Zucchini-Feta Gratin from Cooking Light

Zucchini-Feta Gratin

It seems like I haven’t made a new recipe in ages. I may be exaggerating a bit, but I’ve just sort of been making a little of this and that. I haven’t made a “big batch” recipe in weeks! With the warmer weather, I’m just happy putting fresh things together and calling it a meal. I ended my little kitchen hiatus today by making a Zucchini-Feta Gratin using this recipe from Cooking Light Magazine. 

This was an easy recipe, and it resulted in a dish that could be a great choice for entertaining too. I love dishes that look more complicated than they really are. Mwa ha ha ha. Tricky. 

I followed the recipe with only a couple of tweaks.

  • I grilled my squash on the griddler instead of steaming it. Extra flavor? Yes, please!
  • I used a mix of yellow squash and zucchini for a more colorful dish. Plus… that’s what I had in the crisper.
  • I used fresh mint from the pot on the balcony instead of using dried mint as directed in the recipe. Why use dried when I have fresh out on the balcony?!

Let me show you how easy it was:

First, I layered the rice and feta mixture in my pie plate, after spraying the plate well with cooking spray:

Rice CrustI made extra rice this morning when I was cooking the rice for this recipe, and I had one of my favorite little breakfasts– rice, sugar, almond breeze and berries. I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving rice, milk and sugar. YUM! It was a favorite when I was a kid, and it has stood the test of time for me.

Brekkie BreakOk. Back to the recipe. Sorry about that! I love my milky sweet rice! After I had the rice crust in the pie dish, I grilled my squash on the Griddler. Y’all know I love my Griddler. Here he is:

Griddle me This...While the veggies were getting tanned, I chopped up some balcony pot mint:

Minty Fresh GoodnessThe mint went into a bowl along with some freshly ground nutmeg. Nutmeg and eggs are a match made in heaven! I bought some lovely brown eggs at the farmer’s market yesterday (along with the squash and the feta!!) This was a farmer’s market dish for sure!

Eggs

I love pretty brown eggs! 

Once the veggies were grilled, I mixed them with the other half of the feta, the salt and the pepper, and then filled my little rice crust. I sort of used my fingers to spread the veggies around in a nice even layer before I poured the egg mixture on top. After I added the egg mixture, I gave the dish a little tilt–this way and that– to make sure the egg mixture made its way all around the dish.

Ready To BakeIt went into the oven, and forty -five minutes later, I enjoyed a nice wedge of gratin with some TJ’s turkey meatballs (my answer to quickie “meatloaf” for one), and some sliced fresh tomato.

Lunchy LunchWhen I was a kid, I remember how my parents and grandparents would cover a whole plate with fresh tomatoes from the garden after a big dinner. They would add a little salt and then tear into them. It was kind of like the salad course. Me? Did I appreciate the gorgeous, red, homegrown Arkansas tomatoes? Nope. I hated them. What was I thinking??? Crazy.

I got the tomatoes on my lunch plate at the farmer’s market yesterday from some Hanover, VA farmers. They were SO good and very flavorful! I just added a little salt. I wonder where I got that idea? Ha! I think my tomato experience is a good example of why you should try foods that you might have hated as a kid! 

The gratin had a nice flavor, and I love that the edges of the rice crust got a little crispy and browned. I loved the flavor of the fresh mint contrasted with the salty feta. YUM!! I’m sure this would be great made with brown rice, but I’m trying to use up some things from the pantry. This seemed like  great time to use some white rice that has been around for awhile. I’m sure this would be good with steamed veggies, as directed in the recipe, but I’d encourage grilling them if possible. It was delicious, and I can’t wait to have it on my dinner plate over the next few days.

Now that I’ve had a nice lunch, I think I’ll take my bicycle out for another spin. I don’t believe I’ve introduced you. Meet Coby:

CobyYou can’t tell in this photo, but he is sort of a Cobalt blue color– hence the name: Coby. Coby and I went out yesterday for a ride, and it was not smooth sailing. I can’t believe it, but it was our first trip out this summer. Time is getting away from me! Before we left, I aired up the tires using a new pump I bought awhile back. Before I was even a mile from home… the front tire blew out. Ugh! We’d barely gotten started.

Feeling the need to take care of the problem ASAP, I walked Coby to a nearby bike shop. While there, they repaired the tire, and they also adjusted the derailleur because I mentioned that the chain always pops off when I try to shift down into first. I live in an area with some pretty big hills, and downshifting definitely makes them easier to tackle. Forty minutes later, thinking all was well, I hopped back on and resumed my trek. I couldn’t wait to shift down into first. I just knew it was going to make the hills much more tolerable. Feeling confident on the first big hill I came to, I clicked my little gear shifter and… the chain popped off again. Aargh!

I put the chain back on, wiped my greasy paws on some bright green grass, and then enjoyed a pretty nice ride. I did not try to change gears again, but I’m sure that just made me burn more calories on the dastardly hills. 

I bought Coby last summer after being passed by bikers while walking/running on the local trails. It looked like fun! How about you? Do you have a bicycle? Do you ride to work?… for fun?… as a serious athletic endeavor? Does your bicycle have a name? 🙂 I like to go on long rides on the weekends for a bit of a break in my cardio routine. I also love riding down to Old Town Alexandria and having a little picnic by the water. Riding to places that always seemed far away certainly made my world feel smaller. I kind of like that feeling sometimes!

Oh, I almost forgot! I had another Coconut Cream Pie Holey Donut yesterday before my ride. I promised to try to take a photo since the last couple of tries have failed. Here it is:

Coconut Cream PieThis one is my favorite, favorite, FAVORITE of all of the flavors I’ve tried. I’m enamoured.

Speaking of my being enamoured… don’t forget that you still have a few days to save on hottie Jay Robb’s products using a promotion code especially for Just Sweet Enough readers. Check out the bottom of this post for more info.

Now, I’m going to pack a snack and take Coby out for another spin. Wish me luck!

I hope you are having a stellar weekend! I also hope you’ll try the yummy Cooking Light gratin recipe if you are looking for something new to do with summer squash. If you have a garden (or a neighbor with a garden), a bumper crop (or a big bag of squash left on your doorstep in the dead of night) is always a possibility. I know you will want to have this recipe up your sleeve! Ciao for now, y’all! 🙂

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24 Comments

Filed under cooking, Cooking Light, diet, Farmer's Market, Fitness, Food, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetarian Recipes, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

24 responses to “Zucchini-Feta Gratin from Cooking Light

  1. Erin

    That gratin looks so gorgeous! Good luck with the bike. I have the worst luck with tires in the world! I want a bike, but haven’t bought one yet. I’m not sure how much I’d use it.

  2. That rice dish sounds like a quick rice pudding – yum!! I LOVE the gratin! Glad you grilled the veggies 🙂

    Too funny about the tomatoes because I used to hate them too! Now I’m like, “MORE PLEASE!!” Although I add salt and pepper. Cute bike! I need to dust mine off one of these days!

  3. That gratin looks AMAZING! Oh and I’m SO glad you liked the microwave polenta, its one of my favorites!

  4. M

    That recipe sounds delisssssh….and now because of you, I am so hooked on PB&A!! A million thanks! 🙂

  5. I saw a three wheeled motorcycle on my way to church this a.m. I told my husband if I chose to ride a bicycle or motorcycle I would need permanent training wheels.

    Think I’ll stick to treadmill.

  6. I love the rice/feta crust! How innovative!

    The breakfast reminds me of rice pudding. Would never think of that, but I know what you mean – delicious!

    I have a white Jeep bike with green lettering and it has like green vines, leaves running along the frame bars. I love it, I got it last year and we’ve tried to ride the trail by our house 3-4 times a week, but haven’t the past week because it’s been in the 90s and too muggy.

  7. Rice au gratin? Interesting. I think I’ll try this recipe and will let you know. I’m not a fan of potato au gratins, but rice would be a nice substitute.

    You also caught my attention with the Griddler. Thank you for the review in the previous post! I’ve never noticed this gadget before, but now I want one too. We stopped using our outdoor BBQ because neither the Mister nor I want to be grilling in the blazing Californian sun. I’m looking for an indoor alternative, so this might fit the bill. (Must save up for it first).

    Have you ever used George Forman grills? I’m wondering how this compared to GF grills. Does it have an on/off switch?

    Have a great week!

    • Hi, Linda-
      I can’t say enough good things about the Griddler. 🙂 I had a GF grill many moons ago, and I’m sure the features have changed a lot since then. Here are the things I love about the griddler (not to say that the newer GFs wouldn’t have some of these features too…)
      1. The plates are removable and dishwasher safe. My hands don’t fare well in dish water so that was key for me!
      2. The Griddler comes with the panini/grill plates that I use most of the time as well as flat surface griddle plates. There are separate knobs depending on which plates you are using. It’s great because I can set it for the proper temperature when I use the griddle plates for making pancakes.
      3. You can fold it out flat and double the cooking space. I usually use it panini press style by sandwiching my grillables between the plates, but If I need to make a lot of veggies, I can flatten it out and just flip things to cook both sides.
      4. It has a floating hinge so things like thick burgers don’t get smushed toward the back. Since it is a panini press (as well as a grill and a griddle) it makes room to accommodate something like a thick sandwich.
      5. It’s called “the Griddler” which just makes me smile!

      Oh, and it does have an on/off setting on the center knob. I’m such a fan!!

      I hope you have a great week too. I can’t believe it’s almost Monday already! Sigh.

  8. Oh my, I MUST try this recipe!

  9. wow that looks AMAZING! I love the idea of a rice crust! SO interesting, and I’ll bet the texture was fantastic!

  10. That gratin looks restaurant quality! And everyone is taking about those Holey Donuts… I probably will give ’em a try soon. Great post!

  11. I am all about that gratin- it sounds SO fabulous! mmmmm. I think grilling vs. steaming was an awesome choice- love the grilly marks. Fresh tomatoes are on of my favorite things about summer. They taste SO different than the sorry excuses for tomatoes you get from the grocery store in the winter. Hope you have a good Monday

  12. ooh, that gratin looks great and I think I have everything to make it!

    i have a bike, but don’t ride it much. It’s a mountain bike, so I could ride trails and stuff around here, but there’s no way I could ride to work. It’s up and down mountains on a highway that takes 30 minutes to drive in our car 🙂 I hope to some day, though!

  13. I knew I could come here for some fun food ideas after my trip. I need something new to help me get back on track!

    As always, your food looks absolutely amazing. I’m too scared to order the donuts (even though they tempt me with email coupons daily!) I just dont think I have the will power to not eat them all at once 😀

  14. This recipe couldn’t have been more perfectly timed. My parents just gave me a bunch of home-grown zucchini last night and I was thinking of grilling them up, but this recipe will really make a meal out of them. I have brown rice in the pantry, so I’m going to try it with that.

    I do have a bike, a peach beach cruiser that I named Lola. Lola and I go on bike rides around the neighborhood all the time, although the weather has been so hot lately that I haven’t taken her for a spin in a while. Once it cools down later in the week, I definitely plan on taking her out.

  15. maggieapril

    That gratin looks great. As you know, I made some awesome zucchini pancakes with feta (and walnuts!) this week – and finished them up for lunch today. mmm…

    Donuts – man, do I miss them!! (I have no self-control around sweets so you are my hero for being able to eat them one at a time!)

    maggieapril from http://www.tastenotwaist.com

  16. Hi Coby. I like your name. And no, I don’t ride bikes. Not since I was a kid. I have no good reason why, lol!

    Love that CL recipe girl! Beautiful photos.

  17. I’ve got that same grill! I love the idea of grilling there instead of hauling them outside! And that coconut pie hole thing….drooling with envy, honey, drooling with envy…

  18. Star

    Oh how I love riding my bike I try to do it as often as possiblehis name is El Terrible (little accenty thing over the e) I actually ride my bike so much it was weird to drive my car around town the other day (had to pick up big bags of sand and morter that were to big for the basket) I find that its an easy way to sneak in some excersize as well as blow off some steam plus I get places alot faster.

  19. Oooh–this looks like a great recipe! I love Cooking Light 🙂 Rice in anything is delicious. This is pretty to look at, too (bonus points!).

  20. That gratin looks great! Gotta love Cooking Light.

    My brother bought me a bike for my birthday last year, just as my doc told me no bike riding due to my herniated disk. I haven’t taken it out yet this year now that I’m well enough. It’s going to need a couple rides before I can determine an appropriate name.

  21. That gratin looks so lovely!! MMMMMMM,…..

    Good luck & have a lot of fun riding your lovely bike!

  22. Priyanka

    Love the gratin,do you have any leftovers? ;~P

    Lovely bike too, have fun riding it and be safe!

    Have a great weekend!

  23. gosnellbrat

    If a recipe has zucchini and/or squash in it I will love it! And rice just makes it better! ;D

    Maybe when the squash and zucchini ripen I’ll be able to convince my mom to help me make it.

    We did corn this week, the tomatoes are next~
    My uncle will drink tomato (juice) straight from the jars we put ’em in!

    I have a purple sidewinder who has been getting more use as of the past two weeks! Mostly I ride the streets to Mimiees and to my friends houses…
    Mrs. H rides a lot though O_o

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