Light and perky Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Quinoa and Pine Nuts. A vegetarian dish the whole family will enjoy!
As parents, Lt. Dan and I are always looking for interesting ways to get our kids to eat their veggies. I’ll admit, as they get older, it’s much much easier than it used to be.
I used to stretch the truth on a daily basis to get veggies in them without a dramatic scene taking place, that usually ended in tears. My tears.
I used to hide vegetables in every possible dish I would make, hoping the flavors would normalize on their little palates.
Nowadays we are far past the lies and veggie smuggling. The kids will eat almost any plant based food, with the exception of raw mushrooms.
However, they do appreciate it when I doctor certain vegetables to make them a little more appealing.
Stuffed Zucchini Boats is a veggie dish we all enjoy, filled with hearty quinoa, sautéed peppers and onions, fresh tarragon, and a crunchy top of pine nuts and parmesan cheese.
You can grill or pan-fry Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Quinoa and Pine Nuts, yet I like to bake it in the oven, because I feel like I have better control over the texture. I keep the zucchini a little on the firm side… Baked on the exterior yet slightly uncooked in the center.
That way, the Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Quinoa and Pine Nuts retain most of their nutritional value and don’t get mushy.
The light sprinkling of parmesan cheese and crunchy pine nuts gives these light and healthy stuffed zucchini boats a touch of richness.
My family would happily eat Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Quinoa and Pine Nuts every week. I feel good about serving it to them because it’s full of vitamins and minerals. Seconds are not only acceptable; they are encouraged!
Find More Healthy Vegetable Recipes
Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Quinoa and Pine Nuts
- 5 zucchini squash, average-size and halved lengthwise
- 3/4 cup dried quinoa
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 ounce pine nuts
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the quinoa in a medium sauce pot. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat to high. Stir to coat the quinoa in the oil, then add 1 1/2 cups water and cover the pot. Bring to a boil. Stir. Then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer the quinoa, covered, for approximately 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Meanwhile, chop the peppers, onions, garlic and tarragon. Use a spoon to scoop a long trench out of the center of each zucchini and place the halves in two 9x13-inch baking dishes.
Place 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet and sauté the onions over medium heat for 2 minutes. Then add the peppers and garlic and sauté another 2-3 minutes. Toss in the cooked quinoa and tarragon and turn off the heat. Salt and pepper the quinoa to taste.
Spoon the quinoa into the center of each zucchini half. Sprinkle the tops with pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Then bake for 12-15 minutes, until the Parmesan is golden. The zucchini should be lightly cooked, but firm. Serve warm!