Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer's Bounty

This weekend, I made one of our family's favorite summer dishes. I made Stuffed Zucchini. And I say "our family's" but I don't mean to include Shaggy in the liking. Because he doesn't. Like zucchini. At all. In any form or shape or texture. Except for maybe an occasional slice of zucchini bread. And only when he tells himself that the zucchini is smothered in brown sugar and flour and butter and eggs. Yeah. Not a fan of the green summer squashy treat.

I thought I'd share the dish here with you all, as it's been quite a while since I shared a recipe. Just remember, for this particular dish, there's not a "measure this" and "measure that" kind of recipe to follow. It is definitely a recipe that you can tweak and fudge for your family's preferences.  And truthfully, it turns out a little different every time I make it. You'll figure out what works best for your family as you make it a couple times.

Stuffed Zucchini
Take one of the longest, plumpest zucchinis that you can find. (Big zukes work well for this as their skins are firm enough to hold their shape when baking.) Clean it well and cut off the stem end. Cut it in half the long way, as evenly as you can manage.

Seed each half and be sure to leave an even amount of squash inside the halves. It should look like each half has a trench running down the middle. If the halves are very rounded, take a bare thin slice off the rounded edge so that it will lay flat in the pan with the cut side up. Generously spray a 9x13 pan and lay the zuke in, trenched side up.

Brown about a pound of ground turkey breast, breaking it up into taco-meat texture. Add fresh pressed garlic and chopped onions to the browning meat according to your tastes. I also generously pepper the mixture while it's browning. Drain any liquids from the meat.

When meat mixture is done, add a jar of your favorite sauce. This time around, I used a tomato Alfredo sauce (which was very thick and creamy) and I think it was better than any other version I've ever made. On top of the sauce, add an even ratio of shredded Parmesan and shredded mozzarella. Again, the amount of cheese will be to your preferences. When you are done adding the sauce and cheeses, the mixture should be a similar weight and texture to an average cookie dough. Not heavy like meatloaf but not loose and liquid-y.

Spoon the meat and sauce and cheese mixture into the zucchini trenches, generously. It's okay if it piles high. The juices of the zucchini will level everything out.

Sliding it into the oven, it already smelled amazing!

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. In the final 10 minutes, top with another mixture of Parmesan and mozzarella. Let that topping bubble up and start to turn a little golden.

All baked and bubbling away.
It smelled divine around here!!!!

Serve with whole wheat pasta on the side, along with extra sauce. We also love it with ground beef, but the turkey breast is a much healthier option. And I've often used reduced fat cheeses with excellent results. This time, I mixed the zucchini with yellow summer squash and each were super tasty.  Enjoy!


Aus said...

The stuffing doesn't sound too bad....but hey Shag-man I'm with you - next time that's on the menu how 'bout you and me duck out for a meat lovers pizza or some other 'healthful' treat! :)

hugs - aus and co.

Bethany said...

It does look yummy! Hubby will love the idea! Thanks!