I don’t hate zucchini. I usually look forward to the first zucchini in the spring. But after I’ve had that one or two of the first zucchini’s of the season, I’m pretty much done with zucchini for the year. So, now it is November and I’ve had 20 weeks of CSA zucchini. I can’t make any more zucchini bread or zucchini muffins and even my co-workers have had enough of my extra zucchini. How is my CSA still putting zucchini in my box? It’s snowing outside for pete’s sake. Anyway, this week I got 8 small zucchini’s. We used 2 in a stir fry which left 6.
I really really did not want to cook this zucchini, but I stuffed them and they came out amazingly well. I have a theory that putting Field Roast sausage into anything makes it taste great. I got the idea when I saw Sheree at Life on the Vegan Highway post about her stuffed zucchini boats. She didn’t post a recipe so I made this one up. I did follow her idea to use field roast and brown rice. I used french fried onions as a topping because I had them, but vegan parm would work well here too. We did actually like the crunch of the french fried onions on top.
Here is my version of stuffed zucchini boats. They’ll take the zucchini hate right out of you.
Stuffed Zucchini Boats
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 sm onion, diced
1 sm bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
2-4 Tbsp white wine
2-3 cups spinach, destemmed, rinsed well, and roughly chopped
2 field roast italian sausages, crumbled
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2-3 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp water
6 small-med zucchini (prep below)
1/2 c french fried onions in a can, or vegan parm
Preheat oven to 375. Oil a 9×13 casserole dish.
Make the Filling:
In a non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, thyme, oregano, and pepper. Cook for about a minute. Deglaze with white wine. Add the spinach and sausage to the pan and a little water if the spinach is pretty dry. Cover and cook for about a minute until the spinach is wilted. Add the soy sauce, tomato paste, and brown rice. Stir to combine. Add about 2 Tbsp water to loosen up the tomato paste and make a sauce. Remove from heat and set aside.
Prepare the boats:
Slice the ends off of the zucchinis. Slice in half lengthwise. Use a melon baller to scoop out the seeds and make room for filling. Place them on a plate, sprinkle very lightly with salt, and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. You may need to do this in a couple of batches. They should now have a slight give to them. Place them in the casserole.
Fill the boats:
Fill each zucchini half with as much filling as will go in them. Any remaining filling can just go into the dish around the zucchini. Top with crushed french fried onions or vegan parm.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, uncovered.
This filling & technique would also work really well with stuffed bell peppers.