Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stuffed Veggie Goodness

My plan wasn't to have a "food blog" but I have been in a serious cooking mood lately and everything has turned out so tasty that I just have to share!

I've become obsessed with vegetables. I've always loved them but lately I just can't get enough. I bought some zucchini and while looking through the 'fridge I was inspired! They must be stuffed!

I came up with this recipe and, let me tell you, it is so good. It is so easy to change up too so you can easily alter it to your specific tastes!

I don't measure a lot when I'm cooking so I will give you approximate amounts of the ingredients I used.

Stuffed Zucchini
serves 4. Oh who am I kidding? Serves 2 or 3... or maybe just 2.

4 large zucchini
1 lb 99/1 ground turkey (you can use whatever fat content you like but I went healthy)
4 button mushrooms
Bundle of green onions
2 or 3 cloves garlic, chopped
Smidge of butter for sautéing
1/2 a tomato
Some cheese for sprinkling (the pic shows cheddar but then I found some 6 blend Italian and used that instead)
Bread crumbs for topping (DO NOT omit these, you need the crunch!)

Just a warning, you are going to have some serious leftover filling. And you might eat it all while the zucchini is baking.

Preheat oven to 350. Get your turkey browning on the stovetop. Cut ends off zucchini and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the guts like it's Halloween and do a coarse chop on them. Put them in a large mixing bowl.

Dice mushrooms and green onions. Add butter to a sauté pan and add mushrooms, onions and chopped garlic. Saute until they're awesome. Add to zucchini guts.

Don't forget to keep an eye on your turkey! When it's done, drain if you need to and add it to the bowl of zucchini guts and awesome veggies.

Dice your tomato. You can use a whole tomato if you'd like, but I kept it to half because I didn't want the filling to get too watery. Add the tomato to the bowl and mix.

Grease a baking dish large enough to hold your zucchini. A 9x13 worked for me. I just used a quick spray of Pam for greasing.

Stuff your zucchini boats with the filling, as much as you can pile in those babies. Then put your zucchini in the baking dish. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix some bread crumbs with a smidge of melted butter. Just to give you enough for a nice, crunchy topping. When the zucchini is done, sprinkle more cheese on top and add a healthy scoop of bread crumbs. Put in the broiler for like 2 seconds. Seriously, watch those things because I might have been too busy eating the leftover filling and they got a little more brown than I planned. :) Hey, it happens.

Take your zucchini out of the broiler and ENJOY!

While eating this, I thought maybe I should have added some sour cream or something as a binder but I decided I liked that it was healthier, and the filling is inside a boat so it doesn't go anywhere.

Next time I think I might add some bacon for crunch instead of bread crumbs. Mmm hmm, bacon.

As I said, I've been obsessed with vegetables. So not only did I make stuffed zucchini, I also made stuffed bell peppers! These were a little more hearty. The Hubs loved these!

Stuffed Bell Peppers
serves 5

5 large bell peppers
1 lb ground turkey
1 pkg couscous (I used garlic & olive oil flavor)
1 cup diced mushrooms
1 cup chopped green onion
2 gloves chopped garlic
1 tomato, diced
1 cup alfalfa sprouts
1 cup shredded cheese (I used a cheddar/jack mix)
Bread crumbs mixed with melted butter for topping
Spices, whatever suits your taste

Preheat oven to 350. Grease your baking dish. Cut tops off bell peppers and clean out the insides, being careful not to puncture the walls of the pepper. Brown the turkey, be sure to season it! Cook couscous according to package directions. I use chicken broth instead of water for more flavor. 

While this is all happening, chop your mushrooms, onions, garlic and tomato. Once turkey is almost cooked through, add the mushroom, onion and garlic. 

Once thoroughly cooked, take off heat and add your tomato, sprouts, cheese and couscous. Mix well. I reserved a bit of the cheese for the topping. Next, stuff your peppers and place them in your baking dish. Bake until peppers are done to your liking. I cooked mine for about 40 minutes and they were still crispy, which I liked. If you want them softer, blanch them in boiling water beforehand to cut down on baking time, or just bake longer. Once cooked, top them with bread crumbs and place under the broiler for a few minutes. 


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