So fun and so pretty, these zucchini boats are filled with fresh summer veggies for a great low calorie side dish or complete meal.
Rich in vitamins and nutrients, the versatile zucchini is just good for your overall health. Its many benefits include high amounts of vitamin C to build healthy cells and protect against cancer; magnesium to help maintain strong muscles and bones; fiber to improve digestion; and potassium, a heart-healthy mineral.
Summertime, or anytime, at only 20 calories a cup, you can indulge a bit by enjoying these zucchini boats with a little cheese on top.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
3 medium zucchini (about 8 inches long)
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cups eggplant with skin on, cubed
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tablespoons fresh thyme or basil, minced, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme or basil, optional
2 cups low sodium marinara sauce, or our own pomodoro-Sauce) sauce
1/3 cup part skim milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup 2% reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Several tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Cut off ends of zucchini and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp in the middle of each zucchini half. Leave about ½ inch of the shell. Reserve zucchini pulp.
- Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add the reserved zucchini pulp, onion, eggplant, green pepper, and salt and pepper and sauté about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. If skillet seems dry, add ¼ cup of water at a time to the mixture as needed.
- After 5 minutes, add the garlic and thyme, if desired, and sauté another minute. Remove skillet from heat.
- Spread 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and place zucchini shells on top of sauce.
- Spoon the vegetable mixture into the zucchini shells. Spread remaining marinara sauce over each stuffed shell. Mix cheeses together and sprinkle over zucchini.
- Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake zucchini another 5 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley and serve with whole wheat spaghetti or brown rice if desired.
Makes 6 servings.
Per zucchini shell with 1/3 cup sauce: 196 calories; 10.9g total fat (3.6g saturated, 1.5g polyunsaturated, 5.0g monounsaturated); 407mg sodium; 14.2mg cholesterol; 16.9g carbohydrate; 4.2g fiber; 2.6g sugars; 9.5g protein; 366.5mg potassium.