If you have your own garden or have a CSA, you know full well that you’ve basically been surrounded by zucchinis. Yellow, green, small to ginormous. I literally bought a 2-lb zucchini last week that fed me for FOUR DAYS. Now, my husband is not a big fan of zucchini or eggplant because of the “slimy” gushy texture.
I love them. I eat them raw as a snack, saute them with onions for a lunch, put them in omelets, make bread, latkes – you name it and I’ve tried it.
Here are some interesting facts about zucchinis. Hey, you never know when you’re going to be on Jeopardy! and the category will be about zucchinis.
- Archaeologists have traced their origins to Mexico, dating back from 7,000 to 5,500 BC.
- They contain useful amounts of folate (24 mcg/100 g), potassium (280 mg/100 g) and vitamin A (384 IU [115 mcg]/100 g) and are also an excellent source of vitamin C.
- Skin colors range from almost black, dark green, pale green, pale green with gray, and yellow. The darker the squash, the more the nutrients.
- They have very high water content (more than 95 percent).
- There are only 13 calories in a half-cup of raw zucchini, with a slight increase to 18 calories in the same quantity cooked.
- They have more potassium than a banana.
- One pound of zucchini equals about 4 cups grated zucchini, 2 cups of salted and squeezed zucchini and about 1¼ cups mashed zucchini and 3 ½ cups sliced of chunked zucchini.
Okay so now you know about zucchini. They’re great for you, low in calories, high in minerals and are extremely versatile. But after weeks and weeks of them, they can get boring.
Yesterday I wanted some meat for lunch and because I have the luxury of working from home, I thought I’d make myself a burger with the ground bison I knew I was defrosting in the fridge. But then as I was reaching for it, I saw the three zucchinis I had gotten in our CSA share last week and knew if I didn’t eat them soon, they’d spoil.
Eating primal is expensive enough; I refuse to throw food away. Even if it means cooking and freezing, I almost never throw anything away. Unless of course it gets lost in a bag in the fridge and turns to a putrid mush before I find it. Which happens way too often.
So I decided to make something that was burger-like but full of healthy vegetables and use up the zucchini. I give you:
Stuffed Zucchini Cheeseburger Boats
What you need:
- 3 zucchini. I used 2 green ones and one yellow
- 1 lb grass-fed beef or bison or turkey or whatever floats your boat meat-wise
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper
- garlic/onion powder
What you do:
- In one pan, brown the meat with a dash of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and the Worcestershire sauce.
- Take the small yellow squash, wash it, slice it in half and then dice one half until you get a cup. (I only need half, so I cut the other half into sticks for crudite.)
- Put the chunks into a microwaveable-safe bowl and microwave 1-2 minutes until mostly cooked. You don’t need to add water as there’s enough in the vegetable itself to cook it without drying out.
- In a heated pan with olive oil, saute the diced onion and garlic on low heat until translucent.
- Add in the tomatoes and mostly-cooked zucchini and let simmer on low until the meat is cooked through.
- Add in the seasoned meat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- While this is simmering, take you two larger green zucchinis and slice them length-wise.
- Using a big spoon, scoop out the insides until they’re hollowed-out, like boats.
- Place these guys on a plate and microwave 2 minutes, turning mid-way through. You want them to be mostly cooked but still firm. (If you tried to cook them in the oven it would take 40 minutes and MOMMA WAS HONGRAY.)
- Place them on a foiled baking sheet and stuff with the mixture.
- If there’s any leftover mixture, save it! It makes a great omelet!
- Top with the cheese of your choice. American would make it the most cheeseburger-ish but I have a soft spot for cheddar.
- Bake at 400 for 5 minutes until the cheese is melty and gooey and YUMMY!