Monday, June 15, 2009

Italian Stuffed Summer Vegetables

Start a big Italian meal with a platter of these beautiful stuffed vegetables and let people choose which shell they prefer!

Cut one red bell pepper in half lengthwise, and discard the stems, seeds, and membranes. Cut 2 yellow squash (about 1 pound total), and 1 zucchini (about 1/2 pound) in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the flesh, leaving the shell intact - a spoon works fine, but do be careful; I cracked the end off one yellow squash shell. Coarsely chop the flesh and set aside.

Place the bell pepper halves and squash/zucchini shells in a 13x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat the tops of the vegetables with cooking spray.

Place 3 ounces of Italian bread in a food processor, and pulse until you have crumbs equaling about 1 and 1/2 cups. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the squash pulp and 2 minced garlic cloves; cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1 and 1/2 cups chopped and peeled plum tomato, and cook an additional 2 minutes.

Note: I figured I could peel plum tomatoes just as I do regular ones - cutting an "x" on the bottom, placing in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute, then plunging in ice water, after which the skin just slips off. This did not, however, work as easily with plum tomatoes, with the skins only sliding about half way off - I assume because they are so elongated. If I were to do it again, I would slit an "x" on each end of the plum tomato.

Back to the recipe... remove the skillet from heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese in place of Parmesan (I used the vegan mozzarella from Galaxy Foods), 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 1/2 tsp. black pepper and 1/4 tsp. salt.

Divide the stuffing evenly among all your vegetable halves. Sprinkle evenly with an additional 1/4 cup of vegan cheese. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven while you increase the heat to "broil", and discard the aluminum foil. Broil for 4 minutes until just lightly browned.

1 stuffed vegetable half is 80 calories.

red bell pepper $1.50
yellow squash $2.37
zucchini $1.22
Italian bread $1.25
plum tomato $1.47
vegan cheese $3.39
parsley $1.69

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance