I've moved! Follow me over to The Balanced Baker.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Stuffed Zucchini

My parents were visiting us for a long weekend, and my Dad's garden is notorious for overproducing tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini. Much to my surprise (as they spent 4 days driving out to our place), he brought some zucchini and cucumbers for us to enjoy. I decided to take advantage of the larger zucchini (they ones in the store are so tiny!) and make stuffed zucchini. A friend had sent me a recipe that I struggled to find (unsuccessfully), so I turned to google.

We thought they were great, and certainly something different. They came together quite easily, as well. I can't wait to make them again! (which will probably be a long time from now, since I typically can't find zucchini big enough to stuff!)

Stuffed Zucchini
from Kalyn's Kitchen

~2 large or 4 small round zucchini (or use regular shaped zucchini)
~1/2 onion, chopped
~1/2 red bell pepper, chopped (we omitted)
~2 tsp. olive oil
~1 lb. very lean ground beef (less than 10% fat) (we used ground turkey)
~1 tsp. Spike Seasoning (we used Mrs. Dash)
~1 tsp. chopped garlic
~1/2 tsp. ground fennel seed
~1 cup cooked brown rice
~1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
~3/4 cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese
~1/4 cup chicken stock (we used white wine)
~1/4 to 1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms (our addition)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut stem and flower ends off zucchini, trimming off the smallest possible amount of the skin and taking care to cut it off evenly, since this will show. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then using a pointed teaspoon or melon baller, scoop out and discard most of the zucchini flesh and seeds, leaving an even 1/2 inch of flesh attached to the skin. If your zucchini are rolling around a lot, you can cut a thin slice on the bottom side of each to make them sit up. Microwave zucchini 3-4 minutes on high. (I think I forgot to microwave them - we had no issues after accidentally skipping this step!)

Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan and saute chopped onions and peppers until they are just starting to soften, about 5 minutes. (They will cook more in the oven, so they don't need to be fully cooked at this point.) Remove onions and peppers to large mixing bowl, then add ground beef to hot pan and cook until starting to brown. When meat is about half cooked, season with Spike Seasoning and ground fennel and add garlic, and continue to cook until meat is well browned, breaking it into small pieces with the side of your turner. Remove cooked ground beef to mixing bowl. Add cooked brown rice, chopped basil, parmesan cheese, and chicken stock to meat and vegetable mixture, and gently combine.

Choose a roasting pan with slight sides, just big enough to hold the zucchini. Spray pan with nonstick spray or a light misting of olive oil. Stuff zucchini with stuffing mixture, packing in as much as you can into each zucchini, and mounding it up as high as you can, until all stuffing is used. Put zucchini into roasting pan, putting them close together so they hold each other stuffing-side up. Roast uncovered 20-30 minutes, until zucchini is tender-crisp, and filling is hot and slightly browned. Serve hot. This will keep well for a few days in the refrigerator and can be reheated in the microwave.


That Girl said...

What a great idea! Such a nice switch up from peppers.

Katie said...

YUM! This looks great. Very much like Lebanese goosah, which happens to be my FAVORITE!!

Katie said...

YUM! This looks great. Very much like Lebanese goosah, which happens to be my FAVORITE!!

Laura P. said...

I really love zucchini...I'll have to try this out when my hubby is out of town since he doesn't share my love for zucchini. : )