Quinoa and Black Bean Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients
2 medium sized zucchini, about 10 to 12 inches long
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion cut in a small dice
1 medium sweet green pepper, cored, seeds removed and cut in a medium dice – about ½ inch.
1 cup [approx] fresh raw corn kernels [about 2 medium ears’ worth]
1 cup cooked, rinsed black beans
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin [or more to taste]
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon hot sauce, like siracha or RedHot
½ cup red or white quinoa
¾ cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 medium tomato, cored and diced
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped cilantro
1 cup cheddar cheese, or a shredded blend, divided

Directions

Start the broiler in your oven heating. line a large heavy baking sheet with foil [or not, if you don’t mind a little scrubbing]
Cut the zucchinis in halves, the long way. Use a spoon to scoop out the centers, reserving for the stuffing, leaving a good half inch of flesh all around to form a stuffable “boat”
Brush about ½ teaspoon of olive all over the cut sides of the squash, and arrange the halves on the baking sheet, cut sides facing up.
Place pan with squash under the broiler – the rack should be adjusted to leave a couple inches space above the squash. Check frequently, and turn the pan so the surfaces brown evenly. You want some nice color, but the squash should still be fairly firm when you take it out. Leave the broiler on, as you are going to need it again in a few minutes.
Over a medium flame, heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saute pan.
Meanwhile, chop the flesh from the squash, and add to the pan.
Add the onion, pepper, corn and black beans and stir fry for a couple minutes.
Add the garlic, cumin, oregano and hot sauce, and mix to combine.
Rinse the quinoa in a fine metal strainer [some quinoa can taste soapy if it’s not rinsed.]
Add the quinoa and stock, and cover the pan.
Lower the heat a bit and cook until the quinoa is tender – about 15 minutes, adding additional stock or water, if things start to stick at all.
Remove the lid, and mix in the diced tomato, and the cilantro.
Mix in ½ cup of the cheese.
Portion the stuffing evenly among the browned zucchini halves [you may have a little stuffing left over], and top each one with ¼ of the remaining cheese.
Return the pan to the broiler for a couple minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly – watch carefully so that it doesn’t burn.
Serve individual halves, or cut into slices for smaller portions. Can be garnished with avocado, hot sauce, chopped cilantro and some sour cream if you like.

Munch Safely,

G

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