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Zucchini with Pizza Stuffing

When fresh zucchini is in season, it grows so fast and so heartily that it can nearly bury a neighborhood. If you're knee-deep in zucchini, here's a fun recipe to try.

Servings: 2

Equipment: microwave, sharp knife, medium bowl, microwave-safe dish

How long does it take?

30 minutes

What's in it?

1 fresh medium zucchini
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup croutons or bread crumbs
1/2 cup pasta sauce (tomato-based)
1 teaspoon fresh herbs—try basil and oregano
1/4 cup soy cheese (Parmesan or mozzarella style)

How to make it:

Step 1: Prepare the zucchini.
Wash the zucchini and rinse the herbs (dry them in a salad spinner or with a paper towel). Slice the zucchini lengthwise and hollow out the seeds and pulp (save the pulp in a bowl), leaving two shells about 1/4 inch thick. Lightly coat the zucchini shells with oil. Chop the fresh herbs.

Step 2: Make the "pizza" filling.
Place the pulp from the zucchini into a medium bowl. Add the croutons (or breadcrumbs), garlic powder, pasta sauce, and herbs.

Step 3: Stuff the zucchini shells.
Place the zucchini shells into an 11-by-8-inch microwave-safe dish. Fill the zucchini shells with the "pizza" mixture.

Step 4: Nuke it!
Top each stuffed zucchini with half of the soy cheese. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 6 to 8 minutes. The zucchini shells should be tender.

Eat right away or keep the zucchini covered in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

Nutrition breakdown:

Calories 175, Protein 6 g, Carbohydrate 29 g, Fat 4 g (saturated fat 1 g), Sodium 2156 mg, Vitamin A 660 IU (82% of RDA), Vitamin E 5 mg (65% of RDA), Magnesium 42 mg (15% of RDA)

What's in it for you?

Munch your way to five to nine a day—that's servings of fruits and vegetables recommended by MyPyramid. One serving of this zucchini dish counts for two of your five vegetables for the day.

Sodium is found in salt. Too much sodium over time can impact your circulation and your heart. Packaged and prepared foods like bottled pasta sauce and packaged croutons usually are high in sodium. Eating a little prepared food in combination with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains is one way to eat well without spending all day in the kitchen.

Chef's tip:

Make this recipe tastier (and more nutritious) by adding 1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms, a handful of diced green or red peppers, or your favorite vegetable pizza topping.

Last Modified Date: 10/20/2000