This past summer, I decided to finally try my hand at a vegetable garden, aside from my usual potted tomatoes and herbs, which, somehow, don’t ever seem to make it. I blame the squirrels…
In all honesty, I just never seem to have a successful green thumb when it comes to keeping plants alive.
For my 40th birthday in May, my father had given me a gift card to buy nice something for myself. Seeing as it was a big birthday, I didn’t want to use it on just clothing, but rather on something lasting that would remind me of him. My Dad is a bit of a gardener himself, and has always grown vegetables in some capacity over the years. So, I did a little research and found the perfect raised garden (click the link if you are in the market for one next Spring) for our smaller backyard that wouldn’t take up a ton of space and would keep our rabbit friends from making it an all-you-can eat buffet. Using some of this great advice from our very own resident PGG Doc and gardener extraordinaire, my three boys and I got to work assembling, filling with soil, and planting.
Soon we were growing lettuce, a few sad looking bunches of celery, and plenty of herbs! But it was the zucchini that took off and was our biggest crop! So much so that our tiny little garden was giving us 3 to 4 zucchinis a week!
In the beginning, I had fun using it for all of our favorite standard zucchini recipes: grilled with garlic olive oil and salt & pepper or breaded and sautéed served up with marinara for dipping. But, after a while, I was looking for other ways to use these veggies in a more unique way, more so as the main meal, and not just a side dish.
One evening while scrolling through Instagram, I saw someone had posted a picture of their dinner which consisted of a what looked like a zucchini boat. While they didn’t have a recipe to share, I sized up the pictured and decided I would attempt something comparable to their delish looking dish. The one thing I learned in making this meal is that zucchini is really just the “vehicle” for what you choose to top it with. Italian, Mexican, Indian.. the cultural recipe flavors you choose are endless!
Have any of you made a zucchini boat dish before? If so, please share…I would love to hear your version!
1.5-2 cups of cooked Quinoa or Rice
1/2 Large onion diced
2 Garlic cloves finely chopped
1 Can diced tomatoes with Italian Seasoning
Salt & Pepper and Garlic Powder to taste
*(Optional) Desired amount of Mushrooms finely chopped
*(Optional)Shredded or Parmesan Cheese
Wash and dry zucchini. Remove ends and slice lengthwise. Scoop out the inside portion, finely chop, and set aside.
(This recipe can instead easily use black beans, a diced red pepper, and salsa for a Mexican twist, as well as ground turkey or beef with or without the quinoa/ or rice for non-vegetarians)