Bulgur Stuffed Zucchini

Cracked wheat, aka Bulgur, makes for a light, nutritious stuffing in this summer-inspired dish.  You can use this wholegrain, fat-free stuffing recipe for other vegetables like bell peppers, Chinese eggplant, and yellow summer squash.  Packed with healthy fiber and protein, this vegan side leaves you satisfied.

MEDIUM          Servings: 4       Ready In: 60 minutes

Bulgur Stuffed Zucchini - Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Whole Grain, Vegan

Bulgur Stuffed Zucchini - Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Whole Grain, Vegan

Ingredients

8 small zucchini
1/4 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
1/2 cup hot water
1 small onion, diced
1/4 tsp. red chili flake
1/2 tsp. anise seed
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. minced garlic
3 Roma plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tbsp. fresh basil
2 tbsp. capers
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper


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Bulgur Stuffed Zucchini

Procedure:

Gather ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 F 

To soak Bulgur: Combine bulgur and hot water and let soak for at least 10 minutes. 

To prepare the zucchini: Trim off the stalk at the tip of the zucchini. 
Cut the top 1/4-inch off the zucchini, lengthwise. Save the zucchini tops for later in the recipe. 
Use a spoon to scrape out the insides of the zucchini boats into a bowl. Leave about 1/4-inch around the edge. 
Place scooped out zucchini boats into a pan big enough to hold, about 9x13 inches. 

To make the Stuffing: Peel and dice the onion. 
In a medium saute pan, combine the onion, red chile flake, anise seed, and dried thyme. 
Cover and cook over medium heat, just until brown, 5-7 minutes. 
Meanwhile, dice the reserved zucchini "tops" and the scraped out insides. 
When the onion has started to turn golden on the edges, it is ready. You should smell the anise, red chile, and thyme. 
Add the zucchini, stir, and cook another 3-5 minutes, until soft. 
Once the zucchini has softened, add the bulgur and soaking liquid. Also add the minced garlic.
Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook until the liquid evaporates, just 3-5 minutes. 
Prepare the remaining ingredients: Seed and dice the tomatoes. 
Roughly chop the capers and basil. 
When bulgur mixture is done cooking, remove from the heat and combine with diced tomatoes, capers, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. 

To stuff and bake the zucchini: Fill each of the zucchini boats with the bulgur mixture. 
Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes. 
Zucchini are ready when you can easily slide a knife in and out. 

Serve warm or at room temperature.


Chef's Tips: Bulgur is a whole grain that doesn't require any cooking.  However, if you're avoiding gluten, you can substitute with canned chickpeas, frozen peas, or cooked brown rice.

Yield: 8 zucchini


Step-by-Step Photos:

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (2 zucchini).

Calories 90.94
Calories From Fat (10%) 9.16
% Daily Value
Total Fat 1.08g 2%
Saturated Fat 0.25g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 289.15mg 12%
Potassium 805.88mg 23%
Total Carbohydrates 18.57g 6%
Fiber 5.09g 20%
Sugar 7.94g
Protein 4.85g 10%
Calcium 51.24mg 5%
Iron 59.97mg 333%
Vitamin A 912.22IU 18%
Vitamin C 1196.46mg 1994


Zucchini come in both yellow and green. The yellow ones might look like squash, but learn why they are different. Plant-based Chef Katie Simmons shares her healthy cooking ideas, plus a link to a vegan, oil-free Charred Zucchini Quinoa Salad. More at: www.plants-rule.com