Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Summer Squash Boats


The problem with my cooking is this:  I believe in the waste not, want not theory.  So I throw a little bit of this in, throw a little bit of that into recipes in order to clean my fridge.  This is how I make sure we use things up without being wasteful and also how I have taught myself to cook (learning what works and what emphatically DOESN'T!).

This method is great for our palates, not-so-great for writing recipes.

So here is the how-to for making zucchini boats, with the superfluous stuff in italics.

You'll need:

  • 2-3 zucchini or summer squash
  • 1 pound meat of some sort (I used a jar of homecanned ground beef in tomato sauce but sausage would be good!  Or chicken!  Or beef cubes!  Kielbasa works great too!)
  •  1 large onion, diced
  •  1 large green pepper, diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, depending upon your tastes (I used two)
  • any other veggies you might like or have to use up:  I used some leftover roasted delicata squash, zucchini and potatoes from the other night and two carrots that we pulled up for Sketch Tuesday that I promised we would eat for supper (our first pulled up garden carrots create quite the excitement around here!) 
  • spaghetti sauce, about a 1 cup. (Mine was canned with the beef and I also added five fresh small tomatoes.
  • Cheese of some sort, shredded (any would be good.  I used mozzerella because that is what I had.)
  • Seasonings:  a few pinches each of salt, pepper and italian seasoning
Here's what you do:

Cut in half 2-3 zucchini lengthwise and hollow out seeds with a spoon or scoop, leaving the bottom intact.  Place on a cookie sheet or baking pan and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Meanwhile, brown meat (and discard some fat if necessary) (OR use canned beef, like me!) then saute onion, green pepper, carrots, garlic in mixture until onions and peppers are nearly ready.  (This is when I added my roasted leftover veggies) Add sauce and a few fresh tomato hunks (if you want) and simmer for a few minutes some of the water is cooked off.

Fill up your squash boats with your beef mixture and top with mozzerella and put in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until the meat mixture is nicely browned and the zucchini is cooked.

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