Quinoa Mint Zucchini Boats

Mint.  I’ve decided you love it or you hate it.  I really do like it.  My husband really doesn’t.  Usually I use his reaction as a gauge as to whether or not I should blog about a meal.  The day I made these, I broke that mold.  I wasn’t going to share this recipe with you all, because he so desperately did not like them.  But then I realized something.  Just because my husband doesn’t like mint, does NOT mean that everyone else in the world hates it too.  In fact, a lot of my followers are foodies with fancy tastes (go you!), and they love fresh herbs and more “grown up” tastes, so they would probably love this!  Yes, I consider goat cheese and mint to be grown up food.  Says the girl that used to eat a box of corn dogs a week.   😐  Don’t judge me!  Praise the Lord my husband inspired me to start eating healthy or I’d probably have had a heart attack by now!!

Anyways!  Back to my boats 😉  I thought these were tasty!  I made them as a side dish for a roasted chicken I made…but between the protein packed quinoa and lentils, they were hearty enough for me to warm one up for lunch the next day!

So.  If you love mint.  And goat cheese.  And quinoa.  And PARMESAAAAAN. (I love parmesan).  Then this recipe is for you my friend!  Read on!  And make this for your friends and they’ll think you’re all fancy pants!!!  😉

Adapted from greatist.com

Here’s what you need: (To make 4 boats)

  • 2 Medium to Large Zucchini
  • 2 C Cooked Quinoa
  • 3-4 Handfuls Spinach, Roughly Chopped
  • 6-8 oz Goat Cheese, Chopped/Crumbled
  • 1 C Cooked Lentils
  • 1/2 C Fresh Mint Leaves, Chopped
  • 6 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Shredded Parmesan

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Do your prep!  Make sure you have your quinoa and lentils cooked.  Chop your spinach and mint, and make sure your goat cheese is in small pieces!
  3. Wash your zucchini and cut in half lengthwise.  Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds so you have “boats.”
  4. Heat up a grill pan.  Brush zucchini with some oil.
  5. Grill zucchini, preferrably covered, until you have nice grill lines and they are starting to get tender.
  6. While zucchini is grilling, mix all other ingredients except for Parmesan in a large bowl.
  7. Remove zucchini from grill and place on a baking sheet.  Fill generously with the quinoa/lentil mixture.
  8. Top with Parmesan, put in the oven, and cook until it is warmed through and the Parmesan is melty and browned!
  9. Take out.  Serve.  Look fancy.  🙂

 

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Make sure you have cooked quinoa and lentils.  Chop  everything.  Wash your zucchini and cut it in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.  It should look kind of like this!

 

Mint Zucchini Boats 1Mix together everything else EXCEPT the shredded cheese.

Mint Zucchini Boats 3Yum!  Now grill your zucchinis!  You can do this on an outdoor grill too, I just didn’t have one yet when I made these 🙂  You’re just looking for them to be starting to get tender, but still able to hold together.

Mint Zucchini Boats 2Place them on a cookie sheet…

Mint Zucchini Boats 4Grill lines, yeah baby!  Fill generously with the stuffings…

Mint Zucchini Boats 5Top with Parmesan to your tastes….

Mint Zucchini Boats 7Bake until everything is heated through and the Parmesan is getting melty and browned.  Serve along side a protein, or just eat them for a snack or even lunch!

Mint Zucchini Boats 6Pretty!  I hope you enjoy this!!!  Let me know if you try it, and what alterations you make!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rack of Lamb with Garlicy Pesto

I know I just posted a recipe on Saturday…I usually try to wait a few days between posts…BUT I JUST COULDN’T WAIT!! Look what I made last night!!! I’m so proud of me!! And my helper, Mr. Hottie McHotterson!Rack of Lamb close up

I am so PUMPED right now!!! HOLY COW!!  I’ve always been so afraid to make rack-of-anything…cause they make it look so fancy on the cooking shows!!  Well guess what…my final product looked fancy too…BUT IT WAS SO EASY!  And so delicious that my husband and I were both freaking out.  I’m not exaggerating.  Jason kept looking and me and saying “this is SOOOO good” in between satisfied, happy moans.  Crispy crunch on the outside…warm tender, medium-rare middle, and a dynamite pesto on top; an explosion of flavor! Mmmm!  This could be the happiest a recipe has ever made me.  For serious.  The last few nights I have been discouraged and not wanted to make dinner.  NO MORE! I wanna cook every minute of every day!!!  Watch out Iron Chef, here I come! Haha!

And to think…something this tasty is wonderfully healthy and Perfectweightamerica.com recommended!  Which, by the way, is working fantastically! Can we take a moment and applaud the best man on earth…Mr. Rodgers…for his decision to commit to health? Today we weighed in, and I cannot believe it because we still stuff our faces with delicious things…he’s dropped 16 pounds in one week!!  I’m so proud!!!

Here he is now, helping with the pesto!

Rack of Lamb 2

He’s sexy and I know it!! He works out!!!

So, without further a do….Here’s what you need:

  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 C Basil Leaves
  • 1 C Parsley Leaves
  • 1 C Mint Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Thyme Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano Leaves
  • 1 C Pine Nuts
  • 1 C Olive Oil
  • 3 lb Rack of Lamb (Confession…I was going to do half the recipe so I only got 1.6 lbs…then forgot and we made a full recipe of pesto, haha!! But I love the pesto so much….that I’m glad we did!! I was wiping extra on every bite!)

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp coconut oil in a grill pan or skillet over high heat.  This is what is going to give you your nice crisp char.  Yummy.  Generously salt and pepper both sides of the rack and brown about 3 minutes per side.  Transfer to a baking dish, plop it in your oven, and set your timer for 20 minutes if you like medium rare.  We DEFINITELY liked it medium rare.  Add some time if you want it more well done.
  3. Mealwhile, put all your herbs, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor…or blender if you’re cool like me and don’t yet own a food processor. Pulse and blend (stirring occasionally if needed) until everything is chopped small.
  4. While your machine is still running, pour in 1/4 C olive oil and blend until smooth-ish.  You all probably know what pesto is supposed to look like.  If needed, add more olive oil until it is your desired consistency.
  5. When the lamb is done cooking, take it out and set it aside for about 10 minutes. Take a knife and cut between the bones so you get nice individual chops
  6. Put your pretty little chops on a plate, top with a generous blob of pesto, garnish with some extra herbs if you want it to look pretty, then dive in.  You can be all elegant and polite and use a fork and knife, like my husband tried to do.  Or you can be a caveman like me, pick it up and yank off some meat with your chompers!!! SO GOOOOOD!  Wanna see my pictures?

Rack of Lamb 1 light

Isn’t it pretty? I used a cast iron skillet cause apparently non stick is no bueno for you…and it seems like a good choice if you want a nice char and lots of flavor! However…it did smoke up the house a bit!

Rack of Lamb 3Mmmmm, pesto sauce!!

Rack of Lamb midSo pretty!!! The sauteed veggie recipe is soon to come!!

Try it out, and give me some feedback! And thanks again to perfectweightamerica.com for another beauty!!