29 years of imagining, and then converting into one of my hobbies... I hope you'll enjoy it... (^.^)/ , by Marina

January 26, 2013

Stuffed Zucchini

Here's an easy one to try! Quick to the hand, great on the taste, you will not regret it ;).

Stuffed, roasted vegetables are delicious and healthy. A few drops of olive oil will bake it faster yet keep all the flavours intact, while the juices from the vegetables will keep them moist. Eaten right away or cooled down for a bento - it's up to you!



Total time: 30' (10' preparation, 20' baking)
Serves: 2
Difficulty: easy
Calories: ~ 300 kcal / person
Baking needed: 20' at 180°C


Ingredients:
- 2 medium to large zucchini
- 1 egg
- 100 gr fresh cheese
- 4 thin slices of cooked ham, about 30 gr
- 4 slices of bacon, about 30 gr
- 3 dried tomatoes, stored in olive oil
- 2 tbs of olive oil

Spices:
- 2 tbs of chopped parsley
- pinch of rosemary

Optional:
- A large mature tomato
- 1 pepper (paprika)
- zucchini flowers

Zucchini's are great to stuff and bake, but you can try it out with Tomatoes and Peppers too. Indeed baked tomatoes will be rather moist in comparison to peppers, however the range of flavour you will achieve is quite different from eating a fresh one. I was really surprised how tasteful they were. I even managed to get compliments from colleagues at work who usually look at my lunch with suspicion. :)

A stuffed tomato with fresh cheese and bacon is a safe bet with suspicious belly ;)

  1. Before you start set your oven to 180°C.

  2. Start by chopping the bacon and ham into strips, and frying them on a non sticking pan.
    Start with the bacon, and soon you'll see there's no need to add oil or grease to the pan. The bacon will drop it's juices and help you with the ham. When it's done, set aside in a bowl and add the chopped rosemary

  3. While the ham is frying, cut the zucchini in half, and deseed them with a teaspoon.
    If you're using tomatoes or peppers, open a circle on the top with a sharp knife, and using a teaspoon or your fingers, deseed them. Keep the cut circle if it's intact, it will be used as a lid :)

  4. Beat the egg in the fresh cheese in a separate bowl, using a fork, until well combined.

  5. Chop the parsley and dried tomatoes and add them to the cheese mixture.

  6. Mix the ham and bacon with the rest. Add a pinch of black pepper to taste.

  7. Fill in the vegetables with the mixture,but don't overfill them.
    If you're filling in flowers too, fill them just enough till you can close the flower.

  8. Place your vegetables in a tray with non sticking paper on the bottom. Sprinkle with olive oil. And place in the preheated oven.

  9. Bake at 180°C. If you can use the ventilation in your oven, do it. ;)
    Remove the tomato and flower after 10 minutes. They are the ones done first.

  10. After another 10-15 minutes zucchini's and peppers will be done.

  11. Server immediately, or let it cool down completely and cut it up for your bento the next day ;).

The egg will help fixing the cheese, so you can freely cut your pieces for a Bento box, once it's cool.

    TIPS:
  • Careful not to overfill the vegetables (like I did ^.^), since during baking the mixture will expand and leek from the vegetables.
  • Stuffed zucchini flowers are really crispy like this. Yummy!!! But they are best eaten immediately. They are not a very good option for lunch boxes, since the stuffing will moist the flower too much.

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