Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Surprise! (zucchini Snacks)

Surprise! It's Sunday AND there is a Pinstrosity post! Could it be? Is this real life? Yes, yes it is.

First of all, I think a belated cheers for Marquette and Emilee is in order! Did you get in on the Day of Epicness?!? Holy cow, talk about a blogging accomplishment. These two ladies are incredible. I'm still so honored to have been invited to join them.

Have you all seen Despicable Me? The moment that keeps coming to my mind is the tea party scene, in which Gru's character says "And now, we will make the clinking noise. Clink!"

So, here's to you Emilee and Marquette. Clink! And here's to you wonderful readers. Clink!
Now-- onto the rest of your Sunday Pinstrosity post! I thought I would tell you this week about a couple of Pin Wins that I've had in my kitchen recently. What kind of pin wins, you ask? Zucchini wins. Why zucchini? Because I had a whole bushel of it that needed to travel into our tummies and not the trash can.

There is a great grocery store near my house called MeKong Asian Market. I buy my tea, some seasoning, and miscellaneous produce there. I was able to scoop up six ginormous zucchini there for something like $3 or $4. They were in great shape and kept for an impressive amount of time in our fridge, so I turned to Pinterest for some new ways to enjoy zucchini.

Let me tell you all about the delicious discoveries I made on my zu-quest-inni:

Wit and Aroma-Inspired Zucchini Pizza

The Original Pin 
Look at that pizza!!! Beautiful!!!
To be completely fair, the only resemblance between Wit&Aroma's pizza and the one that I made is that they are both called "Zucchini Pizza". Now, I would love to attempt the original recipe at some point. But, for the time being, here's what I made for us to eat (and now to share with you):

The Pin Spin

Clearly, our pizzas look (and I'm sure taste) nothing alike. But, none-the-less-- can I just say, my pizza turned out to be DELICIOUS!

You'll notice that there is only zucchini on half of this pizza. You can thank my skeptical boyfriend and self doubt for that-- as I was concerned that it would taste weird. Why I questioned zucchini as a topping idea, I don't know, because this was awesome! I may make another one this week.

My version was really simple:

  1. Obtain low sodium crust, low sodium sauce, zucchini, and fresh mozzarella cheese.
  2. Assemble pizza with the aforementioned items. Cut the zucchini as thin as you like.
  3. Bake in the oven for the suggested amount of time on the pizza crust package.
  4. Remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool down a bit.
  5. Enjoy and allow your taste buds to thank you.
Seriously. That's it! Boyfriend suggested putting a little oil onto the zucchini to prevent it from drying out-- but I didn't feel like it was necessary. I think next time, I will sprinkle a bit of romano cheese onto the pizza once it's out of the oven.


Lunges and Lace Zucchini Pizza Bites

Naturally, once I used the search terms "zucchini" + "pizza"-- you can imagine what I found next:

The Original Pin
Why hadn't I thought of this before? Seriously! Nicole over at Lunges and Lace wrote a post about these surprisingly delicious little snacks here.

The Pin Win

Here's what I learned about this recipe:
  • Perhaps the most "difficult" part of this process is getting the right amount of pizza sauce on each slice of zucchini. Going from WAY TOO MUCH to not nearly enough was incredibly easy. I think there were only one or two of my zucc-izzas that had the perfect ratio of ingredients. However, I'm not dissuaded in the least. Next time, I will whip out an actual measuring spoon if I have to.
See? The cheese to sauce to veggie ratio is totally off. This here is a science, friends.
  • In Nicole's instructions, she said that she had these little guys in the oven for 7 - 8 minutes. Whoa nelly! That certainly was not the case for me. I had to obsessively watch them in the oven so they didn't over cook (much like Marquette did in the Mozzarella Chee'se Bits post). I think that I yanked them out of the oven after about three minutes (and part of the time the oven was open). I didn't want the zucchini to become soggy and overcooked. There were slightly raw still when I removed them from the oven, perhaps that had something to do with the short baking time.
I was obsessively watching these. OBSESSIVELY.
  • I'm 100% not recommending these as a replacement for pizza, if you are a lover of bread (which I am). What I mean to say is-- no one is going to eat these and think to themselves "Wow. These taste just like pizza. I'll never need to mess with that crust-ness again." Definitely not going to happen-- since you can still taste the zucchini when these are cooked. But, if you like zucchini and you like pizza, these are a delightful snack. The boyfriend even gave them a thumbs up.
  • Since Rob (the thumbs up giving boyfriend) must keep his salt intake REALLY low, so these were an awesome low sodium snack. You'd be surprised how much the sodium stacks up, even when you're trying to make a pizza at home, with low sodium ingredients.

What would this post be if I didn't include zucchini bread? I have been calling this "zucchini loaf" since it's very, very sweet. Eating this for breakfast was like eating non-iced, breakfast cake. I was over the moon!

The Original Pin

Look at that photography! Beautiful food photos always grab my attention first.
The Pin Win
Little heart shaped zucchini loaves! Just in time for Valentine's Day!
This recipe made six heart shaped loaves and a small bread pan (C'mon, you know I don't know the measurements of it) full. We were scarfing this tasty treat down for days on end. Mmm-mm-mmm!

What I learned about this recipe:
  • My Ninja food processor is AMAZING for this recipe. I popped the zucchini into it and blended it until it was the consistency of apple sauce. I measured out two cups of the puree (instead of just shredded zucchini) and I was really pleased with the results. I forgot to take a photo, sorry!
  • The next time I attempt this recipe, I may end up fiddling with the temperature. The bottom of the loaves were slightly browner than I would have preferred. They were completely edible and not even remotely burned, that is just a personal preference that I have (see photo below).
  • This recipe deserves walnuts. Without a doubt in my mind, the next go I have at this will include walnuts.

Let's take a moment to discuss how cute this pan is. Can you see the indents left on the bottom of each of the loaves? I LOVE this pan, why didn't I buy a second one?! I found this at Ross: Dress for Less for only $6.99!

Well, I've made myself sufficiently hungry in writing this. Another trip to Mekong Market for zucchini is certainly in my imminent future.

Have any of you tried these recipes before? If so, what did you think? Is there anything that you do differently? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Enjoy your day of rest!
Your faithful min-strositeer,

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