Summer Zucchini Casserole
As promised in my last post a Summer Zucchini Casserole that is so easy to make and tastes delicious, adding paprika and just a pinch of cayenne pepper, making it spicy but not too spicy. We are going to add fresh basil and create a bean Arugula Salad as a side dish. This recipe took about 35 minutes from start to finish. The casserole is filling, but I promise you will not feel bloated afterward. This recipe serves two and contains approximately 340 calories per serving; 30 grams of fat, 79 grams of carbohydrates and 18 grams of protein! This dish would pair nicely with chicken or fish (add 300 more calories).
Tools From The Kitchen
- 1 Large Skillet
- 8×8 Baking Dish
Don’t let the list of ingredients scare you, I promise the prep goes fast.
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- 2 medium size Zucchini1 medium shallot (different from onion)
- Fresh basil (here’s where a herb garden helps)
- 2 slices of Deli Style Bread (Can be found in your bakery)
- 2 tablespoons of butter (if you are vegan, can be found in your organic market)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons of cream cheese (can be low-fat or vegan)
- 2 tablespoons of parmesan
- 1 can of cannellini beans (since this is for the salad, you may want to refrigerate)
- 1 large carrot
- 2 ounces of baby arugula
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
Let’s get cooking!
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Trim the zucchini and cut into 1 inch cubes. Peel the shallot and thinly slice. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. (I minced mine because I don’t like big slices of garlic). Roughly chop the basil leaves. Next, cut the bread into 1 inch cubes.
Step 2: Place a large skillet over medium-high heat (watch if you have a gas stove it may get too hot). Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and once hot add the zucchini and cook until bright green and just tender. (3 to 5 minutes). Next, add the shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant. (1 to 2 minutes). Next add the butter and stir until it is melted. Time for the spices! Add the smoked paprika and cayenne pepper along with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix thoroughly.
Step 3: Let’s build this casserole! Remove the skillet from the heat and add the chopped basil and bread. Stir thoroughly until combined well. Transfer the zucchini mixture to an 8×8 baking dish and pat down to create an even layer. Dollop the cream cheese using a teaspoon on top and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Place the zucchini casserole in the oven, baking until the cheese has melted and browned slightly. (About 12 to 15 minutes).
Step 4: While your casserole is baking, drain and rinse the cannellini beans. Peel the carrot and continue to peel creating ribbons. Add the carrot ribbons and cannellini beans to a large bowl and add arugula and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Step 5: Remove zucchini casserole from oven when done. Add balsamic vinegar and 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the white bean arugula salad and toss well to combine ingredients. Divide the zucchini casserole between two plates and serve with the white bean arugula salad. Enjoy!
This dish pairs nicely with a glass of Sangria or Chardonnay. Add a chicken breast and you have a gourmet meal.
Until next time…eat well, live well and be happy…..