Community Classroom

MABRRI's Garden Cafe: Zucchini Recipes

A cutting board with onions, garlic and zucchini
Author: Rachel Stern

Looking for some tasty treats to cook up this summer? Check out some of these VIU Garden Café recipes.

What’s the Garden Café? The café simmered into existence when organizers and volunteers at the Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank depot, operating out of Snaw-naw-as Health Centre, consistently found that less commonly used vegetables such as squash, zucchini and greens were being left behind. To raise awareness about how delicious and nutritious these vegetables can be, Vancouver Island University’s Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute (MABRRI) worked with Snaw-naw-as First Nation to have a chef cook recipes, featuring a different vegetable every week, for people picking up hampers to sample. MABRRI also worked with Snaw-naw-as First Nation to create the Garden of Spiritual Healing, which provides four complementary uses: community education, health and wellness, food security, and a community gathering space.

On the menu this week, four scrumptious ways to enjoy zucchini!

Zucchini Provencal


1 Zucchini – cubed                                          1 red onion – chopped

2 tomatoes – peeled and quartered             Green pepper – diced

1 garlic clove – minced                                   Salt and pepper

Parsley                                                             Oil (whichever oil is your preference)


In a skillet, sauté onion in oil until tender.

Add zucchini, green pepper, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Stir in tomatoes.

Place cooked vegetables in a serving dish and garnish with parsley.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake 


2 cups all-purpose flour                                  2 cups white sugar

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder              2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder                             ½ teaspoon of salt                                         

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon                         4 eggs                                                             

1 ½ cups vegetable oil                                    3 cups grated zucchini                                   

¾ cup chopped walnuts


Stir the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix together we ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix. Place in greased and floured cake pan.

Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees

Zucchini Sage and Brown Butter 


2-3 zucchini – cubed                                       2 tablespoons of butter

2 teaspoons fresh sage                                   Salt and pepper


In a skillet, brown the butter. Add zucchini and sage and cook until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Zucchini and Herbs 


2-3 zucchini – thickly sliced                           

2 tablespoons of butter

2 teaspoons of herbs (rosemary, thyme and parsley)

Salt and pepper


In a skillet, sauté zucchini in butter and herbs until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.


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