I seem to remember when I was growing up that we always had 2-3 side dishes with each meal.  Which I find crazy!   I don’t remember the side dishes being elaborate, but we had them.  My mom cooked every night of the week and we always sat down as a family to eat. I cook almost every night of the week, but I cook 1 side dish at most for 2 reasons-1- I don’t have time to come up with or make 2 side dishes and a main course and 2- my kids won’t eat that many vegetables, ha!  So I generally spend time on my main course and then add a very simple side dish like steamed broccoli or steamed green green beans or roasted potatoes, simple. 

On occasion I will make a fun, yummy side like Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini and my kids love it and I love it and it fills me up on good veggies so I don’t stuff my face with Cheez-Its at 10:30 at night. 
This recipe for zucchini is easy and does not take much time so you can pull it off on a week night along with a main course.  If you want you can make this full meal by adding cooked crumbled sausage or ground turkey or ground beef and serve a side salad and dinner is done!  
Zucchini is a summer vegetable, but now days you can find it year round just look for the largest ones you can find to make it easier when you cut them in half.  And be gentle when you scoop out the middle so you do not break the “shell”. 
Send me your thoughts or questions and Enjoy!


Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini

Makes 6 servings

3 large zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise
2 Tablespoons olive oil
8oz. mushrooms, chopped (I like cremini, but any will do)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4-6 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese (shredded or grated)
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350°

Gently scoop out middle of each zucchini halves using a small melon baller or a spoon.  Be careful not to scoop through the outer skin. You want to create a "boat". 

Chop the scooped out zucchini filling.

Heat oil in medium sized skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms, onions and chopped zucchini pulp and saute until soft.  Add garlic and salt and pepper.  Cook for another minute or so-just until the garlic is fragrant.  Add half of Parmesan cheese to mushroom mixture and stir until melted.

Spoon the mushroom mixture into each zucchini half and top with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Place filled zucchini on a lined baking sheet or casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until the zucchini outer shell is cooked through.  I may take shorter or longer depending on the size of the zucchini.

Remove from oven and serve.

* If you want to add a ground meat to this dish to make it a full meal just brown the meat in the skillet before you cook the mushrooms.  Once the meat is browned remove from skillet to a plate lined with paper towels.  At this point follow the directions for the meatless version and add back the meat right before you add the Parmesan cheese to the mixture.