Serving Size: 1 (based on 15 servings)
Calories: 38 • Total Fat: 1.6g • Total Carbohydrate: 3g (Fiber: 1g • Sugars: 0g) • Protein: 3g • Vitamin A (19%) • Vitamin C (9%)
Low Calorie • Vegetarian • Low Carbohydrates • No Sugar • Gluten-Free • Good for Healthy Skin, Hair, Nails, Eyes • Immunity Booster
Zucchini is one of my all-time favorite vegetables. Maybe that’s because the first time I had it was in zucchini bread so naturally I thought that’s actually what zucchini tasted like. Since expanding my palate and become a self-proclaimed vegetable aficionado, I’ve learned to appreciate this tubular squash for more than just a really great addition to a sweet dessert bread.
So when I read this month’s Recipe Redux theme I knew exactly what to make. Here’s the challenge:
Get Your Fruits and Veggies in Shape
With produce galore, now’s a great time to enjoy lots of fruits and vegetables. Show us how you’re serving the bounty of gardens and orchards in shapes like ribbons, noodles, cut-outs, or other creative cuts.
My result: these super simple and oh-so tasty lasagna stuffed zucchini cups using the natural shape of zucchini as a vessel for healthified comfort food goodness.
This recipe makes a perfect appetizer any time of the year, but is especially flavorful in the summer when zucchini and tomatoes are in peak season. Enjoy one or two prior to a meal rich in lean protein and moderate in complex carbohydrates. To make it as a meal, cut the whole zucchini in half lengthwise and hollow out the center, then add cooked ground turkey breast in between the layers of vegetables and cheese. Yummy!
Lasagna stuffed zucchini cups
Servings: 15-20 (depending on size of a zucchini)
- 1 lb zucchini (about two zucchini weighing 0.5lbs each)
- 1/3 cup yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
- 2 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped (or frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained)
- 1/4 cub fresh basil, chopped
- salt and pepper, dash of each
- 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp salt-free Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Wash zucchini and slice into 1.5 – 2 inch slices. Using a spoon or melon baller, hollow out the zucchini until about 3/4 of the center is removed. (*Save the insides to add to the vegetable mixture). Be careful not to make the bottom too thin or the filling will fall out. Spray a pan with cooking spray and place the zucchini cups on the tray. Roughly chop the insides you scooped out (remove seeds before chopping if necessary) and set aside.
- In a non-stick skillet lightly coated with cooking spray add the garlic and onion over medium-high heat and cook until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes). Add the tomatoes and cook an additional 3 minutes. Next add the spinach, basil, and the insides of the zucchini and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and set aside as you make the cheese filling.
- Combine ricotta and parmesan cheeses in a medium bowl. Add Italian seasoning and stir until combined.
- Put a thin layer of vegetables in the bottom of each zucchini cup, add a layer of the ricotta cheese mixture, then top with another thin layer of vegetables.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and place back in the oven for 3-4 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
These are best eaten right after they are made. If you want to make them ahead of time you can prepare all of the ingredients 1-2 days before, store them in the fridge, then assemble and bake them before they’re ready to be served.