Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Zucchini boats stuffed with coconut curry lamb

Around this time of year, there is always an abundance of oversized early-autumn zucchini. So, it's always good to have some zucchini boat recipes handy. As a bonus, this recipe freezes really well, so if you need to use up a harvest you can keep these around for a while.

Be sure that your coconut milk is the real stuff, and not a mixture of water and coconut extract. If the can lists coconut extract as an ingredient, use a different brand. I used Thai Kitchen, which contains no dairy, sugar, or sulfites. I would not use a "lite" version as it will be too thin. If you want to slash calories, just use less coconut milk. As it was, I ended up not spooning all of it into the zucchini and I had quite a bit left in the pan. If you'd like, just add a little at a time until you get an acceptable consistency.

Serves about 4

  • 4 medium zucchinis
  • 12-16 oz ground lamb (can substitute ground beef; I used 16 oz but I had a bunch left over so next time I will use 12 oz.)
  • 1 tsp ghee or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 can coconut milk, stirred (see recipe description for more info)
  • 1 Tbs curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne (optional; depends on how spicy you like it)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin (you might be able to leave this out if your curry powder is heavy on the cumin)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out the seeds and reserve. The shell should be about 1/4" thick. 
  3. Sprinkle the zucchini shells with salt and microwave, covered, for 3 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Chop the reserved zucchini innards.
  5. Heat the ghee or oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until onion is translucent but not brown. Add the ground lamb and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned. Drain off the fat (it's easiest to suck it out using a turkey baster while the meat is still in the pan). 
  6. Add the zucchini innards and saute for a minute or so or until it just starts to soften. 
  7. Add the curry, garam masala, cayenne, and cumin. Stir to combine.
  8. Pour in the coconut milk, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and creamy. Stir in the cilantro.
  9. Spoon the lamb mixture into the zucchini shells, ensuring not to add too much liquid. 
  10. Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes.
  11. If making and freezing ahead of time, omit step 10. Set the zucchini boats on a cookie sheet and freeze them overnight. Individually wrap each one and store in a lidded container in the freezer. To serve, defrost overnight or in the microwave defrost setting, then follow step 10 for baking. You can alternately heat them in the microwave though they will get a bit mushy.


Carrie said...

Sounds awesome! I really like having stuffed zucchini, but I've never made anything quite like this. I'll have to try it next time.

Erica said...

Thanks Carrie! I love stuffed zucchini too...any kind of one-dish meat-and-veggie-meal, really :)

Aurelie said...

I added pine nuts, raisins and small amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg. Delicious! Thanks for sharing!

Erica said...

@Aurelie: Yum, sounds tasty!

Anonymous said...

Made this tonight and it was really good! Thanks for the recipe - think some pine nuts would be really good sprinkled on top too!

Erica said...

Glad you liked it, Anon!

Anonymous said...

this is a particularly nice paleo curry. the seasoning is really well-done and the zukes lighten it up a bit and add texture.

i made with ultra-lean ground beef and light coco milk (can't do lots of fat + spices due to stomach issues) and it was awesome, you just had to let the sauce cook down a bit more. made my own garam masala from spices i had.

i doubted my ability to eat zuchinni boats neatly, so served the curry over mashed sweet potato, with the lightly cooked zukes cut in sticks to dip in the sauce. SO DELICIOUS and really satisfying. thanks for a great and well-constructed recipe!

Erica said...

@Anon: Glad you liked it, and thanks for letting me know that it works with lite coconut milk!

Tara @ Sweat like a Pig said...

Just wanted to say that I LOVE this recipe! Since discovering it about two months ago, I've made it at least once a week. My husband gets home from work late and he always gets excited when I tell him what's for dinner! Haha

Sandi JOnes said...

Made this tonight! Really delish. I could not find garam masala, a spice mix I know and love, where I am staying, so I know I haven't had the 'true' experiece, but it was still tasty.
Does Garam Masala have salt in it? I can't recall, and myonly complaint/suggestion would be to add some salt next time.

Anonymous said...

These are in the oven right now!!! Nom nom

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