*Please note that the inner flesh of zucchini is watery, so regardless of what you decide to add to it, one of the ingredients needs to be something that acts as a binder. It could be mashed potatoes (as in this recipe), or cooked rice, polenta, bread crumbs, mashed chickpeas or beans, quinoa, lentils, cooked and chopped meat… you get the idea.
· 2 medium zucchini, cut in half vertically
· 2 cups of mashed potatoes
· Handfull of fresh spinach
· Handfull of fresh collard greens, kale or another dark leafy green
· 1/2 cup of diced sweet onion
· 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
· 3 tablespoons coconut oil
· 1/4 cup shredded cheddar (or any other cheese you like ..brie cheese is also a great one)
· 4 tablespoons of panko (Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb traditionally used as a coating for deep-fried foods such as tonkatsu. The biggest difference between panko and standard breadcrumbs is that panko is made from bread without crusts)
· 8 grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half vertically
· Salt and pepper to taste
· Roast zucchini: Cut in half vertically and roast (cut side down) at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, or until the inner flesh is soft but the outer skin holds it shape
· Make mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese mixed in
· Scoop out the flesh of zucchini and puree it: A few seconds in a food processor or mixer then add mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese for another quick mix.
· Place a medium 11” saute pan over medium heat. Add oil and heat until hot but not smoking.
· Add the onions and cook until softened (about 3 minutes).
· Add garlic, cook for a few moments, just until it begins to color and add the spinach and kale.
· Cook for about two minutes or just until it wilts. Add a splash of water if needed. Season with salt and pepper.
· Add the puree from the zucchini and the potato, season and stir.
· Fill each of the 4 zucchini boats, top each with 4 half tomatoes, sprinkle with panko and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or just until the panko browns to a golden color.
· Serve whole or in segments as an appetizer, side dish, or entree.