The other night I got together with my friend to work on some recipes that were low-fat. She is being very conscientious about trying to eat more fresh veggies and low-fat proteins. However, like most of us, she has a limited repertoire of recipes for this type of food. It is sometimes tricky to make low-fat foods taste yummy. (I HATE veggies! I only eat them because I’m an adult and I think I need to) Learning to cook fresh veggies and incorporate flavors and seasonings to enhance their better qualities can be an art! So I like to think that we took on an art project!
One of the veggies that I love to love is zucchini. This is probably because it is starchy and doesn’t have a very strong flavor. (Not sure either how much vitamin value it has!) This veggie makes a perfect background for a lot of other flavors. You can sautee it, bake it, fry it, roast it, toss it in soups, puree it for sweet breads/cakes, or in this case…stuff it! I love this recipe. It is easy and very versatile. You know I change things up depending on my mood. This can make a great side dish or even a main dish. It doesn’t even have to be vegetarian. Ground sausage would be a delicious addition.
Here it is…
Stuffed Zucchini Boats (about 185 calories each)
4 medium zucchini (short, fat ones are better than long, thin ones)
½ yellow onion
1 red or yellow bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
4 oz Crumbled feta (can use reduced fat)
I package Uncle Ben’s ready rice (I use whole grain brown. You can use whatever flavor you want!)
- Cut a hollow out of the middle of the zucchini using a downward motion with your knife in order to create a shell. Use a spoon and continue to carefully scrape out the inside of the zucchini. Reserve and chop the zucchini you cut out. Put the zucchini boats into a baking dish.
- Finely dice the half of the yellow onion and the bell pepper
- In a skillet (one that has a lid), heat a little olive oil. Once the pan is warm, add the chopped veggies and the minced garlic. Sautee them until they start to soften and turn a little golden. Stir in half of the package of ready rice to the veggies with 2 T of water. Pop a lid on the skillet and let the rice steam until it warms through and gets fluffy.
- Add half of the feta and stir it into the veggie mixture.
- Salt and pepper the zucchini shells. Then divide the veggie filling equally between the zucchini “boats.” Sprinkle the tops of the “boats” with the remaining feta. Pop the zucchini into a 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until the shells are tender to the touch or a knife inserted into the side pierces easily.
If you are going to add sausage to the filling, brown the ground sausage with the veggies, after they have softened a little and before you add the rice. (Adding the water won’t be necessary) Enjoy!!