Stuffed 8-ball Squash

So, we came across some round zucchini (aka 8-ball squash) at the farmer’s market recently. What to do with them? Stuff them, of course. And they were tasty!
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Stuffed 8-ball squash
Adapted from a recipe created by Kalyn
Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 8-ball squash, halved (or can use large zucchini or yellow squash – slice in thick slices and scoop), scooped flesh reserved
4 tsp olive oil, divided
1 medium finely chopped onion
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 T finely minced fresh garlic
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 tsp. Spike seasoning (or other season-all-type seasoning)
1 cup fat-free tomato-basil sauce
1 cup fat-free mozzarella

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Slice stems off 8-ball squash, then slice in half from the stem end. Use a sharp spoon or melon baller to hollow out each half, leaving just over 1/4 inch of flesh. Be careful not to get too close to the skin or the cups will leak liquid when they cook. Reserve squash flesh.
Chop squash flesh, onion and red pepper. Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a non-stick pan, then saute onion, squash, garlic, and pepper for 3-4 minutes, until just starting to soften. Continue cooking until almost all liquid has cooked off. Remove the vegetable mixture to a bowl.

Add 2 tsp. more olive oil to the pan. Crumble in the ground beef, season with Spike seasoning, and cook over medium heat until the meat is well browned. Add tomato sauce and simmer until the mixture has thickened and liquid has cooked off, about 10 minutes, then turn off heat.

Add meat into vegetable mixture. While the mixture cools, spray baking dish with nonstick spray and place squash cups, open end up. Stir 1/2 cup grated cheese into the cooled meat mixture (it doesn’t need to be completely cool), then spoon the meat-cheese mixture into squash cups, pressing down with the spoon and mounding it up a little over the top of the squash.

Bake squash cups for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and use remaining cheese to top each one with a generous pinch of cheese. Put back in oven and bake 10-15 minutes more, until squash are slightly soft when pierced with a fork and cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Nutrtional information (serving = 2 halves, 4 servings per recipe):
Calories: 339.9
Total Fat: 12.0 g
Cholesterol: 70.0 mg
Sodium: 750.1 mg
Total Carbs: 18.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.8 g
Protein: 36.2 g

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