Cooking with the flavors of summer

By mid-August, you’re very likely up to your ears in tomatoes and zucchini. Fortunately, these two foods fresh from your organic vegetable garden make excellent companions on your dinner plate. Not only are these veggies delicious, they also provide you with important nutrients to keep you and your family healthy!

  • Zucchini is a great source of magnesium, which is essential for healthy muscle contraction and maintaining strong bones. A single large zucchini can contain between 14 to 18 percent of the recommended daily intake. Besides magnesium, zucchini is also a good source of fiber and folate.
  • Tomatoes are most significantly a good source to the extraordinarily powerful antioxidant known as lycopene. Lycopene eliminates free radicals that can damage your DNA and cause your cells to begin to deteriorate as you age. This antioxidant has been linked specifically with the potential to lower the risk of certain cancers and stroke.

Garden-fresh zucchini boats
For a simple side dish or appetizer that is lightweight and packed with flavor, zucchini boats are an easy choice. They pair well with grilled food by offering a fresh balance to your¬†meal. Unlike mashed potatoes or french fries, the boats aren’t starchy, so you won’t feel uncomfortably¬†full or bloated after eating a heavier meat dish prepared on the grill.

Ingredients:
Zucchini
Tomatoes
Fresh basil
Olive oil
Garlic
Salt
Pepper
Parmesan cheese

Baking instructions:

  1. Head out to your organic vegetable garden and select two large zucchini, a handful of cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. Each zucchini makes four boats.
  2. Wash the zucchini, tomatoes and basil to remove any dirt. Take the zucchini and first cut it down the middle. Then, cut each half lengthways so that you now have four boats. Scoop out the pulp and seeds.
  3. Boil the boats in a large pot for about 5 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, remove the zucchini from the pot and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  4. In a small dish, mix together a few tablespoons of olive oil with a fresh-pressed clove of garlic and a few shakes of salt and pepper. Brush the inside of the boats with the oil mixture.
  5. Chop fresh basil and sprinkle over the zucchini boats. Slice the tomatoes in half and line them along the hollowed out space. Lightly sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese melts.
  6. Remove for oven and let cool for a few more minutes before serving.