Zucchini time is starting in the garden! Most zucchinis are still small and plenty of flowers are still to come but I came back from my Birthday weekend with 2 big ones. And one of them was clearly begging to be stuffed!
Now, most of the early zucchinis we eat have tender skin which doesn’t need to be removed so we just toss them in a pan, diced of course, but with the skin. Add some herbs, garlic, coriander and your favorite tofu or any other vegan protein and voilà! An easy and quick meal!
But with this last zucchini I got, I couldn’t not stuff it!
The small issue I had was that I had not gone to the supermarket since we got back. My supplies was therefore limited and I had to do with what I had, which turned out to be fine, more than fine!
Without further ado…
Simple stuffed vegan zucchini recipe
Precook the zucchini!
When you get your hands on homegrown zucchinis of this size, it is best to precook it, before stuffing it.
Cut in half, remove the seeds, put in the oven with the skin side up and bake until tender.
Meanwhile prepare the stuffing
While your zucchini is baking, prepare the stuffing.
Peel some onions, garlic, toss in a pan with some olive oil and chickpeas of course!
Add herbs, cumin and a dash of your favorite spices. I added some cranberries and a little later, once the onions were almost done, some scrambled tofu and some squash sauce. Tomatoes sauce work just as great.
My stuffing wasn’t thick enough at that point and I didn’t have time to let it simmer longer. And so I mashed some of the potatoes I had cooked and added to the stuffing. Just a little and then it was perfect!
Put together & finish baking
I added the stuffing to the middle hole of the zucchini and topped half with vegan cheese and half with hazelnut powder. To see what is best! My very official conclusion is that hazelnuts just make everything better!!
I put only half of the stuffed zucchini back in the oven, because of the size of my dish and the size of the zucchini. I let it cook some more, not sure how long, but it was just perfect when my partner got home.
Yes, this was another very precise recipe for the intuitive cooks out there! 😉
The above stuffing was very simple and quick to prepare. Again, I was limited by what I had, because I didn’t have a chance to go to the supermarket since I got back.
If I had a full fridge on that day, I might have used different ingredients.
So here are a few alternative ideas, if you are not so inspired next time you want to stuff a zucchini!
Indeed, chickpeas work great with zucchinis but you can always use something else. Diced tomatoes, some corn, carrots, maybe even peppers. I don’t think I would have used mushrooms or fennel, but hey, why not try!
I did ponder on using lentils but didn’t have time to cook them.
Scrambled tofu worked great here, but I also often use lupin as a protein source.
Plenty of dried herbs, Mediterranean style, were added because some of my fresh herbs, including my cilantro, died while I was away 😦 If you have fresh herbs, of course you should use these.
My zucchini was served on a bed of boiled potatoes with the rest of stuffing. But I often serve zucchinis with rice, obviously!
Overall, maybe I should confirm that the goal of the stuffing is to be slightly thick but not dry.
So another stuffing alternative might be to do a sort of thick creamy sauce, using maybe coconut cream and parmesan (vegan of course!) with or without tomatoes. It will not hold as well but could be just as good!
Psss, add a little bit of nutritional yeast and top of up with hazelnut powder (yes, again!) and tell me how it went later!
I would definitively use that on a zucchini with a big inside hole.
Anyway, I hope you get your hands on superb zucchinis this summer and improvise fabulous dishes with them!
For me, it’s on to the next one!!