My tofu stuffed zucchini recipe is a relatively new innovation for me, since I hadn't heard of tofu until my last year of junior high and didn't start working with it until I was well into highschool. Starting out, all I could make with it was many forms of 'scrambled egg-type' dishes. BO-Ring. Right? Exactly. I grew up every summer eating zucchini, at my grandparents house, in every form one could imagine. We had so much zucchini growing in the backyard that we had to figure out many ways to use them up. Gram was a master at it.
We had zucchini in dinners, desserts and, whereas we didn't do appetizers at their house we did a lot of other things. Gram would find different ways to use it up. Here's one of the ways I use it up. I stuff it in many ways. Here are 3 ways you can do it:
- Top Down Stuffing
- Side-In Stuffing
Take the tops off your zucchinis and hollow out the middle by a minimum of 50%. You can do this with an apple corer, a long handled spoon or scoop or whatever will work comfortably for you. You can either hollow it all the way through or you can [preferably] hollow it almost the the end reserving approximately an inch of the squash at the end to better keep your stuffing contained.
Bore hollows in the on side, being careful not to go all the way through. This will make a great presentation when stuffed.
This is your standard stuffing configuration for potatoes, but it still looks great when you pair it with the right sides. For this you'll halve the the zucchini lengthwise, scoop out the middle portion, leaving about a half inch and refill the shell with your choice[s] of stuffing.
All that said... Here's what you want to stuff them with:
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 black cardamom pods
1 large brown onion [diced]
sea salt [to taste]
1 lb tofu [extra firm, crumbled]
1/3 cup sliced pimento stuffed olives
8 oz cremini mushrooms [dice]
1 cup peppers [bell pepper: red, yellow and/or orange, chopped]
1 clove of garlic [chopped]
1 1/2 cup marinara sauce
1 cup soy cheese [or rice, almond, etc. - shredded or diced]
Step 1. Heat your skillet, add you oil, toss in your fennel, cumin and cardamom. Once the aromas are released from your spices add your onions, salt and toss together with your spice infused oil and let caramelize.
Step 2. Add your tofu and mushrooms and cook until the texture is meaty, add your peppers, olives and chopped garlic and cook until garlic aroma mellows and then stir in you marinara sauce and turn off the heat.
Step 3. Add your cheese and stuff into you zucchini whichever form you decide to create for stuffing, and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 - 45 minutes, depending on the desired softness for your zucchini.
The thing I like about this recipe, or rather... process, is there are no hard and fast rules to it. All of the ingredients are interchangeable, very flexible and extremely forgiving. All you want to be sure of is that you have good flavor throughout your whole process and I can pretty much guarantee your results will be no less than phenomenal!
As always, it's my pleasure sharing these vegetarian recipes with you. Until next time...