look at the shape. Yellow squash usually has a tapered neck, either crooked or straight, whereas zucchini of any color looks like a cylinder from end to end.




It has an international pedigree

Italians are thought to have bred modern zucchini from the squash they picked up in colonial America zucca is actually the Italian word for squash. That's why you'll see zucchini referred to as "Italian squash" in some recipes.


Zucchini – Males or Females

Do you have the most beautiful zucchini plant growing and it has huge blossoms but yet no zucchini or fruit? You have a male zucchini plant that has not been pollinated by bees, butterflies, hummingbirds or the wind…..

Without cross pollination from blossom to blossom, no fruit will produce. If by chance one does grow a small little zucchini, many times it will turn brown and rot and die with the first 3 inches because it is a male and has not been pollinated so it rots and dies….. Male rot or pollination rot….


This is why it so important to save our pollinators.

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