Recipes: 8 Easy Zucchini Dishes That are Light on Your Stomach

Zucchini is 95% water, fat and cholesterol free, and one medium sized zucchini (200 gm) has just 30 calories.

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Easy Zucchini Recipes
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Yes, you must learn to love zucchini because this underrated vegetable is really good for you. Zucchini is 95% water, fat and cholesterol free, and is extremely low calorie (so a dieter’s friend); one medium sized zucchini (200 gm) has just 30 calories as compared to say potato, which has 160 for 200 calories.

Plus it is loaded with electrolyte potassium, which helps counter the ill effect of too much sodium in our diet and keeps the blood pressure in control. And it is heart friendly - Fibre, vitamin C and A in zucchini work in tandem to keep heart disease away. Zucchini also has beta-carotene; this essential vitamin is found in the rind of the zucchini, so to score big don’t skin this vegetable before cooking it. Wash thoroughly though!

I say aim to eat it twice a week at least.

Now you know how healthy zucchini is, but are not sure how to cook it? Here's an easy tip. It is similar to bottle gourd (lauki) so you can experiment all your lauki recipes with zucchini and see which ones work for you.

For more zucchini specific recipes, read on!

Zucchini and Veggies Salad

Zucchini salad
Zucchini salad
(Photo: iStock)

Toss sliced zucchini with salt and let it sit for at least ten minutes. This will draw out some liquid, and then pat dry with paper towels. This will prevent it from turning completely mushy when you cook it. Heat some olive or coconut oil (I love the flavour of coconut and zucchini together), sauté lots of garlic cloves, add the zucchini, a pinch of salt, and cook until softened. Put it in a bowl, add some asparagus sautéed separately in oil or butter, chopped raw spring onions, some sticks of steamed carrots and a handful of sweet corn goblets. Sprinkle pepper and some dried oregano, and some cheese (i love ricotta with this), and dig in.

Crisp Zucchini Pancakes (Fritters)

Zucchini pancakes
Zucchini pancakes
(Photo: iStock)

Soak some dal overnight (i make it with masoor dal), in the morning drain the water, and churn it in a mixer and make a paste. Meanwhile let chopped zucchini sit for at least ten minutes patted with salt to draw out some liquid, and then add some sliced onion, lots of coriander, some mashed potato, salt, red chillies to taste and a pinch of garam masala. Mix it up properly. Then heat some ghee on a pan, spread the batter, press it down to make thin small pancakes, cook in slow heat, turning to make them golden brown from both sides. If you don’t want to fry then you can even add some ghee to the mix, shape them in the form of small patties, and then bake them (about 15 minutes), flipping after 8 minutes. Eat with a mint coriander chutney.

Grilled Zucchini

Grilled zucchini
Grilled zucchini
(Photo: iStock)

Toss halved zucchini with salt and let it sit for at least ten minutes. This will draw out some liquid, and then pat dry with paper towels. Add vinegar, chilli sauce, herbs of choice and oil. Grill on both sides in a preheated over for about 3 minutes both sides. Squeeze some lemon on top and dig in.

Zucchini Salsa

Zucchini salsa
Zucchini salsa
(Photo: iStock)

Mix finally chopped zucchini, onion, tomato and red pepper. Add lime juice, vinegar, brown sugar or jaggery, lots of pounded garlic, salt, pepper and roasted cumin powder to taste. Mix it well and refrigerate overnight. Next day eat with your toast or tortillas or even spread on your roti (wit sliced cucumbers) to make a roti roll.

Quick Zucchini Pasta

Zucchini pasta
Zucchini pasta
(Photo: iStock)

Toss sliced zucchini with salt and let it sit for at least ten minutes. Heat some olive or coconut oil, saute lots of garlic cloves, add the zucchini, a pinch of salt, and cook until softened. Then saute some boiled pasta with the seared zucchini (50:50) and a handful of freshly grated cheese (gouda or Parmigano Reggiano). Sprinkle some raisins and roasted seeds on top and dig in. It's delicious.

Zucchini Omelette

Toss sliced zucchini with salt and let it sit for at least ten minutes. This will draw out some liquid, and then pat dry with paper towels. This will prevent it from turning completely mushy when you cook it. Heat some olive or coconut oil, sauté lots of garlic cloves, add the zucchini, a pinch of salt, and cook until softened. Meanwhile, beat eggs with a pinch of salt, pepper, and a handful of freshly grated cheese. When the zucchini are almost done, pour the egg batter in, cover and cook, flip and cook for a few more minutes till done on both sides.

Zucchini Bake

Baked zucchini
Baked zucchini
(Photo: iStock)

Mix grated zucchini , finally chopped bell pepper, thinly sliced onion, grated cheese (parmesan or cheddar), sliced mushrooms, whisked eggs, some butter, a tablespoon of milk or some cream, a sprinkle of wheat flour, salt, pepper, mix it, let it stand for 30 min, then bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

Zucchini in Coconut Milk

Heat coconut oil, add rai seeds, curry leaves, methra seeds, chopped onion, cook till translucent, add chopped raw zucchini (can add other veggies too), cook till soft, add coconut milk, bring to a boil, season with salt ad pepper. Switch off the heat, leave covered for 5 minutes. Pair with roti or appam.

(Kavita Devgan is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico), Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa) and Fix it with foods.)

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