Mediterranean Zucchini Boats

As the first day of Spring approached, all I could think was “summer is almost here”. And with that thought, I reflected on the beautiful flowers, the greenery, the water and the bounty of fruits and vegetables that come in the summer.

I began to create a salad recipe and thought it needed a little something more.. a vessel, a boat of sorts, to hold it together.

Squash are a beautiful versatile vegetable that serve as a great vessel for your favorite salads, chili and almost anything else! I chose green zucchini for this recipe.

I wanted to keep the flavors light and fresh. Feel free to get creative and swap or sub ingredients for those you like more!

I used quinoa, but lentils, faro, rice, and couscous would all work great! This is also a great way to use some left over grains!

 

Here is my recipe:

 
Mediterranean Zucchini Boats
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Mediterranean Zucchini Boats Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 20 mins Total time: 35 mins Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups cooked quinoa
  • 3 medium sized green zucchini
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curly parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons feta, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons dried apricots, sliced
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons shallots finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut ends and tops off zucchini. Scoop out the seeds.
  3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Arrange zucchini on baking sheet. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  5. Make vinaigrette by whisking together olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
  6. Assemble the filling by mixing quinoa, olives, apricots, tomatoes, almonds, mint, parsley and feta cheese. Toss in vinaigrette.
  7. Allow zucchini to cool and then scoop in quinoa salad mix. Top with more feta if desired.
  8. Enjoy 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

salt

Dressing

feta sprinkles

 

 

 

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Raspberry Nutella Meringue Cookies!

Nutella.

Raspberries.

Meringue.

Ingredients

Need I say more?

There are countless ways to incorporate Nutella into your desserts. For this recipe, I used the delicious hazelnut cocoa spread into a filling for a delicate, beautiful raspberry meringues.

I know what you are thinking..  Making meringues is time consuming. And you are right. But most of the time is inactive. Once they are in the oven, you can go about your day, organizing your cookbooks, emailing friends and reading my blog 😀 These light crisp cookies are worth the time it takes to make them.

I used my favorite Wilton tip, 1M to pipe my meringue into beautiful rosettes. You can also pipe them in a traditional star, but they will not sandwich as nicely. Also, if you do not have a pipping bag or piping tip, simply fill your batter into a sandwich bag and snip off the tip with some shears. Easy peasey.

Here is my recipe:

 

Ingredients:

4 egg whites, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

pinch of salt

drop of pink food coloring

3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract- I use:

Filling:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons milk

2 cups powdered sugar

3/4 cup Nutella

Pinch of salt

Nutella filling

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In your stand mixer with a whisk attachment, add in your egg whites and cream of tartar. Whip until stiff glossy peaks form. Add in salt and sugar one spoonful at a time. Add in pink food coloring.

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3. Place raspberry jam in a large bowl. Add in half the meringue mixture and fold carefully into the jam. Add remaining meringue and fold.

Ingredients

4. Spoon mixture into pipping bag with Wilton 1M tip on end. Pipe rosettes onto parchment lined baking sheet.

Ingredients

5. Bake at 190 degrees for 90 minutes, or until meringues come off parchment with ease. *Bake time may vary based on humidity.

6. While the meringues are baking, make your filling. Cream butter, Nutella, salt and vanilla extract in stand mixer with paddle attachment until smooth. Add in powdered sugar and bledn until smooth.

Ingredients

7. Pipe Nutella filling between two meringues!

8. Enjoy 🙂

 

meringues

Meringues

 

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