Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Stuffed Zucchini

When I was a kid, my aunt came to visit, and she made us stuffed zucchini. The actual recipe is hazy in my mind now, but I remember this amazing squashy, meaty, cheesy goodness, with sweet bits of corn bursting through. We used to beg my mom to make it whenever we found a too-large zucchini in the garden. Which happened often at our place, thankfully :)

This is my latest makeover, inspired by nostalgia and this recipe by Sarah at Everyday Paleo. I kind of improvised, based on what I had around, and what I thought sounded good. So, here is a healthier version of stuffed zucchini.
Not the most appetizing picture, I know, but I was hungry!
Go to Sarah's link above for a more appealing representation. 

Stuffed Zucchini
Gluten free, dairy free, *mostly* grain free

Serves 4

2 large zucchini, halved
1 lb ground beef
1 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 large tomato, diced
1/2-1 c corn (omit for grain-free/Paleo option)
1/2 c fresh basil, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
A splash of balsamic vinegar
Salt and black pepper
1/2 c spaghetti sauce (I added this to use up what I had, probably would be fine w/out)

Optional: Cheese/substitute to add on top (I sprinkled a little nooch-eez on half of my squash, and it was amazing!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Scoop the insides out of the zucchini, leaving enough flesh to be a sturdy bowl. Dice, then set aside flesh. Line a baking sheet with foil, then place the zucchinis, "bowl"-side up on the pan. Drizzle the insides of the bowls with olive oil, then bake for 15 minutes.

While the zucchini is baking, brown ground beef in a skillet with onion and garlic powder. When the meat is mostly cooked, add the diced zucchini flesh and tomato. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add remaining ingredients. Cook for 5-10 minutes more.

Once meat is cooked, and the shells are baked, fill the shells with the meat mixture. Stuff them with as much as they will hold. Sprinkle with cheese/substitute, if using. Then return the baking sheet to the oven, and bake for 20 minutes.


And yes, it does kind of look like a lot to eat on your plate, but when you figure it's a meal-in-a-boat (meat and veggies all in one), it's not that much food. It is quite filling, and for some, may be enough. However, I was debating seconds just after having licked my fork clean. I settled for a brownie instead ;)

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