A few weeks ago, I decided to create a dinner dish featuring the amazing zucchini from the local farmer’s market. Normally, I would have followed an actual recipe, but since none of them tickled my fancy, I set off to combine the flavors I wanted to eat that night! And here you have them:
Cheesy Quinoa Zucchini Boats [loosely based off Skinnytaste]
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 6 whole zucchini
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups marinara [I made this version from Skinnytaste]
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
In a medium pan, heat the oil on medium heat until it’s warm. Add the garlic and cook for approximately 30 seconds. Add the onion and peppers to the pan and let cook until the onions are translucent.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil <- this is for the zucchini in a minute or 10. Also, crank that oven up to 400 degrees.
While the stuffing is cooking, slice the zucchini in half hot-dog style [length-wise]. Cut off the ends and scoop out the inside [aka the guts] with a small spoon or if you are fancy and have a better tool – go for it:)! Then add the zucchini boats to the boiling water and let them cook for a minute. This helped soften them up and get the cooking process going. Once the zucchini are cooked, spread them face up in a baking pan.
By now, your onions/peppers/garlic mixture should be done and ready for the quinoa to be mixed in [I had some on hand, otherwise start the quinoa first, then proceed as directed above]. Add the filling to the zucchini boats filling them to the top. Then top with marinara and cheese <- I’m a cheese lover so I tend to go overboard; feel free to scale back.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until your zucchini are sliceable with a knife – then serve.
P.S. This dish makes for killer leftovers, too. I ate boats for days afterwards, as the serving size for these bad boys was 1.5 boats per meal seemed just about right.