Diane Prather

Diane Prather

Diane Prather: My favorite zucchini recipes

Diane Prather

Diane Prather's columns appear in the Craig Daily Press and Saturday Morning Press. You can call her at 824-8809.

— We have two zucchini fruits, each about 4 inches long. So, I hunted up my zucchini recipes, some of which I've never tried before.

The first recipe this week is an encore from last year. I'm putting it in the column again at the request of a reader who has lost the recipe.

"Zesty Zucchini" is one of my family's favorite zucchini dishes. To make it, you will need: 1 pound ground beef, 1 medium onion (chopped), chopped garlic (to taste), 1/2 cup chopped green pepper, a 14 1/2- or 15-ounce can Italian style tomatoes (with garlic and basil), 1 cup water (you may need more), 1 envelope spaghetti sauce mix, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup instant rice and 4 zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces.

In a big kettle (or a deep skillet), cook the beef, onion and garlic until the meat is browned and the onion and garlic are tender.

Meanwhile, cut up the zucchini. When the meat is browned, stir in the undrained tomatoes, water, and spaghetti sauce mix. Stir and then add the salt. (Add more water if needed.) Bring to a boil. Stir in the rice and zucchini. Stir and then simmer 15 to 20 minutes until the zucchini is tender. Stir occasionally.

"Doctor" up the recipe to suit your tastes. I adapted this recipe from one submitted to the "Fence Post" by Ann Taylor of Ogallala, Neb., years ago.

The following "Zucchini Cake" recipe came from my late stepmother, Mary Osborn. She made the recipe many times.

The ingredients are: 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 3 eggs, 1 cup vegetable oil, 2 cups sugar, 2 cups grated zucchini, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 1 cup raisins and 1 cup chopped nuts.

Sift flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon onto waxed paper.

Combine eggs, vegetable oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla in a big bowl. Beat until well-mixed. Add the flour mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in raisins and nuts.

Pour the batter into a greased 9-by-13-inch cake pan and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.

This cake may be frozen. Mary used a powdered sugar frosting on the cake or served it with whipped topping.

Last, I found a recipe for "Fresh Green String Bean Soup." I haven't tried the recipe for awhile. It came from a neighbor, Margie Gomer, when we lived at Severance. The recipe doesn't specify amounts of beans or potatoes, so you'll have to experiment. I'll try the soup as soon as our garden green beans come on.

You'll need: fresh green beans, diced potatoes, salt, pepper, red chili pepper, 2 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons butter.

Wash beans, remove ends, and snap into 1 1/2-inch lengths. Put them in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil for one hour. Add diced-up potatoes, salt, pepper and chili pepper. Simmer for 1 hour.

In a skillet, brown the flour in the butter. Add to the pot of beans and potatoes a little at a time, stirring each time so that there won't be any lumps. Simmer a little longer.

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