There’s a secret to getting some otherwise-reluctant children to eat their vegetables: make the veggies into patties, or stuff them into unusual packages, like these tasty zucchini boats. This recipe is a big crowd-pleaser for all ages, ripe with the great taste and good nutrition of white beans with vegetables and healthy garlic, all in a pleasing little package.
You can use a slow-cooker for these Mediterranean-inspired delights, or make them in the oven. Either way, this is one dreamboat of a recipe, featuring plenty of protein without animal products of any kind.
2 large or 4 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and ends trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
One 15.5-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
1. Scoop out the zucchini flesh, keeping about 1/4 inch of flesh and the shells intact. Chop the pulp.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, add the shallots, garlic, and chopped zucchini, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato, beans, pine nuts, parsley, and basil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and mix.
3. Fill the zucchini shells with the stuffing mixture and place them in a lightly oiled 5 1/2- to 6-quart oval slow cooker. Drizzle the zucchini with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Cover and cook on Low for 3 to 4 hours, until the zucchini is tender, or place in a preheated 350F oven and bake 1 hour, until zucchini is tender.