Book Jacket: The classic zucchini cookbook: 225 recipes for all kinds of squash

by Bridget O’Donnell

Vegetables are something meat and potato eaters might not think of as versatile – but they’re so much more than carbs! Vegetables are low in fat and calories, have no cholesterol and are an important source of nutrients: including but not limited to dietary fiber, Vitamins A and C, antioxidants, protein and good fat. Some vegetables are water-rich (like bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and spinach) helping keep you hydrated and when infused in water add electrolytes (potassium) and flavor. Vegetables [especially when paired with exercise] may also help boost immunity, lower blood pressure and reduce or reverse disease and obesity. Experts recommend that adults try to eat about 3 cups of vegetables a day. *Note: Results vary by individual. Talk to your doctor about which vegetables might benefit your diet the most.

So whether it’s time to consider Meatless Mondays, a cleaner diet or ways to help reduce your carbon footprint, prepare a single vegetable or find creative ways to use/store/freeze/can your seasonal vegetable-share… Eat Your Vegetables – as a salad, a side dish or the main course, as snacks throughout the day or added to breakfast, lunch, dinner, smoothies and dessert (yes, dessert!!).

Just a few weeks before retiring from 36 years in public service, Deb Weltsch graciously took time out to provide our first cookbook review highlighting Thai-style Coconut Curry with Chicken and Zucchini. It looks great; I wouldn’t mind having that for lunch! Thank you and best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement full of great food!

Title of Cookbook: The Classic Zucchini Cookbook: 225 Recipes for All Kinds of Squash

Author of Cookbook: Nancy C. Ralston

What prompted you to check out this cookbook?

I first found it when I’d gotten a bumper crop of zukes from the CSA farmshare, and was looking for recipes beyond ratatouille and zucchini bread, to include it in the week’s menu. A Godsend when the squash comes in fast and furiously in the summer months!

What did you like about this cookbook?

It’s simplicity and focus on squash as a main ingredient for the recipes was exactly what I was looking for at the time! I also discovered references to the Poughkeepsie Farm Project in some of the text, which was a delightful surprise.

What didn’t you like about this cookbook?

It was not something I didn’t like – but I know some cooks really want pictures in their cookbooks, and this one is very down-to-earth (seeing as how it is veg-in-season focused) and doesn’t have photographs, though it is illustrated. This might be a negative for some, so am including it here.

Favorite recipe (that you tried from the cookbook): “Thai-style Coconut Curry with Chicken and Zucchini”. Get recipe here.

Did you alter the recipe or make any substitutions? If so, what were they?

I had some leftover cauliflower from an African Potato Stew (Vegetarian Planet– by Didi Emmons) – made a few days prior, so I added that in.

I use the ‘lite’ version of the Coconut milk, and I’m sure the full fat version would be even richer and tastier. I never tried it with the peanut garnish. I love them with Pad Thai, but I’m sure it would be a really different flavor!

I serve this dish with sour cream (or lowfat plain yogurt) and Major Grey [mango] chutney as add-ins, and prefer serving this dish over basmati [or jasmine] rice, as there is a lovely, creamy broth that will absorb, but any will do. Last batch was with bomba rice and it was a nice texture.

Photo of Thai Coconut Curry with Zucchini  Photo of Thai Coconut Curry with Zucchini  Graphic that reads

Additional Reading (all accessed online on Feb. 23rd, 2021):

  1. Vegetables: What foods are in the Vegetable Group (USDA MyPlate)
  2. 10 Nutrient-Rich Super Foods (WebMD)
  3. 19 High-Protein Vegetables and how to Eat More of Them (Healthline)
  4. 19 Water-Rich Foods That Help You Stay Hydrated (Healthline)
  5. 7 Benefits of Cucumber Water: Stay Hydrated and Healthy (Healthline)
  6. 6 myths about carbs that are preventing you from losing weight (NBC news)
  7. Poughkeepsie Farm Project

Quick Subject links to the Library catalog: