Friday, September 24, 2010

Zuchinni Parmesan with Spicy Tomato Sauce

If you are like us, you have an abundance of zucchinis. I mean they are coming out of the bathtub we have so many. Our friends are handing them to us at every chance encounter and take them all because, well, hell-- I love to cook and I might as accept something free to cook with and create new exciting recipes to share with all of you. What the hell, right? That's what we say!
In addition to having tons of zucchinis, we are also about to have another houseful. My sister, fiance, and future mother-in-law are all coming to spend the weekend. In preparation, we have been cleaning the house like mad-- you'd think the Queen of England is coming or something-- Hell maybe she will decide to. I told my dad yesterday that when my sister comes she won't even recognize the place. It is way to perfect. Just like anything perfect though, I know it will only be like this for about another few hours and then things will return to chaos.

I decided to take a break from cleaning and scrubbing and bake some delicious Zucchini Bread using these elephant zucchinis. A zucchini about this size saved a woman from a bear just yesterday, so I feel very safe and protected with all these zucchini around. I shred about 8 cups of zucchini and I kid you not-- I made 9 loaves of this bread and one of my tasters said this.. "Abby, I want to eat this bread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday." No joke.

Oh and the Zucchini Parmesan is delicious and a great spin-off from the original eggplant variety. It's now one of my new favorite things! Try them out and let me know what you think. Baking the bread was soothing and helpful in this crazy country where we watched a man on a surf board paddle across the lake and then a huge barge went by carrying God-only-knows what. This is the kind of stuff we see living on the lake in Montana...
And my sister will be here in a few hours! I can't wait to see her. It has been way too long! And my future brother.. I always wanted one of those and I will finally get one! Wish us luck, we will try not to offend, be respectful, and most importantly have lots of fun!

Zucchini Parmesan
2 Large Zucchinis
1/4 Cup Light Mayonnaise
1/2 Cup Italian Bread Crumbs
1/4 tsp. Salt and Black Pepper
8 Ounces Mozzarella Cheese; Shredded
1 1/2 Cup Spicy Tomato Sauce (see recipe below)
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese; Shredded

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the zucchinis into quarter inch rounds. Then in a shallow bowl combine the bread crumbs and salt and pepper.

2. Using a butter knife, spread a light amount of light mayo on each side of the slices of zucchini. Dredge each side of the zucchini in the bread crumb mixture.
3.  Place each zucchini round on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the zucchini pricks softly with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Turn down the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
4. In a baking pan lay a single layer of zucchini on the bottom. Place a half cup of Spicy Tomato Sauce (recipe below) over the zucchini, sprinkle with 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and repeat another layer. Repeat layering until all of the zucchini have been added to the casserole dish.

5. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. You want the edges to be bubbly and the cheese to be melted and slightly browned on top! Serve immediately!

Servings: 8

Spicy Tomato Sauce

1 Tbsp. Smart Balance Butter
1 1/2 Cup Onion; Finely Chopped
1 Roasted Red Pepper; Chopped
4 Garlic Cloves; Minced
1 Jar (26 Ounces) Spicy Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
1/2 Cup Dry Red Wine
3 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
2 Cups Water
1/4 Cup Fresh Oregano
1/2 Cup Fresh Basil

1. Heat a large sauce pan with the oil, then add the onion, red pepper, garlic and heat until onions are translucent.

2. Pour the jar of sauce into the sauce pan. Then in that same jar add the wine, tomato paste, and water and seal and shake the ingredients in the jar to combine. Add this mixture to the sauce pan as well. Add the herbs and  cook until bubbly.

Servings: 8 

Mental Health Tip: No matter who is coming to dinner, whether it's the Queen of England or just your sister, remember-- they came to see you-- not your house, not your lawn. Although it is nice to have things clean, never forget that the most important element is fun! Don't forget to relax and enjoy every moment with your guests! That is what I plan to do!

Wishing you abundance from our kitchen to yours!

~ "Little Hot Mess" in a clean kitchen

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