Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Z is for: Zucchini Bites {two ways}

So I know I said this right after the holidays and didn't totally follow through, but it's detox time.

No, I'm not doing some sort of cayenne pepper/lemonade cleanse. No, I'm not doing South Beach Diet. But what I am going to do is not consume any alcohol for a few weeks (not even wine!) and I'm going to be eating a lot of veggies and fish.

What brought this on? Well, a combination of things. Mostly it stems from the fact I've been on a lot of trips lately, and it's super hard to eat healthy when you're eating out all the time. (Chicken fingers, fries, and margaritas by the pool certainly don't help either).

However...eating healthy doesn't mean eating gross diet food. It means controlling your portions and eating lots of green vegetables. I will never, ever, ever be able to cut cheese out of my diet, so that stays. I will just be choosing more low-fat cheeses for awhile (but NEVER non-fat...that's gross). That said...I present my latest creation: Zucchini Bites!!


As you know from reading my blog, I'm a huge fan of the melon baller. I've used it for jello shots, I've used it for potatoes, I've used it for a lot of things. Here, it works perfectly for making your little zucchini "cups." What I did is cut each zucchini into about 1.5 to 2" pieces. I used the melon baller to carefully carve out a little spot for the filling to sit, making sure to leave about a half-inch "floor" at the bottom. Season the insides with salt and pepper. As for the insides that you scooped out, you can chop them up and add them to whatever you decide to fill them with.


Speaking of the filling...the possibilities are endless! I did two different kinds. The first was more of an Italian-style....I sauteed a bunch of vegetables (garlic, green onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach and the scooped-out zucchini) and then mixed them with some ricotta cheese. I also did a Mexican-style filling with black beans, fresh corn, tomatoes and cotija cheese. (P.S. If you end up with extra filling, both kinds would be awesome in the Mini Crustless Quiches or Black Bean Veggie Burgers!)


Add whatever seasonings you like (dried herbs, fresh herbs, salt & pepper, etc) and scoop them into the cups. The ricotta ones held together a bit better, so I was able to stack them pretty high. The black bean ones were more limited to the walls of the zucchini cup. I also topped them with a little grated cotija cheese before putting them in the oven. (A shredded Mexican cheese blend would also be yummy!)


From there, just pop them in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until zucchini is cooked and everything is warmed through and serve! These would be great as an appetizer or a side dish.
Zucchini Bites

by Jaymee Sire
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Keywords: saute bake entree appetizer side gluten-free low-carb low-fat vegetarian zucchini

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds zucchini
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
For Italian-style:
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2-3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 4-5 cups baby spinach
  • 1.5 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
For Mexican-style:
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1-2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 ear corn, kernels removed
  • 1/2 can black beans, rinsed
  • grated cotija cheese
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut each zucchini into about 1.5 to 2" pieces. Using a melon baller, carefully carve out a little spot for the filling to sit, making sure to leave about a half-inch "floor" at the bottom. Season the insides with salt and pepper. Use the "insides" that you scooped out, chop them up and add them to whatever you decide to fill them with.

For Italian-style filling:
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onion and garlic until soft. Add the remaining vegetables and cook until spinach wilts. Season with salt and pepper and mix with ricotta cheese.
  2. Stuff your filling of choice into the zucchini cups and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until zucchini is cooked through.

For Mexican-style filling:
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onion and garlic until soft. Add the remaining vegetables & beans and cook a couple minutes longer.
  2. Stuff your filling of choice into the zucchini cups and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until zucchini is cooked through.
Powered by Recipage

Nutrition

Calories: 40 (per "bite")
Total carbs: 4
Fat: 2 grams

4 comments:

  1. definitely trying these!

    ReplyDelete
  2. A vegetable stuffed with even more vegetables? I'm so in!

    ReplyDelete
  3. A unique treat! Haven't tried something like this before. Will try this weekend. Love the presentation. =)

    ReplyDelete

I would LOVE to hear what you think. I read every comment and get a little giddy when I see someone has left one on the blog. Thanks for stopping by!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...