As I approach my six-month anniversary of becoming a vegetarian, I feel like I’m finally getting into a rhythm with my weekly menu. The last thing I want to do is scare anyone off from incorporating a few meatless Mondays into their lives each month, but I will say that in the beginning it can be a bit of an adjustment. I had to retrain my brain when it came to grocery shopping and meal prepping, but eventually I found a few great recipes that have become regulars around here. I also continue to make my family’s favorite dishes but simply eliminate the meat component. No one has seemed to miss much! And when we travel these days, one of our favorite adventures is finding a local vegetarian restaurant to try.
Mildred’s, London UK
This veggie-stuffed zucchini (or a version of it) has actually been one of my go-to dishes since college, but it was always the accompaniment to chicken breast, fish, or another protein. Over the past few months I’ve beefed it up somewhat (no pun intended!) and started serving it as a main course. The garbanzo beans give that extra protein boost I need with this new veggie lifestyle, and you can add almost any other vegetable or legume into the mix.
For example, when we eat it for lunch, I usually add a small salad and fruit, but for dinner I go with some couscous, quinoa, or sweet potatoes and some kind of greens. And because yellow squash is my hands-down favorite vegetable, I decided to throw that into the mix as well.
Taking some inspiration from one of our recent Wellness Wednesday quotes chosen by my fellow Behaviorist Rachel, I decided to step out of my own comfort zone and do something a little bit different this week by creating a short video for this recipe. You’ll see just how truly quick and simple this dish is to make! When you’re done, scroll down for the written recipe.
- 5 large zucchini (or yellow squash)
- ¼ white onion
- 6-8 baby bella mushrooms, washed and stems removed if desired
- ½ red bell pepper
- 2 tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- (1) 16-oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
- (1) 15.25-oz can whole kernel sweet corn (or similar), rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ⅓ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Balsamic reduction, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut ends off of each zucchini.
- Slice zucchini in half lengthwise.
- Using a spoon, scrape out the flesh and seeds of each zucchini onto a cutting board. Leave the walls of the zucchini boats about ¼”- ½” thick. Lay the boats out in an ungreased 9” x 13” (or larger) glass baking dish.
- Coarsely chop the pulp scrapings and put into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Dice the onion, mushrooms, and bell pepper.
- If desired, sauté the onion, mushroom and pepper mixture with garlic and olive oil over medium heat until just tender. You can also stuff these zucchini with raw veggies, but I prefer the taste and texture of sautéed.
- Add your sautéed veggies to the chopped zucchini pulp.
- Add the garbanzo beans, corn, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Stuff each boat with your mixture. Reserve any extra to use as a pasta topping, omelette filling, or mushroom stuffing!
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Lightly drizzle with balsamic reduction.
- Return to oven for 5 minutes.
By now I know you’re all used to me saying (usually about my craft tutorials) to experiment, have fun, and make it your own. This recipe is no different! I’ve done spicy stuffed zucchini, tropical stuffed squash, and more by adding different ingredients and seasonings. I hope you’ll also venture out of your comfort zone this week by playing around with my recipe or even just by having your first vegetarian meal of the New Year.
Enjoy, and don’t forget to send us photos if you make this dish!