I hope you are enjoying some cooler weather this week, as we are – finally! October is one of my favorite months. Crops have been harvested, and the fields surrounding our house are a clean slate, so to speak. Harvest time is so fun with all the new choices of pumpkins and gourds. Such fun shapes and colors.
I’ve been a little zucchini crazy lately. It is more plentiful at my local grocer these days, so that prompts me to have it as a regular.
After reading the 12 Health and Nutrition Benefits of Zucchini, how can we not include it in healthy eating as a regular?
I often have leftover spaghetti sauce in the freezer, so I used my stash as a way to recycle with a new twist – over just regular ol’ leftover spaghetti. It works great in these healthy boats as a change from spaghetti noodles. I recently added leftover quinoa into the spaghetti sauce I was using for this recipe – to bulk it up a little more. And it was wonderful. Hubs liked it, too.
Disclaimer for my recipe: I took the “drive-thru Sue” approach (often discussed and followed by Pearl at TrimHealthyMama.com). When you find a can of organic spaghetti sauce at the grocer, it sure is a time-saver for adding to a ground meat saute rather than making it from scratch. So easy! And quick.
Scoop out the zucchini flesh, leaving a quarter-inch rim around the edge. No need to measure it. Just scoop some out and go with it.
Oh, and notice the pizza sauce jar in the picture above. Pour a little spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce in the bottom of the prepared dish first to add more flavor to the skin side of the zucchini.
Cook your choice of spaghetti meat sauce. Or, use leftovers with quinoa added into it, like I did. Or add riced cauliflower like with Dani’s recipe. Chop the zucchini you scooped from the boats, and add it into the spaghetti mixture. The more veggies, the more healthful!
Fill the boats to your liking.
Top with cheese of your choice, which for me means goat cheese. Mozzarella and/or Parmesan would be delicious, too. Cover and bake the boats for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Since hubs and I have different cheese topping preferences, I leave the cheese off while baking. My goat feta is sprinkled on top after baking.
Hubs’s mozzarella cheese is added for a few seconds in the microwave before serving.
Dani uses cauliflower rice rather than quinoa in her recipe. Her recipe has lots of healthy goodies added into it. I used what I had on hand for my spaghetti zucchini boats, so you do the same. Change it up, make adjustments, and make it your own.
Spaghetti Zucchini Boats
A delicious meal made from spaghetti with quinoa or cauliflower, zucchini, and any other additions you desire. You can't foul this one up!
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce with no meat or pizza sauce.
- 3-4 zucchini, washed and sliced down the middle
- 2 cups your favorite spaghetti meat sauce, home-made or otherwise.
- 1/4 cup cheese of your liking (Mozzarella, Parmezan, Goat cheese, etc.)
Carve "meat" from the zucchini slices to within 1/4 inch from all edges and bottom.
Prepare baking dish with coconut oil, either a 7" x 10" baking dish or square or 9" x 13" size, according to number of zucchini slices you are cooking. Spread spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce (whatever you have on hand) thinly on bottom of dish.
Line scooped-out zucchini boats to fill your prepared dish.
Cook your choice of spaghetti sauce and add 1/2 cup cooked quinoa or 1 cup riced cauliflower. Chop the zucchini "meat" you scooped from the slices and add to spaghetti meat sauce mixture. Heat thorougly, simmering sauce until liquid evaporates.
Load each zucchini boat with meat sauce to fill evenly without spilling over.
Top with cheese of choice. Cover and bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
If sharing boats among those who have different dairy needs, bake boats first, then top with cheese separately on plates and microwave quickly to melt cheese.
Add more veggies or a salad on the side, dinner rolls, etc., and enjoy!
This recipe is very forgiving and adaptable to changes. 🙂 Pretty much a winner whichever way you go with it!
This recipe is warming for your tummy and healthy for your temple. I hope you and your family enjoy it!
Because He lives, we can face tomorrow~