Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stuffed Zucchini Shells

I like to make a nutritious recipe that doesn't take up time and has fresh taste and flavor. The key is to prep all the vegetables before you start with the recipe. Rachael Ray from the Food Channel always manages to come up with some quick meals and she uses fresh herbs, like basil leaves and flat-leaf parsley to help season different dishes. In this recipe, I changed  the white bread to whole wheat bread to add more fiber and texture to the recipe because the mushrooms and the zucchini flesh in this recipe can make the filling for the zucchini shells to watery and the whole wheat bread helps to make the filling drier. This recipe can be a good side dish with a meat entree or it can be a meal with just a salad.


4 small zucchini, about 6-inches long
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus a little to drizzle on the zucchini boats
12 button mushrooms, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 slices whole wheat bread
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
3/4 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 egg, beaten


Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Halve 4 of the small zucchini lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and soft center flesh with a spoon and arrange the shells in a baking dish. Reserve the center flesh in a small bowl. Drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Chop the reserve zucchini flesh and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and saute mushrooms, onions, and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the reserved zucchini and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, to taste and heat through for 1 minute, then remove from heat.

Toast the bread in a toaster, then spread with butter and tear into pieces. Add the bread to a food processor along with the parsley, and basil, and pulse into herb crumbs.

Fold the herb crumbs into the veggies along with 1/2 cup parmesan and the egg. Mound the zucchini stuffing in to the shells and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the tops with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and bake for 3 minutes to brown. Enjoy!

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