Wednesday, March 12, 2014

No Substitutions

Last week I took a recipe for stuffed zucchini and revamped it completely--true to my cooking style, the end result only halfway resembled the original intent. But it was so good, I knew I ought to write it down for posterity or I'd never be able to recreate it! If you make it, be sure to change it up to make it your own; no recipe is complete for me without at least one substitution. :)

Stuffed Chopped Zucchini with Stuff in It

1/2 cup quinoa; you *could* use brown rice but why would you do that? Quinoa is nicer.
3 large zucchini or 4 medium zucchini or 5-6 small zucchini, chopped
maybe some asparagus, if it's not $6.99 a pound like I saw at Whole Foods last weekend
1/2 bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, cut in halves or quarters
1-2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander

Bring one cup of water to boil and add 1/2 cup quinoa. Cover, turn to low and let simmer 25 minutes. At the same time, thaw/cook the spinach in the microwave or on the stovetop.

In a large skillet, brown the ground turkey, drain it, and scoop it into another bowl. In the same skillet, saute the zucchini (and/or asparagus) and onion until slightly soft; add garlic, spinach and tomatoes and saute 1-2 minutes more. Add the spices plus salt and pepper to taste, and add the turkey back in. Turn all this to low and let it sit until the quinoa is finished, at which point you mix it all together and eat it up. You could serve this with naan, or you could put it in a pita--I'd leave out the quinoa if I did that, but your carb mileage may vary.

Tzatziki goes really well with this; it adds some extra flavor and moisture. You can buy it prepared in the refrigerated section or you can make your own: mix 6 oz plain yogurt, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and 1/2  a cucumber (peeled, with the seeds scooped out, and chopped finely). Pro tip: it's cheaper to make your own, and you get to snack on the leftover cucumber while you cook.

Happy cooking!