Back to Basics Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini

http://greenlitebites.com/2009/06/20/back-to-basics-quinoa-stuffed-zucchini/
20090619_stuffedZucchini3

If you read my weight loss blog you may know I’ve been feeling a bit out of control lately. My house is in disarray as I prepare to move into an apartment wating for my new house to be built. I recently started a new job at a local University and I threw my back out a couple of days ago. Needless to say I’m pretty stressed and, like many people, food seems to be my go to stress reliever.

You’d think, considering I started and run a site called GreenLiteBites I’d seek solace in healthy wholesome food but no. This week I’ve eaten out at least 3 times, ate almost an entire bag of Dorritos and my “handful” of M&M’s were more like cups. So yesterday in the middle of my disaster zone…

My disaster zone - packing for the move

…I decided to find comfort NOT in the quick, mindless, junk food munch but in the satisfaction of preparing a healthy meal from scratch. Amazingly the processes of scouring my empty fridge and pantries for what I had on hand and finding a creative way to put it all together was much more of a stress release for me.

I can’t promise many new ideas in the coming weeks but I will try to use my current situation to challenge myself. If I don’t, I see a lot fast food in my future and although the husband would be ecstatic I want to treat my and the kid’s (the toddler recently celebrated is 4th birthday) bodies a just little better then that.

So on to this idea! For some reason I have a gross of zucchini in the fridge. It’s actually the only fresh veggie in there. I also had ripening grape tomatoes, a small chunk of onion and some REALLY old garlic. This is what I came up with… Back to Basics Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 tsp olive oil (4g)
  • 1-2 slices of a sweet onion chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • about 10 grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa (42g)
  • 1/2 cup of our fav broth (water would work but you many want to add bouillon for flavor)
  • Dried parsley your fav dried spices (optional)

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh with a spoon or melon baller. Chop the flesh and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion starts to get transparent and garlic just starts to brown. Add the diced zucchini guts, carrots and tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes allowing the flavors to merge and the veggies to soften a bit.

Stir in the dry Quinoa. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the quinoa absorbs most of the liquid.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a small casserole dish with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle the zucchini with some kosher salt and your favorite spices (totally optional.) I used garlic powder, onion powder and a bit of chili powder.

By this time the quinoa should be about done. Scoop the mixture into the zucchini boats. You will have more then enough, just pile it in there. Top with a bit of dried parsley and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes allowing the zucchini to soften and the stuffing to dry out just a bit.

Stuffed Zucchini - beforeStuffed Zucchini - after

Enjoy!

Approx Nutritional Information per serving
Servings Amt per Serving
1 Entire Recipe
Calories Fat Fiber WWPs
350 8g 10g old: 7 new: 9
Sugar Sat Fat Carbs Protein
18g 1g 61g 13g
13 comments »»
Posted in: 7 WWP, 9 WWPP, Dinner Ideas, Food Photos, Lunch Ideas, Vegetarian Ideas
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13 Comments and 0 Replies

  1. lunzy

    wow! that looks super! We have a crazy zucc plant growing right now and this incorporates my new favorite food: quinoa! ;) thanks for sharing!

  2. jennifer ozuna

    Roni,
    That looks like a great recipe! I’ll have to try it. Do you think it would work made with bulgar wheat? I don’t have any quinoa in my pantry right now.

    Also, don’t fret too much about taking your “vacation” or “break” from working out. I was freaking out over our week-long vacation (where I consumed mass quantities of mexican food and desserts including coffees in the evening that had cream and flavors and milk, etc…) I was probably averaging at least 2200-2500 calories a day (way off from my 1800-2100). I got back to working out after a week of that behavior and this past week I measured myself again. To my surprise I still lost 1/2 inch in my waist. Go figure! I was extremely surprised. Maybe our bodies just need to be treated “extravagantly” in the food department every once in a while. Metabolism kick, you think?

  3. Juniper

    Wow! Way to make something great out of your situation! That looks really tasty and sounds rather simple. Good for you Roni! One good decision leads to the next ; )

  4. Rachel

    Yumm, this looks awesome! I always just throw some pasta sauce and cheese on zucchini – the quinoa would make it much more substantial and nutritious. I’ll definitely try it.

  5. Alex

    This recipe looked SO great and zucchini and quinoa are two of my favorite things right now, so I made this today!!

    I have a profound hatred of tomatoes, so I left those out. But I sprinkled one of the halves with some low-fat cheese and salt and they are UNBELIEVABLE! These are SO yummy- and with the cheese they are somewhat reminiscent of your zucchini pizza bites (which I eat weekly). I too <3 pizza and look for healthy variations on it.

    I’ve already forwarded the recipe to some fam and friends who are eager to try this too.

    Thanks a ton Roni!

  6. Jenna

    I dont read your blog nearly as much as I am on green lite bites (everyday to check for new recipes) so I had no idea you sold your house =D You mentioned a few tings in your videos about taking your magnets off the fridge to depersonalize the place in hopes to sell and things like that but I didn’t know you sold it….congrats that’s a feat that not many are able to accomplish in this market…..but your house from what I could see was too cute I knew it would sell =D Anyways thanks for finding time to post recipes even if they are old ideas revamped….they help me pull out old ideas too and “roll with it”

    And thanks for being such an inspiration in such a stressful time!It truly means so much to me and I could seriously be hurting if you stopped…..i might even cry =D

  7. KC

    This was very good and different. My zucchini was about a foot long so I doubled the onions and tomatoes and added frozen corn kernals and spinach. I seasoned with onion/garlic powder and lots of salt and pepper. I also wrapped each half in foil and baked for 20 min. I recommned topping with cheese.

  8. Diane

    I have yet to experiment with Quinoa. I think I may have to try this recipe out to do so. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Marian

    I made this last night and it was SO good! I couldn’t eat the whole thing, only a 1/4 of it, but I had some today for lunch. I added spinach to it since I had some baby spinach on hand. I also sprinkled a little crumbled reduced fat feta on top. The chili pepper was a nice touch. I’ll definitely make it again and I’m going to try some other recipes too. Love your site!

  10. Jamie :)

    Oh my goodness! I ran across this recipe this morning and it was like you were IN my kitchen! Those were exactly the same ingredients that were in my kitchen & ready to be used up. These were ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!! Thank you for your creativity & for sharing with us all!! :)

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