Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Zucchini-stuffed tomatoes

From a Monastery Kitchen: The Classic Natural Foods Cookbook
Last week, I made zucchini stuffed tomatoes, a recipe which I got from the book From a Monastery Kitchen.  This is a pretty good cookbook if you want simple recipes that use inexpensive ingredients.  The only meat that is used is fish.

I've made this recipe before, however, I tend to put my own twist on things I make.  So if you get the book or already heave it, you'll see that I have done things a little bit differently than the book calls for.  Especially since I often have different herbs or spices on-hand, I tend to improvise a lot.

Also, the original recipe makes enough for eight people.  It was just me, so I made enough for one--yours truly.  It's good as an appetizer, a side dish, or an entree in a light meal with some more substantial sides.  I will say that it filled me up.

I was out of fresh garlic, so I used garlic powder.  I figured I'd use garlic (which, let's face it, I put in almost everything), black pepper, oregano, rosemary, and thyme (from my garden), zucchini (from the CSA) and a fresh tomato (from my garden--one of the few that doesn't have blossom end rot). 

First, cut a hole in the tomato and scoop out the innards.  You want to use a larger tomato for this--a beefsteak or a big boy or an heirloom tomato.  Using a roma for this would probably be a real pain in the neck.

Next, shred the zucchini.  I shredded about a quarter of a medium zucchini.  You'd shred an entire zucchini (or probably two small ones) to make the original amount of eight servings (eight stuffed tomatoes).

You want to chop whichever herbs you're using quite finely--and mince the garlic if you're using fresh garlic (I wasn't--I had used the cloves I had up.  Note to self--grow garlic next year!)

Put the chopped herbs, the garlic, the pepper (and a little salt if you like) and the shredded zucchini and tomato innards in a food processor and pulse it a few times until the innards are chopped and everything is ground but not pureed.

At this point, I stirred in a tablespoon of shredded, low-fat mozzerella cheese.  You can use whatever kind of cheese you want or skip it completely.  Then I spooned the mixture into the tomato.
I baked this on a greased sheet in a 350- or 400 degree oven for about twenty minutes.  It came out pretty good; an ear of sweet corn from the CSA and some cucumber made it a very nice, light meal.

It was surprisingly filling, though I suspect very low-calorie.  Unless you eat corn on the cob the way I do, with lots and lots of butter.  And salt.  Really, I am the queen of making otherwise healthy food very bad for you with no effort at all.  In fact, perhaps that will be the book I write: Simple and Easy Steps to Make Healthy Food Really Bad for You.

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