It’s wellness Wednesday and I’ve got a super yummy treat for you! In my world, Wednesday means hitting up a super early workout, heading to the market and then coming home to whip up some delicious farmers’ market inspired meals. I know that for many this may look like a Saturday or Sunday, so I’m dropping the recipe in time for all the weekend warriors out there.
A lot of friends have been telling me that they feel overwhelmed by choices at the market and feel like batch cooking/meal prep takes too much time. I am developing some visual resources to share with everyone featuring tips on shopping at the farmers’ market plus how to make meal prep more efficient AND more exciting. No one wants to eat the same chicken and broccoli meals for dinner 5 nights in a row. It is all about taking the steps to have easy-to-grab ingredients to make meals easy to make, think 10 minutes or so for prep & another 30 of oven time.
When I was teaching I spent a few minutes each night throwing together my lunch for the next day with ingredients that I already had on hand. And on days when I was really lucky or really cooked enough food there was still some at the end of the night, I had my dinner leftovers for lunch. Meal prep was really the key for me to eat well & save money.
Even now working mostly from home I found that meal prep is key. I cannot nor do I want to spend an hour making each meal & cleaning up. I save time & money batch cooking and I feel like I am eating right to fuel my body for my active lifestyle.
Take this meal for example. Having the rice, black beans and roasted veggies already on hand make this meal a cinch when you’re in a pinch. It’s full of fiber, vitamins, & protein not to mention the roasted peppers & tomatillos give it a flavor kick. Plus, it’s fun to eat stuffed foods. Duh, that’s why we love bread bowls and burritos.
Zucchini & fresh herbs are abundant right now and my herb garden is starting to show some more signs of life as well. I’ve been seeing a lot of tomatillos in the farmers’ market and at the grocery store. If you see any round zucchini or 8-ball zucchini, these are perfect for this recipe. They just take a little longer to cook.
Happy zucchini stuffing!
4-6 long zucchini or heirloom/8-ball zucchini
1 c. cooked or canned black beans (rinse if using canned)
1 c. wild rice medley
3 c. water or vegetable stock
8 medium tomatillos, husks removed & quartered
1 orange, yellow, or red bell pepper
2 jalapeño peppers
2 cloves garlic, peeled
6-8 oz. crimini mushrooms, chopped & stems removed
1/4 c. chopped cilantro, divided
S & P to taste
Optional: Chopped walnuts, hemp seeds
Preheat oven to 350˚F.
If using long zucchini, cut lengthwise and scoop out flesh with a spoon. If using 8-ball zucchini, cut the tops off and carefully scoop out flesh without puncturing the bottom of zucchini ball. Place in a baking dish and set aside.
Bring 3 c. water or veggie stock & rice to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, about 25-30 minutes.
In the meantime, roast tomatillos, bell & jalapeño peppers, and garlic until tender about 20-25 minutes. Watch the garlic and remove after about 15 minutes of roasting. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Increase oven heat to 375˚F.
Chop ingredients (removing seeds & stems from peppers), and add to rice along with mushrooms & cooked black beans. Add in 1/2 of cilantro and season with salt & pepper.
Scoop rice, veggie & bean mixture into the hollowed out zucchini. Add about 1/4 inch water to the bottom of the pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until zucchini is tender. (8-ball zucchinis take about an additional 10 minutes). Add remaining chopped cilantro and walnuts/hemp seeds if using for garnish.