Vegetarian Zucchini Boats

Zucchini Boat Stuffed ZucchiniI was in need of a good and healthy lunch, something with carbs in it because I have been feeling like I have no energy.  Due to the low energy I have not been working out, which is something I have not done for the last three years-skip workouts.  Not okay.  So I thought-Zucchini Boats!  Or is it a Stuffed Zucchini?  I went a-Googleing zucchini boats to get some spice ideas and I could not find anything…like it is a mystery that no one had thought of before?  Then Google asked me if I meant stuffed zucchini…So it is a great debate…is it a stuffed zucchini or a zucchini boat?

I tried switching up my workout times from 5am to after work; however, by the time the end of the day comes and then driving home in crap traffic I have no energy other than to boil some broccoli for dinner and sit down in front of the t.v.  So my workouts have been relegated to weekends, which is good and I feel good when it is over too.  Weekend workouts mean I get to watch the Food Network-I love working out to cooking shows.  You get good food ideas and have the time to think about how to switch it up to make it how you want it.

Saturdays from 8am-9am is my favorite time to workout because I get to watch Paula Deen.  She is so sinful in her cooking that it isn’t like I will totally follow her recipe, but it is the ideas she has that are what I need.  So two weeks ago, low and behold, she did “stuffed zucchini”!  I didn’t use her recipe in mine, but while watching her make them, she cut the ends off, cut them in half and baked them before scraping out the innards.  Genius!  Now that I did do.

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I decided that I wanted my stuffing to have more of a Thanksgiving flavor, so I bought some Light Life Go Lean Sausage-I haven’t used this in forever, mainly because unless I have a coupon I don’t buy it. Yay coupons! I had one for a dollar off-score!  To get the seasonings right I just kind of randomly took what I thought might be holidayish.  I used Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary and added heat with both black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.  The unusual thing I used was the Dijon mustard.  I have been using it like crazy in my simple salad dressing recipe, and yum I love the flavor.  So I decided to add that in for some sweet flavor to compliment the savory of the sausage.

For the zucchini prep…I did follow what Paula said by baking them first, but I didn’t bake them long enough and by the time they came out of the oven and cooled everything was cooked through. I had to use a knife to get the middle out and chopped it up into small pieces.  Not like I planned but it didn’t hurt the stuffing.  For the carbs part of the stuffing I used quinoa.  I love quinoa but I rarely use it.  It is not common in my cupboard arsenal of ingredients, but after this dish I think I may be adding it in! Also, I let the boats bake for 35 minutes then sprinkled Go Veggie! Mozzarella Shreds on top and baked for another 15 minutes.  Oh. Yum.  These turned out awesome!

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Just a side note-the serving size is for one whole zucchini plus some extra stuffing since there was more stuffing then boats.  If you were going to use this as a side dish, like for Thanksgiving, you could serve just half the zucchini and extra stuffing on top for 150 calories.  Also, to make them vegan instead of vegetarian, choose the dairy free Go Veggie! product (my store didn’t have that one).

Zucchini Boat IngredientsIngredients: 6 servings

6 Zucchini, halved and innards forked out
1 C Dry Quinoa
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Pompeian Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil
1 Yellow Onion, chopped small
4 Stalks Green Onion, chopped small
1 Green Pepper, chopped small
1 16oz Pkg Button Mushrooms
1 Tsp Oregano
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tsp Rosemary
1 Tsp Thyme
1/4 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1 Pkg Light Life Gimme Lean Ground Sausage
3/4 Pkgs Go Veggie Mozzarella Cheese Shreds

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1.  Set oven to 350 degrees.  Spray baking sheet with Pam.
2.  Wash then dry zucchini.  Cut the top and bottom off, then cut in half and place on baking sheet.  Spray zucchini lightly with Pompeian Light Olive oil then lightly sprinkle with black pepper.  Bake for 10 minutes.
3.  Measure quinoa and pour into small pot and measure out 2 cups water.  Place on burner and lightly boil until tender.
4.  Chop onion, green onion, pepper and mushrooms into small chunks and saute in 1 tablespoon olive oil.
5.  Add all spices, garlic and Dijon mustard to the veggies and combine and cook through.
6.  When zucchini come out, let sit for about 10 minutes until safe to handle.
7.  Carefully cut open sausage package and use the knife to cut small chunks into the veggie pan.  Use a metal or wooden spoon to combine and break down the sausage with the veggies.
8.  Use knife or fork to take out the zucchini innards and blend with stuffing.
9.  Add quinoa to stuffing and combine well.
10.  Use small spoon to stuff the zucchini, being careful not to burn your fingers.  Stuff as much stuffing as possible into each and put the rest in a small baking dish.
11.  Bake for 35 minutes.
12. Take out and sprinkle cheese on boats and stuffing.  Bake for 15 minutes.
13.  Enjoy!
Calories: 300
Total Fat: 5g
Sodium: 575mg
Total Carbs: 42g
Protein: 22g

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