End-of-the Garden Zucchini Skillet

This past spring I got inspired and decided I wanted to plant my own vegetable garden right here at the house.  Fast forward a few months and now the tomatoes and zucchinis are free-flowing!  If you’ve ever had your own garden you will already know this, but it gets to a point where it’s vegetable overload and you have to do something with it…like right now.

So that’s what I’m going to help you with today.  

I stumbled upon this recipe eight years ago and it has remained one of my favorite ways to quickly use up a bunch of zucchini and tomatoes in one fell swoop.  Here are a few tips before you get started:

Garden fresh tomatoes and jalapeños taste better than diced tomatoes and green chilies from a can.  However, if that’s all you have use them anyway – it’s still good and well worth making.  I definitely use more than 2 teaspoons of chili powder.  Start there and keep adding along the way if you like more zip.  The same goes for the salt and pepper.  I tend to keep adding more as I go here too.

To give credit where credit is due, this recipe originated from The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook by Mark Hyman, MD.  I discovered this book way back when I did my first elimination diet and it was very helpful.



  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa 
  • 2 cups water 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 1 1/2 pounds grass-fed ground beef 
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper 
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped 
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped 
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced or 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 5 medium zucchini, chopped 
  • 2 large tomatoes or 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes


Make the Quinoa: 

  • Add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until all of the liquid has evaporated and the quinoa is cooked for about 15-20 minutes. 
  • Turn off the heat and let the quinoa steam in the covered pot for 3-5 minutes. 
  • Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. 


Make the Zucchini: 

  • Place the beef in a wide cast-iron pan and cook over medium-high heat. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and break up the meat as it browns about 3-5 minutes. 
  • Add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, and garlic and cook until the vegetables are soft, 5-6 minutes. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients and cover the pan. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the zucchini are tender, 20-25 minutes. Serve the zucchini mixture over the quinoa.