Saturday, November 3, 2012

Zuchini boats

So, It was late summer, finally getting hot, a perfect time for zucchini.
I decided to try something different... something I knew must be delicious.
I had seen Zucchini Boats on Pinterest. Well to be more clear, I had seen them and promptly "pinned" them, knowing that I'd want to try them as soon as zucchini was in season.
I got a great deal of zucchini with these non-aquatic boats in mind.
They were amazing... so amazing....
You need to try them before the season is totally over and the ones in the grocery store are tiny and pickle size.
So here we go!
There wasn't a recipe, so I made up my own...

2lbs Ground Turkey
1 onion
2 green bell peppers
salt and pepper to taste
2tbsp of your favorite Italian seasoning
3 medium zucchinis
1 can Spaghetti sauce
1 jar Alfredo sauce
( I wanted mine creamy so I mixed sauces, but really, whatever your taste is, do that and do 2 jars of either or of each, totally on what you prefer)
(no, you can slice it like I did- I had a pound of two kinds of cheese that I sliced, or you can just use shredded cheese.)
Parmesan cheese

First I cooked my meat. I used my Pampered Chef  Mix 'n Chop to get the pieces small.
I added my diced onion and bell pepper and cooked it until the onion was soft.

While the onions and peppers were cooking, I prepared my zucchini.
First I washed them.

And cut them in halves.
I left my stems on because I think they will be prettier in the plating process later.

Then I started to use a spoon to hallow out the centers... not good. Then I remembered that I purchased a Core 'n More from Pampered Chef! It worked so great!!! Plus, it was so much faster.
You can see the difference between the two...

I put olive oil on a baking sheet and lined up the zucchini on it. It was then I realized that the boats were wobbly.
So I cut the bottoms to make them lay flat on the baking sheet.

I roughly chopped the insides and added them to the meat.
I used the Mix 'n Chop to mix the zucchini pieces into the meat. When the zucchini was soft, i chopped it even smaller, making the meat mixture even fuller.

Sliced the cheese.

Added my sauces and 2 Tbsp of Pampered Chef's Garlic & Herb Rub to the meat mixture and simmered for 15 minutes.

Filled my zucchini boats!

Added my cheese!

And baked at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. The longer you cook, the softer your zucchini will be. At 25 minutes, my zucchini was medium soft. So adjust the cooking time if you like your zucchini softer or harder. And beware, not all ovens are alike. My oven is electric (sad I know...).

When the zucchini  is to your likeness and the cheese is toasty, your dinner is done.
Let your zucchini boats rest for 5-10 minutes so you don't lose all of your zucchini juices onto your plate and it gives you a chance to blot the greases off of your cheese with a paper towel if needed.
Plus you don't want a heaping bite of Hades on your tongue!

Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on the top and Voila! A low-carb, veggie filled, delicious meal.
My family LOVES zucchini and we are always looking for tasty ways to eat it!
† Alethea