For this week’s Meatless Monday recipe, I’m going back to something I first made a couple of years ago. I remember my first attempt at these — despite all of the vegetables, they turned out to be a bit bland. Subsequently tries, and going a little over the edge with my seasonings, yielded far better results. I’m bringing this one back as it seems to be a favorite among readers.
These Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini Boats are simple to make. In fact, the most difficult part is hollowing out the zucchini boat. From there on, for these boats it’s smooth sailing (pun intended). This is a wonderful recipe that might pique a child’s interest, too. Sure, it’s green, but it’s in the shape of a boat. As with many other recipes, you can vary the ingredients according to your palate: omit the meat substitute altogether, add tomatoes, add other veggies, etc. With this recipe, experimentation is the key. Bon appetit!
Vegetarian Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- 7 ounces of vegetarian protein crumbles (I used Lightlife Gimme Lean Ground Beef Style Veggie Protein)
- Seasonings of your choice for crumbles
- 2 large zucchinis
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 bunch of green onions, thin sliced
- ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup baby spinach
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¼ cup shredded mozzarella (plus more, if desired, for optional topping)
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan (plus more, if desired, for optional topping)
- Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 375º. Cut zucchini in half, lengthwise. Hollow out the zucchini using a lemon baller or the back of a spoon and set the flesh aside; leave enough of the zucchini’s shell to create a base for the “boat” (see picture). Season zucchini shell with salt & pepper or your favorite seasonings.
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Season the meatless crumbles, add to the pan and cook through. Add the reserved zucchini flesh, green onions, bell peppers, and minced garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add spinach and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and season as necessary with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool 10 minutes. Add bread crumbs, cheeses and egg to zucchini mixture and mix thoroughly. Divide the mixture evenly among the 4 zucchini boats. Top with additional cheese, if desired.
Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Remove from oven; cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.