A Super Nondairy Side: Stuffed Zucchini Boats
This dairy-free dish is a fun and tasty way to get your vegetables. Nondairy Swiss-style cheese is mixed into the filling where the hot, moist ingredients help it to melt.
Preparation time: About 40 minutes
Cooking time: 30 to 40 minutes
Yield: 8 servings as sides, or 4 if served as the entree
4 medium zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 cups chopped yellow or white onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups cooked rice (brown or white)
1-1/2 cups ground almonds
6 ounces Swiss-style nondairy cheese, grated
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Black pepper and cayenne pepper
Small handful of freshly minced herbs (parsley, basil, thyme, dill, chives, marjoram), if desired (or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon each of dried herbs.)
Cut each zucchini lengthwise down the middle. Cut a thin, flat layer on the bottom of each boat to help it lie flat in the pan. Use a spoon to scoop out the pulp, leaving boats with 1/4-inch shells. Finely mince the pulp, and set aside the boats. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add the onion and salt, and sauté over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.
Add the zucchini pulp and mushrooms, and sauté another 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic during the last few minutes, stirring often to avoid browning it.
Add 1/2 pound precooked ground turkey, soy sausage crumbles or substitute cooked quinoa, couscous, or another grain for the rice for a change of pace.
Place the rice and almonds in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in the sautéed mixture, all but about 2 ounces of grated cheese, and lemon juice and mix well. Season to taste with black pepper, cayenne pepper, and the fresh herbs (if desired).
Stuff the zucchini boats with the filling mixture. Sprinkle the tops with remaining cheese, and then add a dash of paprika for color. Place the boats in an oiled 9-x-13-inch baking dish, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until heated through. Serve hot.
Per serving: Calories 249 (137 from Fat); Fat 15g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 298mg; Carbohydrate 21g (Dietary Fiber 5g); Protein 12g.