When you're attempting to cook healthfully and inexpensively in the summer, odds are zucchini will make frequent appearances. Plentiful, subtly flavored, and more versatile than Meryl Streep, the summer squash can be altered dozens of different ways for dang near any dish. Curried soup and ratatouille are among my favorites, but I'll also take it in pastas, casseroles, breads, or grilled on its own.
Recently though, I've found zucchini--especially grilled--goes particularly well with quinoa. Together, they create a solid, sophisticated base for other stronger flavors. Last week's Healthy and Delicious recipe was an example of this, mixing the ingredients with lime, cilantro, and avocado for a delicate grain salad. This week, we used cannellini beans, tomatoes, toasted almonds, and Parmesan to make a heartier main course.
The dish is called Grilled Zucchini with Quinoa Stuffing, and it's a lighter adaptation of a Real Simple recipe. To reduce the fat, I lost some of the Parmesan, cut the almonds significantly, and toasted the ones that were left to boost their flavor. (Changes reflected below.) Honestly, I could have taken things a step further by halving the olive oil or adding fresh herbs, but this worked nicely.
Crunchy, cheesy, and savory, the result is an unexpectedly filling vegetarian meal. For kicks, you can pair it with Lemon Basil Pasta Salad for a full, easy summer dinner. Or dinners. Because let's face it: there's plenty of zucchini to go around.
- 1 huge zucchini
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped grape tomatoes
- 16 almonds, chopped and toasted
- 1/2 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons Parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and most of the flesh, leaving about 1/4-inch of the zucchini husk.
Combine quinoa, beans, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, Parmesan, oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon mixture into zucchini. Sprinkle with parm. Grill 5 to 10 minutes over medium-high heat, or until zucchini is cooked through, but not falling apart.