Stuffed Zucchini with Maple Carrots

I am a big fan of meals that are mostly vegetables. Since veggies are high in fiber and water content, they can be very filling. Also, it’s acceptable to eat LOTS of them because they are guilt-free. This stuffed zucchini is a perfect example of a high-veggie content dish. And it’s healthy, it’s roasted, it’s got great textures, and it’s very yummy.

This recipe gives a Mediterranean flair to the zucchini stuffing and accompanies it with maple roasted carrots. It is a nice pairing of citrus-y and sweet flavors for a healthy summer dinner.

2 zucchini
1/2 cup dry red quinoa
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 clove garlic
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
1/4 cup green olives, chopped
handful of grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
1 Tbsp bread crumbs + small pats of Earth Balance
1 Tbsp maple syrup
Baby carrots

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook 1/2 cup red quinoa in 1 cup water, covering and letting simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Halve zucchinis and scoop out the seeds, and rub cut sides with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place halves on cookie sheets cut side up and place in the oven for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop artichokes, olives, tomatoes, green pepper, and garlic. Saute chopped veggies in olive oil over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add cooked quinoa, balsamic vinaigrette, and juice of half a lemon and stir, cooking for an additional 1 minute on low. Remove zucchini halves from oven and stuff with quinoa mixture. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of stuffing and add a few small bits of Earth Balance to help the topping brown nicely. Place zucchini back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes, and 1-2 minutes under the broiler if desired. Drizzle with a bit of lemon juice to serve.

For the maple roasted carrots, add baby carrots to a cookie sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp maple syrup and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 375 for about 20 minutes or until fork tender.

Serves 2

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