Hello hungry friends!
Im excited to share this week. I wasn’t sure which direction I would head for my next post, but once I made these, I knew they would be it!
I believe it was last summer when we frequented the farmers market close by and obsessed over locally grown squash. We ate it SO much, that we pretty much got tired of seeing anything squash by summers end. So, as you can imagine, this summer has been a challenge trying to get the family interested in the (what seems to be) the veggie of this area. When squash and zucchini are so affordable, I really wanted to change it up a bit and get the boys excited again. I hope you enjoy my version of Zucchini Boats!!
Like most kids do, my boys LOVE when I make Paleo Sloppy Joes! So, this was my staring point as I tried to convince them that zucchini could rise again.
I also wanted to be sure that this meal was FULL of flavor, so instead of ground beef, I used ground italian sausage. We buy ours pre-seasoned from the farmer, and it has a bit of a kick in it (from the red pepper flakes, I believe). I’m sure any quality sausage would do!! If you prefer to use unseasoned, you could always season to your liking by using a basic mild-italian season recipe like this.
I started by preheating the oven to 400 and browning the meat with a chopped onion. While the meat is cooking, wash and slice your zucchinis into boats. I didn’t take the stems off and found that they held together much better this way. Then, using your knife, carefully score the fleshy area of your squash from top to bottom. Top them with some coconut oil, sea salt and pepper, and place them on a baking pan. Cook them for about 15 minutes while you prep your meat mixture.
Once the onion is soft and the pork is cooked thru, mix in the about 2 teaspoons full of the Sloppy Joe seasoning (see recipe below), tomatoes, and about 2 tablespoons of your approved ketchup. By this time, your zucchini should be soft enough to empty the flesh and turn into boats. Be careful doing this, as your zucchini will be hot right out of the oven! I used a large spoon to scoop out the insides, and just added them right to my meat mixture. After all of the boats are made, you can return them to your baking pan. Then, take your spatula and chop the newly added veggie flesh up into small, bite sized pieces. Mix them into the meat filling until they are incorporated through out.
- SLOPPY JOE SEASONING:
- 2 t Chili Powder
- 1 t Cumin
- 1/2 t Pepper
- 1/2 t Paprika
- 1 t garlic powder
Now, it’s time to fill your boats and send them back to the oven! Using a spoon, carefully scoop the meat filling into your boats. I wasn’t able to fit all of my filling into my boats, but that’s ok! I saved the left overs and put them over a baked sweet potato for left overs! (YUM) Place your baking pan back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes. This is going to soften your zucchini to the perfect texture, and make it much easier to eat!
After the boats are done, carefully move them over to your serving dish (or not) and sprinkle them with Nutritional Yeast Seasoning. This helps to add a little “cheesy” flavor and a little more dimension! To me, this step is crucial;)
Sit. Eat. Enjoy.
Thanks for stopping by!
Fill and place back into the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.