Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini Boats and Turkey Meatballs

22 Jul

Wow, does this OPPRESSIVE heat make anyone else 1000% lazy and lethargic?

Go for a run? Too hot to be exerting oneself outside. Cook something? Too hot to run stove, oven, toaster, microwave, or do any manual slicing.   Go swimming? To hot for that 50 second transition time between car and body of water. Read a book? Too hot, fingers will melt into the pages. Sit on a patio and drink a beer? Too hot to sit outside, I’ll see you in the bar. It’s even too hot to watch TV! How is that even possible?! Whatever my excuse is to not do anything, it’s been a struggle to get creative in the kitchen as of late. Lots of cold fruit, and alas…eating out. It’s killing me, but so goes the tale of woe for this non-air conditioning-d gal.

I was able to pull up my bootstraps and get my ass in the kitchen and crank out a handful of tasty treats over the past few days, so get ready for a well-deserved feast after this Flavor Country famine.


We begin with:  { Morel-Stuffed Patty Pan Squash and Honey Chipotle Turkey Meatballs and  – Simply Organic by Jesse Ziff Cool }

Oh Zucchini…how I love thee… The recipe calls for Patty Pan Squash, however these were just screaming at me (and it was a non-market day) so I opted for the emeralds of the vegetable world (sidenote: precious gems have been the talk of our house lately. We all agreed that we just don’t hear about Rubies, Emeralds, and Sapphires anymore, especially as a ransom payment…)


First, we begin with the prep of the Zucchini filling by chopping up the mushrooms


And sautéing them with olive oil, red onion, and garlic


While this is cooking, we’ll prepare the  zucchini in a way I’ve never cooked it before: boil/steaming it in a mixture of chicken stock, pepper corns, and some basil stems (my own addition). Let it come to a boil, then pop the lid on and lower heat to a simmer, and let go until cooked through (you’ll want to turn these bad boys over to ensure uniform cooking, not crunchy raw side vs. mushy overdone side). Be aware: these will get soft, use care when picking up with tongs as they will cut right through them (DO NOT USE YOUR FINGERS TO FLIP UNLESS YOU’VE BEEN WORKING IN THE FOOD/RESTAURANT INDUSTRY AND NO LONGER HAVE FEELING IN YOUR FINGERTIPS)


Now take zucchini out and let cool. Finish the filling by adding breadcurmbs, fresh basil, parmesan, egg, and cream cheese



This would be good stuffed in cardboard…

Now that your zucchini is cooled, cut in half, and scoop out the seeds and whatnot from the inside, creating boats


Now stuff’em


Meanwhile, make your turkey meatballs and sauce that I neglected to photograph, so I won’t get into the specifics here (there’s parsley and carrots involved in the meatballs, and honey and peppers involved in the sauce. It calls for chipotle, but all I could find were pimento…so I made due)


Bake everything. Enjoy. And now…we feast…


I’m personally a big fan of [anything] stuffed with [anything] especially when it involves awesome veggies (and…you know, cheese). And a side of meatballs is never a bad thing. I’m not a big fan of the parsley in the meatballs though, the flavor was a bit overpowering for me. Next time I might sub cilantro and add some chilies and tweak the sauce to give it some more Asian flavors (fish sauce + brown sugar + sambal, *kisses fingers*).

Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini {adapted from Simply Organic}

  • 3 Medium Zucchini
  • 1.5 C Chicken Stock
  • Some whole peppercorns
  • Handful of Basil Stems
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Red Onion, diced
  • 6 oz Mushrooms, diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/2 C Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 1/3 C Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 C Parmesan
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Put the zucchini in a wide/shallow pan or skillet, pour the stock over and add the basil stems and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 min (or until zucchini is cooked through). Rotate once during cooking. Take out of liquid and set aside to cool. Reserve liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over med-high, add onion and cook until soft. Add mushrooms, garlic, and basil. Cook until the mushrooms begin to release their liquid (about 3 minutes).
  4. Transfer mushroom mixture to bowl, and add bread crumbs, egg, cream cheese, parmesan, salt and pepper. Mix. Add reserved cooking liquid if mixture looks too dry.
  5. When Zucchini is cooled, half lengthwise, and scoop out “guts”. Place zucchini boats into a baking pan (with sides) and spoon filling into new cavities. Fill pan with rest of the reserved cooking liquid. Bake for 25 minutes.

Pimento Turkey Meatballs {adapted from Simply Organic}

  • 1/2 C Ketchup
  • 2 Tbs Honey
  • 1 Jar Pimento Peppers
  • 1.5 lb ground turkey
  • 1 med white onion, grated
  • 2 med carrots, grated
  • 1/2 C chopped parsley
  • 3/4 C breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 C chicken broth
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Combine ketchup, honey, and peppers. Blend with immersion blender. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl combine turkey, onion, carrots, parsley, breadcrumbs, egg, chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Form into small balls and place on greased baking pan. Spoon some ketchup mixture over each meatball. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until fully cooked.

2 Responses to “Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini Boats and Turkey Meatballs”

  1. Betty July 22, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    wow, they all look great! I’m a huge fan of meat stuffed! haha I’m going to try this recipe! thanks for sharing!

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