Family Favorite: Stuffed Zucchini

Earlier this summer, my wife sent me this Pin from Buzzfeed extolling the virtues of ‘Quick Dinners to Make This Week.’ I’m not a huge fan of stuffed bell peppers, and I’d never tried stuffed zucchini so I was not very excited. It looked good, but I was sort of like ‘meh.’

That said, “Happy Wife Happy Life” is probably the best advice I’ve ever received so I figured – sure, why not? Turns out that it was an AWESOME decision, and this recipe has made its way to our table regularly for the last few months, and has even turned into a favorite to prepare for guests.

Inspired by this recipe at Katrina Runs for Food, it really is easy – dare I say, fun? – fairly quick and awesomely fulfilling & delicious. I snapped a quick video and uploaded it to youtube, and the recipe itself is below. Hope you enjoy – I know your family will.

Ingredients

  • 4 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise and middle scooped out with melon baller and saved for later in the recipe.
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped red/yellow/green peppers in any combination
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • heavy hand of cumin
  • pinch of cayenne
  • heavy hand ancho chili powder, or regular chili powder if ancho is not available
  • generous shake of garlic powder
  • generous salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 cup of mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup of parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 3 green onions, sliced thin

Directions

  • Sautee beef, peppers, onions until beef is browning
  • add the middle part of the zucchini that was scooped out.
  • Add seasonings. Stir and simmer a few minutes until flavors are ingrained.
  • In a large bowl, add beef mixture, cheddar, mascarpone, parsley. Mix well.
  • Spoon mixture into each zucchini boat.
  • Bake 400°F for 30 minutes.
  • Remove, sprinkle mozzarella cheese and return to oven for 4-5 minutes.
  • Top with green onions and serve.

Saturday Night Munchies = Sunday Brunch

Mascarpone French Toast w/ berries, agave, mint & orange zest

Watched my first episode of Brunch with Bobby on Cooking Channel tonight. It was the New Orleans episode, and he made this awesome bananas foster french toast that looked incredible. I had a night in and an acute case of the Saturday Night Munchies, so I used his recipe as inspiration, but toned down the richness, eliminated the ‘bananas foster’ part and had a great snack that wasn’t as laden with guilt. Great idea for an elegant dessert without much work, or a beautiful Sunday brunch. Enjoy.

FlayFrenchTost

Ingredients

  • 2 slices bread (I used wheat, I’m sure a thick white would be even better – croissant, brioche, etc)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup, cream
  • 1/2 cup, lowfat milk
  • 1 tbsp, cinnamon
  • 1 tsp, chinese five spice
  • 1 tbsp, powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp, pure vanilla extract (thank you cousin Melody)
  • 1 tbsp, butter
  • 1 tsp, EVOO
  • 1 handful, fresh berries
  • 4-5 mint leaves
  • 1 small orange, zest of
  • agave syrup, to taste

Directions

  • whisk together eggs, sugar, cream, milk, cinnamon, chinese five spice, vanilla
  • put slices of bread in baking dish or flat surface and cover with the egg mixture. allow to sit for 10+ minutes, or until bread has thoroughly absorbed most of the mixture.
  • heat sautée pan to medium-high, add butter & EVOO, melt until hot but not smoking
  • place bread in pan and cook until browned and near-crisp on both sides, approximately 3 minutes per side
  • transfer french toast to plate
  • add powdered sugar, syrup, more cinnamon to toast
  • add dollop of mascarpone as topping for toast
  • add berries, garnish with mint
  • Oh yeahhhhhhhh – THAT is delicious. Thanks, Bobby!