HEALTHY EATING SERIES WITH REPLAY | DAY 6 {ZUCCHINI} – Re-Play

Happy Friday! Has anyone else's week seemed like the longest one ever? Seriously, the days usually fly by and I blink once between Monday and Friday but this week has gone on forever. I am so happy its the weekend!

Today's collaborative post with Replay Recycled is all about zucchini! If you're new to this series, it is a month-long series all about healthy eating options for your kids and for the family as a whole in honor of March being National Nutrition month. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I showcase a new healthy food with three accompanying recipes that are simple and flavorful.

The past posts can be found below:
avocado / cauliflower / sweet potatoes / chia seeds / protein punch

 We love zucchini in our house and eat a lot of it, especially when its in the peak of its season. One of our favorite ways to serve it is simply brushed with a little olive oil and thrown on the grill until tender. That is definitely our go-to summer side dish alongside burgers or fish. Today I'll be sharing three zucchini recipes that you don't even need a grill for, but that can be put together with minimal ingredients and are sure to satisfy your hungry eaters and you too!

 ZUCCHINI PASTA WITH MARINARA SAUCE

{ A simple weeknight dinner that is gluten free and can be thrown together in no time, zucchini pasta is a fun - and messy! - meal for toddlers to eat with their hands. Add ground turkey to your sauce to amp up the protein}

what you'll need:
+ fresh zucchini, ends trimmed off
+ marinara sauce of choice
+ olive oil {we love the garlic olive oil from trader joe’s}
+ spiralizer to create zucchini noodles / small frying pan

what you'll do:
+ using a spiralizer {our favorite here}, create zucchini noodles from your trimmed zucchini; I always leave the skin on because it offers extra fiber and nutrients, but you can peel it if you like
+ in a small frying pan, warm olive oil and add zucchini noodles
+ let noodles cook until tender and warmed through, tossing frequently
+ top with your favorite marinara sauce or meat sauce and serve

 

PARMESAN ROASTED ZUCCHINI STICKS

{It has long been known that when food is cut into certain shapes, it appeals to kids; when vegetables are cut into long strips, they are easier for small hands to hold and fun to eat. Turn zucchini into an easy and flavorful snack with just a few simple ingredients and an oven!}

what you'll need:
+ fresh zucchini, ends trimmed / cut into sticks
+ parmesan cheese of choice {we always have shredded on hand, but you could certainly use grated instead}
+ S&P / olive oil
+ oven / baking sheet

what you'll do:
+ preheat oven to 350 degrees
+ lightly toss zucchini sticks in olive oil to coat; add S&P to season
+ line zucchini on a foil-lined baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart
+ sprinkle with parmesan cheese {try to get as much on top as possible, though some will fall off}
+ bake 11-13 minutes and then adjust oven rack near top of oven and broil for several minutes until parmesan is golden brown {watch carefully, as the cheese can burn quickly!}
+ serve warm

 BAKED ZUCCHINI CHIPS

{Thin, crispy and super easy to make, zucchini chips are a great side for your child’s lunch alongside a sandwich. They are of course a healthy alternative to potato chips and can be seasoned in so many ways! I kept it simple when making these for Olivia, but I have come across recipes for many fancier varieties that are definitely on my to-do list!}

what you'll need:
+ 1 large zucchini, fresh with ends trimmed
+ 2 TBSP olive oil
+ salt
+ oven / baking sheets / parchment paper / paper towels / pastry brush

what you'll do:
+ Preheat oven to 225 degrees; line two baking sheets with parchment paper
+ Using a mandolin, slice your zucchini; mine has a thickness of 1, 2, and 3 and I used “2”
+ After slicing zucchini, sandwich between two sheets of paper towels and press down to draw out any remaining liquid {this helps them crisp and speeds up the cooking process}
+ Line zucchini slices on your baking sheets, being careful not to overlap them
+ In a small bowl, pour olive oil and using a pastry brush, brush olive oil on each zucchini slice
+ Sprinkle salt atop each zucchini {do not over-season, as salt will cause zucchini to shrink; you can always add more after baking}
+ Bake for 2 hours or until they start to brown and are no longer soggy but nicely crisp
+ Let cool completely before removing from baking sheet and then serve!

 Hope you have a wonderful weekend! We plan on spending ours outside in the sunshine now that temps are finally warming up! Bring on Spring!

~ Megan

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