Eggplant Parmesan Stuffed Zucchini Boats

July 16, 2014

Eggplant Parmesan Stuffed Zucchini Boats


“Nice” is a treacherous word.
I actually can’t think of any other word that expresses contentment and acceptance while also harboring subterranean shades of doubt and pessimism.
Let’s make some examples.
Introduce a significant other to your family, and ask your parents afterward what they thought, if they respond “Oh, she is nice”, then they didn’t like her, at all. I talk from experience.
Nice is what you say when you’re skeptical and hesitant but you don’t want to offend.
Let’s take a different scenario.
Say your girlfriend bought a new dress that she is wearing to your date tonight. She spent the last hour or so in the bathroom getting ready — and by the way, women of the world: What’s going on in the bathroom? 60 minutes or more to get prepped? Really?
Anyway, she is really proud of the dress and she feels like a model. When she asks “How do I look?” you enthusiastically answer “You look nice!”
Ouch! You’d better run for your life buddy. You have just released the KRAKEN and you'll not get out of there alive. I want you to know that, I talk from experience (again!)

Eggplant Parmesan Stuffed Zucchini Boats



In fact, if you look up "nice" in the dictionary, it yields 17 entries.
According to the dictionary if you describe something as “nice”, you could be saying something is anything from “amiably pleasant” to “finicky”, “virtuous” or even “reluctant”.
That’s why today we have a word that has become so muddled in its meaning that its once positive connotation is now drenched in ambiguousness, with a somewhat negative connotation.
Let’s face it: you had no idea of the consequences when you said “You look nice”, but to your girlfriend “looking nice” meant “looking crap” (and for that reason, you’re in a whole lot of trouble!)
Eggplant Parmesan Stuffed Zucchini Boats
But these Eggplant Parmesan Stuffed Zucchini Boats...they’re are not “nice”, they’re just plain awesome. Seriously.
Here’s the thing with stuffed zucchini boats, they don’t look pretty. Like “cupcake-pretty”. But they’re so damn delicious you won’t even have the time to look at them.
There are all of the flavors of eggplant parm here, but in a new and inventive way.
Tomato sauce, eggplant, Parmesan, herbs and seasoning. Mixed and stuffed into zucchini boats.
This recipe is a great way to use up summer veggies and create a mouthwatering meatless meal you’re gonna love.
If you’re not used to going meatless, put down the forkful of meat once in a while, this recipe will open your eyes!

Eggplant Parmesan Stuffed Zucchini Boats Eggplant Parmesan Stuffed Zucchini Boats                                                    Print this recipe!

Ingredients 
Serves 4

4 medium zucchini, washed
1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup / 2 oz / 50 gr + 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 cup / 4.3 oz / 112 gr almond meal (or GF breadcrumbs)
8 tablespoons tomato sauce (such as marinara)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and place a rack in the middle. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook zucchini for 5 minutes until just tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
In the meantime, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large (preferable non-stick) skillet over medium-high heat, add onion, salt and saute’ for 5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and saute’ for 1 further minute, until fragrant.
Finally add eggplant cubes and saute’ - stirring every now and then - until browned and soft, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Transfer to a large bowl and puree/mash with an immersion blender (you can also use a food processor or a blender to do this.)
Add Parmesan cheese, parsley, black pepper and stir until well combined.
Add almond meal (or GF breadcrumbs) ¼ cup at a time and mix with your hands until it reaches a firm consistency (you might need to use more or less almond meal). Set aside.
Slice the zucchini in half and scrape out the fillings with a spoon.
Arrange zucchini boats on the lined baking dish, drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil and brush to coat.
Fill the hollowed zucchini boats with about one tablespoon of marinara sauce and top with eggplant mixture, dividing equally (use your hands to do this, it’s really the only way to do it!)
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden.
Serve warm!

Nutrition facts

One zucchini boat yields 194 calories, 14 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbs and 9 grams of protein

31 comments:

  1. Hahahaha Mike, I'm LMAO. This post is hilarious! And those zucchini look awesome...

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  2. Mike - these are definitely not nice - but they are not awesome either - I think they are AMAZINGLY DOPE! YO!
    Meatless dishes happen a lot in my house - and this would be an awesome addition to my rotation though that eggplant stuffing sounds so ridiculously dope - I could eat it with a spoon (or small shovel) - forget the extra 30 minutes of baking - I will just use hollowed out Zucchs as a spoon or a shovel! Oooh I feel so BRILLIANT! :) It's not quite lunch time and I need to stop thinking of food...so, getting back to your "women of the world" comment, it takes me 15 minutes tops - but then again, I am not a fan of makeup - not caking that stuff on cuts prepping time down immensely! Speaking of "caking" and "prepping" makes me think of food again...GAH!

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  3. Mike - these are definitely not nice - but they are not awesome either - I think they are AMAZINGLY DOPE! YO!
    Meatless dishes happen a lot in my house - and this would be an awesome addition to my rotation though that eggplant stuffing sounds so ridiculously dope - I could eat it with a spoon (or small shovel) - forget the extra 30 minutes of baking - I will just use hollowed out Zucchs as a spoon or a shovel! Oooh I feel so BRILLIANT! :) It's not quite lunch time and I need to stop thinking of food...so, getting back to your "women of the world" comment, it takes me 15 minutes tops - but then again, I am not a fan of makeup - not caking that stuff on cuts prepping time down immensely! Speaking of "caking" and "prepping" makes me think of food again...GAH!

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    1. I love this 15 year-old version of Shashi, who talks slang and has swagger and all, especially if she spends only 15 minutes getting prepped. I think it's a world record!

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  4. These are amazing, Mike, love these!

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  5. Your calorie info seems a bit off!!

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    1. lol, a bit off? More like way off! Thanks for noticing, I just fixed it!

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    2. Loll same about Fat ? ( 14 g or 9 g ) Thanks, seems really good !

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    3. Dude, I have no idea what was going on there ;)

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  6. Ok, let me get this straight. I get ready in 10 minutes maximum. No matter the occasion, the type of outfit. Ten minutes. I've always been super fast to get ready, even as a teenager. So there! :-)

    Now, nice is really an interesting word. But you know the adjective I really hate? Cute. Please, don't. I rather have someone say "you look nice" than "you look cute". Ok, maybe I am weird, or maybe it's because English is my second language. Still... cute raises my blood pressure.


    The zucchini boats? with eggplant inside? AWESOME. Can I put some mushrooms too or would that be too common place?

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    1. Round of applause for SallyBR for getting ready in 10 minutes! You should consider start teaching a class or even a seminar.
      And I'm there with you about cute, such a lame word!

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  7. Haha, I have a word even more 'treacherous' than nice...'fine'. My husband asks me often how I'm feeling or how I liked this or that, and I guess I respond with an ambiguous 'fine' all too often. Looks like we both need to start subbing in 'great' or 'awesome' a bit more. :-)

    This looks like an awesome dish, and wouldn't you know, I just bought an eggplant with no clear direction for it! :-)

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    1. I totally agree with you, 'fine' is lamer than lame!

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  8. YUM - love stuffing as much as I can into zucchini, looking forward to summer garden overload!

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  9. Definitely am making these. Love your blog and I also follow you on the 'gram.

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    1. That's fantastic Tracy, thank you so much!

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  10. My zukes are starting to grow in the garden, and I suspect this recipe will be making an appearance in our kitchen soon! As always, it's nice...I mean, uh, amazing! Doing the 'pack proud, Mike! #WolfpackEats

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  11. Ohh how nice do these look???
    Kidding lol.
    I mean, not that kidding, because they look aaaaamaaaazing! You cannot go wrong with parmesan and fresh summer veggies ;)

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    1. Indeed Co, you can't go wrong with parm and summer veggies!

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  12. The eggplant stuffing is amazing (not nice :) )
    I love meatless dishes, specially for summer and this zucchini boats carry just the right combination.
    Fresh veggies and parmesan- can't get much better.

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  13. Hahaha, I always say... "that guy Mike, he's nice". Uhm, awkward. Loving transforming zucchini into boats. So creative!

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  14. I'm crazy about eggplant parmesan, but rarely put for the effort to make it! You've wrapped up all the essential flavors into a super healthy and vegetarian, (always a bonus) dish! :)

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