Sunday, March 14, 2010

Stuffed Zucchini

Well friends, here goes my first blog-posted recipe. Many of you know that I believe every good diet consists of getting five or more servings of fruits and veggies everyday. The stuffed zucchini was an easy recipe to get in more veggies and add some nice color to your plate. The recipe can be adapted by using ground turkey instead of the lean ground beef. I used the 93%. The meal paired nicely with a side of linguine with marinara sauce. I also hope to try this recipe with eggplant. For today, here is what you will need:

1-2 spray(s) cooking spray
2 medium sized zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
1 tsp. olive oil
6 oz. lean ground beef
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 clove minced garlic
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
4 Tbsp. seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten
4 Tbsp. mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a large baking pan with cooking spray.

Scoop out the seeds from the zucchini. You can save some of the flesh if you want to add extra bulk to your meat mixture. Arrange the zucchini halves, cut side up on the pan coated with cooking spray.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add, 1 tsp. olive oil and heat slightly. Next, add the ground beef, chopped carrot, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are softened and the beef is browned. Then, add the tomato paste, red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. Cook for five more minutes. Then, remove the skillet from the heat. Cool for five minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, add meat and vegetable mixture, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and beaten egg. Mix well.

Fill each zucchini half with meat mixture. I used a spoon to mound the meat up a little. Finally, bake for 30 minutes or until the zucchini is tender crisp. Garnish with the mozzarella cheese.

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