Friday, June 24, 2011

Stuffed Zucchini

The original recipe from Kaylyn's Kitchen called for large zucchini cut in "cups" much like stuffed bell peppers. I did try the recipe like this but ran in to two problems: 1. you didn't get a lot of stuffing per zucchini 2. you filled up on zucchini instead of your protein source. Next time I will cut them in "boats" that is to say long ways instead of "cups".

* substitutions: Make this recipe yours
a 1/2 pound ground meat for beans if you prefer
(You will need to brown the meat before sauteing onions and bell pepper)
-Use bell pepper, acorn squash or tomato cups instead of zucchini

1 XL zucchini
1 small or 1/3 cup diced onion (use food processor to make it tiny)
1/3 cup of bell pepper diced (use food processor to make it tiny if prefer not to see chunks)
1/4 cup zucchini insides
1 garlic bulb or dot of refrigerated garlic in tube (processed to make tiny)
1/2 cup cooked black beans
1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1 to 1/5 cup of marinara sauce
S & P to taste (salt and pepper)

large skillet
baking dish (preferably glass)
Olive oil or spray oil
Preheat oven to 350
Makes 3-4 "cups" of stuffed zucchini

1. Preparation: Wash, dry, and slice off the top and bottom of zucchini.

2. Slice into 2-3 inch chunks.
3. Hollow out zucchini using a melon baller or small spoon. Make sure to leave enough "floor"  space at the bottom so that the bowls will not leak. After this step, you will want to pre-bake the bowls or boats to soften the flesh. Place them in baking dish with 1/2 inch of water in the bottom, S&P to taste and bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

4. To begin, saute onion, bell pepper, and scooped out zucchini over medium heat in a lightly oiled or sprayed skillet. Cook for 5 minutes or until onion and bell peppers are soft. If the onion begins to brown or stick, turn your heat down and add a little oil. Add garlic after 3 minutes.

5. Turn down heat to medium-low and add beans and marinara sauce. Stir to evenly heat sauce. The beans should already be cooked so you are just heating the sauce in this step and cooking off any excess water.
6. Carefully spoon the stuffing into the zucchini cups and bake just as you would stuffed bell pepper. (If you don't have experience with stuffed b.peppers, you will put the cups into a baking dish, spoon mixture inside, and add about a half inch to an inch of water into the bottom of dish.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for another 20 minutes.