I spent a lot of time in the kitchen since I moved in with my boyfriend. I mean, a girl has to eat, you know! And as much as I like cooking, I usually prepare something easy that doesn’t take much of my time, especially when I still had to work until 6:30 in the evening. Sometimes, I’m just too lazy or too productive to prepare a nice meal and that is something that I want to change. No more excuses! I love cooking, that’s why today is a good day to make something yummy!
Zucchini boats with ground meat and veggies is something that my parents often prepared for dinner. It is so good and actually not that difficult to make. This was the first time that I actually prepared it myself. I think I did a great job, even though I had a little disagreement with the zucchinis…
- 2 zucchinis;
- 500 grams of ground meat;
- 1 eggplant;
- a big onion;
- 250 grams of mushrooms;
- a sweet red, yellow and green pepper;
- 100 grams of cheese;
- 400 grams of diced tomato;
- 70 grams of tomato paste;
- salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil and a tiny bit of chili pepper;
- 250 grams of long grain rice.
- Make sure you clean all the vegetables before you cut them into pieces!
- Both zucchinis need to be cut in two halves.
Use a steamer or bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the zucchinis. This will take about 10 or 15 minutes to make them soft and ready. Make sure you don’t break them during the process, that would be unfortunate! In the meantime, you can start with the sauce and the ground meat.
Heat a large skillet over a medium high heat and add the ground meat. (I normally use a mix of pork and beef.) Allow it to cook for 5 minutes before you start breaking it into smaller pieces. Add some salt and pepper as well. You know the meat is ready to use and safe to eat if it’s browned and no longer pink.
Melt some butter or heat up some oil and add the onion. Wait until they’re translucent and caramelized before adding the eggplant, mushrooms and peppers into the mix. Cook the vegetables until they are soft and juicy, we don’t want to be raw. Add the pork, garlic powder, pepper, basil and a tiny bit of chili pepper and finish your sauce with the diced tomato. Add some more flavor by using the tomato paste.
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 356°F and coat a large oven dish with some butter. Add sauce on top of the zucchinis and finish with a layer of grinded cheese. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the rice as instructed on the package. Bake the zucchini boats until the cheese is golden brown, melted and crispy. I normally don't use a timer, but I guess it takes about 20 or 30 minutes before it's ready. (Make sure you don’t burn yourself!)
And that’s it!
It took me about two hours to prepare this meal. I actually had a lot of fun because I was listening to my favorite songs in the meantime. Anyway, you definitely have to try this out! It’s so delicious and it’s pretty easy to make! If you don’t like zucchinis, you can always use bell peppers or eggplants instead.
Feel free to share your favorite recipe in the comments down below! I’m always looking for new inspiration. It can be so difficult to decide what we’re going to eat, sometimes…
Lots of love,