Stuffed Zucchini Boats

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup cooked red quinoa
  • 6 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes or ½ C. grape tomatoes, finely diced or marinara sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan, grated (optional)
  • ½ cup mozzarella, grated (or any other vegan cheese)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a 12" skillet over medium high heat, add the olive oil and onion. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté just until the onion softens a bit.
  2. While you wait for the onions to soften, scoop just a bit of each zucchini out with a round scoop (or use a round measuring spoon). Chop the scooped bits up into a small dice put the zucchini aside.
  3. Add the tomato, zucchini bits, and some salt and pepper to the pan. Continue to sauté for another couple of minutes. Add the spinach and stir until the spinach wilts down.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cooked quinoa. Add the Parmesan if using. Stir to combine and set aside.
  5. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the zucchini on the sheet. Using a small spoon (I use a regular teaspoon) divide the mixture between all of the zucchini. Cover the baking sheet with foil. You can refrigerate at this point up to a couple of days if you'd like to serve it later. Otherwise, place the sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, covered.
  7. After 30 minutes, uncover and top each zucchini with some mozzarella. Place the sheet back in the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. If you'd like a browner top, raise the rack in the oven to the highest spot.
  8. Remove from the oven and serve.

NOTES

To yield one cup of cooked quinoa, cook ⅓ cup of dry quinoa in about ⅔ cup of water. I like to prepare a whole pot of quinoa (1 cup quinoa in 2 cups of water. It will yield 3 cups cooked) or even double this for more leftovers. I love having cooked quinoa in the fridge. Use it as breakfast with vanilla almond milk and some fruit, warm it up and top it with an egg or add it to some sautéed veggies as a great side dish with dinner or for lunch! Quinoa is pretty awesome!

Always rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve before cooking. That removes the saponins, a powdery coating that can cause a bitter taste.

I cover the zucchini with aluminum foil while baking because if you don't, the quinoa will get a bit crunchy, but take it off for a crunchier taste.

This is just a basic stuffing you can also add leftovers from fridge such as red bell peppers, mushrooms, kale, basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, oregano, parsley, etc.. Get creative! You can even use brown rice, or buckwheat instead of quinoa.
Enjoy and send me some pics of your creation.

Laura
 

Are you feeding your soul?

When was the last time you did something you enjoyed and was just for you and nobody else?
When it comes to helping our clients achieve health and well-being goals, we as Health Coaches can't stress this idea enough. Taking care and learning about how food and regular exercise can improve our lives is important; but feeding our souls by pampering ourselves and listening to our needs is an essential part of the healthy journey as well.
We have a tendency to feel guilty when doing things that nurture our spirit, often neglecting this because we forget that body, mind, and spirit are all connected, and optimum health can only be achieved when all three areas are balanced.
We need to be adequately nourished to give and be able to receive.

Now, self-care it's different for everyone: have you taken a massage lately? Have you sat at your favorite coffee shop and caught up with your latest book? Have you enrolled in that painting class you've been wanting to attend?
Not all forms of self-indulgence need to be high commitment or high cost. Here are a few suggestions:
- Soak in a hot bubble bath
- Attend a restorative yoga class
- Have a hearty breakfast
- Go to the beach and walk barefoot
- Take a dance class
- Catch up with a long-lost friend
- Get a facial
- Get a mani/pedi
- Get a foot massage
- Spend a day in your PJ's
- Play with your pet!
- Attend a meditation class
- Take a nap
- Feed a hobby or passion
- Loose yourself in a book
- Listen/Move to music
- Inhale an aroma you love
- Write something
- Breathe and be present

I hope you find in this post the gentle reminder to take care of yourself. Share with me how did you decide to do it!

Love, Laura