Friday, July 27, 2012

Q is for: Quinoa & Ground Turkey Zucchini Boats

So I've sort of just come to terms with the fact that during baseball season, the blog posts are going to be less frequent. Gone are the weeks where I would post 6, 7, maybe even 8 times on a single letter in a single week. These days, I'm lucky to get one or two in a week.

I've also been a little uninspired lately. I guess it happens with everybody, whether it's a blog or a job or a hobby something else. It just means you have to draw inspiration from other places.

Recently, my friend and co-worker Kate Longworth sent me a text with a photo of some stuffed zucchini she made with the vegetables from her garden. My first thought was: I'm jealous I don't have a garden. But my second thought was these would be perfect on the blog! I'm not sure what Kate used, but I decided to use a mixture of quinoa, veggies and some leftover cooked ground turkey I had in the fridge. I thought it turned out to be an easy, healthy high-protein and gluten free meal.

Let's talk about quinoa for a minute. Quinoa is a whole grain, superfood that is gluten free and full of protein. However, I understand that not everyone likes the taste of it, as it can be a little bland. I think the flavor is greatly enhanced if you cook it in chicken or veggie broth. You know it's done cooking when the little curly-cue "tails" start to pop out. (And if you REALLY like quinoa, you should check out the quinoa and kale gratin I made during my first time through the alphabet).

These are sort of similar to the zucchini "bites" I made a couple months back, but more of a main meal instead of a side dish. To make your zucchini "boats" simply cut each zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides, leaving the walls in tact. Brush the hollowed out zucchini with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes, or just until they start to get slightly soft.

I chopped up the scooped out zucchini and sauteed along with some onions, garlic, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Feel free to use your favorite veggies or whatever you have on hand!

Mix in your cooked ground turkey, cooked quinoa, Italian seasoning, a little parsley and pour in a can of tomato sauce.

Spoon filling into zucchini boats and top with a little parmesan cheese. I also think these would be delicious with a little shredded mozzarella or fontina cheese, but I was trying to keep it a little lower in fat.

Now, it doesn't take more than simple logic to realize you're going to have A LOT of extra stuffing leftover. I went ahead and hollowed out some tomatoes and stuffed those as well, but I still had a bunch left over. I froze the rest for the time being so I can use it in the future for an easy weeknight meal. However, I bet it would be great in a lasagna or even on its own.

Bake for another 10-15 minutes until everything is heated through and zucchini is done to your liking. Enjoy!!

Zucchini Boats with Quinoa and Ground Turkey

by Jaymee Sire
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: entree gluten-free low-carb turkey quinoa zucchini

Ingredients (8 "boats")
  • 4 large zucchinis
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded & chopped
  • 1/3 pound ground turkey, cooked
  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce
  • parmesan cheese, grated

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the insides, leaving "walls" in tact. Save the scooped out zucchini flesh and chop. Brush each zucchini boat with a little olive and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in oven 8-10 minutes, or until zucchini starts to soften.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and mushrooms and saute until mushrooms release their liquid. Stir in chopped zucchini insides and tomatoes and cook a few minutes longer.
  4. Stir in cooked ground turkey, cooked quinoa, parsley, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Pour in one can of tomato sauce and cook until everything is heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spoon filling into zucchini boats and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until zucchini is done to your liking.
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  1. Thought I should add more veggies in my diet, specially after the road trip (G. Danko aside.. lol), I'm lacking the greens!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. You're welcome Gavin! You need to email me some photos!

  2. Truly a winning treat. I love veggies presented in a fun and pretty way. I get the kids to enjoy their veggies, without the force feeding, and all. A must try!
    Anyhoo, we have been keeping an eye out for unique and interesting bloggers with phenomenal photography skills, and yours have caught our attention! We have just recently launched a food photo gallery that allows you to showcase all your great work and share it with all of our visitors. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there!

  3. This looks really good and a great way to use up some zucchini :) I have some zucchini plants in my garden, but no zucchini yet ... I love quinoa though! This looks like it would be really filling and healthy!

  4. I made this dish a few hours ago, it's really good (even though I did not have any parmesan cheese to add). Definitely going to make this more often.

  5. This is very good , Yummy i Love Quinoa

  6. This looks soooo good!! I’m not a fan of the flavor/texture of soy milk. Did you by chance test with dairy milk, or have thoughts on subbing it? Thanks!!
    Regards: Eve Hunt


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