Recipes to celebrate National Zucchini Day

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(PIX11) -- In celebration of National Zucchini Day on Aug. 8, try these recipes from Rachael Ray Magazine:

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

This low-carb dish definitely doesn't compromise on flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 bunch  scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 zucchini (about 8 oz. each)
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 10 ounce box  couscous
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions

  1. Brown the beef in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl (leave the drippings in the pan).
  2. Cook the scallions, pine nuts, if using, and garlic in the drippings for 3 minutes. Stir in the zest, season with salt and pepper and mix with the meat. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Cut a 1/4-inch-thick lengthwise slice from each zucchini. Using a melon baller or teaspoon, scoop out and discard the seeds, creating four 1/4-inch-thick "boats".
  4. Arrange the zucchini in a medium baking dish and fill each with some of the beef mixture. Pour 1/2 cup chicken broth into the bottom of the dish, cover with foil and bake until the zucchini are tender, about 30 minutes.
  5. Bring the remaining 1 1/4 cups broth to a boil in a small saucepan, add the EVOO and stir in the couscous. Cover, turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork; keep warm.
  6. Divide the couscous and zucchini boats among plates. Top with the yogurt, tomatoes and cucumber. Sprinkle with the parsley.

Zucchini-Kiwi Guac

Ingredients

  •         1 jalapeno, halved and seeded
  •         4 scallions, chopped
  •         2 small zucchini, seeded and chopped
  •         3 kiwis, peeled
  •         2 avocados, pitted and peeled
  •         3 tablespoons lime juice

Directions

In food processor, pulse first 3 ingredients until finely chopped; transfer to bowl. Pulse remaining ingredients until chopped. Stir into bowl; season. Serve with tortilla chips.

Zucchini Pesto with Linguini

Ingredients

  •         Salt and pepper
  •         2 small, firm zucchini (1 to 1 1/4 lbs.)
  •         1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds
  •         1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  •         1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  •         2 cloves garlic, quartered
  •         1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  •         About 1 cup parmigiano-reggiano
  •         1/2- 1/3 cup EVOO
  •         1 pound linguine or lemon-flavored spaghetti

Directions

1.     Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Halve the zucchini and scrape away the seeds from the centers. Boil the zucchini for 5 minutes, then, using tongs, transfer to paper towels to drain. Leave the water at a low boil. Coarsely chop the zucchini.

2.     In a small skillet, toast the nuts over medium heat until golden and fragrant. Place half of the nuts in a food processor and let cool; reserve the remaining nuts.

3.     Add the zucchini to the food processor along with the mint, parsley, garlic and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Add the cheese and process. With the machine on, stream in the EVOO until the pesto is just turning from finely chopped to saucy. Transfer to a large, shallow serving bowl.

4.     Bring the reserved water to a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Add about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water to the pesto. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce for 1 to 2 minutes to combine. Top with the reserved toasted nuts.