Like many people right now, I have been given some zucchini. Unfortunately not the small ones that are great for sauteing with other vegetables but the larger ones that full of seeds (as my daughter says “you check your garden, go to bed and all seems fine but wake up to find the small zucchini now the size of a bat).
A few weeks ago I was asked to do a food demo at a farmers market in Muskegon for women who wanted to learn how to cook healthier. The goal was to sample, teach and then take the ingredients for the recipe you were sharing with the women. I decided this was going to be a great way to use up my small bat size zucchini. I like the recipe because it’s so versatile for flavor by just adding a few small ingredients. It’s a great way to add more vegetables into any diet and it’s low fat 🙂 Enjoy!!! For comments/questions email firstname.lastname@example.org
1 zucchini 11-12 “ long
1 small yellow squash – finely chopped
3 baby portabella or 1 large portabella mushroom – finely chopped
3 green onions with stems attached – finely chopped along with green stems
2 cloves of garlic – peeled and chopped
½ red pepper – finely chopped
1 small roasted beet (golden or candy cane) chopped
½ green pepper – finely chopped
¼ cup cooked yellow rice, orzo, brown rice or quinoa
¼ cup shredded low fat cheese (Mozzarella, smoked Gouda, Queso Blanco, etc)
2-3 tablespoons fresh basil, cilantro, rosemary chopped
2-3 grape tomatoes chopped
Pam Olive Oil Spray
Slice large zucchini in half lengthwise. With a spoon make a “valley” as you remove all the seeds. Do not go too deep, just enough to take out seeds and have an area to fill. Sprinkle with ground pepper or other spice of choice. Set aside.
In a sauté pan, spray with olive oil and place on medium high heat. Add garlic and onions. Cook until tender but do not brown. Add combination or all of the vegetables above except for the tomatoes. Stir fry the vegetables until crisp/soft tender. Add more Olive Oil spray if needed. Add chopped spice(s). Stir in cooked rice/orzo/brown rice or quinoa. Remove pan from burner.
Fold in the shredded cheese. Fold in chopped grape tomatoes. Using a spoon fill the “valley” in each zucchini half, packing the filling as you go.
On a grill place the zucchini on medium high heat (325/350 degrees) lightly placing some tin foil over the top of the zucchini. Be careful not to burn the bottom of zucchini. You only need to cook the zucchini until it’s crisp tender, about 12-15 minutes. Be sure to not overcook zucchini or you will have mush.
In an oven, place zucchini that is loosely covered with foil directly on rack, bake 350 degrees for 12 minutes (time will vary according to ovens). Bake until crisp tender. Be sure to not overcook.
NOTE: You can easily make the filling of the zucchini taste more Italian by adding a little bit of tomato paste to the filling, omitting the rice and adding a bit of low fat turkey sausage. Or for a pizza flavor you can add a couple of tablespoons of pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and some chopped low fat pepperoni.