Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Baked Stuffed Zucchini

End of the zucchini in your garden and time to start warming up the houses in parts of the US.  Here is a recipe that is light enough to satisfy the palate for the Indian Summer we are having in Southern California and warm the houses and bellies for those of you in Buffalo and across the northern part of the country. 

It is has over 25 grams of protein in each serving (1 whole zucchini) with 23.9g in 3.57 oz (100g) in the Cannelini Beans  and 2.25g in the 1/4c cooked quinoa alone.  If you are watching your waistline, although the dish contains healthy oils, the fat can be reduced by decreasing the amount of almonds and oil used.  The recipe contains fat from healthy sources and our body does needs fat to help with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, brain development, energy, healthier skin and cells, making hormones, protective cushion for organs and pleasure - they taste oh so good.(1)

Prepare the Stuffed Baked Zucchini or any of the other wonderful recipes and and you'll find yourself saying "That's Vegetarian?!"

Stuffed Baked Zucchini (Vegan Optional)

1/2 c Quinoa, rinsed
1 c Water, vegetable broth, or combination of both
4 Zucchini, medium halved lengthwise  
1 15-oz can Cannellini beans, rinsed
1 c Grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 c Almonds, chopped (about 2 oz)
2 Garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 c Parmesan (3 ounces), grated (Eliminate for Vegan)
4 t Olive oil

Heat oven to 400° F.

In a large saucepan, spray the bottom with olive oil, put in the quinoa and toast for a few minutes over a medium high heat. When they start to brown, add the water/broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Arrange in a large baking dish, cut-side up.

When the quinoa is cooked, fluff and fold in the beans, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, ½ cup of the Parmesan, and 3 teaspoons of the oil. Spoon the mixture into the zucchini. Top with the remaining teaspoon of oil and ¼ cup Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake until the zucchini is tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes for quinoa, 30 minutes for zucchini
Serves 4
Level of difficulty - Intermediate.
10PP for a full zucchini. 5PP for half. Reduce to 9PP by using half the amount of almonds, and 8PP if you use only 1t olive oil and a little spray on the top.  
Printable Baked Stuffed Zucchini Recipe

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