Renee Kelly’s Harvest
2 Cups dried lentils
4 Cups water
2 medium-to-large zucchini
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, small diced
2 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef, pork, turkey or chicken
1/4 Cup grated parmesan cheese (1/4 Cup more for garnish)
1/2 tsp chile flakes
1 tsp chile powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Boil the lentils in the water until al dente, about 15- 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise.
- Scoop out the insides creating a long “boat” leaving 1/2” of the zucchini on all sides.
- Chop the insides (flesh) of the zucchini, and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat up the vegetable oil, on medium heat.
- Add the diced onion and sweat for 1-2 minutes or until translucent.
- Add the chopped cloves of garlic and the ground beef.
- Stir and chop up the ground beef with a spatula.
- Cook until no pink remains, about 7-10 minutes.
- Add the zucchini insides and cook for an additional 4 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the mixture from sticking.
- Remove from heat and add the Parmesan cheese, Chile flakes, Chile powder, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Add the cooked lentils. Season again if necessary.
- Place the zucchini boats in sprayed baking dish. Stuff the zucchini with the ground beef/lentil stuffing. You will most likely have leftovers.
- Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
With the leftovers, heat and serve over pasta, chopped potatoes or rice with a jar of tomato sauce.
In the fall/winter hard squash such as acorn, and butternut squash are very abundant. Use the same recipe with these modifications:
- Half and remove the seeds from the squash, discard the seeds.
- Rub the squash with 1 Tbs. of vegetable oil
- Place face down on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven.
- Create the above stuffing minus the insides of the squash.
- Stuff the cooked squash with lentil/ ground beef mixture.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20 more minutes.
- Serve warm.
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