Zucchini boats are hands down my new favorite simple dish. It’s a hearty healthy, versatile dish that can help you meet your daily fiber needs while getting in your green phytonutrients // They can be eaten at any traditional meal time and they make for a great small meal/snack too // We are leaving zucchini squash season (Summer- June through August for the US), but that doesn’t mean we can’t find it on the shelves or at the market right now // I have been wanting to make zucchini boats for a long time. I was inspired to finally take the boat-cooking-plunge when I saw the Prevention RD post her recipe for Zucchini Pizza Boats on Instagram. Thanks to her I was able to cook my boats to perfection and share the prepping + cooking steps with you! Follow her on IG @preventionrd and her blog for more nutritious meals (& pictures of her adorable babies!) // Back to the boats- they were surprisingly easy to make and can be filled so many kinds of healthful goodies // Read on for- What I filled my Boats with (spoiler alert: Taco Night leftovers)- What kitchen tool made preparing them SO easy -and other Boat filling ideas!
2 Awesome reasons why I love Z-Boats (besides the fact zucchini is naturally gluten free, dairy free, and full of vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, vitamin b6, folate, and more):
- Can be eaten any meal time of the day: Delicious Ideas: Breakfast- Fill with eggs, onions, and top with bacon bits; Lunch- Fill with mozzarella cheese, top with fresh diced tomatoes, fresh basil, drizzle with Balsamic and Olive Oil; Eat a Fresh Boat- Keep the boats not cooked- Fill with hummus, Greek olives, top with fresh garlic, sprinkle with paprika seasoning; Dinner- Make them Pizza Style or use Leftovers from Taco night (like I did) Or serve them as a side dish cooked plain or melted with sprinkles of cheese
- Can be catered to the preferences and needs of every person in your household/family: Bobby has a dairy allergy?- No problem, cook his dairy free on a separate pan. Sally doesn’t eat much meat but is okay with dairy? Increase her cheese and decrease her meat- or open a can of beans and replace her meat altogether. In my real life, non-Mad Men(God I miss that show) example, I gave my Mr. lots of cheddar cheese and mine just had a few sprinkles of Parmesan. I honestly would have enjoyed it just as well without cheese too!
Now for my secret to the perfectly scraped zucchini boat…….
A Fruit (Apple) Corer….. That’s my secret to the easy + perfect boat scraping technique! See my picture ^directly above^ for what the tool looks like // I randomly decided to try it after searching through my utensil drawer. My initial thought was the grapefruit spoon, which probably works well too, but I didn’t have one of those. The fruit corer was a perfect choice //
I also did not throw out the zucchini ‘flesh’ insides! I put them in a container, stored them in the fridge, and used them the next night in a spaghetti sauce! It was delish. Could also be thrown into a stir fry- hibachi- YUM. Scroll below for the recipe!
Stuffed Zucchini Boat Recipe (with Taco Night Leftovers)
What you need:
- Zucchini Squashes ( 1 zucchini= 2 boats. about ~ 5 grams of Fiber per 2 boats)
- Chicken, seasoned Taco style, cooked and chopped/ shredded into small pieces ( I don’t have exact measurements as these were leftovers with mushroom and tomatoes. Note for Dairy Allergies: McCormick’s Gluten- Free Taco Seasoning does contain proteins from dairy)
- Cheese of choice (sprinkle to taste)
- Fresh Purple/Red Onion
- Fresh Chives
- Sheet Pan, Apple Corer or Spoon for scooping
Preparation and Cooking Steps:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Chop ends of zucchinis and then Slice the zucchinis in half. Scoop the ‘flesh’ and seeds from each with an Apple Corer (Spoon will do too). Brush boats with olive oil. TIP: Save the insides for a stir fry or spaghetti sauce like I mentioned above
- Place zucchini boats on sheet pan Hollowed Side Up- just like in my pictures.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes and Remove from oven. Stuff your boats with all the insides but the fresh toppings
- Return zucchini boats to oven and Bake for 10-15 minutes more or until zucchini boats are to your tenderness liking
- Serve Alone or with a side of Rice
TIP: If using no cheese and using leftover meat like me, consider covering with foil once meat has been added in order to prevent the drying of meat. You may also need to increase the cooking time by 5-10 minutes more if using foil.
Another simple, delicious, and nutritious recipe for the books! Hope you enjoy the dish as much as me and my hubster did! Stay tuned next week for my Butternut Squash (this one is IN Season- wink, wink) -Tomato-Crab Sauce!
Happy, Healthful Cooking and Eating!