We’ve enjoyed them every which way we can, and still they grow with glee. This recipe is just for fun.
Ever since my own children were little, we made zucchini boats at this time of year. They enjoyed making them as much as eating them, and we’d stuff all kinds of extras in the little boats from corn to spinach, and often sauteed sausage or bacon as well. Whatever the filling, they were always topped with lots of cheese just to keep things kid friendly.
Let’s add pizza flavor
For my husband’s heart and my own cholesterol levels, I needed to cut the saturated fat in this seasonal favorite, and thought a mash-up with pizza flavors would be fun, using the zucchini as a low-carb “crust.”
For the sauce, I used a bit of left-over marinara, but you can use a favorite pizza sauce, or even just tomato sauce.
To keep dairy-free people happy, I used Miyoko’s (nope, don’t get paid for mentioning them) mozzarella. It has a mild flavor, melts nicely, and gives all the visual one wants when expecting anything labeled pizza.
Perfect for a gathering, this dish is vegan, dairy- and gluten-free, low-carb and low saturated fat. It does have nuts (cashews) in the mozzarella I used, but you can sub out another vegan cheese.
What’s your favorite pizza topping?
I love mushrooms and black olives on a pizza. I included the mushrooms in the stuffing, but sprinkled the top with the olives so the first taste that hit the mouth was that salty nugget. You can add whatever pizza toppings you like, and if your family is anything like mine, everyone likes something different, so have fun with this. Another day, I might have used artichoke hearts, or even corn and spinach.
Is this pizza? Of course not! But it is a light, tasty dish that is fun to make and create.
What’s your favorite pizza topping?
Zucchini Pizza Boats
- 2 Zucchini, about eight inches
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 5 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 poblano pepper, minced
- 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, fine mince
- Leaves from a few sprigs of oregano, minced
- ½ tsp. ground fennel seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup tomato, marinara, or pizza sauce
- 4 oz. vegan or dairy mozzarella
- 10 or so black or green olives
- 1 tbsp. grated vegan or dairy Parmesan
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise and place on the sheet. Brush with a bit of olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, or just until they start to soften.
While the zucchini is baking, saute the mushrooms and onions in the olive oil over medium high until they are softened and starting to brown. Add the pepper and garlic, along with the spices, and cook for another two or three minutes. Set aside.
Using a melon baller or grapefruit spoon, scoop out the flesh of the zucchini being careful not to pierce the bottom, and leaving a little edge. Toss the flesh into the onion mixture along with a couple of tablespoons of the tomato sauce.
Smear about a tablespoon of tomato sauce in each zucchini half. Mound with the filling, sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan, and dot with the olives.
Place back in the oven for 20 minutes or so, until the cheese is brown and the boats bubbling. Sprinkle with a bit of minced fresh oregano or basil if you have it on hand.
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