Monday, April 15, 2013

Zucchini Boats

I have a tendency to make things up as I go along; song lyrics I'm trying to hum with the radio, good stories, recipes. Especially recipes.

I also have a tendency to get a little too enthusiastic in the produce section and buy fresh items without an idea in mind.

Only occasionally do these two habits coincide. This. Is one of those moments.

I present for your culinary enjoyment: "Zucchini Boats."

Here's what I used but you could try all kinds of substitutes.

-2 medium zucchinis
-1 lb ground chicken
-baby spinach
-1 half of a small onion, diced
-2 garlic cloves, diced
-baby spinach
-frozen corn
-salt and pepper (and other seasonings to taste)

1. Cut your zucchinis in half the long way. Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the middle. Chop up the zucchini innards (one of my favorite words) and set aside in a medium bowl.
2. Dice your onion and garlic cloves and add to the zucchini innards (I'm going to use it as many times as possible).
3. Put a little splash of water in a skillet to cook your spinach. Once fully cooked, add it to your innards bowl. *Now is a good time to start preheating your oven to 350.

4. Brown your ground chicken. I just used the same skillet I cooked the spinach in.
5. Add salt and pepper and other seasoning as desired. The roomie is not much for spices or I would have experimented a little more. Tony Chachere's creole spice is delicious on everything if you like a kick.
6. Drain your meat and add your bowl of innards and veggies to the skillet. I also added some frozen corn at this stage and let it all cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
7. While your chicken and veggies are getting to know each other in the skillet, shred your cheese of choice. Mozzarella was good but I think cheddar would have added a totally different element. Especially with the creole seasoning... Next time, next time...

8. Prep your zucchini halves by laying them out on the cute mini-stoneware your Mom got you for Christmas. Or use a cookie sheet like a normal person. Spoon your stuffing into the emptied zucchini halves, now "boats" and sprinkle the cheese on top. I filled mine pretty full, but that's because I only actually had 1 zucchini and a TON of stuffing.
9. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 so the cheese has time to melt and the flavors all run together. The zucchini should also get pretty soft.
10. Enjoy! I had just one half and that was plenty for me for dinner. It's a compact, but filling meal. I ended up using a knife and fork to eat it, just as a tip.

Not only do I love getting to use up a bunch of things in the fridge, but I love that it's a whole meal contained within the zucchini boat! Veggie and protein heavy but carb light, if you care about that sort of thing. If you try different varieties, please let me know how they turn out!

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