A neighbor left two garden-fresh zucchini on our fence rail this morning. Around dinner time I thought it would be great to use the fresh zucchini and began looking for a fun and different way to utilize this end-of-the-summer staple. I decided to hollow out the zucchini so that just the shells were left. Then I filled each shell with onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and chickpeas. I topped this with pepper jack cheese and to make it crunchy, added a sprinkle of Grape-nuts cereal.
If you enjoy a gluten-free diet, substitute crushed Lay’s Original Potato Chips (which meet the FDA certification of gluten-free) for the Grape-nuts. If you aren’t into potato chips be sure to use something else that is crunchy for the topping. It makes all the difference in the world.
Ingredients: 2 large zucchini (halved lengthwise)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1½ cups red onion (chopped)
1 cup yellow bell pepper (chopped)
1 cup cooked chickpeas
4 large plum tomatoes (seeded and cut into ½-inch chunks)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 cup Pepper Jack cheese (shredded)
Salt to taste
½ cup Greek yogurt
½ teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons Grape–nuts cereal (crunchy topping)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Scoop out seeds and flesh from zucchini to create 1/4-inch-thick shell. It is important to get the shells as thin as possible so that they cook thoroughly. Toss out the seeds; retain and chop flesh. Set flesh aside. Place zucchini shells on baking sheet and set them aside.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, chickpeas, tomatoes, thyme, and chopped zucchini. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Salt to taste and remove from heat. Set aside.
Stir together cheese, yogurt, and paprika in small bowl. Sprinkle ¼ of this mixture over each zucchini. Return zucchini to oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is just melted.
To serve, sprinkle with Grape-nuts for crunchiness.