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Just when you think it is safe to rifle through your vegetable garden, another massive zucchini makes its appearance. This prolific squash takes no prisoners. It is the bully of the vegetable garden, growing atop any delicate tomato or herb plant that dares to grow in its path. I am waging war and, after a successful stuffing in this recipe, I pronounce the score as Dara -1, garden bully – 0.
In a medium saucepan, combine brown rice, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until all the water is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Fluff the rice and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. If using 1 large zucchini, cut each piece in half crosswise. Using a small spoon, scoop out and reserve the zucchini flesh, leaving 1/2-inch of the zucchini ‘shell’ on all sides.
Finely chop the zucchini flesh and place in a medium bowl. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let stand 15 minutes to release moisture. Spoon the zucchini flesh into a double layer of paper towel and squeeze to release the liquid.
Sprinkle the zucchini shells with a pinch of salt each. Let stand for 15 minutes to release the moisture. Using a paper towel, blot out the moisture.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the zucchini flesh and red chile flakes and cook, stirring, until the zucchini just begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup cooked brown rice, mint, basil, feta cheese, and kalamata olives. Divide the rice mixture evenly amongst the zucchini shells.
Spread tomato sauce evenly over the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch glass baking dish. Arrange the stuffed zucchini over the tomato sauce. Brush the cut portions of each zucchini shell with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon olive oil evenly over the filling of each zucchini. Bake until the zucchini shells are just tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Plate the stuffed zucchini and evenly scoop the tomato sauce across the four portions. Garnish with basil.
While my hubby used frozen fries (which also work great), this recipe starts from scratch, because I have plenty of potatoes in the bin. The fries come out crisp without being fried while the seasoning adds a nice flavor with a little kick of spice. This recipe will please husbands, wives, kids … even in-laws!
Cassava, also known as yuca, was one of my discoveries when visiting the Mexican vendors at my local flea market. Although the root vegetable is not indigenous to Mexico I seasoned this dish with some popular Mexican seasonings, then roasted it and enjoyed it (along with a couple of cold Dos Equis)!
Grilled fresh corn on the cob.
The big debate? Cook with husks on or husks off? I say husks off! Cook on the grill, this way the sweet corn kernels get a smoky-grilled flavor. There’s no need to blanch it first. Use a stove top grill or outside grill–just peel, remove silk and place right on the grill. Simple as that! Then top it with a homemade chili lime mayo and fresh cilantro.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!