As my kids are getting older, they are getting more and more insistent that I teach them how to cook. For most moms, this is super exciting and a ton of fun. Don’t get me wrong…I love being with my kids and I most definitely want to teach them ALL how to cook for themselves.
But…I was raised by my mother, who does not like to have other people in her kitchen. She’s a genius in the kitchen, she knows how it needs to be done to be perfect, and it drives her crazy if we don’t get it done right. I am exactly the same way! I go a little stir-crazy when the kids are in the kitchen with me, while Brett is pretty laid-back and easy-going about it.
But I’m working on it! We were trying out a new recipe recently from one of my favorite recipe books, and as I was thinking about it I realized it was the perfect recipe to get the kids involved and not feel like it was all out of control.
We made these awesome little “zucchini boats” based on the recipe for “Stuffed Zucchini” in the first Our Best Bites recipe book. Seriously…LOVE their recipes! If you’ve never heard of them, hit up their website…STAT! Of course, I very rarely follow a recipe to a “T,” preferring to tweak and twist recipes to make them my own. This particular recipe is SO versatile to any of your family’s preferences, so give it a try and get creative! You should also know that I very rarely measure when I’m cooking, so this isn’t so much a recipe (you can get that from the book) as a general guideline/explanation of the process.
Check out our little “trailer” video showing some of the steps to creating these fun little finger foods! These were our entire meal (we added some home-canned peaches and pears on the side) or slice them into large chunks and serve them as an appetizer!
For the filling, we used elk sausage because we have a freezer full of it, and because it’s pretty dang healthy stuff! You could use turkey sausage, pork sausage, or ground beef…whatever strikes your fancy! We went for an Italian flavored theme. Our filling included the sausage, chopped zucchini flesh, tomatoes, red onion, garlic, basil, and Parmesan cheese. You could also do a Mexican filling (ground beef or shredded chicken, tomatoes, green chilies, black beans, Cotija cheese, etc), Asian filling (shredded chicken, garlic, ginger, broccoli, almonds, etc), or whatever flavors you want!
Super simple steps:
1) Slice zukes in half lengthwise without cutting off blossom ends.
2) Scoop out seeds (great job for kids!)
3) Scoop more of the flesh out to make a bigger “boat” and save the extras to chop up into your filling.
4) Rub both sides with EVOO or coconut oil (great job for the kids!)
5) Grill cut sides down for about 5 minutes.
6) Carefully fill boats with your filling, then top with your cheese of choice and some bread crumbs (another great spot for the kids to help).
7) Grill another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.