The following is a weekly feature brought to us by Sumiko from Near to Nothing. I’ve asked her to share tips and tricks (and recipes!) that show us ways to replace the items we’d typically buy canned or frozen from scratch at home for less! You’ll find a new From Our Pantry post each Monday.
It’s harvest time!! If you have a garden, you are probably enjoying the fruits of your labor by now. For a lot of gardeners, that means an overabundance of zucchini. What to do with all that zucchini? My great grandmother used to make this zucchini pizza casserole. It’s a great way to use the bounty, and kids love it! My oldest daughter, who normally doesn’t eat anything with zucchini in it, asks for seconds!
One great thing about this recipe is that it is gluten-free. For those of you who do not normally cook GF, a few words of caution if you are serving this to someone with gluten allergies. Though you would not suspect it, gluten can be hiding in ingredients that you would think are GF. For example, pre-shredded cheese is often coated with flour or other floury powder to keep it from sticking. Simply buy cheese in a block and shred it yourself to ensure that it is GF. Also, be sure the sauce you choose is GF. For more about GF cooking and baking, see my GF peanut butter cookie recipe and resources here.
If you are wary of trying to pass off zucchini on your family, you could probably substitute shredded potatoes for the zucchini. I haven’t actually tried this yet, but it seems like it would work. In that case, you probably wouldn’t need to squeeze the liquids out, but you would still want to add the salt for flavor.
Zucchini Pizza Casserole
4 c. zucchini, shredded
½ tsp. salt
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 lb. ground beef
½ large onion, chopped
2 c. pizza or spaghetti sauce (or 1 can tomato sauce, 1 tsp. basil, ½ tsp. oregano, ½ tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. salt, and a few dashes pepper)
1 medium green pepper, chopped
Preheat oven to 400°. Place zucchini in strainer over bowl; sprinkle with salt. Let stand 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, break up eggs in medium bowl. Mix in Parmesan cheese, 1 c. mozzarella cheese, and ½ c. cheddar cheese.
Squeeze moisture out of zucchini; mix into egg and cheese mixture.
Unfortunately, there go some of the nutrients.
Press into greased 9”X13” baking dish. Bake 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, brown ground beef and onions. Drain off grease; stir in sauce (and seasonings if needed).
Spoon over baked zucchini mixture.
Top with remaining cheeses and sprinkle with green pepper. Bake an additional 20 minutes.