Chile peppers are not the only things that can be stuffed. Take zucchinis, for example. Their flavor is mild enough to pair with strong southwest flavors.
So here, southwest food fans, is yet another way to use up the end-of-summer zucchini harvest.
I based this recipe on a stuffed pepper recipe that I did a while back, and thought zucchinis might work just as well. I was right. This recipe is now my current favorite way to eat zucchini. The quinoa is such a nice change from plain old rice, and adds a nice texture as well as health benefits. I used pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds) for some crunch and queso fresco for salty cheesiness. Yum.
Try these for a side dish for the whole family, or as an entree for the vegetarians at your table.Hey - how about for a Meatless Monday? Either way, you'll be glad you did.
SOUTHWEST QUINOA STUFFED ZUCCHINIS
Prep time 20 minutes; Cook time 30 minutes; Serves 4 to 6
1 cup cooked quinoa
4 - 8 to 10 inch zucchinis
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup diced onion
½ cup diced peppers of choice (I used a mix of jalapenos and red bell peppers)
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
½ cup queso fresco cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut zucchinis in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard seeds and most of flesh with a spoon. Place zucchini shells in a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.
Heat butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and cook one minute. Add peppers and cook another 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook one more minute.Stir in quinoa, half of pepitas and half of cheese. Stuff zucchinis with quinoa mixture, using it all by mounding quinoa in zucchinis.
Spray lightly with oil. Bake for about 30 minutes at top of oven, until lightly browned.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining seeds and cheese and serve immediately.
Yum! What a great way to serve zucchini and make it the star of the show. Zucchini is just about the only thing that grows around here and believe me... we've got zucchini!
Sandy - Oh, good - I'm happy to give you another way to use up your zukes!
I love that these are stuffed with quinoa - delicious!!
Deborah - Quinoa is one of my current obsessions!
I like the ingredient combination, tasty but not overbearing. A quick blast in the microwave works well with stuffed zukes, though you don't get a pretty browned finish.
SeattleDee - GREAT idea on using the microwave to "blanch" the zukes! Cheers!
Hey i have all ingredients other than zucchini and that cheese you mentioned. do you think feta, mozzerella or cheddar would work because I happen to have all of those!! Thanks and Love the work you put into your posts and photos!!
Hey Amanda - Thanks for your kind words! Yes, by all means, try those cheeses. You can pretty much use any combo with quinoa - which has a very mild taste that goes with most anything!
The Mistress of Spices
Lovely idea! I love stuffed veggies and quinoa so I can't wait to try this out!
Thanks, spice mistress ~ if you add any spices of your own, come back and let us know how it turned out!