Need a way to increase your intake of vegetables ... fiber ... nutrition? Try stuffing it ... vegetables, that is! Nature has provided us with the most amazing bowls!
Rather than eating a baked potato dripping with butter, sour cream, salt and pepper, try ...
Twice Baked Potatoes
Scrub two large Idaho potatoes. Pop them into a 425 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour. They’ll be done when the potato ‘gives’ a little when you give it a squeeze. When cool enough to handle - I never wait long enough - cut it in half the long way and scoop out the potato into a large bowl leaving about a quarter inch inside the skin. Smash the potato gently. Add a bit of plain yogurt, a little butter and a little salt and pepper. While the potato is still quite warm, add:
Serves 4 people or 2 if you use the twice baked potatoes as a main dish ... which I often do!
There are endless variations to these potatoes ... what’s your favorite?
Cut a thin slice of the top of the zucchinis and scoop out the inside of the squash leaving the shell. Diced scooped out zucchini and place in a large bowl.
Drizzle the insides of the squash with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes. While the squash shells are in the oven, start browning your ground meat, when the meat is almost brown, add the onions, eggplant, and diced excess zucchini, and cook until the eggplant is soft.
Add the remaining ingredients and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Pull the shells out of the oven and stuff them all as full as possible with the meat (or meatless) mixture. Put the stuffed zucchinis back into the oven and bake for another 30-40 minutes. You may need less time for smaller zucchinis.
Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan, add the couscous, cover the pan and remove it from the heat.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut the stems and top half inch off the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds and membranes. Boil trimmed peppers for 5 minutes, then drain them upside down (Note: I usually skip this step as I like my peppers a bit crunchy.)
Heat oil in a nonstick skillet. Add onion, zucchini, yellow squash, fennel seeds, oregano, and salt.
Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes and chickpeas.
Using a fork, scrape the couscous into the skillet and toss with the vegetables. Stir in the crumbled feta. Place peppers upright in the baking dish and fill them with couscous. Bake 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
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Trim the stems from the eggplant, and cut them in half lengthwise. Cut the pulp from the center of each half, leaving about a half-inch shell.
If your eggplants are large, soak them in a quart of water with an added tablespoon of salt for 10 minutes to remove any bitter flavor.
Remove the eggplants from the brine and rinse off the salt then pat them dry.
Cube the pulp into a medium dice. Place a large saute pan over moderate heat, then add the oil.
Once the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic, zucchini, pepper, and cubed eggplant. Cook, stirring until very tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, olives and seasonings and heat through.
Lightly spray the cut edges of the eggplant with nonstick cooking spray, then spoon a quarter of the mixture into each shell. Top each eggplant with a quarter of the cheeses. Place in a baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.
You can add other vegetables like mushrooms, hot peppers, shredded carrots if you've got them.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the eggplant is hot and the cheese is bubbly.
Stuff your favorite salad into a fresh tomato! Cut the top off a tomato, scoop out the pulp (you can save it for chili or spaghetti sauce) and fill with your favorite chicken salad ... or tuna salad ... or salmon salad ... or pasta salad! The variations are endless!
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