Congratulations to last week’s eggplant contest winner: Greg L. from New York City!  His recipe for ratatouille got double thumbs up.  Check out the recipe below.  A HealthBarn magnet is on its way, Greg!  Now onto this week’s contest…

Zucchini may be all the way at the end of the alphabet, but we hope you haven’t forgotten to take advantage of this great green summer squash!  Here at the Barn, our campers are picking zucchini off vines in the garden.  Each zucchini sprouts with a flower that can also be eaten.  One of the most fun things the kids have discovered is that zucchinis can grow quite big—bigger than their heads!

HUGE zucchini from the garden

It may look a lot like cucumber, but zucchini is sweeter and softer on the inside.  There’s no need to peel zucchini, as the skin is thin, tender, and delicious.  Slice raw zucchini into rounds or sticks, and serve alongside hummus for an easy afternoon snack.  Or try it sliced and roasted, or scooped out and stuffed!  If you’re lucky enough to get a hold of the edible blossoms, which are often removed before the vegetable is sold in stores, they make beautiful and tasty salad toppers.  Zucchini is also a prime ingredient in the ratatouille recipe below, if you’re looking for inspiration!


From a nutritional perspective, zucchini are very low in calories and contains fiber.  It’s an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of Riboflavin, vitamin B6, and the mineral manganese.

So, what do you cook with zucchini?  Share your favorite recipe with us by Thursday, August 30 and we will announce the winner on Monday, September 3, along with the following week’s ingredient.

We can’t wait to hear about what you’re cooking up healthy at your home!

All submissions should be sent to [email protected].  Please include your name, hometown, and a picture of your dish, if possible.  For more details on the contest and the types of recipes we’re looking for, check out our introductory post.


Greg’s Ratatouille

2 red bell peppers

1 large eggplant, chopped into ½ inch cubes

4 tablespoons of olive oil, divided

1 head of garlic

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 zucchini, diced

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon dried oregano, basil, or a combination

Salt and black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven broiler on high.  Place red peppers on a cookie sheet and put under the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes, turning often, until charred on all sides.  Set peppers aside until cool enough to handle, then peel off the charred skin and remove the seeds inside.  Slice into small cubes and set aside.
  2. When peppers are done, turn off the broiler and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Toss eggplant cubes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Spread on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft but not mushy.
  4. Cut off top of garlic head and wrap in foil.  Put this in the oven along with the eggplant to roast.  They should finish cooking around the same time.
  5. In a large saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the diced onions and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the zucchini, eggplants, and peppers, and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes.
  7. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins into the pan, along with the crushed tomatoes.  Season with a pinch of salt (or more, to taste), pepper, and the dried herbs.  Let simmer 20 minutes until the sauce is thick.  Serve hot, room temperature, or cold.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email