Zucchini “Applesauce”*

The inspiration for this recipe came from http://www.allrecipes.com where you can find several variations of zucchini “applesauce.” I wasn’t quite satisfied with the one I tried, so I added some spices and a few real apples for texture.  (I just didn’t think the texture was authentic without the apples).  I also think you could use stevia as a sweetener if you wanted to avoid the sugar.  (1/2 tsp. stevia equals 1 cup sugar, so add gradually and adjust according to your taste).  This recipe is a surprising way to use up those last few zucchini now that apple season is upon us.

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Ingredients:

2 large zucchini, peeled and chopped.  (If the seeds are large and starting to get hard discard them and use only the fleshy parts)

3 lg. peeled apples (I used Granny Smith), cut into chunks

1/3  c. apple cider vinegar

1 – 2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 c. sugar

3 Tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cloves

1/4 tsp. allspice

Method:

Put all ingredients into a large pot. There is no need to add water because there is a lot of water in the zucchini already.  Heat to boiling, and then reduce heat to simmer.  Cover and cook for 30 – 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.  (Cooking time depends on the zucchini.)

When the mixture has cooled then you want to blend it until mushy like applesauce.  I used a Foley Mill to do this (the old fashioned way).  You could also puree the cooled mixture in a blender or food processor.

*One of our favorite ways to eat any kind of applesauce is to pair it with a peanut butter sandwich for a very kid-friendly lunch 🙂

Broiled Eggplant Sandwiches

For six sandwiches:                                                                                                                                                                                     

6 large wholegrain rolls

2 lg. eggplants

1 jar of roasted red peppers

veggie mozzarella cheese (Soya Kaas works well)

pesto (you can find small jars of pesto in the grocery aisle near spaghetti sauce)

   Slice the eggplant 3/4 in. thick. Salt the slices and let them drain.  This takes out any bitterness. Press out excess moisture with a paper towel. Then brush eggplant slices with olive oil and broil on both sides until brown and tender. (Broiling only takes about 3 minutes on each side — watch closely or they will burn).

   Then, put the broiled slices in a glass bowl or casserole with about 2 Tbsp. olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, and 1 – 2 cloves of pressed garlic. Let marinate overnight.

   When you are ready to cook the sandwiches preheat the oven to BROIL. Slice open roll and spread pesto on each half. On one half layer marinated eggplant slices, then roasted red pepper strips. On the other half place a couple of thin slices of veggie mozzarella cheese.

   Arrange prepared open sandwiches on a baking sheet, and broil until bread is lightly browned and mozarella is soft and browned

   (These can be eaten as a meal served with soup or salad, or they can be cut into smaller sandwiches and served as out-of-the-ordinary finger sandwiches).