Homemade Recipes – Squash & Zucchini Boats

I am a sucker for a good price when I’m shopping for groceries. When it comes to produce, I only buy what’s in season because that means it’s on sale (aka cheaper) and tastes the best. This usually ends up with me buying a lot more veggies than I know what to do with. I always have good intentions and plan to use everything before it goes bad, but then life happens. Either I work late and I’m too tired to cook or maybe friends want to go out to eat. Whatever the reason, I just don’t get around to using the vegetables fast enough.

I hate to throw things away so I had to think of a way to use the wrinkling veggies in a dish where it wouldn’t be noticeable that the vegetables were past their prime. Then I saw a picture of a squash boat on my news feed that a friend had made which intrigued me as I had squash that was on its last leg. I found a recipe, looked at the ingredients and decided I had everything I needed, give or take. I was excited to try the boat recipe and the first thing I did was cut my squash in half, then I actually read the recipe which said to cook it whole first. It was at that point that I knew I had to just come up with something on my own. So here it is, a very simple, versatile, and amazingly delicious way to use up all of your wilting veggies.

Oh, and the best part about this recipe? Just use what you have on hand. I only had 1 squash so I used zucchini too. I had leftover cornbread but you could use other leftover bread, panko, breadcrumbs, or croutons. Instead of scallions use yellow or red onions. Substitute red bell peppers for tomatoes. Add some cooked spinach. Don’t have Parmesan cheese? Use whatever is in the fridge. Wanting to make more of a meaty dish? Instead of mushrooms, use ground beef, turkey sausage, or bacon. The combinations and possibilities are truly endless and this can be adapted to meet your and your family’s wants and dietary needs. You can each have your own boat with your own fillings which is great for picky eaters.

These can be great as side items at dinner or even make them your meal. Make a big batch on Sunday to take to work and just heat them up for lunch. Don’t forget to check out my mini crustless quiche recipe for breakfast at work while you’re at it.

Makes: 4 squash/zucchini boats

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Materials:                   

  • Oven
  • Steamer pot
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Sauté pan
  • Medium bowl
  • Spoon
  • Baking pan
  • Tin foil
  • SpoonIMG_0414

Ingredients:

  • 1 squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped leftover cornbread
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions, white and light green part
  • 1 cup diced mushrooms
  • Seasoning of your choice
  • Olive oil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F

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2. Boil water in steamer pot

3. Cut squash & zucchini in half lengthwise

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4. Once water is boiling, steam halved zucchini and squash for 7 minutes

5. While vegetables are steaming, finely chop up leftover cornbread, dice mushrooms, slice scallions, and dice tomatoes. Set aside.

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6. When finished steaming, remove pot of zucchini and squash from heat and allow to cool before handling.

7. Drizzle olive oil to coat sauté pan and add mushrooms and allow to cook down and become tender.

8. Add scallions and seasonings of your choice (I like garlic powder, black pepper, salt, and ground cayenne red pepper for a little heat).

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9. Toss to cook until scallions become more translucent then remove pan from heat.

10. Once zucchini & squash are cool, scoop out insides with a spoon. You may need to run your knife along it if it doesn’t come out easily. If you scoop too close to the skin your boat will be more like a flat beach towel so be sure to leave enough to allow the vegetable to maintain its shape.

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11. Chop zucchini & squash insides into small chunks.

12. In the medium bowl, add zucchini & squash chunks, cooked mushrooms & scallions, cornbread, tomatoes, and cheese. Mix together.

13. Line baking pan with tin foil and place empty boats.

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14. Use spoon to put stuffing into zucchini & squash boats. They will be overflowing.

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15. Put in the oven, setting the timer for 10 minutes.

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16. After 10 minutes rotate the pan 180° and set the timer for another 15 minutes or until cheese is melty and breadcrumbs are brown. Do not leave in too long or it will burn.

17. After a total of 25 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and allow boats to cool on pan

18. Enjoy! (Or store for later use)

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*Nutrition for 1 boat with Parmesan cheese, cornbread crumbs, mushrooms, scallions, tomatoes, zucchini, and squash:

  • Calories: 177
  • Total fat: 6 g
  • Sodium: 353 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 26 g
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Protein: 9 g

The nutrition can be altered depending on the type of cheese and breadcrumbs you choose such as low fat and low sodium options.

Also note, if you use meat it will increase protein along with cholesterol, sodium, and fat.

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