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We are learning the hard way about organic pest management, we were combating squash bugs with a vacuum and diatomaceous earth.  At first it seemed as though we had the upper hand.  With the days of raining and not being in the field, it was clear this piercing, hard arthropod had won the find.  Our zucchini harvest has dwindled significantly.

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This recipe was inspired by the zucchini harvest that, in July and August was coming in so well, so fast, we got some of the biggest zucchinis we have had yet.  Needing to figure out what would be most healthful and challenging ourselves to go beyond the zucchini bread that we all love but don’t need, we came up with a way to have this therapeutic vegetable provide the best benefit for diabetics…zucchini lasagna….enjoy!

Thanks Chef Layeni!….

Dr. J.  Project Director, RAFT-PC

BE SURE TO SAVE THE ZUCCHINI CORES FOR THE MEN YOU LOVE FOR PROSTATE HEALTH

Zucchini Lasagna

Recipe

Four components:

Seasoned mozzarella cheese

Sauce

Zucchini

Fried Green Tomatoes

Let’s take them one at a time. Please note that parts of the dish are slow cooked. Some just sit around after you put them together. You won’t be watching a pot. Some parts require 100% of your attention, especially if you are frying or using a knife. Use this time to exercise your mind because putting this together in two hours  or less requires some thought and preparation.

Seasoned Mozzarella Cheese

8 oz Mozzarella cheese

Olive Oil

Fresh or dried herbs to taste: basil, thyme, oregano (fresh is best)

Tools: knife, cutting board, container, your hands

Sprinkle the bottom of the container with olive oil. Rub the bottom to coat the container. Slice the cheese about 1/16” thick (yes, we all need math) and cut the herbs up fine. Put in a layer of cheese and a generous spread of herbs with a generous sprinkle of olive oil. Cover and place in the refrigerator. Remove about 30 minutes before it is time to assemble the dish. Enjoy the smell.

Sauce

20 oz can of tomato sauce or 10 Roma tomatoes

Roasted garlic (preheat oven to 275 degrees, coat garlic bulb with oil, place on foil or pan. When you smell it, wait 5 minutes and it’s done)

1 medium onion

1 green pepper

Olive Oil

Real Sea Salt

Course ground pepper

Any fresh vegetables you wish to add

Fresh or dried herbs to taste: basil, thyme, oregano

Tools: knife, cutting board, large spoon, medium to large pot

Slice the onion and pepper. Take Preheat the pot on medium when the pan is too warm holding your hand close to the middle of the pan, pour olive oil in to almost cover the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  As the onions get translucent, squeeze the roasted garlic from the cloves into the onions and pepper/additional vegetables. Sprinkle salt and pepper. When your nose gets excited with the good smells, add the tomato sauce or better yet, chop up the fresh tomatoes. As things get bubbling, add in some fresh or dried herbs along with a ½ tsp each of salt and pepper. Fresh herbs are very intense in low heat. Cover the pan and turn the heat to very low. Walk away. Come back every 20 minutes to stir. When you stir, go down to the bottom of the pot with the spoon and stir in a circle to the inside and repeat back to the outside in a slow motion. When you smell something that says I am ready to eat (About 1-2 hours) the sauce is ready. This is a slow thing so if the sauce is bubbling too much, turn the heat down.

Zucchini

1 very large farm/garden zucchini or 8 store bought size zucchini

Olive Oil

Real Sea Salt

Course ground pepper

Tools:  Large fry pan, spatula, big bowl, baking dish, vegetable peeler, mandolin or wide cheese grater, cutting board

Wash the zucchini. I squirt it with vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, let it sit for 5 minutes and then let it sit in water 5 minutes. Take a vegetable peeler and peal off the outer skin. If you have a mandolin or wide cheese grater, if not use the vegetable peeler to slice thin strips of the zucchini. Heat the pan on medium low heat and when the pan is too warm holding your hand close to the top of the pan, pour olive oil in to almost cover the bottom of the pan. Coat the zucchini slices with olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper. Lay out a single layer into the pan and cook until flesh begins to get translucent. Take it out of the pan and layer in the baking dish. A layer of sauce, then zucchini then mozzarella. When the last of mozzarella is used, place in the oven at 325 degrees as you complete the fried green tomatoes.

Fried Green Tomatoes

3 Green Tomatoes

Real Sea Salt

Course ground pepper

Coating: 1/3 c flour, 1/3 c white cornmeal, 1/3 c yellow cornmeal, 1tsp granulated garlic, 1 tsp granulated onion, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp salt. Place in plastic bag and shake for 30 seconds until an off white color.

Tools: knife, cutting board, plastic bag, skillet, olive oil, spatula, paper towels, plate or rack

Wash the tomatoes. I squirt them with vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, let it sit for 5 minutes and then let it sit in water 5 minutes. Slice them on the cutting board. A good tip is to put a paper towel under the cutting board so it does not move as you are cutting. Always use a clean, sharp knife. The tomatoes should be cut about ¼” thick (math is important). Season with salt and pepper, coat the tomatoes in the coating and shake off the excess. Place on a rack or plate for about 5 minutes and shake off any excess coating before cooking. Preheat the skillet on medium heat and coat the bottom with a thin layer of olive oil. As the oil starts to shimmer, add the tomatoes. You may have to adjust the heat. You are looking for the moisture to cook out of the tomato as the bottom starts to brown. That may be 3-6 minutes depending on the skillet you use. I always use cast iron. Check with your elders to see if they may be willing to pass these incredible cooking vessels used for over 1500 years in our history. So you will have a crispy golden brown on either side that is placed from the pan on top of your plated baked zucchini.

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