Balsamic Veggie Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Hey guys! I’m always looking for good meal prep ideas, and these Balsamic Veggie Zucchini Boats check off all of the boxes! They’re healthy, delicious, easy to make and super satisfying.

They’re comprised of perfect little vessels of roasted zucchini stuffed with an amazing mix of sauteed veggies- including onion, garlic, mushrooms, chickpeas, the insides of the zucchini, and some RICED CAULIFLOWER. Told you I’d be back with some great riced cauliflower recipes! All of this veg goes so well together, and the addition of the balsamic is the finishing touch.

The zucchini gets cut into four quarters…

And then the centres are scooped out to make lil “boats”. I just scooped out enough to remove all the seeds and make sure that I could get a good amount of filling in there. After being rubbed with some olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, they get placed on a parchment lined baking sheet and roasted until tender- about 15 minutes. The beauty of zucchini is that it doesn’t need very much time at all to cook! Just make sure you take it out right at the 15 minute mark so you’re not left with mush.

While the zucchini is roasting, all of the veg gets cooked together to make a delicious stuffing! I love all of the flavours in here- and the chickpeas and cauliflower rice add a nice heartiness. When you have both of your components all cooked up, the veggie filling is scooped into the zucchini boats, and everything goes back into the oven and broiled for 5 more minutes. This ensures that stuffing gets a little crisp on top- so so good!

These boats make an amazing side dish, appetizer, or lunch! Making a bunch of these at the start of the week for meal prep is also a great idea:) The flavours in here are so tasty, and with the chickpeas in there you get in your fix of protein and fibre. These zucchini boats will definitely shake up your lunch or dinner routine!

Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Balsamic Veggie Stuffed Zucchini Boats

  • Servings: 2-4
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Ingredients

-1 large zucchini -1/2 tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil

-2 white mushrooms, diced

-2 tbsp diced red onion

-1 clove of garlic, minced

-2/3 cup riced cauliflower

-1 tsp balsamic vinegar

-1/3 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

-1/2 tsp dried oregano

-Salt and pepper to taste


Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Cut off the top and bottom of the zucchini, then cut it in half lengthwise. Cut the halves in half width wise, leaving you with four even pieces of zucchini.

3. Scoop out the centres of the zucchini, removing the seeds but not too much of the flesh, and creating a vessel that can be stuffed. Set the insides of the zucchini aside.

4. Place the zucchini boats on a parchment lined baking sheet, and rub each one with about a 1/2 tsp of olive oil. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, then place them in the oven for 15 minutes.

5. Heat up the remaining olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in the onion, garlic, cauliflower, mushrooms, chickpeas, and the insides of the zucchini. Sautee for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the balsamic into the pan and continue to cook for 2 more minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

6. Once the zucchini boats are done roasting, remove them from the oven and scoop a 1/4 of the sauteed veggie filling into each boat. Place the pan back into the oven and broil the stuffed zucchini for 5 minutes.

7. Remove the pan from the oven and serve warm.


Coconut Curried Vegetable Rice

Hi friends! It seems that there’s a theme running through my recipes this week, and that theme is SIMPLE DELICIOUSNESS. Maybe you don’t think of curry being that simple. But guess what, this one is. We’re making good use of the stuff you’re already got in your spice cupboard and pantry and we’re making it into something super tasty.

I wanted to make some sort of curry paste for this, but I didn’t have many of the traditional curry paste ingredients. So I made my own take on a curry paste, using common ingredients that I DID have. We’re talking chilli powder, ground ginger, soy sauce, basil, curry powder, lemon juice, and a bunch of other good stuff. I like the concept of this paste because if you don’t want to make curry out of it right away, you can put it in the fridge for a few days until you’re ready to use it.

It’s also great because it acts as your flavour bomb for the whole curry! All of the spices and flavour you need for the whole dish is found in it, making for a super easy single application of amazingness.

All of the veggies in this dish really sing too. I love a good rainbow in my curries, and almost any veggie would work in here, so feel free to do some substituting with what you have and what you like. I personally found my own heavenly combo of mushrooms, onions, bok choy, red peppers, and carrots to be very nice.

The vegetables get cooked down together in some coconut oil, then sauteed a bit more when the curry paste is added, and then everything simmers together in some coconut milk. To make this heartier and more of a one-pot meal, I thought, why not add in some rice? So brown rice gets thrown in too and cooked in all of the delicious flavours.

Once this curry is done, your house will definitely smell really good and you’ll have a few meals worth of awesome curry rice stocked up in your fridge. I love how flavourful this is, and how it has just the perfect amount of spice! Plus, it goes great with any protein you choose to add, and is so hearty and comforting.

Hope you enjoy!

Coconut Curried Vegetable Rice

Serves: 3-4

Total Time: 70 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Curry Paste:

  • 1/2 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 of a white onion, diced

For the Coconut Curried Vegetable Rice:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 of a white onion, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 4 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 stalks of baby bok choy, cut into halves
  • 1 serving of Curry Paste (above)
  • 1 400ml can of coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup brown rice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. To make the Curry Paste, combine all of the curry paste ingredients in a blender or food processor until a paste-like consistency is reached. Don’t worry about small chunks of onion; these will be cooked in with the curry. Use immediately to make Coconut Curried Vegetable Rice or store in the fridge for up to 3 days before using.
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a large, deep skillet. Add in all of the veggies for the curry and cook until the onion is translucent and the peppers are beginning to soften, about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Add the curry paste to the pan and sautee for another 2 minutes.
  4. Dump the coconut milk into the pan and give everything a good stir to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper, and stir in the brown rice.
  5. Bring the contents of the pan to a simmer and turn the heat to low, covering the pan and letting the curry cook for 35-40 minutes, until the rice is completely cooked through.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat season more to taste with salt and pepper, serve warm and enjoy!

I love this recipe so much and I hope you guys do too! See you Friday:))

Yours Truly,

Olivia;))

Pumpkin Oat Cookies

Yay I finally got my hands on some canned pumpkin! You get a break from the apple recipes for a while. These Pumpkin Oat Cookies are the first thing that I made when I cracked open that can, and I gotta say, they’re pretty good. All that pumpkin-y goodness mixed up with maple syrup and a bunch of spices- mmmmm!

This recipe is super versatile too, because it’s nice and healthy. No refined flour or sugar, plus it’s dairy free! So you can munch on these for breakfast, dessert, as a snack, or any other time that you’re craving that pumpkin spice:)

To whip these babies up, I just stirred everything together in a bowl, then formed the cookies on a baking sheet and baked them for 15-20 minutes. It doesn’t get much simpler than that! I topped mine with some pumpkin seeds, but you could use chocolate chips, raisins, or coconut, or even mix some of that stuff directly into the batter. Anyway you make em, these cookies are delicious and need to be on your TBB list! (To Be Baked). Hope you enjoy!

Pumpkin Oat Cookies

Serves: Makes about 12 Cookies

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • A handful of pumpkin seeds for topping, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together all of the cookie ingredients until combined.
  3. Scoop out about a tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball. It might be pretty sticky, but that’s ok. Place it on a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten into a cookie shape. Repeat until you have about 12 cookies.
  4. Press about 3 pumpkin seeds onto the top of each cookie and place the pan into the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown.

I’ll see you guys on Friday! Until then, enjoy these awesome cookies:))

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)))

Zucchini and Olive Pasta Bake

It’s SUMMA TIME and there’s an abundance of zucchini! Zucchini is delicious fried, roasted, in a fritter, and in salad, but today we’re using it in a Pasta Bake. Our guest star is the olive, which adds so much dang flavour into the sauce. If you’re not a fan of olives you can leave them out, but you don’t know what you’re missing. Don’t be a party pooper and just throw them in there!

We’re using my fave kitchen tool again- the amazing veggie peeler- to create little zucchini rolls for the bake.

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The pasta that I used was Go Go Quinoa brand macaroni, and it usually takes about 4 minutes on the stove top to cook. I baked it in the oven for 10 minutes, and it was just slightly past al dente. So if you’re using just regular wheat macaroni or small shells (you don’t want to go any bigger with your pasta selection) that normally take 7-9 minutes to cook in boiling water, I bake them for 10-15 minutes for an al dente texture. My recipe below doesn’t account for that, so just keep in mind what kind of pasta you’re using when baking this bake.

And that concludes my Ted Talk about how great this pasta bake is! DEFINITELY try it out and let me know what you think because it is now officially one of my favourite recipes. Here it is!

Zucchini and Olive Pasta Bake

Serves: 3-4

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 200 ml can of sliced black olives, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup Go Go Quinoa Macaroni **see note above if using a different pasta**
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the sliced onions and cook until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, then add the beans, olives, tomatoes, basil, oregano, balsamic vinegar, chilli flakes, and some salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and then turn the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.
  2. While the sauce is simmering, use the veggie peeler to create as many zucchini ribbons as you can. The centre part of the zucchini, where the seeds are, won’t make nice ribbons, so you can dice it up at toss it in the sauce, making sure it has at least 10 minutes to cook in there.
  3. Add the macaroni into a small glass loaf pan or baking dish. Roll up each zucchini ribbon into a little rosette and place evenly spaced out in the pasta, like this:
  4. Once the sauce is done simmering, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Add the 1/2 cup of water to the sauce and bring it to a hard simmer before removing it from the heat. Scoop enough of it into the baking dish so that the pasta and zucchini are fully covered, about 2-3 cups of sauce. You may have some sauce leftover that you can eat with the pasta after it’s baked or save for later.
  5. Cover the glass dish with foil (shiny side down) and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Hope you like this pasta dish! See you Wednesday;))

Yours Truly,

Olivia;)

Loaded Maple Balsamic Salad

How’s it going guys? It’s starting to feel like summer vacation because the weather is finally warming up! I’m starting to establish some rhythm and being more productive, so that’s a plus. These posts are keeping me busy and thinking!

Sooooo I heard that lots of people don’t like salads. What’s up with that? I don’t know what kind of salads that they’re eating, but in my world, salads have hot veggies, cold veggies, protein, mashed avocado, and SICK dressings. Making salads is actually so much fun because you can play around with flavour combos and pretty much add whatever you want. Today I’m sharing the recipe for this Loaded Maple Balsamic Salad. And before you ask, yes, it is VERY loaded. You’ve got sauteed peppers and golden brown butternut squash, corn, carrots, cucs, spinach, avo, hemp hearts, and an awesome maple balsamic dressing. Is it even physically possible not to like that combo? I think not. Go check out the recipe!

Loaded Maple Balsamic Salad

Serves: 1 very hungry person

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • A handful of baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Half a bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn (I used frozen)
  • 3/4 cup frozen butternut squash chunks (If you don’t have these you can use roasted squash or sweet potato, and skip the steps related to the frozen squash)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 of a large cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 a large carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 an avocado, mashed
  • A sprinkle of hemp hearts

For the Maple Balsamic Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium heat, and add in the peppers to saute.
  3. While the peppers are cooking, bring some water to boil in a small pot and add in the frozen butternut squash chunks. Cook them for about 2 minutes, then drain and add them to the pan with the peppers.
  4. Cook the squash and the peppers until they’re soft and have some browning going on on the outside, about 6 minutes. Then remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
  5. In a large bowl, arrange the spinach, peppers and squash, carrots, cucumber, and corn. Place the mashed avocado in the centre, and top with the hemp hearts and maple balsamic dressing.
  6. Enjoy!!

I hope this salad changes your mind about salads. It’s the salad to end all salad discrimination!

Yours Truly,

Olivia;))