My Italian Kitchen
by Janet Zappala
Casseroles have been a long-standing comfort food, and this one is no exception. The ingredients make for a side dish that's packed with great taste and critical nutrients. Hope you're hungry!
Prep Time: 20-25 minutes
Cook Time: Approx. 35-40 minutes
• 4 fresh medium zucchini with smooth, unblemished skins, preferably organic
• 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
• 2 eggs
• 15 whole-grain crackers, for grinding
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 large yellow onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup natural buttery spread (such as Earth Balance or Smart Balance), softened
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rinse the zucchini under cold water; pat dry. Cut the zucchini into small chunks. In a large sauce pot over medium heat, add the zucchini and broth. Cook until soft, about 15-20 minutes. As the zucchini is cooking, beat the eggs lightly in a small bowl; set them aside. In a food processor, grind the crackers; set them aside. Heat the olive oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion and garlic; saute for 5-7 minutes until golden.
When the zucchini is tender, drain it in a colander, making sure to remove all liquid. Return the zucchini to the pot. Add the butter alternative, salt, and pepper, mash together. Add the cooked onion-and-garlic mixture, eggs, and 1/4 cup of the cracker crumbs, combine thoroughly. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup of cracker crumbs. Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbling. Serve immediately.
Nutritional Note: Zucchini is packed with vitamin C. Try to go organic and eat the skin, which contains most of the nutrients. The darker the skin, the more nutrients there are.
(Per serving): Calories: 175; Total Fat: 8 gms; Sodium: 200 mgs; Carbohydrates: 10 gms; Protein: 9 gms; Fiber: 4 gms