Way back when I was in high school, I was the props mistress for a one act play Of Widows and Vegetables. I have absolutely no recollection of what the play was about (it was – gasp – over 20 years ago), but I do remember spending a fair amount of time creating an oversized stuffed zucchini (because large phallic vegetables are funny for all ages).
Since I’ve started the less processed thing, zucchini has become a different sort of focus as it’s become a go-to ingredient in my processed food replacements and in hiding extra nutrition in the kids’ food. I guess technically, zucchini is a fruit rather than a vegetable (that whole it’s got seeds thing) but I’m going to count it as a veggie. I know many people who aren’t big fans of zucchini – probably because if it’s overcooked on its own, it can become mushy and fairly unappetizing. But this very tendency to get mushy (along with a pretty neutral flavor) is what’s making it so versatile for my purposes. Once cooked, peeled and pureed zucchini has virtually no texture, little flavor and no color. Leaving the peel on adds a negligible amount of texture and color.
So far this week, I have put pureed zucchini into pasta sauce, sloppy joes, tacos and fruit roll ups (will post about these later). And the boys, who won’t eat zucchini when I cook it on its own, are none the wiser. There was the moment when I was making the fruit roll ups and my six year old saw the peels in the garbage can. I was able to get out of this one though because he asked “Did you put that cucumber in the fruit snacks?”. Since a zucchini is not a cucumber, i was able to say no without technically lying (don’t judge me).