Crunchy Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini

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Say hello to the healthy alternative to baked potatoes. This quinoa stuffed zucchini from the cookbook Secrets of Healthy Cooking by Barbara Seelig-Brown is everything you want in terms of texture (there’s crunch!), flavor (sweet onions and salty pancetta) and doing your body good. Your little ones will love how easy these are to eat as well – just pick ’em up and chomp on down! Get the full recipe below.


Serves: 6
Serving Size: 1/2 zucchini

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
3 zucchini, each weighing about 1/2 pound
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces chopped pancetta
3/4 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1 large clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered if large

1. Preheat oven to 425°F convection or 450°F traditional oven.

2. Place quinoa in medium saucepan with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 15–20 minutes until tender.

3. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a paring knife, cut a V shape into each half and remove the center, creating a channel for the stuffing. Chop the zucchini that has been removed and save it for use in the stuffing.

4. In the meantime, place the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add pancetta, onion, garlic, and chopped zucchini. Sauté until pancetta is
browned. Remove pan from heat and add tomatoes. Add cooked quinoa and mix well.

5. Stuff each zucchini half with 1/2 cup quinoa mixture and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.

6. Bake 20–25 minutes until zucchini are fork tender. Stuffing will be nicely browned.

Chef’s Secret: The quinoa mixture is also great when used as a side dish.

Zucchini are a great low-carb replacement! Make fries, pancakes, bread… what’s your favorite zucchini dish?

Secrets of Healthy Cooking

Copyright © 2015 by the American Diabetes Association. From Secrets of Healthy Cooking. To order this book call 1-800-232-6733 or order online at

Master the  kitchen basics of healthy cooking with author and TV host Barbara Seelig-Brown’s new guide “Secrets to Healthy Cooking.” This cookbook simplifies the art of healthy cooking, especially for diabetics, with informational breakdowns of how much fat, sugar, carbs, protein and other nutritional facts at the end of each recipe. There’s even tips on how to pick the best vegetables, stick to your budget and more. “Secrets to Healthy Cooking” is available at; $17.95.


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