my version of a mashup

it occured to me the other day that part of the reason i've been so bad about using my CSA stuff this year is partially due to the fact that i am rarely the one going to the site and picking the share up anymore, as the meat-eater has largely taken on that role as of late... that means that i'm not there hearing other people's ideas or being inspired by the sights and smells... instead, i come home and find a fridge full of plastic bags - which doesnt hold the same inspiration that cases of fresh produce do...

therefore, in an effort to be better, i've started keeping a little post-it with the share contents on my desktop at work... hoping that it will inspire me... and it finally worked...

last night, before i left work i called the meat-eater to ask what we'd be doing for dinner... we knew there was guacamole in the cards but what else? leftovers? bah. salad? bah. i finally suggested stuffed zucchini and while the meat-eater was less than enthused, he agreed...

so i scoured the internet for some options... many included beef which just wasnt happening. others included boring, which just wasnt happening either... so i did what i like to do best - found a couple recipes that sounded good and mash them all up into one... and cross my fingers...


the night was almost derailed by the distinct lack of onions in the house but thankfully the M-E was willing to run out and procure one and thus, dinner was saved! i guess thats why i'm marrying him - cause he always saves the day!

Stuffed Zucchini
courtesy of me

1/3 of a baguette

1 tbsp butter
3/4 c couscous
1 1/8 c vegetable broth (or water + bouillon)

2 medium/large zucchini, halved
2 small zucchini, cut into pieces
1/2 of a medium sized red onion
3 small carrots, cut into dice-sided pieces
4 c loosely packed spinach
1 egg, lightly beaten
4-6 oz medium cheddar, half shredded and half diced

Preheat oven to 325°

Prepare baguettes to be used in stuffing:

  • Slice baguette into rounds, no bigger than 1" thick.
  • Arrange on cookie sheet and place in the oven ~ 15 minutes, or until dried/crisp (but not browned).
  • Set aside & raise oven temp to 400°
Prepare couscous (using the Mark Bittman method):

  • heat 1 tbsp butter over med heat.
  • when butter is melted, add couscous, stir, and 'toast' for ~ 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  • Add broth and bring to a boil.
  • Once broth is boiling, remove from heat and cover and let sit for ~6 minutes or more.
  • Fluff with fork & set aside.
Prepare Zucchini shells:

  • Slice large zucchini in half, brush cut side with olive oil & place, cut side down, on cookie sheet (line with aluminum or parchment for easier cleanup)
  • Place in oven ~15 minutes or until zucchini is soft
  • When zucchini is done, remove from oven and scoop out the insides - including juices - (just leave little 'shells') and set aside.
  • Reduce oven temp to 350°
Prepare stuffing:

  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over med heat.
  • Add onions & carrots, stirring and cooking until onions are transparent ~ 5 mins
  • Add cut up zucchini & keep cooking.
  • Add the zucchini that was scooped out of the shells
  • Tear the crispy baguette into stuffing sized pieces and add 1 c to the pan.
  • Add spinach, in batches, and wilt.
  • Add ~ 1/3 to 1/2 c of cooked couscous
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add diced cheese + 1/2 of the shredded cheese and stir until the shredded cheese has melted.
  • Allow to cool a bit and then add the egg, stirring to ensure that egg does not 'cook' in the pan.
Divide stuffing between the 4 zucchini shells. Arrange shells on cookie sheet, stuffing side up. Top with remaining shredded cheese. If there is any leftover stuffing, you can cook it right on the cookie sheet, next to the zucchinis, and serve over the remaining couscous.

Place back in the oven for ~20 minutes, or until cheese is melty and stuffing is firm. Serve warm.

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