Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini

When I crave comfort food, pasta is always the first thing that comes to mind and Lasagna is the pasta of all pasta’s in my opinion!

It has been 3 days since we had to put our oldest border collie down and the pain still runs strong through the house. It is hard to try and feel normal with so many triggers. There is just so many memories from the past 13 years. Damn you cancer….damn you!

I thought I would make some “comfort food” tonight for my husband and I, but didn’t want to give in and buy pasta (or look in the back of the cupboard since I am sure there is still some penne back there I am trying to forget about!)

Zucchini is coming out fast and furious in the garden, and although I have diced and frozen quite a bit for future stir fry’s and zucchini meatballs, I also want to eat as many fresh garden veggies as possible. Hence…..the Lasagna Zucchini.

Zucchini is a really watery vegetable, so I halved, oiled and salted a fairly large zucchini and stuck it on the grill for 5-10 minutes a side on medium low heat. If you don’t have a BBQ or just want to use the oven, I would suggest 20-25 minutes on 350 c. This will soften it up nicely and give it some flavour. When it is done, let cool a little and scoop out the seeds and make a nice hole for your filling! My zucchini was quite large so the seeds were pretty big, but if you have smaller zucchini’s, I would put the “scoopings” back in with the meat!

The meat filling was nice lean turkey, seasoned with onion, garlic, italian seasoning and red wine vinegar. Stuff meat into the zucchini, top with marinara sauce and cheddar cheese and pop right back on the BBQ or in the oven for another 10 minutes or until heated all the way through. I topped with ricotta and basil to complete the beautiful lasagna flavoring!

Lasagna Stuffed Zucchini

  • 1 large zucchini or 3 small zucchinis halved, oiled and salted, grilled or baked for 20-25 minutes
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 cloves diced garlic
  • 2 tbsp italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Marinara sauce
  • Cheddar cheese (low fat)
  • Ricotta Cheese (low fat)
  • Fresh basil for serving.

 

There isn’t an exact science to this recipe. Just grill a zucchini, stuff a zucchini and bake a zucchini. The of course, eat a zucchini!

This was perfect as a comfort dish and really had all the goodness of lasagna without the pasta. It is a great healthy, low carb, gluten free option when you just need to stress eat!

img_2232

 

Garlic Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

 

BBQ Season + Garden Season = Stuffed Mushroom Season!

There is no finer thing than a warm and tasty stuffed mushroom right off the BBQ on a hot summers night! Pair it with a garden salad and a nice glass of wine, sit on the patio and watch the fireflies dance!

Ok, I could probably come up with another perfect scenario for a cold winters evening too…..I just loved stuffed mushrooms anytime of the year.

Summer time does produce the best ingredients for this recipe though, and I personally like to eat what is in season.

This recipe is always a hit at parties and BBQs. The woody flavour combined with the garlic pesto and cream cheese is to die for! It starts a flavour party in your mouth (wow, that was cheesy…..HA that’s punny!)

Ok, I am done now!

img_1981.jpg

GARLIC PESTO STUFFED MUSHROOMS

  • 6 medium mushrooms (or 12 small ones). I have tried different kinds of mushrooms and they are all good, so just grab what is fresh and available!
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Garlic pesto. I make garlic scape pesto that is amazing and uses the curly tops of the garlic plant. This is what gives mine a nice green colour. Again, any garlic pesto would work, but I highly recommend you try this recipe if you have garlic scapes available. Get my Garlic Scape Pesto recipe here! 
  • 3 oz cream cheese ( half a brick)
  • 1/2 small onion

The nice thing about this recipe is you don’t need to mess around with the flavours. Let the pesto and cream cheese create their magic!

Scrub mushrooms really well and remove the stalks. Chop stalks into small pieces. Add 1 tbsp to frying pan and sauté mushroom stalks and onion for about 3-4 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Turn off heat. Add pesto and cream cheese and stir until combined.

Use remaining oil to brush mushroom tops and bottoms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stuff pesto cheese mixture into mushrooms and pop on the BBQ or in the oven for 20-25 minutes until mushrooms are soft and there is a nice crunchy layer on the top.

You can top with cheese at this point if you would like. I prefer them without because I feel it takes away from the cheese that is already in the mushrooms. You can also use a layer of bread crumbs for more crunch!!

I know what you are thinking and yes, they do taste as good as they look!

 Turkey & Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers

So I know my recipes have been leaning a little on the unhealthy side lately! What can I say, I need comfort food sometimes, and for me, comfort food is cheese!!

This really is the best stuffed pepper recipe I have ever made! Something about the spices, creaminess and textures that just made it perfect! Next time, I would like to do it on the BBQ to give it a nice smoky taste!

Turkey & Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers

This recipe made 4 large red peppers. You can use any colour pepper, red and yellow will be sweeter and green will be more bitter. I also had leftover filling, but that is never a bad thing! I plan on stuffing a small zucchini for lunch 😁

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes or marinara sauce
  • 4 oz cream cheese (about 3/4 of a brick)
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp crushed chili peppers
  • salt and pepper to taste

paprika-367687_1920

Preheat oven to 350 c. Cut a hole in the top of the pepper and take out all of the seeds. Keep top. Boil peppers (or put in microwave for 3-5 minutes) to soften. While they are softening, add olive oil to pan and saute onions and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add turkey and seasonings and cook until brown. Turn off heat and add rice and cream cheese. Stir until cheese is completely melted and incorporated.

Stuff peppers and replace the tops. Bake at 350 c until peppers are completely soft when punctured with a fork.

At this point, you can take the tops off and add some more cheese (cheddar is good!) and put back in oven for 5 minutes or until it is melted.

Plate on top of some marinara sauce and serve with fresh basil or other fresh herb!

stuffed-pepper-2255998_1920