Happy 2018 everyone! I hope the new year is already treating you well :) I had a very restful holiday season filled with family, and it was exactly what I needed after a busy semester at school. I made a few resolutions for this year, and one of them is to practice meal prepping some more as a way to have fresh, healthy foods ready for me. One problem I had with cooking last semester was feeling pressed for time while wanting to cook in between meetings, clubs, and studying. This year I hope to get better at this, and also hope to shop more effectively ;)
Today, I decided to cook up some stuffed zucchini with what I had in my fridge for lunch, and it was the perfect meal since it's a warm 25 degrees out today! (seriously, this is the warmest it has been all week). I added some quinoa, chopped bell pepper, and spinach to the inside of the zucchini I scooped out, for a quick vegetarian meal packed with flavor. Here's what you'll need:
You Will Need:
To start, chop the top stem end of the zucchini off, and cut in half lengthwise.
Next, scoop out the insides, creating a ditch to stuff the zucchini. Chop the insides into rough cubes, and set aside for the filling.
Place the zucchini halves on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet, brush with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
Next, make the quinoa according to the package, using either water, or vegetable stock for added flavor (or a mix of both). Make sure to cook it until there is no liquid left; having too watery of a filling won't work.
Chop up the bell pepper into small cubes, mince the garlic, and finely chop the parsley, if desired.
Next, lightly coat the bottom of a saucepan with olive oil, and once heated, add in the minced garlic. Cook on medium-high heat until the garlic begins to brown.
Then, add in the zucchini cubes and bell peppers, sautéing for about 2-3 minutes, until the zucchini is tender and the bell peppers start to soften, but still have a bite. As they are cooking, season with salt, pepper, and oregano to taste.
Next, add in the cooked quinoa and stir until well mixed. Reduce the heat to medium.
Add in the spinach, and keep stirring until the leaves wilt. It doesn't take much for spinach to wilt, so the steam and indirect heat should cook them quickly.
Once all combined, season one last time if necessary, and stuff an even amount into each zucchini half, topping it off with the grated cheese, if desired.
Cover the zucchini with aluminum foil, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the zucchini are tender enough to bend when squeezed, but still have a bite to them.
Serve topped with more grated cheese and chopped parsley, if desired.
Inspiring others to lead healthier lifestyles, one recipe at a time.