ZUCCHINI CARPACCIO

Serves 3 to 4.

Note: Use zucchini about 11/2 to 13/4 inches in diameter and about 9 to 12 inches long with bright green skin. Use a mandoline or peeler to get very thin cuts of zucchini. A knife is possible to use, but the slices will be uneven. From Pascal Lorange, executive chef, Fig & Olive Melrose Place, West Hollywood, Calif.

• 1 lb. zucchini

• 4 tbsp. pine nuts

• 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• 1 pinch freshly ground pepper

• 1 pinch sea salt

• 6 tbsp. shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions

Slice zucchini penny-thin using a mandoline; then arrange slices slightly overlapping on 3 (8-inch) round plates (white plates are very pretty for this). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time, a maximum of 3 to 4 hours.

Toast pine nuts over medium heat in a dry sauté pan until slightly brown (about a minute) and set aside in a small bowl.

Whisk together olive oil and lemon juice. When ready to serve, drizzle dressing over zucchini, season with pepper and sea salt, then sprinkle with cheese and toasted pine nuts.

Nutrition information for each of 4 servings:

Calories 240 Fat 22 g Sodium 220 mg

Carb. 6 g Sat. fat 4 g Calcium 150 mg

Protein 6 g Chol. 7 mg Fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1/2 medium-fat meat, 4 fat.

GRILLED CHICKEN BREASTS STUFFED WITH ZUCCHINI AND GOAT CHEESE

Serves 4.

Note: Herbes de Provence is a blend of herbs used in France, available at many supermarkets and from Penzeys Spices (three stores locally). From "A Harvest of Pumpkins and Squash," by Lou Seibert Pappas.

• 1 lb. zucchini

• Salt

• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing, divided

• 1 medium onion, finely chopped

• 4 oz. goat cheese, at room temperature

• 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 1 egg

• 2 tbsp. minced flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

• 1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

• 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (about 12 oz. each)

• Herbes de Provence for sprinkling (see Note)

Directions

Prepare a charcoal grill for a medium-hot fire or preheat a gas grill to medium-high or preheat an oven to 375 degrees.

Shred zucchini, sprinkle with salt, wrap in paper towels and let stand 15 minutes. Squeeze zucchini dry.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add zucchini and sauté 2 to 3 minutes, until crisp-tender; remove from skillet and let cool.

In the same skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil, add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes; remove from heat and let cool.

In a small bowl, beat together goat cheese and butter until blended. Add egg and beat until smooth. Mix in zucchini, onion, parsley and Parmesan cheese. Using your fingers, loosen skin from chicken breasts, leaving one side attached, and force zucchini stuffing beneath skin of each breast. Brush each stuffed breast with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with the herbes de Provence.

Grill chicken breasts directly over heat, turning once, until opaque throughout and juices no longer run pink, 15 to 20 minutes. If using the oven, place chicken on a roasting pan. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven 25 to 30 minutes or until cooked through. Serve at once.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 645 Fat 39 g Sodium 546 mg

Carb 7 g Sat fat 16 g Calcium 230 mg

Protein 63 g Chol 230 mg fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 7 lean meat, 2 medium-fat meat, 11/2 fat.

ZUCCHINI NOODLES

Makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings.

Note: To make your own basil-almond pesto, whir in some arugula leaves and almonds to regular pesto and add a little more liquid (stock or oil or a combination). From Lee Gross of M Cafe, Los Angeles.

•11/2 lb. (about) green zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, or any summer squash desired

• 1/4 c. (or more) homemade or store-bought basil-almond or other pesto (see Note)

• 1/4 c. (or more) extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• 1 tsp. sea salt

• 2 tbsp. roasted, chopped almonds

• 2 tbsp. sundried tomatoes (in olive oil), drained and julienned (or use 1 small fresh tomato, seeded and chopped

• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• Fresh Italian parsley and basil for garnish

Directions

Using a sharp knife or slicing tool, cut long, thin "noodles" from the squash. Alternatively, you could simply slice squash into thin rounds or use a peeler to create thin ribbons.

Combine "noodles" with basil-almond pesto, olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, roasted almonds, sundried tomatoes and black pepper. Toss well to combine.

Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve chilled, garnished with parsley and basil.

Nutrition information per each of 8 servings:

Calories 130 Fat 12 g Sodium 375 mg

Carbohydrates 4 g Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 48 mg

Protein 2 g Cholesterol 1 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 21/2 fat.

CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE

Serves 10.

Note: Adapted by Lou Seibert Pappas from a recipe by Renee Shepherd of Renee's Garden.

• 21/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

• 1 tsp. baking powder

• 1 tsp. baking soda

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

• 1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

• 13/4 c. sugar

• 1/2 c. olive oil

• 3 eggs

• 21/4 c. shredded zucchini

• 6 tbsp. yogurt or buttermilk

• 1 tsp. vanilla

• 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a round 10-inch springform pan with parchment and butter sides of pan.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cocoa powder.

In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil, mixing well. Add eggs and beat well after each addition. Stir in zucchini. Combine yogurt or buttermilk and vanilla.

Add dry ingredients to zucchini mixture alternating with buttermilk and vanilla, a third at a time, mixing well. Stir in chocolate chips. Turn into prepared pan. Top with additional chips, if desired.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until cake tests done. Let cool on a rack.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 420 Fat 16 g Sodium 325 mg

Carbohydrates 66 g Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 69 mg

Protein 7 g Cholesterol 57 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, 21/2 other carb, 3 fat.

SPINACH AND ZUCCHINI SOUP

Serves 6.

Note: From the Albany Times-Union.

• 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 2 medium onions, chopped

• Salt

• 21/2 c. potatoes cut into 1/2-in. cubes

• 21/2 c. zucchini, chopped

• 4 c. vegetable stock

• 4 c. fresh spinach leaves

• 1 c. cilantro, chopped

• 1 lemon

• Plain yogurt, for garnish

Directions

In a large pot add olive oil, garlic and onions. Sauté over medium heat a few minutes until they soften up. Add a pinch of salt, stir in potatoes and zucchini. Add stock, bring to a simmer, cook 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Stir in spinach, wait 20 seconds for it to wilt and then stir in cilantro.

Purée with a hand blender until smooth. Whisk in a big squeeze of lemon juice. Taste, add more salt if needed. Finish each bowl of soup with a dollop of plain yogurt.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 155 Fat 7 g Sodium 130 mg

Carb 21 g Sat fat 1 g Calcium 85 mg

Protein 4 g Chol 1 mg Fiber 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 bread/starch, 11/2 fat.

PENNE WITH ZUCCHINI AND RICOTTA

Serves 6.

Note: From Cooking Light magazine.

• 1 (16-oz.) pkg. penne

• 3 garlic cloves, peeled

• 2 lb. small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut diagonally into 1/2-in. slices (about 7 c.)

•1/4 c. grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided

• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 tbsp. chopped fresh or 1 tsp. dried marjoram

• 3/4 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. black pepper

• 1 c. part-skim ricotta cheese

Directions

Cook pasta and garlic in boiling water 7 minutes, add zucchini, and cook 3 minutes, until both pasta and zucchini are tender. Drain well, discard garlic cloves. Place pasta mixture in a large bowl.

Add 2 tablespoons Parmesan, oil, marjoram, salt and pepper; toss well to coat. Drop ricotta by tablespoons into pasta mixture; toss well. Sprinkle each serving with remaining Parmesan.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 470 Fat 11 g Sodium 436 mg

Carbs 72 g Sat fat 4 g Calcium 210 mg

Protein 20 g Chol 16 mg Fiber 5 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 4 bread/starch, 1/2 medium-fat meat, 11/2 fat.

SHREDDED SAUTÉED ZUCCHINI

Serves 4 to 6.

Note: From the Albany Times-Union.

• 6 large zucchini

• 2 tbsp. butter or olive oil

• 1 onion, diced

• 1 tbsp. chopped garlic

• Pinch salt and pepper

• 1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

Wash and clean zucchini, cutting off the ends. Shred the zucchini.

In a frying pan, heat the butter or olive oil, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the shredded zucchini, sautéing on low heat until the moisture has evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes.

Place cheese on top and let it melt. Serve as a side dish or alone with pasta.

Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:

Calories 175 Fat 11 g Sodium 205 mg

Carbs 12 g Sat fat 7 g Calcium 160 mg

Protein 9 g Chol 30 mg Fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 1/2 high-fat meat, 11/2 fat.