Recipe Corner: Zucchini and tomatoes

By Ginger Isham

About this time of year, there is an abundance of zucchini and tomatoes. These are two recipes I have made recently using both.

Zucchini Skillet Dinner
1/2 pound lean hamburger (substitute ground turkey/chicken/pork/sausage)
5-6 cups sliced zucchini
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 cup cottage cheese
3/4 cup instant brown rice (could use 3/4 cup cooked rice)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Brown hamburger in skillet. Add rest of ingredients (except cheese) and cover and simmer and stir 2-3 time for about 20 minutes until zucchini is cooked. Remove from stove and sprinkle cheese on top, replace cover and let set until cheese is melted. Serve.

Fresh Tomato Soup
1 medium carrot (sliced)
1/2 a leek (sliced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 firm tomatoes, cut up (or one 28-ounce can stewed tomatoes)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh, chopped basil (or 1 teaspoon dried basil)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
5 cups chicken broth or water
black pepper
Heat olive oil in skillet and add carrot, leek and garlic. Cook gently for several minutes. Add rest of ingredients except for pepper. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
Puree in a blender. Add black pepper. Serves 4-6 people.
For a creamy soup, add 4 cups broth and 1 cup half and half. You may also add 1 1/2 cups cooked rice or macaroni. Serve with French/Italian bread slices you have spread with oil and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and browned under broiler in oven.

Note: I have read that tomatoes reduce risk of colon, prostate and bladder cancers. Blueberries, strawberries, cherries and plums help protect against gastrointestinal cancers.

Ginger Isham lives with her husband on a fifth generation family farm on Oak Hill Road.