Stuffed Zucchini–Blessed by the Zucchini Gods

My friend Angi gave me this recipe.  It’s a family recipe from her dad–a guy I need to meet one of these days, both because of the yummy factor of this dish AND the humor that was bundled into the recipe.  The recipe is mainly his words, and I’ll share his original commentary as the recipe goes along, in brackets.  🙂 

OK!  The ingredients:

[1 very large zucchini.  Large is good.  Blessed by the zucchini gods.]    As it isn’t zucchini season, I settled for 4 little zucchinis from the produce department.

1-1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef  [Depending on how blessed the zucchini is.]

2 medium yellow onions, chopped   [Please don’t cry about it!]

2 TBSP minced garlic  [Mince the garlic, not your words.]

1 small bell pepper chopped fine, or if you like it spicy [yeehaaaa] chop 2 fresh jalepeno peppers        (I used half a bell pepper and 2 small jalepenos–seeds and all, and it was perfect for us!)

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 TBSP dried oregano [use less if fresh]

2 TBSP dried basil  [ditto]

1 small jar of spaghetti sauce such as Ragu or Prego  [Note: no corporate sponsors were used in the creation of this recipe.]    (I only used a bit more than half of a jar.)

1/2 to 1 lb. shredded mozzerella  [The cheesier the better.]

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with foil.

Wash your zucchini and slice it lengthwise in half.  Make sure both halves will lay flat on a cookie sheet.  [Be very careful with that knife!]

Spoon out the seeds [and other undesirable innards] from the inside of the zucchini.

Place the halves on a foil-lined cookie sheet.

In a skillet, brown the ground beef and minced garlic.

Add the onions, peppers and spices and continue to cook until the onions are in a caramelized state.  Stir frequently.  Remove from heat.  [It’s done!]

Spoon the ground beef mixture into the zucchini halves.  [Yes, you can taste it.  It smells so good!]

Spoon the spaghetti sauce on top of the stuffing and zucchini.

Place cookie sheet with the zucchini on the middle rack of the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the zucchini and cookie sheet from the oven.  [Be careful, it’s hot!]

Sprinkle the shredded mozzerella over the zucchini halves.  [Stack it on, it will all melt in nicely.]

Return the zucchini to the oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until the cheese turns a golden brown and the zucchini is tender.  Remove from the oven and let stand for 3-5 minutes.

Slice, serve, and enjoy.    (I cooked up some pasta to go with the sauce I didn’t use for the zucchini, and garnished with cheese and chopped herbs–parsley and oregano.)

One zucchini half was plenty for me, DH had two.  I started with 4 smallish zucchinis, so this recipe makes 4-8 servings.  I will definitely use this with any “Moby zucchinis” I find lurking in my garden this summer.  The ground beef was super yummy, but I’m thinking any ground meat would work.  (Ground pork would be uber-yummy!)

I’ll leave you with the wise words Angi’s dad left at the bottom of his recipe:

[Not responsible for gastro-intestinal distress caused by over-eating this tasty dish.]   🙂

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