Last week, I over filled my basket at the Farmer’s Market. Normally, this is not a problem especially when it is stuffed with so many colorful, seasonal fruits and vegetables. However, when you are traveling in and out of the country during the summer, you really need to remember that filling the fridge before the next journey is not a wise thing to do! So, on the eve before my week cycling trip I invited a friend over for dinner. We called it the “empty-the-fridge” dinner! I used the remainder of my summer veggies from Wednesday’s market visit, leftover rice and a variety of cheeses to over-stuff this large, locally farmed zucchini!
This is a very simple recipe that is full of vitamins, naturally healthy foods, and looks colorful on your plate! Serves well with warm bread and butter… sometimes I substitute the rice for quinoa, and I have been known to make this recipe with leftover Bolognese sauce too! Enjoy!
Veggie Stuffed Zucchini Boats
2-3 medium zucchinis, halved lengthwise with the middles scooped out
1 ear of sweet corn
1 small red bell pepper
1 small yellow pepper
1.5 cups chopped, fresh green beans
3-5 mushroom caps, sliced
1/4 sweet, yellow onion, chopped
1-2 tablespoons olive oil + 1 teaspoon
3 tablespoons tomato paste
fresh herbs of choice (I used cilantro and green onions)
cheese for topping (parmesan, shredded mozzarella or cheddar are best!)
Optional: 1/2 cup cooked rice, 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, or 3/4 cup browned, ground beef or turkey
Bring a large pot of water to boil. If using rice or quinoa, follow cooking directions on package and prepare now.
While waiting for water to boil, chop all veggies and place into a steamer basket in a saucepan with 1/4 inch of water in bottom of pan.
Using a sharp knife, cut the kernals off the corn cob and place in the steamer basket with other veggies.
When water is boiling, place zucchini into pot and par-boil for 8-10 minutes- just until Zucchini begins to glisten. When finished, place upside down on a baking rack over the sink to allow the zucchini to drain for 10 minutes. PREHEAT oven to 185 degrees C or 350 degrees F.
While zucchini is resting, steam veggies just until crisp. Be careful as steaming too long will cause veggies to get mushy in the oven later. At the same time, quickly saute the onion and mushrooms in teaspoon of oil until tender. If you are using ground beef or turkey, now is the time to begin browning it.
Combine all cooked ingredients into a medium bowl. Add the chopped fresh herbs, oil and tomato paste. Mix together until ingredients are covered with sauce.
Pat the zucchini dry with a paper towel. Place in a non-stick baking pan. Fill zucchini with the veggie/rice/meat mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top. Cover with tin foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove tinfoil and bake for another 3-5 minutes to allow cheese to brown a little.
Let cool for 5 minutes then serve and enjoy!