Quinoa-Stuffed Whole Zucchini with Cheese


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Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 319 per serving
Percent from Fat: 26%
Cusine: American
Course: Dinner
Diet: Mediterranean, Gluten Free
Food as MedicineSM Ingredient: Zucchini

Food as MedicineSM Tip

Zucchini are rich in vitamin C, and the antioxidant lutein, a carotenoid protective against eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. One cup of zucchini has just 35 calories, and contains 2.5 grams of dietary fiber.

Culinary Taste Tip

Technically, zucchini—as well as all summer squash—are fruits, not vegetables. Big zucchini are not always better. Choose smaller squash for better texture and flavor.

Culinary Technique Tip

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) was once called "the gold of the Incas," who recognized its ability to increase the stamina of their warriors. The grain is high in protein, including all eight essential amino acids.


1 cup quinoa (see tips)
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 cup frozen baby lima beans
2 large zucchini squash (about 1 and one-half pounds)
1 and one-half teaspoons garlic-infused olive oil
1 cup tomatillo salsa or salsa verde, such as Frontera or Arriba brands
1 teaspoon salt
One half cup (2 ounces) crumbled farmer cheese
3 tablespoons minced cilantro
One-quarter cup toasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds (optional)


Combine quinoa and broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer gently 10 minutes. Stir in lima beans; continue to simmer 5 to 6 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, cut zucchini lengthwise in half. Cut each squash in half lengthwise. Use paring knife to cut out squash pulp, leaving a ¼-inch shell. Chop flesh and set aside. Place hollowed zucchini halves in microwave-safe dish. Cover with vented plastic wrap and cook at high power 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, then chopped squash pulp; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add salsa; simmer 3 minutes or until squash is tender. Stir one-half cup of salsa mixture into quinoa mixture. Arrange cooked squash halves, cut side up on four serving plates; sprinkle with salt. Mound remaining salsa mixture into the squash halves. Spoon quinoa mixture onto and around squash; top with cheese and cilantro. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of pumpkin or sunflower seeds over each serving, if desired.


This is an easily adaptable recipe that works well with whatever you have in the kitchen. Vegetable broth may replace chicken broth, and flat-leaf parsley may replace cilantro. Shelled soy beans (edamame) may replace lima beans, and extra-virgin olive oil may replace garlic-infused olive oil.

Nutritional Analysis

Total fat (g) 9.2;Fat calories (kc) 49;Cholesterol (mg) 0.5;Saturated fat (g) 3.9;Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1.5;Monounsaturated fat (g) 2.2;Fiber (g) 9.0;Carbohydrates (g) 64;Sugar (g) 7.8;Protein (g) 13.0;Sodium (mg) 944;Calcium (mg) 118;Magnesium (mg) 188;Zinc (mg) 2.1;Selenium (mcg) 6;Potassium (mg) 1369;Flavonoids (mg) 0.9;Lycopene (mg) 16.8;Fish (oz) 0;Nuts (oz) 0;Vitamin A (RE) 90;Beta;carotene (RE) 454;Vitamin C (mg) 23;Vitamin E (mg) 0.4;Thiamin B1 (mg) .0.4;iboflavin B2 (mg) 0.3;Niacin B3 (mg) 4.8;itamin B6 (mg) 0.5;Folic acid (mcg) 62;Vitamin B12 (mcg) 0.1

Comments on Quinoa-Stuffed Whole Zucchini with Cheese

From: KathrynCha

Great for prevention but what about treatment for eye disease?

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