Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Healthy Stuffed Zucchini

A not very good picture of Stuffed Zucchini. Blame Food Network for this one.

Continuing my "light fare" theme for the week, my sister-in-law Chelsea recently introduced me to a light version of stuffed zucchini. This recipe comes from Ellie Krieger, the host of "Healthy Appetite" on Food Network, and it is amazing!

Instead of the typical heavy meat and cheese filling, Ellie bulks up a little meat with cooked bulgur (you'll never know it's in there), and adds tons of Mediterranean flavor with spices, currents and pine nuts. I loved this recipe! You can use the filling in any summer squash, bell peppers, or even eggplant. We weren't sure what this would taste like, but even my husband, sworn enemy of raisins, commented that the currents add a nice sweet note to the filling.

Note: To cook bulgur, simply mix one part bulgur with two parts boiling water, cover and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Stuffed Zucchini

6 medium zucchini

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small chopped onion (about 1 cup)

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1/2 pound lean ground beef (at least 90 percent lean)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 (14.5 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, strained and juice reserved (about 3/4 to 1 cup juice)

1 cup cooked bulgur (1/3 cup uncooked)

3 tablespoons dried currants

3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted in a dry skillet over a medium-high flame for 2 minutes

1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves

1/2 cup low-sodium tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Cut each zucchini in half crosswise. Using a melon baller, carefully scoop out zucchini flesh, leaving about 1/4 inch flesh intact on all sides and leaving zucchini closed at the bottom of each half. Reserve zucchini flesh for another use, or discard. Reserve zucchini tubes.

3. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion sand cook, stirring, until they are soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add ground beef, cumin, coriander and red pepper flakes and cook until meat is just done and no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Add bulgur, and diced tomatoes and currants and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pine nuts and parsley. Let mixture cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Using a small spoon or clean hands, gently stuff zucchini halves with beef-mixture.

4. Place zucchini halves in a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish. Combine reserved tomato juice, tomato sauce and salt and pour over zucchini. Cover tightly with foil and place in oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover and rotate zucchini. Re-cover, return dish to oven and bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until zucchini is cooked through but still slightly firm. Place 2 zucchini halves on a plate and serve with tomato sauce.

1 comment:

  1. This looks great. I like the spices, currants, pine nuts, bulgur--fun!


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