Monday, May 16, 2016

Quinoa & Ground Chicken Zucchini Boats

These are so fun for the kids and a great meal to change it up. Needed to get out of the "same old, same old" rut that I've been in for awhile now. Don't get me wrong! The food we eat is great, and I love it, but every now and again you have to try new things, change it up, keep it fresh.

To make your zucchini "boats" simply cut each zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides,

leaving the walls in tact. I found a melon baller does this best. Brush the hollowed out zucchini with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes, or just until they start to get slightly soft.

I chopped up the scooped out zucchini and sautéed along with some onions, garlic, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Feel free to use your favorite veggies or whatever you have on hand!  Mix in your cooked ground chicken, cooked quinoa, Italian seasoning, a little parsley and pour in a can of tomato sauce. Spoon filling into zucchini boats and top with a little parmesan cheese. I also think these would be delicious with a little shredded mozzarella or fontina cheese, but I was trying to keep it a little lower in fat.

(Now, it doesn't take more than simple logic to realize you're going to have A LOT of extra stuffing leftover. I went ahead and hollowed out some tomatoes and stuffed those as well, but I still had a bunch left over. I froze the rest for the time being so I can use it in the future for an easy weeknight meal. However, I bet it would be great in a lasagna or even on its own.)

Ingredients (8 "boats")
  • 4 large zucchinis
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded & chopped
  • 1/3 pound ground chicken, cooked
  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce
  • parmesan cheese, grated

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the insides, leaving "walls" in tact. Save the scooped out zucchini flesh and chop. Brush each zucchini boat with a little olive and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in oven 8-10 minutes, or until zucchini starts to soften.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and mushrooms and saute until mushrooms release their liquid. Stir in chopped zucchini insides and tomatoes and cook a few minutes longer.
  4. Stir in cooked ground chicken, cooked quinoa, parsley, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Pour in one can of tomato sauce and cook until everything is heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spoon filling into zucchini boats and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until zucchini is done to your liking.

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