Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stuffed Zucchini Cups

I have decided to start blogging on some of the meals i make since a lot of my friends are looking for healthier meals. Right now i am following a south beach phase 1 friendly diet. I get all of my recipes from Kalyn's Kitchen food bog. She is awesome. If you havent checked her out you should!
I am on the fence with this particular recipe. I liked it enough to recommend it but it is not a meal I said "wow i want more!" She mentioned she liked hers crispier but i am thinking that was my problem. I think i would like them a little softer so next time I am going to try and cook the zuchinni for a little while first then add the stuffing. The inside was very good! Excuse the picture i obviously cant stack cheese. ha Anyway all in all i would recommend this, especially if you like zucchini!

Meat, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups
(Makes 6-8 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

2 large zucchini or yellow squash, about 12 inches long
2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil (may need more, depending on your pan)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 green pepper, finely chopped
2 T finely minced fresh garlic
1 lb. ground beef (10% fat or less)
12 oz. ground turkey (10% fat or less)
(use any combination of ground meat you'd like, but use low-fat ground meat for the South Beach Diet.)
1-2 tsp. Spike seasoning (optional but recommended)
2 C flavorful tomato-basil pasta sauce
2 cups low-fat mozzarella or other mild white cheese (I used low-fat blend of six cheeses called Italian blend.)

Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Chop onion and green pepper. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a non-stick pan, then saute onion and pepper for 3-4 minutes, until just starting to soften. Add minced garlic and saute about 1 minute more, being careful not to brown the garlic. Remove the onion, pepper, and garlic mixture to a bowl.

Add 2 tsp. more olive oil to the pan. Crumble in the ground beef and ground turkey, season with Spike seasoning, and cook over medium heat until the meat is well browned. Tilt pan to see if there is any extra fat, and remove with a spoon if there is, then stir cooked vegetables and garlic back into the meat. Add tomato sauce and simmer until the mixture has thickened and liquid has cooked off, about 10 minutes, then turn off heat.

While meat cools, cut zucchini into 2 inch thick slices, discarding ends. Use a sharp spoon or melon baller to hollow out a cup in each zucchini slice, leaving just over 1/4 inch of zucchini flesh. Be careful not to get too close to the skin or the cups will leak liquid when they cook.

Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray and stand up zucchini cups, open end up. Stir 1 1/2 cups grated cheese into the cooled meat mixture (it doesn't need to be completely cool), then spoon the meat-cheese mixture into zucchini cups, pressing down with the spoon and mounding it up a little over the top of the zucchini.

Bake zucchini cups for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and use remaining cheese to top each one with a generous pinch of cheese. Put back in oven and bake 10-15 minutes more, until zucchini is slightly soft when pierced with a fork and cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot


Jenn said...

I love Kalyn's Kitchen!

Mommy of Three said...

I know, I do too! She is amazing and i dont think i have tried anything yet i dont like. I already have the stuff for two more meals this week of hers. cant wait to review them. =)

Anonymous said...

I adore zucchini, so I think I would like this. I wonder if squash would be sturdy enough to use for it?? Hmm....
This reminds me of stuffed green peppers that my mom used to make. I've never been a fan of green peppers though, so it's the one and only meal that she would modify for me. I would just have a serving of the stuffing that was inside. Yummy!

Mommy of Three said...

kalyn actually says she usually uses 8-ball squash or something like that for stuffing so i bet they would work just fine =) I love zucchini too especially fried. lol but once again it will be a long time before that happens.