Summer has been good to me so far: full of lazy days, blueberry picking, sunsets on the beach, homemade ice cream and spending a week camping and hiking in France with a really great group of friends (life lesson: you can never have enough bug spray!)
After that week of trail mix and freeze dried food – surprisingly good – cooked over our tiny camping stove, all I wanted when I got back home other than all the sleep I could possibly get was a massive salad… well, that and a bar of dark chocolate! So I might’ve gone slightly crazy at the farmers’ market the next day and ended up with more veggies than I knew what to do with…
Solution? Chop them all up, sauté everything together, add in some pasta sauce, fresh herbs, season well, then spoon it into scooped-out zucchini and shove it in the oven for half an hour!
The OXO Good Grips chopper was a complete lifesaver here – it’s pretty small so perfect for if you don’t have a lot of kitchen space (hello, college/uni dorms!), dishwasher safe, super easy to use and best of all, it chops onions and garlic cloves evenly + quickly.
I’m one of those people who totally resembles the crying-face emoji anytime I get near an onion, and with this tool? Two onions chopped, not a single tear and way less washing up… success! I’ve also been using it in the morning to chop up nuts/fruit to have with coconut yogurt and I’m loving it so far – it hasn’t left my countertop since I got it!
This dish is incredibly easy but full of veggies and full of flavour – you can add in some chicken sausage to the filling as well if you want, but it’s up to you. If you’re okay with dairy, sprinkle a little cheese on top in the last few minutes in the oven, or for a dairy-free alternative, try a bit of nutritional yeast.
If you don’t have any zucchini/courgettes lying around, this mixture would be great spooned into peppers or mushrooms instead. Serve with spicy sweet potato wedges and homemade ice cream for dessert – I’m currently obsessed with the salted caramel coconut milk ice cream in the book but these chocolate popsicles from the blog archives come a close second!
Special thanks to OXO Good Grips for working with me on this post! If I didn’t love their products, I wouldn’t share them with you. Thank you for supporting the brands who help keep the lights on around here!
- a splash of olive oil
- 2 large onions, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 red bell peppers, deseeded and diced
- 12 ounces (about 350g) mushrooms, stems removed and diced
- OPTIONAL: 2 chicken sausages, casing removed
- 1 1/2 cups (400ml) ready-made pasta sauce (look for one with no sugar/preservatives - the one I like just has tomatoes, olive oil, salt and oregano! You can also use homemade if you prefer.)
- a small handful of fresh basil, chopped
- 3/4 tsp dried oregano
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 zucchinis/courgettes (either long flat ones or round ones)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Deseed the zucchini/courgettes - if you're using long flat ones, just cut them in half lengthways and use a spoon to remove the seeds inside, and if you're using the round ones, cut the top off and use a spoon to carefully scoop out what's inside - put this to the side. Place the hollowed out courgettes/zucchini on a baking tray.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until they start to go translucent. Add the carrots, peppers, mushrooms and the insides of the courgette/zucchini and cook for a further 5 minutes until they start to soften. (If you're using it, add in the sausage meat here and stir for a few more minutes until it's cooked through.) Add the pasta sauce, oregano, and fresh basil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until everything is well combined, then remove from heat.
- Fill the courgettes with the vegetable mixture (for round ones just fill them and pop the top back on, and for long flat ones fill the halves and leave open-faced), then bake them for 20-25 minutes, until softened and the courgette/zucchini is tender. Enjoy!