Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Zucchini is abundant at this time of year and, if you have a friend with a garden or have one yourself, you're probably knee-deep in this versatile squash. This easy recipe is a great way to put them in the spotlight as a main course. The turkey sausage is spicy and flavorful, so that not much else is needed to dress up the mild tasting zucchini.

If you want to make a vegetarian version, use meatless ground soy crumbles instead of the precooked link-style "sausages" and spice them up by adding your own garlic and italian herbs. Another suggestion is to take thawed Morningstar Farms Veggie Sausage Patties and break them up in the skillet with the onion and tomato. They have a nice sausage-like flavor and are appropriately spiced for this dish.

Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini Boats
(Makes 4 servings)

2 medium to large zucchini
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 sweet Italian turkey sausages, casings removed
1 large plum tomato, seeded and chopped
½ onion, chopped
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon parsley, minced
¼ teaspoon basil, minced
¼ cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)

1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a grapefruit spoon or teaspoon, scrape out seeds and hollow out center of each zucchini half. If necessary, cut a thin slice off skinned side to make it sit level on the baking sheet. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper; set aside.

2. In skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, breaking up with spoon into small pieces. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to soften. Add chopped tomato and herbs and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add bread crumbs; stir to combine.

3. Divide sausage mixture evenly among the four zucchini boats. Using a teaspoon, pack mixture into each cavity until filled to overflowing. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until zucchini is fork tender, but not too soft.

Nutritional Information per serving: 220 calories, 12.5 g carbohydrate, 12.2 g total fat, 2.75 g saturated fat, 2 g fiber, 19.2 g protein

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2009

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