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Last Minute Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Saturday night we had company, a last minute dinner we threw together with our two neighbors (and their dog!). We decided to cook up a tried-and-true recipe that was healthy, colorful and easy – Zucchini Boats! My mom first saw these on Pinterest from Recipe Girl, and since then we’ve been creating a variety of our own fillings.

Honestly, once you’ve got your hollowed zucchini “shells” the filling can be anything you want it to be (like my empanadas).  In the past we’ve created a Southwestern Zucchini boat with ground beef, beans, rice and cheese. A Vegetarian Boat with lentils, onions, bell pepper and celery. The “Original” with marinara sauce, onions, garlic, turkey sausage, mozzarella cheese and basil.

Last night we made a Couscous Veggie Medley boat to go along with some BBQ’d pork chops and green bean salad (to be featured later). They were bright and light and colorful!

To start: Cut your zucchini squashes in half lengthwise and chop off the ends. Use a spoon to scoop out the “meat” of the zucchini – put this in a separate bowl to be used later!

Prepare your filling: Diced bell peppers, onion, carrot, and celery.

Make couscous over stove-top. We used the tri-color to add to the brightness of the boats. Couscous is one of the healthier grain-based products with only .25 grams of fat and 175 calories per 1 cup. Plus it is so fluffy and has the perfect texture for this veggie mixture. Add in some chicken broth to the water when making the couscous for some extra flavor.

Mix all of the diced vegetables into the couscous once it is cooked; also add the zucchini that has been removed from the “shells” and combine. Then stuff the mixture in the zucchini boats and bake!

Even Missy and her friend Lucky were jealous of our summer dinner…

Fresh out of the oven!

This is a great vegetarian/vegan recipe, but if you are a carnivore like me and my family, I suggest adding some ground turkey and parmesan cheese. Mmm!

The night ended in a competitive and silly game of Apples to Apples…obviously I won ;)

It’s Sunday night meaning Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition is on! Who else is watching?

Couscous Veggie Medley Zucchini Boats:

makes 10 boats

5 zucchinis

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

1/2 orange bell pepper, diced

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 cup carrots, diced

1/2 cup celery, diced

1 cup uncooked couscous (to make 3 cups cooked)

1 chicken flavored bullion cube

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; chop ends off of zucchinis and cut in half length-wise.

2. Using a spoon, remove the “meat” of the zucchini from the inside and set aside in a bowl.

3. Cook couscous over stove top by bringing 2 cups of water to a boil, adding the bullion cube and couscous. Remove from heat, cover for 5 minutes, then fluff.

4. Combine the vegetables, zucchini middles and couscous. Evenly divide the mixture into the zucchini boats.

5. Bake for 30 minutes.