A lot of the adjustments when the kids move out are pretty easy — less laundry, a lower water bill, not as much “stuff” around the house. But it’s really hard to get a handle on the food situation when you go from four to two. Often I buy more than we can eat before it goes bad or I make too much and we’re stuck eating the same thing for days. And all bets are off when our vegetable garden goes into overdrive, like it has during this hot, dry summer, or friends share the wealth (usually zucchini) from their garden.


I really don’t have anything against zucchini. Admittedly its flavor and texture are a bit meh and there’s only so much to do with it. And it becomes even more challenging when I’m dealing with my own oversupply of a squash relative, patty pan squash, and yet another multi-pound Lunch Lady gourd. Enter the spiralizer, a gift from my neighbor Patti. It turns zucchini and other long, skinny squash into spaghetti-like strands. You can saute them with garlic, use them like a low-carb pasta, or put them in a favorite zucchini bread recipe. But I learned an important lesson — you have to cut the strands into short pieces before adding them to bread or muffin batter. Otherwise it feels like you’re eating hair in your muffin. Ew.

Spiralized zucchini

I made zucchini bread with zucchini from my friend Sue’s CSA share, inspired by a recipe by Melanie Barnard and Brooke Dojny in the AMA Family Health Cookbook.

Sue’s Zucchini Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/4 cup safflower or other vegetable oil
  • 2 cups packed shredded zucchini or summer squash
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Spray a standard loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and allspice in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the egg, brown sugar, milk, and oil in a small bowl. Add to the flour mixture and stir until nearly smooth; avoid overmixing.
  4. Fold in the zucchini.
  5. Place the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, until the top is light brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then gently remove and finish cooling on a rack.