I invited Rachel of Not Rachael Ray over here today to share one of her yummy recipes with you. I have been reading Rachel’s blog for a few months now, we met on Twitter (right Rachel?), talking about food and fitness I’m sure, and I am so glad we did because I love her blog and her food! What makes her posts a little extra fun to read are her notes after each recipe she cooks, I love seeing what her and her husband’s thoughts are about the recipe and if there is anything she would do differently . And can I just say…her daughter is adorable! Thanks for being here Rachel…these Stuffed Zucchini look amazing!
Make sure you stop by Rachel’s blog and say hello!
When Aggie asked me to guest post for her, I jumped at the chance. I’ve been reading her blog for awhile now and have loved it from the very beginning. Aggie and I are similar in many ways, family girls, healthy eaters (although I think she has better discipline in that department than I do), and fitness lovers.
I’ll quickly introduce myself, if you want to learn more, check out my blog and my about me page. I started my blog because I love cooking and baking, but I’m not a trained chef. I went to school to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy, and while I love that job, I have transitioned into being a stay-at-home mom. I still work at the hospital here and there when I’m needed, but most of the time I’m at home hanging out with my little girl. Being a stay-at-home mom has given me more time to try new recipes and document them on my blog for everyone else to try. It has become such a fun hobby and a new passion of mine.
Today I have some stuffed zucchini for you. It is a quick and easy side dish.
Typically I prepare zucchini one of two ways: Sautéed in a pan with or without other veggies, or thrown on the grill with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Boring right? Especially when you write a food blog.
I think it scares my husband when I utter the words, “I tried something new today.” See, my husband loves all things traditional.
Having steak? It better be served up on a plate with some sautéed mushrooms.
Cooked carrots? Mashed up with chili powder? What?
Chocolate chip cookies? Hope there aren’t any oats or nuts included in the dough! (Side note: I read this post to him, and he said “Yeah, that really bugs me.” Ha!)
Carrot soup on the menu? Somebody will be walking through the door with carry-out bags.
In all honesty, he’s a really good sport and will try almost anything. And I’m not a horrible wife; I won’t make things if I am already certain he won’t like them. In fact, most times, I try to make things that he really is going to love. Like seared tuna, braised lamb shanks, and BBQ chicken pizza.
However, sometimes I do live life a little bit on the edge and push the boundaries a bit. Because I write a food blog. And because I love trying new things. Pushing the boundaries is what I thought I was doing with this concoction. Hubs isn’t a big cheese lover (I know, so weird!), so I wasn’t entirely sure he would like these stuffed zucchini. But I figured he could always push the cheese out and still eat the zucchini. Win-win. Turns out he loved them.
They’re super easy and delicious and a fun new side dish. I used a spreadable cheese of the “savory vegetable” variety. This recipe would be great with a garlic-herb cheese spread, but hubs isn’t a huge garlic lover, and like I said, I’m not a completely horrible wife!
Stuffed Zucchini (makes 4 servings)
a Not Rachael Ray original
1/2 to 3/4 cup of spreadable cheese (pick your favorite variety)
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
2. Cut off ends of zucchini and slice lengthwise so that you have four long halves. Using a spoon, hollow out the middle (take out the seeds) of each half, leaving a little bit on each end to prevent the filling from running out. Place zucchini on foil-lined sheet pan (for easy clean-up!).
3. Spread cheese into hollowed out zucchini.
4. Sprinkle with diced red bell pepper.
5. Cover each zucchini with breadcrumbs, and spritz with olive oil. (If you don’t have a spritzer, just drizzle as lightly as possible, or spray lightly with non-stick spray.)
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until zucchini is cooked and breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Verdict: These turned out so great! The zucchini was perfectly cooked and with the creamy cheese and crispy breadcrumbs, everything just worked. Great textural variety.
Husband’s take: Surprisingly, he said, “I actually really like them, they are good.” I practically fainted. Okay, not really. But I was pleasantly surprised.
Changes I would make: None.
Thanks again for having me, Aggie!