Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Stuffed Zucchini with Goat Cheese & Herbs

Cheese is back!  After finishing up my version of a Whole 30, I've been adding some dairy back into my diet.  I've made some interesting discoveries.  I used to think that too much coffee upset my stomach, but since switching to almond milk, I realized it was all the milk in my coffee that was causing me problems (I like a LOT of milk in my coffee).  So I'm trying not to go too crazy with the dairy, but I'm fine with a little cheese.  

Goat cheese is one of my favorite cheeses, and it's one that people who are lactose intolerant can often still enjoy.  Apparently this is because the fat molecules in goat's milk are shorter than those in cow's milk, and thus easier to digest.  Whatever the reason, I'm glad I can enjoy goat cheese.  It really takes these stuffed zucchini over the top.

One more note on ingredients: this was my first time cooking with ground pork.  It was so good!  Why is everyone still buying ground beef all the time?  I mean, I'm sure this recipe would be good with beef, or even ground chicken or turkey, but the pork just has so much great flavor.  Perhaps this is due to a higher fat content?  What I really want to know is this: why don't people make hamburgers out of ground pork?  Any thoughts?  After all, they are called HAMburgers...

On to the recipe!  I'm eager to try this with other vegetables as well: maybe mushrooms instead of peppers, or shallots instead of onions.  Let me know if you try this or any variations!

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4-6 zucchini (get more if they are on the small side)
1 pound ground pork
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 orange, yellow, or red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used basil, parsley, & chives)
4 ounces goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned and softened, 10-15 minutes.

While the onion is cooking, prepare the zucchini.  Slice each one in half lengthwise and scoop it out with a spoon, reserving the pulp  Place the zucchini on the baking sheet and sprinkle with a little salt.  Put them in the oven to roast while you cook the pork.  Roughly chop the reserved zucchini pulp.

Add the garlic to the skillet with the onions.  As soon as it's fragrant, add the pork, then sprinkle with the oregano and some salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring often.  When the pork is almost done, add the pepper and zucchini.  Continue to cook, stirring often, until the pork is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

Pour any excess liquid out of the skillet.  Off the heat, stir in the herbs and half of the goat cheese until well combined.  Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.  Take the zucchini out the oven, and carefully stuff each one with a generous amount of filling.  Sprinkle the rest of the goat cheese on top.

Return the zucchini to the oven and cook until browned in spots, about 15 minutes.  Serve hot.

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  1. My mom & I both agreed it was yummy. A keeper. We're also going to try it with yellow squash instead of zucchini b/c that's her preference. :)

    1. So glad you liked it! I will have to try it with yellow squash, too--great idea!


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