Monday, September 29

Zucchini Cups

I have no idea where my zucchini obsession originated from but, when looking at labels for past blogs, I realize I have more zucchini recipes than anything else!

I guess it's because it's so versatile (I have made zucchini boats, zucchini noodles, zucchini frittatas and even zucchini pizza crust to name a few of my recipes) and also super healthy! Because zucchini has such a high water content, it's very low in calories (one medium raw zucchini with its skin on contains just 31 calories and 0 grams of fat) and contains 56 percent of your daily recommended value of vitamin C, 3 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein.

Zucchini cups is one thing I hadn't tried so I was eager to do so. (They're just so cute!) However, you can also use this recipe to make zucchini boats like those in the above link.

This recipe is grain free unless you choose to add farro which actually gives the stuffing an interesting texture.
If you choose to add it, boil 1 cup of farro in 2 cups of water for 20 minutes. Let cool, then add to the meat mixture just before stuffing the zucchini cups.

Ingredients: (serves 6-8)
3 large zucchini
2 tsp + 2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 T finely minced garlic
1 lb ground beef or turkey
2 large heirloom tomatoes
2 cups mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut zucchini into 2 inch slices, discarding ends. Use a sharp spoon or melon baller or holow out a cup in each zucchini slice leaving just over 1/4 of zucchini flesh. Finely chop flesh.
Cut the top off of each of the tomatoes and squeeze the juice into a bowl. Chop the remaining tomato and add to the chopped zucchini. 
Chop onion and combine with chopped zucchini and tomatoes. Heat 2 tsp oil in a non stick pan and saute vegetables for 3-4 minutes until just starting to soften. Add minced garlic and saute about 1 minute more being careful not to brown the garlic. Remove the mixture to a bowl
Add 2 tsp more olive oil to the pan. Crumble in the ground beer or turkey, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium until the meat is browned. Stir cooked vegetabels and garlic into the meat. Add the juice from the tomatoes and simmer until the mixture has thickened and liquid has cooked off, about 10 minutes, then turn off heat.
Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray and stand up zucchini cups, open end up. Stir 1 1/2 cups grated cheese into the cooled meat mixture, then spoon the meat-cheese mixture into zucchini cups, pressing down with the spoon then mounding it a little over the top of the zucchini.
Bake zucchini for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and use remaining cheese to top each one with a generous pinch of cheese. Put back in oven and bake 10 more minutes until zucchini is slightly soft when pierced with a fork and cheese is melted and slightly browned.

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