Zucchini boats and More
If you think versatility is sexy then meet my friend the zucchini. You might have been set up on a blind date with zucchini when it came in your weekly veggie box delivery and weren’t sure what to do with it. Or you’re in a zucchini rut serving them the same way always.
If you’ve been Paleo a while, you may think of zucchini as “zoodles” or zucchini noodles. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll show you how to make easy zoodles below.
If you’re tired of zucchini pasta, I’ll show you how to make zucchini boats, zucchini fries, zucchini bread, a zucchini frittata and zucchini fritters.
Recently I made zucchini boats and stuffed them with squid, feta cheese, butter, spices and marinara sauce. It was pretty easy and a great change of pace. And aren’t they pretty?
They were good with the squid but they would be fabulous stuffed with sausage or my Paleo sloppy joe. You can also stuff them with curry, leftovers, cheese, peperoni and fresh oregano. You can even fill them with fruit salad (I’ve been on a veggie dessert kick lately!)
After scooping out the zucchini flesh to make boats you have leftovers to throw into a green smoothie, bake with or use in a stir fry. Here’s a shot of the zucchini guts and the squid that replaced it.
Do these boats float?
To make the zucchini boats cut them in half and scoop out the flesh with a melon baller or spoon (that’s what I used). Drizzle them with oil and paprika and bake them in the oven at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
While they’re baking prepare your fillings in a pan. I sauteed squid with butter, garlic and feta cheese and scooped them into the boats when they were done. Back in the oven for 5 minutes and serve.
Zoodle marinara is not about the zoodles, it’s about the sauce. It’s not that hard to make your own marinara. Just chop some onions, sprinkle some salt on them and saute in a pan in your cooking fat of choice. Add a clove or two of chopped garlic in the last few minutes of cooking so it doesn’t burn.
Add crushed tomatoes from a glass jar, fresh or dried oregano and/or basil and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally until the sauce begins to thicken. Taste and salt to your liking.
If you like veggies marinara saute some mushrooms or olives with the garlic and onions before adding the tomatoes. That’s it.
Now for the pasta….The simple tool below makes zucchini pasta a breeze. I’ve tried the fancier machines, like the Paderno spiralizer but found it hard to use. I prefer the simplicity of this little zoodler, which also works for carrots. And it makes cool like zucchini “skeletons” when I’m done.
Clean it by soaking in hot water with soap. The one I use is Japanese made and high quality. You can buy one here.
Here’s the story in photos of how to make zucchini marinara.
Throw zucchini pasta into the sauce and cook on medium low heat until the zucchini softens.
These are the easiest of all to make. Simply slice your zucchini into sticks, drizzle with olive oil or butter and sprinkle with your favorite spices. I used garlic powder and smoked paprika. I also sprinkled some powdered Parmesan cheese on them. You can use nutritional yeast instead if you are dairy free.
Roast in the oven at 360 for 35 minutes. If you want to bread them, just dredge in egg and arrowroot or tapioca flour and bake or fry them.
Simplicity it sexy. Do you agree?
If you don’t feel like pasta, you can make a frittata with your zoodles. Throw in 4 raw, scrambled eggs with zoodles from 2 zucchinis.
Add your favorite breakfast meat (bacon or sausage) and for an incredibly light frittata mix in one cup of cottage cheese. Throw in some salt, pepper, cayenne and cumin and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
Of course there’s always zucchini bread. I’ve been meaning to make some but it hasn’t happened yet. But when I do I am going to try this recipe.
Need more ideas? If you tweak the frittata recipe just a little bit you can make these cute zucchini fritters. Add shrimp or meat to make them more filling.