Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Why I Love This Recipe
FEATURING: Zucchini (or pattypan), tomatoes, eggplant, jalapeno, onions (or fresh onions), sweet pepper (optional) and green onions (or green tops of fresh onions - optional).
A simple but fun meal that we just made up, inspired by Jim's mom's suggestion to try make zucchini boats! Great served with salad! You can use white or brown rice (or any other cooked grain of choice). You will have lots more filling than you need so you can make extra zucchini boats or eat the filling as is in your lunch!
Ingredients You'll Need
4-6 zucchini (and or you can add a few pattypans)
1 onion (or fresh onions), chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped (approx. 2-3 cups of chopped tomatoes)
1/2 eggplant, skin removed, chopped in 1/2 or 1 inch cubes
1 sweet pepper, cored and finely chopped (or peas or beans or 1/2 cup of corn) (OPTIONAL)
1 jalapeno, cored and diced
1 x 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup rice (white or brown work), cooked according to package (this should give you approx. 2 cups of cooked rice)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin (1 tsp cumin seeds also works)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped + a few more leaves, chopped (for decoration)
1-2 green onions (or a few green leaves from fresh onions), chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Start by greasing a 9 x 13” dish then set aside. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a small spoon (or melon baller or metal tablespoon), hollow out the center of each zucchini and make sure to keep the flesh that you remove. Chop the zucchini flesh in one inch cubes and set aside. Lightly brush the tops with one teaspoon of olive oil then place them skin side down in the casserole dish.
Next warm the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sautéed until translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the eggplant, sweet pepper (if using), and jalapeño and sautéed for 2 minutes. Then add the rice, and beans along with the cumin and coriander. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir everything together and continue to cook for about 5 minutes then remove the skillet, add the 1/2 cup of basil from the heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400°F and spoon the filling inside of each zucchini until they are all full. Arrange them in the dish and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes then top with fresh basil again (optional) and green onions (optional) and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.