Sticking with my blog's title, I'm going to keep my posts simple. I'm not going to tell you about how cute my non-existent 2 year old is when she tries to help me or how my also-non-existent dog ate my entire pan of lasagna. I'm gonna cut to the chase and let you do what you came here to do: find a recipe! All stories aside, I'm going to keep my posts short and sweet. Serious food for serious people. Mostly low-carb.
I saw a "sponsored" ad on my FB newsfeed that pictured Mexican-ish stuffed zucchini. I thought it looked absolutely delicious, BUT I didn't have the green onions and I was too stubborn to follow through, sans green onions. I decided to make my own Italian version because, let's face it, I should have been born Italian.
1 lb. ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, chicken--whatever you're into--I used chicken)
1/2 c. finely chopped onion (or grated and soak up the moisture with a paper towel)
2 gloves chopped garlic
1 T italian seasoning
1/2 c freshly grated/shredded parmesan reggiano or pecorino romano cheese (again, whatever you're into), plus 1/4 c for topping
2 t freshly chopped red peppers OR 1/2 t red pepper flakes (or less if you're not into the spicy thing)
2 T coconut flour (coconut flour is low carb, super absorbant, and I used it in place of glutenous higher-carb items like bread crumbs OR if no coconut flour, 1/4 c bread crumbs)
2 T pine nuts (optional)
3-4 zucchini (I used 3 because apparently I had jumbo size--enough to fill a 9 x 13 in baking dish when cut in half)
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Mix to combine the ground meat, onion, garlic, italian seasoning, cheese, pepper, eggs, flour and 1/2 t salt. Slice the zucchini length wise and use a small spoon to scrape out the innards, just enough to remove all the seeds. Lay them in a 9 x 13 baking dish and sprinkle with salt (zucchini really benefits from salt IMO). Spoon the meat mixture into the zucchini boats. It's okay if it's piled as high as you can or want. Top with pine nuts, reserved cheese, and olive oil (prevents the pine nuts and cheese from browning too much while baking).
Bake for 45* minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
Serving suggestion: top with 1 cup of marinara sauce before or after baking!
Pro Tip (but not really pro tip, more like a variation, because I don't recommend it): To cut down on baking time, brown the meat and onions together before mixing, stuffing and baking. You will need to skip the eggs and flour at this point. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the zucchini are soft.
*makes a great meatball recipe as well!
I may tweak this recipe in the future, so stay tuned!