~ Zucchini Parmesan Dressed Down and Up

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This is a quick and easy vegetable dish that can be dressed down or up, depending on how you intend to use it. It is another great option to include on Meatless Monday or anytime you are in the mood for a veggie-based treat. Since zucchinis are a very moist vegetable, they are not going to get crispy in the oven on their own. I sprinkle my zucchini slices with organic blue cornmeal to give them a touch of crispiness that is slightly reminiscent of fried zucchini in the dressed down version. The dressed up version is like a slice of pizza on a zucchini crust. Both versions are bursting with taste.

Ingredients for Dressed Down Version:

3 organic zucchinis

3/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (Reggiano is fine, but not necessary. American Grano is a less expensive alternative.)

2 tbsp. organic blue corn meal

1 tbsp. coconut oil, melted

 

Directions for Dressed Down Version:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Slice your zucchinis lengthwise so that you have long strips, about 1/8th of an inch thick. Cut each strip in half so it measures approximately 2 inches long.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the zucchini strips so they are lying flat. Brush a thin layer of melted coconut oil over the top of each strip.

4. Lightly sprinkle organic blue cornmeal over each zucchini strip. It doesn’t have to be evenly distributed as long as each piece of zucchini gets topped with some.

5. Spread the grated cheese on top of the zucchini strips.

6. Place in the hot oven and bake until the zucchinis appear tender, approximately 10-15 minutes or so.

7. Set your oven to broil and let the tops crisp up for a minute or  two. Watch the pan closely so that the cheese doesn’t burn.

8. Remove from the oven and serve. You can add a little spice of your choice to give the flavor a kick. Enjoy!

 

Additional Ingredients for Dressed Up Version:

8 oz. jar pizza sauce (if you are eating gluten-free, make sure to purchase a gluten-free variety)

1/2 cup red onions

1/2 cup thin sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup sun dried tomato

1/4 cup sliced black olives

dried oregano, to taste

dried basil, to taste

minced garlic, to taste

 

Directions for Dressed Up Version:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Slice your zucchinis lengthwise so that you have long strips, about 1/8th of an inch thick. Cut each strip in half so it measures approximately 2 inches long.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the zucchini strips so they are lying flat. Brush a thin layer of melted coconut oil over the top of each strip.

4. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce over each strip.

5. Lightly sprinkle organic blue cornmeal over each zucchini strip. It doesn’t have to be evenly distributed as long as each piece of zucchini gets topped with some.

6. Spread the grated cheese on top of the zucchini strips.

7. Load the tops of your zucchini slices with vegetables and spices. You can add even more that are not included on the ingredients list.

8. Place in the hot oven and bake until the zucchinis appear tender, approximately 10-15 minutes or so.

9. Set your oven to broil and let the tops crisp up for a minute or  two. Watch the pan closely so that the cheese doesn’t burn.

10. Remove from the oven and serve. You can add a little spice of your choice to give the flavor a kick. Enjoy!

Note: Why organic blue cornmeal, you might ask? Well, blue corn is non-GMO. Most yellow corn available in the U.S. is genetically modified, so I try to avoid it unless it is certified organic non-GMO.

 

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