Simple Zucchini Side Dish

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

– Mark Twain

It’s rather (un)amusing how some scientific things I learnt while I was at university seem to not be put into practice. Sometimes I think that maybe I’m getting old, feeling like a dinosaur, so scientific knowledge must surely have improved since then, and what I knew may be obsolete. Other times – like today – I read things that prove that I’m not so obsolete and effectively, I wonder why some concepts weren’t put into practice.

Today I read this article in Forbes called Why Eggs and Other Cholesterol Laden Foods Pose Little or No Health Rish. It made me remember one of my scientific health mysteries that don’t seem to be put into practice. But the good news is that perhaps they may be soon.

According to a couple of classes I attended, biochemistry and nutrition, most of our cholesterol is produced by ourselves, by our own cells. When I say most of our cholesterol, I mean about 90% of it. Crickey! Don’t you think that’s quite a lot?

Most of the cholesterol we ingest through our diet is usually broken down and we don’t really absorb it as cholesterol as such. What triggers our cells to produce more or less cholesterol, especially the bad cholesterol, is the other types of fat we eat. Therefore in theory, traditionally cholesterol rich foods, such as eggs or butter, may in fact be sort of ok, and we might have to re-educate ourselves with regards to which other fat rich food we should be careful of.

That’s some food for thought, right?

Zucchini side dish

Zucchini side dish recipe

Simple Zucchini Side Dish

I was tempted to call this post Zimple Zucchini Zide Dish, but I was afraid WordPress might expel me for bad spelling. Just kidding. The thing is I have a fleeting memory of when I was a kid and learning to write, for a while I used to write my name like this: Zofia. But with the Z in a curvy way, as if it was an S but looking towards the other side. It was not because I didn’t understand spelling or anything, I just liked how it looked.

With regards to this dish, kindly ignore that sausage in the photo, so we can consider it cholesterol and fat free. It’s really simple to make and I recommend it as a side dish to accompany oven cooked meat dishes.


2 zucchinis, 2 cloves garlic, rosemary, salt, black pepper, olive oil (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Wash and chop the zucchinis. Arrange on a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Nest a couple of cloves of garlic between the zucchinis. Cook in the oven for at least 40 minutes or until they are soft.

The olive oil is optional. You can pour some on before putting them in the oven. This way the oil will act like a solubilizer and catalizer and cook the zucchini quicker. Likewise you can not use it, or drizzle on a small amount after cooking to give some flavour.

Thank you for reading!

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  1. Amanda | What's Cooking 2015-02-13 at 00:04

    Interesting facts on cholesterol. I love zucchini and this recipe for it is great. Rosemary enhances everything. Lol re spelling 🙂

    1. Sofia 2015-02-13 at 08:55

      Yeah, what I had studied was that the types of other fats, the proportions of saturated / unsaturated fatty acids, they were what make you produce more or less cholesterol. Yes to butter 😉

  2. Bunny Eats Design 2015-02-13 at 00:13

    Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. – Mark Twain

    I am in love with that quote. When ever I read about a new health “fact”, I’m always so dubious. Except for those new facts that says things like “Eat more fat!”. I guess I like to cherry pick facts to how I’m already eating.

    I really like “Zofia”. It would make a great company name, if you ever need a company 😀

    Loving this simple recipe too. I’m calling it “Zofia’s Zucchini”.

    1. Sofia 2015-02-13 at 08:53

      I love that quote too Genie 🙂 Oh I’m always dubious, I remember when I used to work as a pharmacist people would come and ask for really weird things because they had “read it in a magazine” or “seen it on television”. Anyway…
      Haha true, yep I’d like to make a company one day so thats a good idea you have for my future name!

  3. thatssojacob 2015-02-13 at 00:28

    I made zucchini rigatoni for dinner last night. Ironic! And I would totally call it Zofia Zucchini. Sounds like the name of a Sicilian fortune teller.

    1. Sofia 2015-02-13 at 08:55

      Haha it does 😛

  4. Patty Nguyen 2015-02-13 at 00:46

    Zofia’s Zucchini! Looks delish, my friend! Especially with that fat sausage!! 😍

    1. Sofia 2015-02-13 at 08:58

      I know,.. but you were supposed to ignore that fat cholesterol manipulating sausage darling! 😉

      1. Patty Nguyen 2015-02-13 at 09:12

        Ignore?? I love me some cholesterol! 😂😂😂

  5. Dalo 2013 2015-02-13 at 01:30

    This news about cholesterol is really kind of shocking…it is good news, as I now enjoy the flavor of real butter these days 🙂 We grew up on margarine, which after my family used it for decades for ‘good health’ reason has ironically become a horrible thing to use…

    Eating well, and especially doing all your home cooking would definitely be healthy ~ and this dish looks great. Zofia Zucchini…I like it too!

    1. Sofia 2015-02-13 at 09:00

      Yeah my family isn’t into butter (nor margarine) but I’ve always been pro butter. I can’t stand the flavour of margarine and ever since I was a student and had my nutrition classes I was definitely into butter. Ok, I already wrote a post about this so I’ll shut up! Are you enjoying butter now?!
      Yeah now everyone is calling this Zofia Zucchini! 🙂

      1. Dalo 2013 2015-02-13 at 16:51

        🙂 Yes, I do enjoy butter now…although still use it sparingly (just never used anything much when I was young…my Mom says it is because I was too lazy to butter pancakes or toast, and I have to agree with that!).

        I will have to attempt to make Zofia Zucchini soon 🙂 Cheers!

        1. Sofia 2015-02-13 at 22:31

          You were too lazy for it! haha
          If you do attempt it, do tell me!

  6. Sunny 2015-02-13 at 01:55

    Oh nom nom nom! I know the cholesterol thing is also genetic. I’ve met a family where the “thin” half has cholesterol problem and the heavier half doesn’t! If that is indeed true, I think I’ll be OK. Not that I’ll start eating 5 eggs a day or anything, but I won’t be overly worried about it 🙂

    1. Sofia 2015-02-13 at 09:03

      Yeah it must be genetic because (shock horror) last time I had a test I had high levels, and so does my mum, and she is slim and eats super healthy. At the same time I remember studying that Asians tend to have proportionally higher cholesterol levels than Europeans, like genetically.
      Haha I know what you mean, I didn’t think you’d suddenly eat 5 eggs a day! xx

  7. Mabel Kwong 2015-02-13 at 02:17

    I never knew that about cholesterol, that our body produces it. Now, how to be careful and eat all the bad fatty foods in moderation.. 🙂 I love this size zucchini dish. It looks fantastic and glad to see you put in black pepper – black pepper adds taste to anything! Don’t think the zucchinis are that white in Australia (and no, I’m not confusing them with cucumbers!).

    1. Sofia 2015-02-13 at 09:05

      Yeah, we do produce most of our cholesterol.
      I think I can’t live without black pepper 😉 I think you’re confusing them with cucumbers, yep 🙂

      1. Mabel Kwong 2015-02-13 at 12:43

        No, no. I am not confusing them with cucumbers. My mum has served zucchinis at the dinner table and they were definitely no where near white like the ones you have. Maybe my mother is confused, lol.

        1. Sofia 2015-02-13 at 22:26

          Hmm maybe she cooked them with soya sauce 😉

    1. Sofia 2015-02-13 at 09:06

      Haha thanks for the link. I had read about the spinach thing. Gosh, all the Popeye hype dedicated to healthy iron rich spinach!

  8. Guillermina Stover 2015-02-13 at 04:36

    I just read an article that says that very thing! That fats & cholesterol ARE indeed not EVIL. How refreshing. But also how realistic. Because BECAUSE because: there is no such thing as a BAD food. It is important to read a VARIETY of food. So don’t take out a food completely and also don’t eat only one type of food. ‘Nuff said. As the Mexicanos say, “¡He dicho!”

    1. Sofia 2015-02-13 at 09:09

      Well all of our cell walls are made of fat, so we obviously need some…. Exactly, as you say, its not that there is bad food, I believe everything should be eaten in its right proportion and in moderation.

  9. jaznajalil 2015-02-13 at 07:37

    Such a lovely,simple dish! For a Indian (we potter around with a million ingredients and spices for every dish) this is almost “not cooking”!!

    1. Sofia 2015-02-13 at 09:10

      Oh I know, sometimes I’m sort of embarrassed to publish these types of recipes because its so simple, it’s nearly like shoving a frozen pizza into the oven. As you say: not cooking!

  10. Darya 2015-02-13 at 10:26

    Zeu French would zay “I love ze zucchini, Zofia”. I love how you go on about cholesterol in the post, and then deliver a surprisingly cholesterol-free recipe, where even the olive oil is optional! I must admit I know nothing about cholesterol (maybe it’s a good thing?), and am not ready to renounce eating eggs or butter (and the two together). I enjoy learning though, so I had fun reading your post!

    1. Sofia 2015-02-13 at 22:21

      You don’t say ze though! I know, I was thinking it sounds like I want everyone to eat cholesterol now, so bad of me… but surprise: super healthy recipe, Now you know eggs and butter may not be so bad after all!

  11. The Peckish Kiwi 2015-02-13 at 21:23

    I like a soft Z. If the S is the swan of the alphabet, the soft Z would be its brother headed in the opposite direction. I’ve had the opposite problem my whole life. My name is Ezra but it’s so hard to get people to spell it with a z rather than an s.

    1. Sofia 2015-02-13 at 23:31

      Hey you’ve always been very mysterious, is your name really Ezra? Its such a lovely name!!
      My problem is people writing my name as Sophia (I don’t really mind though).

      1. The Peckish Kiwi 2015-02-14 at 02:14

        Yeah that’s me. I can imagine many people misspell your name due to muscle memory. I prefer Sofia though.

        1. Sofia 2015-02-15 at 15:53

          I’m glad I know your name now (and it’s such a nice name!).

  12. Liz 2015-02-18 at 04:40

    oh that looks so good! Funny how the nutrition pendulum swings. It’s always about moderation in the end. Except for zucchini–eat loads of zucchini 😀


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