I’m going to take a bit of a break from bread recipes today and tell you all about these Zucchini Boats filled with Spicy Lager Lentils! If you are a fan of spicy, Tex-mex cuisine, you need to add this recipe to your repertoire.
The Husband and I absolutely love zucchini. Can’t get enough of the stuff, which is a bit strange because neither of us liked it one little bit when we were kids. Now I want to eat it all the time. One of our absolute favorite sides are these Zucchini Spicy Grilled Corn & Cheese Pancakes:
And zucchini adds moisture as well as flavor to my favorite Banana Bread recipe:
So yeah, we are all about zucchini here. Stuffing a few of them with some spiced up lager lentils seemed like a great idea. And boy was it ever! I first told you about these lentils when we made tacos with them. Absolutely delish!
Now we’ve got those same spicy lentils wrapped with zucchini, rather than a tortilla. This is great news if you are trying to cut back on carbs. And you still get to top these Zucchini Boats with all the same fun toppings you would put on a taco.
Another win is that these little boats are perfect for a Meatless Monday! I swear you won’t miss that meat at all.
Later this summer, when you are absolutely swimming in zucchini, you will be so happy that I shared this idea with you. And the recipe is easily customizable, so if you are a hardcore carnivore – go ahead and add some meat. Turns out there really aren’t any rules. So have fun creating your own version of these Zucchini Boats today! (but I gotta say…these Spicy Lager Lentils are pretty amazing…)
Zucchini Boats filled with Spicy Lager Lentils
recipe inspired by: The Mountain Kitchen’s Meatless Mexican Zucchini Boats
- 1 cup lentils, cooked (you will end up with about 2 cups of lentils when cooked)
- 1 white onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 oz. chopped green chilis
- 1/2 cup salsa (your favourite – We love Green Mountain Gringo Salsa)
- 6 oz.- 8 oz. lager beer (I used Estrella Damm, Dos Equis would be great too )
For the spice mixture:
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon Spanish Smoked paprika
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
For the Zucchini Boats:
- 4 medium zucchini – halved and with a channel scooped out for the spicy lentils
- Shredded Mexican Cheese
- Toppings: sour cream, Cotija Cheese, salsa, fresh jalapeños, fresh cilantro
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and tin of green chilis, cook for another minute or two. Add the spice mixture and cook, stirring frequently. You don’t want to burn the spices just crank up the flavor by cooking them.
Add the lentils, salsa and 6 ounces of the beer and stir to combine. Let cook for 2-3 minutes. Using a potato masher or fork, gently mash the lentils until the mixture reaches the consistency you are happy with. Cook another few minutes until hot. If the lentils start to dry out, add another glug or two of the lager. ( If you haven’t slurped it down…cooking is hard & thirsty work!)
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a small spoon to dredge out a channel for the spicy lentils to sit in. Don’t remove too much of the zucchini. Take care to leave at least 1/4″ flesh in the zucchini. Just remove the center seeds and discard.
Place the zucchini on the prepared baking sheet.
Fill the prepared zucchini boats with the spicy lentils. Sprinkle shredded Mexican style spicy cheese over the tops.
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until the zucchini are fork tender.
Remove from oven. Add any additional toppers you would like.
Zucchini Boats filled with Spicy Lager Lentils brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)