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Friday, June 10, 2011


In my ranting and raving the other day about how my kids don't eat their veggies, and about how I have tried all the tricks there are with varying degrees of   mild   no   very little bits of success, I forgot my number one way of getting them to eat the veggies.

Cheese. Smother the junk in cheese.

Last night, I made a zucchini casserole (that I found here), and all three kids ate it. I wish I had taken pictures of it to show you, but really it isn't that beautiful. It is, however, tasty and quite serviceable when trying to make zucchini magically disappear off of plates and reappear in bellies. It turns out almost like a lasagna without the noodles. I served it alongside grilled sausages and sliced peaches, and I think that we got much closer to having half of the plate filled with produce items.

Of course, an hour later all three kids wanted a grilled cheese sandwich. They totally ruined the ratio, but oh well. For an hour there I felt good about it all.

Zucchini and tomato casserole

2 large zucchini, yellow squash, or a combination
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning (or a combination of thyme, rosemary, basil and parsley)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, minced
3 large tomatoes
2 cups cheese -- a combination of mozzarella and parmesan

First, slice the zucchini into 1/4 inch slices, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onions for about 3 minutes, until they are starting to soften. Add the garlic and Italian seasoning, and cook for another minute or two, until it is very fragrant. Cut the tomatoes into 6 pieces or so, and add them. Cook over medium heat, until it cooks down to about a cup. It should be thick but not dry.

Arrange a layer of  the slices of zucchini into a 8x8 pan. Cover with 1/3 of the tomato mixture (it won't spread perfectly evenly, but that's okay). Cover this with 1/3 of the cheese. Layer again with zucchini, tomato, cheese. Layer again the zucchini and tomato, but leave off the last layer of cheese for now.

Bake it at 400 for 20 minutes. Then, add the last layer of cheese, reduce the heat to 375, and bake another 20 minutes.