This summer I was flicking through my mom’s copy of House and Home magazine and came across a recipe for Mediterranean Stuffed Zucchini. It looked and sounded delicious – and was vegetarian, of course – so I gave it a go. It was as delicious as it looked and sounded, so I had it again for dinner earlier this week.
But as I was eating, I thought: “I’m only eating the stuffing”. I know you can eat the skin of a zucchini, but only eating the skin of a zucchini does not appeal. Yeah yeah, you’ve got the stuffing, but it still feels like you’re getting larger quantities of skin than you should have.
So there I am, only eating the stuffing of my stuffed zucchinis. So then two more thoughts popped into my head:
1) Does everyone think about vegetable skins as much as I do?
2) Why not stuff this filling into something else?
I have to say, the second thought was very sensible. As we know I love to stuff things – especially mushrooms – why not use this Mediterranean filling, which really is as delicious as I keep saying it is – and stuff it into a vegetable I would actually want to eat?
So I am not going to call these Mediterranean Stuffed Zucchinis like the magazine did. They are Mediterranean Stuffed Whatevers.
How shall thee make these? Let’s count the ways…
- Stuff this filling into a portobello mushroom – or button mushrooms for a party hors d’oeuvre tray.
- Stuff the filling into broiled and scooped-out beefsteak tomatoes. (And yes, that might be the only time I say the word beefsteak on this blog!)
- Stuff the filling into a hollowed out pepper. Yum!
- Why not a squash for fall? I’ll be posting a recipe for a stuffed squash as soon as I get around to making it (so long as it’s good of course!) – told you I like to stuff things 🙂
And let’s look at the ways this dish is good for you: lots of healthy fat, fibre, veggies and protein. It’s actually quite low in carbohydrates so you can pair it with a pasta dish if you want, or just relish in your low-carb dinner and serve it with a salad.
This just uses goat cheese, but if you are vegan you can omit the cheese altogether – there’s plenty of flavour elsewhere, no worries!
Oh, but…before we get to the recipe, there’s the small matter of an insanely popular giveaway we need to resolve. Who won the LARABAR goodie bag?
That would be…this comment from Emily M!
You were chosen completely at random, thanks to Randomized.com:
Congratulations Emily M! Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name, mailing address (no PO Boxes please!), phone number and email address 🙂 and I’ll have the prize on its way to you asap!
And for everyone who didn’t win – I’ll have another giveaway for you on Monday – yep! So check back after the weekend! And now onto your dinner tonight :)…
Mediterranean Stuffed Zucchinis (serves 3 as main course; 6 as appetizer)
6 zucchinis, halved lengthwise and with flesh scooped out (leaving 1/4″ wall) OR 6 of any other veggie you want to stuff (portobello mushrooms, peppers, beefsteak tomatoes, squash, etc.)
If using a veggie other than zucchini, still include about 1 – 1.5 cups of zucchini flesh, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1 100g package goat cheese, crumbled
2/3 cup chickpeas
1/3 cup walnuts
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp fresh mint, chopped
1 tsp lemon zest
1. After scooping out the flesh from the zucchini halves, place in a bowl and mix with 1/4 tsp salt. Set aside or discard if using another vegetable for stuffing.
2. If using zucchini halves, brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If using another vegetable, hollow it out and do the same – brush with oil and sprinkle with seasonings. Place face down on a baking sheet and place in a preheated oven (at 400 F).
3. Bake zucchini halves for 10-12 minutes or other veggies until cooked. Take out of the oven, flip the halves so the hollowed-out side faces up, and put to one side. Keep oven hot.
4. In a bowl mash the chickpeas with a fork, not till perfectly smooth though. Squeeze out the water from the zucchini flesh, roughly chop the flesh and add to the chickpeas. Add the goat cheese, walnuts, olives, parsley, mint and lemon zest and mix well with your hands.
5. With a spoon scoop filling into each zucchini half or veggie, pressing down and then mounding extra filling on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or longer, until golden on top. These can be served hot or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Nutritional information below is per serving if using as an appetizer (so recipe serves 6):