Zucchini Week – Part 2
I would like to add one very important detail – this was not planned – but yesterday was actually a legitimate zucchini holiday.
I did not know this before I decided to make a string of posts about zucchini, but it has been brought to my attention a wonderful individual that shall remain unnamed… that yesterday was the official ‘Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbors Porch’ day. (True story… google it if you don’t believe me)
So.. if you have extra zucchini lying around, you know what to do. Get sneaky.
My zucchini was gifted to me by a co-worker. While she did not leave it on my porch, she did set it on my desk.
Thanks to her sneakiness, I bring you a classic dish…. Stuffed Zucchini!
Trust me. This is a very easy recipe and it uses up quite a bit of zucchini. For any of you that neglected your garden duties and forgot to pick your zucchini when they were at a normal size… this is actually a good thing.
You can use that guy. Any extra large zucchini that you allowed to grow into small vegetable monster that scares young children (and some grown adults) is PERFECT for this recipe. Seriously, the bigger the better.
Recipe: Stuffed Zucchini
- 1lb Heart Healthy Sausage (recipe to come very soon)
- 3-4 Large Zucchini, split and scooped
- 1/2 Large Sweet Yellow Onion, chopped
- Red Bell Pepper, chopped
- Green Bell Pepper, chopped
- 1 8oz container of Mushrooms, sliced
- 3-5 large tomatoes, diced
- 1 C brown rice (recommend short grain), cooked
- 2 Eggs, mixed prior to adding
- 1 8oz Can Tomato Sauce
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Fresh Basil
- Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper
Brown your sausage in a pan over medium high heat. If you’re not using “Heart Healthy Sausage,” you’ll need to drain off the grease after it’s cooked. Once drained, add to a large mixing bowl.
Saute onions for 1-2 minutes with drizzle of olive oil in a small skillet. Once half way cooked, add the chopped bell pepper. Continue cooking until onions are tender and bell peppers are cooked but firm. Add contents of skillet to large mixing bowl.
Add mushrooms to empty skillet. Saute until just cooked (should still be slightly firm) and add to large mixing bowl.
Add 1 C cooked brown rice to large mixing bowl. In the same small skillet, add chopped tomatoes. Cook these until liquids reduce. Then add to large mixing bowl.
Add 1/2 C chopped fresh basil to large mixing bowl. Sprinkle bowl with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
Mix in eggs to large mixing bowl until well incorporated.
Cut Zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out inside seeds making zucchinis into boats.
Place boats into a large casserole pan that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Fill boats with rice mixture until heaping. Pour tomato sauce over the top of each boat and top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Place in oven at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until zucchini boats are firm but cooked. Remove from oven and sprinkle with another 1/2 C fresh basil. Serve.
A Note to the Diabetics: I used all non-carbohydrate ingredients (meat and non-starchy vegetables) in this recipe except for the brown rice. Rice is typically 15 grams of carbohydrate per 1/3 C cooked. Since I put 1 C in for the whole recipe, that would be 45 grams of carbohydrate. If you count the number of boats seen above, that would be divided by 7 servings. Therefore, each zucchini boat would count for approximately 7 grams of carbohydrates. (Not really a whole lot.)
Try to pair this with some other carbohydrates, like bread, starchy vegetables, or fruit. That way you can get up to your budget and have a filling, balanced meal.
I ate this meal with my sister and we had watermelon to go with it. I ate two zucchini boats (15 grams of carbohydrate) and had 2 1/2 C watermelon (30 grams of carbohydrate) for about 45 grams of carbohydrate total. If I were trying to get 60 grams, I could have easily added a slice of bread for an extra 15 grams.