Calling all vegetarian friends! Tonight, I decided to try a recipe that I saw somewhere online this past week. Here’s the catch: I did not save the recipe. This didn’t deter me though because I remembered it being simple enough and I knew I would have adjusted it to my liking anyway. So I set out to replicate this mysterious zucchini boat recipe.
Starting with the ingredients, I used tofu crumbles instead of ground beef. I have been avoiding red meats for personal health concerns and with enough of the right seasonings, I knew these crumbles would work. The goat cheese mozzarella is also a switch up. Otherwise, I think the rest is pretty darn close to that missing recipe.
I drizzled about two tablespoons of olive oil into a pan with the diced onion, I cooked those for a few, threw in the thin-sliced garlic and let that ride while I opened the can of fire-roasted tomatoes and organized. Next I poured the canned tomatoes into the pan and added half a can of water, bourbon-smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, red-pepper flakes, and black pepper. Set that to a simmer while I prepared the boats and toppings.
I found some dark green, fat zucchinis that were locally grown and knew they would be perfect. After spooning out the seeds and soft flesh from the center of each half, I very lightly sprinkled them with sea salt and set them aside. Then I got to work quartering the plum-sized, yellow tomatoes, grating the cheese, and chopping the chives for a garnish.
The filling had simmered long enough to heat the crumbles through and allow the seasonings to permeate, so it was time to fill build the boats! I started with a little cheese at the bottom, then the filling, a layer of tomatoes, and a healthy coating of cheese on top. Popped those babies uncovered into a 350 degree oven for 25 mins. While they were baking, I cut the fresh corn off a couple cobs and cooked that in a frying pan with a little water, butter, and black pepper.
Ding! It was time to pull it all together. I plated up half the corn and one zucchini boat on my favorite bunny plate, snapped one last picture, and dug in. All of the flavors really did come together beautifully. Here’s where I want to reassure all my meat-loving friends that this recipe could most definitely be done with ground beef, turkey, or chicken. Likewise, I feel it could easily be adapted for vegans.
It really is versatile and overall healthy in any variation. If you try it, let me know what you do differently and tell me how it goes!