Stuffed Squashes or Zucchinis

Stuffed Squashes or Zuchinis are an excellent option for any diet. Also, if you replace meat with mushrooms and other veggies, you get a delicious veggie recipe for a non-meat day.
A little work, but it tastes so good!

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Ingredients for 8 portions

8 shorter, rounder zucchinis or squashes (or 4 thick long zucchini or squashes cut in half)
1 pound ground meat. Any meat will do, best results with a mixture of pork and beef
2 spoons of rice
1 small carrot finely grated
2 medium sized onions, finely chopped
1 cup of thick tomato juice or two spoons of tomato paste
1 teaspoon table salt
1 pinch of ground black pepper
2 spoons of your favorite herbs. I like parsley or dill
4 spoons vegetable oil
1 spoon paprika powder or a bell pepper finely chopped
2  tomatoes

Directions

  • Prepare squash for stuffing. Wash and slice off the stem and about one inch more from the top. Use a spoon or a vegetable corer to scoop out the pulp of each squash, leaving a wall of 1/4 – 1/2 inch all around.
    Don’t throw the pulp or any zucchini left, you can use it for an excellent zucchini mash or you can add it to a veggie soup.

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  • Wash very well the rice.
  • Stew the onions, carrot (and bell pepper, if used instead of paprika powder) in oil, until the onions soften. Let it cool.
  • Mix thoroughly the grounded meat with the onions, carrot, the oil in which you stewed the onions, bell pepper or paprika, salt, pepper, the chopped herbs and the tomato juice.
  • Slice the tomatoes in rounds.
  • Stuff the squash all the way to the end and arrange in a large round pot in one layer (the squashes may stand or lean into each other). Put a tomato slice as a lid, on top of each zucchini.
  • Boil water in a separate pot and gently pour over the squash, while still hot. The liquid should reach almost the top of the squashes.
  • Bring the squashes pot to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for one hour.
    Let it rest for half an hour, covered.

    Serve each zucchini on a plate with 1-2 spoons of the sauce and, optionally,  1-2 spoons of yogurt on top. Decorate with some green herb.

Tips & Tricks

– If you’re left with some meat mixture, stuff some tomatoes (scoop out the pulp) or some bell peppers (from which you’ve removed the seeds) and add them to the pot. Put a slice of tomato as a “lid” on top of the tomato or bell pepper.
Actually, during summer, I replace sometimes half of the squash with tomatoes and green bell peppers or “paprika” peppers. I add the pulp of the tomatoes to the meat mixture and use less tomato juice or paste.
– Another option.  If you’re left with some meat mixture: add an egg, mix well, form balls, boil them on low heat and add them to any soup.

This dish can be easily made into a veggie recipe

Instead of meat,  use rice, the pulp of the squash and a handful of mushrooms. Boil half a cup of rice in 3 cups of water till the grain doubles in size, cover and set aside to cool.
Stir-fry the mushrooms and the pulp of the squash to remove water.
You might want to add some more vegetables to the mixture. Use your imagination and what you can find in the fridge.
Mix rice and fried vegetables, fill squashes a.s.o.
If you’re left with some of the rice mixture, add a bit of tomato paste and stew for 10 minutes in low heat. There, you have also a tasty veggie pilaf for the next day menu.

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