Portion control, taste, and nutritional benefits characterize this fresh recipe. Distinctive Italian ingredients such as Italian parsley and Pecorino Romano cheese accent the mild flavors of turkey and zucchini.
Unlike the parsley commonly used as a garnish on many dishes, the lesser know Italian variety is sweeter and contains more of the essential oils that give parsley its zest. In addition, its flatter leaves make it easier to chop.
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese with its salty, fruity-like tang adds to the aroma and flavor. Pecorino is the name given to all Italian cheeses made from sheep’s milk. The addition of Romano to the name simply means it’s made in the Rome area—Pecorino Sardo comes from Sardinia, Siciliano from Sicily…
The egg, bread crumbs and dark turkey meat ensure the right consistency and moisture of the dish. This is topped off with robust Italian marinara sauce made with tomatoes, onions, and herbs. Marinara originated in Naples in the 16th century after the Spanish introduced the tomato to their neighboring countries.
The popularity of the tomato today is based not only on great taste, but also for its nutritional benefits, too. Research has shown that antioxidants such as lycopene in the tomatoes may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and, of course, they’re a great source of vitamin C.
Enjoy this great recipe with its classic, yet unique, flavor of the Mediterranean. It’s easy to make and serve and sure to appeal to your taste buds.
Zucchini Boats Stuffed with Turkey
– Makes 4 servings
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Spray 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish. In large mixing bowl, mix onion, parsley, Italian seasoning, egg, 2 tbsp. cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and 2 tbsp. marinara and combine well. Mix in turkey and bread crumbs. Cover and refrigerate the mixture.
Use a spoon and scrape out seeds and inner pulp from zucchini, leaving about ¼ inch, being careful not to puncture skin. Fill zucchini halves with turkey mixture, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Place stuffed zucchinis in baking dish, being careful not to overlap. Drizzle ½ cup marina sauce over stuffed zucchini. Top with remaining cheese.
Bake uncovered until zucchini is tender and a thermometer in meat mixture reads 165 degrees F, about 45 minutes. Transfer zucchinis to platter and serve with remaining marinara sauce on the side.
Per serving: 210 calories, 9 g total fat (3 g saturated fat), 16 g carbohydrate, 18 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 440 mg sodium.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) www.aicr.org.