I don’t know about you guys, but I love stuffed vegetables, whether it’s zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers or tomatoes, I love them all.
Since I’ve become vegetarian, I’ve had to find alternatives to my favourite foods, such as lasagna, burgers….and now stuffed veggies!
So for New Year’s Eve I searched the internet for some inspiration and found a ton of recipes with almost any kind of bean. I only had pinto beans at hand and decided to give it a go.The result was a very delicate filling, with a salt-lacking problem, but that’s another story:D I wasn’t 100% convinced with the recipe, so decided I’d had to experiment some more.
This is the recipe I came up with today: the stuffing has a delicate taste, so if you wanted to recreate a stronger meat-y taste, I’d suggest using adzuki beans or lentils. Still I was able to get a “It’s good!” from my little sister, whose been my stronger critic ever since I turned vegetarian! satisfy little sister? Mission accomplished ;).
Vegan Stuffed Zucchini
1 flax egg ( 1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cups cooked pinto beans
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 black pepper
1 tbsp parsley ( I used dried parsley)
3 tbsp bread crumbs
* I had way to much stuffing for this amount of zucchini: you can use 7-8 zucchini instead, just be sure to adjust the seasonings, or you can use the remaining stuffing to make bean burgers.
Combine the water and flax and allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes.
Toast the sunflower seeds until golden-brown. Cut the zucchini in half and scoop the inside out: be sure to leave a thick enough wall. Keep the inside apart, and place the zucchini “boats” on an oiled baking pan or on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
Chop the onion and garlic cloves and sauté in the olive oil on medium low for a few minutes until translucent, the add the inside of the zucchini, put the flame on medium, cover and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the zucchini are nice and tender, mushy almost. Season with salt, pepper and parsley.
Mash the beans with a fork or potato masher, then add the sunflower seeds, flax egg, bread crumbs and sautéed zucchini and mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Fill the zucchini boats with the filling and sprinkle the top with some more bread crumbs.
Cook at 350 F for aprox. 30 minutes.
If you are a cheese lover, and aren’t a vegan, I’m sure some shredded cheese would be perfect in here, just be sure to choose one that doesn’t overpower the filling, so a delicate one should be ok.
On the side, oven roasted taters, seasoned with salt and pepper :).