Stuffed Zucchini with Beef and Cauliflower

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Stuffed Zucchini are a traditional Italian recipe, very simple and tasty. It’s naturally kid friendly both for the taste (salty and cheesy) and for the shape as the final result resembles a boat. You can even get more creative and add a sail made with a toothpick and a slice of cheese!

Today I wanted to give a twist to the traditional recipe adding riced cauliflower to the mix and bringing the meat:veggie ratio down to 1:3. The final taste is still very tasty and cheesy but the vegetable load makes this recipe more balanced and complete.

I like to prepare more zucchini boats than needed so I freeze the extra ones before baking them to have an easy solution for crazy week dinner nights.

You start simply preheating the oven to 400F/180C.

Cut the zucchini lengthwise in half.

With a knife make a rectangular incision all around the zucchini, few millimeters from the edge and making sure not to cut them through. With a teaspoon gentry remove the inner pulp creating a long boat.

Mince the pulp wither with a knife or using a food processor.

In a large pan heat the olive oil at medium/high all together with the minced garlic for 2 min.

Add the ground beef and using a wooden spoon break it in small tiny pieces. Cook for 4 min to brown the beef.

Add the riced cauliflower, the zucchini pulp, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, paprika and cook for 8 min at low heat, simmering.

Drizzle a baking dish with olive oil and align the zucchini boats one next to the other.

Fill them with the beef and veggie mix.

Top each zucchini boat with one or two teaspoon of grated pecorino cheese and bake for 30min.

Serve warm. You can store the leftovers in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze them for up to 3 months. If you already know that you prepared more then needed I would suggest to freeze the extras before baking them. When you will want to enjoy them simply transfer the zucchini boats directly from the freezer to the oven. They will only require 5/10 more minutes and will have the same taste and texture of the freshly made ones.

Stuffed Zucchini with Beef and Cauliflower
Ingredients
  • 5 medium zucchini
  • 1 lb ground beef, organic
  • 1 cup riced cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 cup pecorino cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F/180C.

  2. Cut the zucchini lengthwise in half.

  3. With a knife make a rectangular incision all around the zucchini, few millimeters from the edge and making sure not to cut them through. With a teaspoon gentry remove the inner pulp creating a long boat.

  4. Mince the pulp wither with a knife or using a food processor.

  5. In a large pan heat the olive oil at medium/high all together with the minced garlic for 2 min.

  6. Add the ground beef and using a wooden spoon break it in small tiny pieces. Cook for 4 min to brown the beef.

  7. Add the riced cauliflower, the zucchini pulp, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, paprika and cook for 8 min at low heat, simmering.

  8. Drizzle a baking dish with olive oil and align the zucchini boats one next to the other.

  9. Fill them with the beef and veggie mix.

  10. Top each zucchini boat with one or two teaspoon of grated pecorino cheese and bake for 30min.

  11. Serve warm. You can store the leftovers in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze them for up to 3 months. If you already know that you prepared more then needed I would suggest to freeze the extras before baking them. When you will want to enjoy them simply transfer the zucchini boats directly from the freezer to the oven. They will only require 5/10 more minutes and will have the same taste and texture of the freshly made ones.

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