Meal Prep Monday: Italian Style Zucchini Boats
Everyone has had stuffed Bell Peppers once in their life right? If not, you're missing out! Today instead of stuff bell peppers we want to use a vegetable that has become more and more popular over the years. Today's recipe is an Italian Style Stuffed Zucchini boat courtesy of Valerie's Kitchen:
301 Cals \\ 18g Fat \\ 11 g Carbs \\ 28g Protein
1 lb Ground turkey or beef, lean
1/2 cup Button mushrooms, brown
1 tsp Garlic
1/4 cup Italian parsley, fresh
1/3 cup Onion
1/3 cup Red bell pepper
3 Uniformly-sized zucchini, medium
1 (24 to 26 ounce) jar Tomato basil marinara
Baking & Spices
1 Black pepper, Fresh ground
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp Red pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
Oils & Vinegar
1 tbsp Olive oil
Bread & Baked Goods
2 tbsp Italian style panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese, part-skim
1/4 cup Parmesan
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Measure out 1 cup of the marinara sauce and set aside.
Trim ends from zucchini and slice in half, lengthwise. Use the tip of a spoon to scrape out the zucchini flesh (see recipe note), chop it and set it aside. Place the scooped out zucchini boats into a 13" x 9" baking dish and add about 1" of water. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until just slightly fork-tender. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, add olive oil to a 12" skillet and place over MEDIUM heat. Add turkey (or beef), onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring to break up the ground meat as it cooks. Continue to cook and stir until meat is thoroughly cooked and veggies have softened. Drain off as much grease as possible and return the skillet to the heat.
Add the chopped zucchini flesh, mushrooms, remaining marinara in jar (reserve 1 cup for later), parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, fresh ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and allow to simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes.
Remove partially cooked zucchini from baking dish and pour off water. Pour the 1 cup of reserved marinara sauce into the empty baking dish and place zucchini boats on top of the sauce.
Divide the filling between the zucchini boats. If you have extra filling, spoon it into the dish around the zucchini boats. Cover the dish with foil, and bake for 20 minutes, or until zucchini is fork tender. Remove dish from oven and set oven to BROIL.
Remove foil and sprinkle zucchini boats with mozzarella, Parmesan and the panko bread crumbs. Place dish in oven, watching closely, and cook for just a couple of minutes until cheese has melted and bread crumbs are golden brown.
Dish up, Serve and Enjoy!!
Note we served up ours on a bed on whole grain rice. But I'm sure it would taste great in Quinoa or Pasta as well.