Stuff your zucchini

Whether you are growing your own zucchini, or you are the recipient of your neighbor’s overflow, use the vegetable to your advantage by making a fun and hearty dinner.

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Italian Stuffed Zucchini for One

1 zucchini
2 tablespoons Italian-style dried breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup cooked and crumbled ground beef or frozen burger-style crumbles
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise. Hollow out the zucchini. Place the scraped-out zucchini into a medium bowl. Add breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, ground beef or burger-style crumbles, and pasta sauce. Mix well. Place mixture into hollowed-out zucchini. Arrange zucchini in a baking dish, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese; bake for 40 minutes. Makes 1 serving.

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Zucchini Boats on the Grill

2 medium zucchini
1 slice white bread, torn into small pieces
1/4 cup bacon bits
1 tablespoon minced black olives
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
3 tablespoons diced green chile peppers
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup chopped tomato
6 tablespoons shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 pinch dried basil
1 pinch seasoned salt to taste
1 pinch ground black pepper to taste

Prepare the grill for indirect heat. Place the zucchini in a pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes. Drain, cool, and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp to about 1/4 inch from the skin. Chop pulp. In a bowl, mix the zucchini pulp, bread pieces, bacon bits, olives, jalapeno, green chile peppers, onion, tomato, and Cheddar cheese. Season with basil, seasoned salt, and pepper. Stuff the zucchini halves with the pulp mixture. Seal each stuffed half in aluminum foil. Place foil packets on the prepared grill over indirect heat. Cook until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

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Pantry Pointers

To grill zucchini as a side dish, preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Cut your zucchini into lengthwise sections no more than 1/4 inch in thickness. Rub both sides of the slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add your favorite herbs if desired. Grill approximately 2 minutes a side, turning once.

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