Monday, August 6, 2012

Stuffed Zucchini

I've been trying to cook more on the weeks when I know we will be home all week long.

[cue hallelujah chorus]

I found this stuffed zucchini recipe here a few days ago and we tried it out tonight.

It's a healthy, low-carb dinner (also Paleo friendly for your cave people out there) and you can serve it by itself or with a simple salad.

Stuffed Zucchini

[Note: I modified the recipe a wee bit; used ground beef instead of bison; used dried spices and adjusted the amounts; and I shortened the cooking time; the original recipe calls for 30-40 minutes of baking after you stuff them, but mine were brown enough after 20-25 minutes.]

4 large zucchini
1 lb ground beef
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 eggplant, diced
8.5oz sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, diced
1 T. dried basil
1 T. dried oregano
1/2 T. dried rosemary
2 T. minced garlic
splash of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375.
Prep your zucchinis. You'll make a cut down the outer edge, then scoop out the insides with a spoon. 
Drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and then bake them for 20 minutes.

While the shells are baking, brown your ground beef; when it's almost completely browned, add your zucchini, eggplant and red onion. Saute these ingredients until soft.

Then add in the rest and cook for another 10 minutes or so. Pull the shells out of the oven, stuff them full of your ground beef mixture, then bake for another 20-25 minutes. Yum!

For the kids, I knew it'd be a little difficult to get them to eat this just because of how it looks.
So I cooked some egg noodles for them and mixed some of the ground beef mixture and about a half cup of spaghetti sauce from the jar in with the meat and veggies; I told them it was spaghetti and they ate it up! Great way to sneak in some healthy veggies. :)

If you don't have kids but have leftover ground beef mixture, you could add a can of cream of mushroom soup, some mozzarella cheese and spaghetti noodles, bake for 30 min at 350 and you have yourself a power packed spaghetti casserole.

OR ... if you wanted to make this more Mexican or southwestern, you could add in some cumin in place of the rosemary (or taco seasoning in place of all the spices) and replace the sun-dried tomatoes with a can of Rotel and then top with the fiesta-blend shredded cheese (although the cheese makes it non-paleo friendly.) But I think it would be good that way too!
Doesn't cheese make everything better? Yes. It does.

Also, if you're a busy mama and want to prep ahead of time, you can prep all your veggies the night before or at naptime like I did... just put your zucchini/onion/eggplant in one bowl, your sun-dried tomatoes and garlic in another bowl, and your spices on top. Then all you need is your shells, your oil and vinegar and you're good to go. I just stacked my bowls in the fridge so that I was ready to go when dinner time rolled around. Just an option! I know I don't have much prep time so it's nice to get whatever I can get done during naps or early morning!
Hope you enjoy!

blessed signature


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