Zucchini Stuffed with Wild Rice, Cheddar, and Dill

Here’s another one for that tried and true 5-ingredients-or-less category.

In my opinion, the clinchers here are threefold: the zucchini flesh is scooped out and added to the stuffing; the cheddar I used was sharp, tangy, and heavenly (and from Ithaca!); and the zucchini base is cooked in a skillet before going in the oven, which adds immensely to its flavor.

If you’re of a generally hungry disposition, eating both stuffed zucchini halves will be an optimal choice.  Others of you may find that eating only one half will suffice.  I have the pleasure of telling you that when you’re in the confines of your own home, cooking for yourself, you can pretty much do and eat whatever you would like.  If you’re of the latter category, this dish stores well in the fridge and can be reheated for lunch or dinner the following day.

A note on rice: how do you usually cook it?  Everyone has their method, and this is the one my mother taught me: soak the rice ten minutes, then rinse.  Add enough water to the pot of rice so that when you stick your index finger into the pot to touch the top of the rice, the water will reach the first crease in your index finger.  This method has yet to fail me (if I find that halfway through cooking rice there is too much water, I remove the lid to let some water evaporate). If you find this idea too unstable or risky, then I suggest following the cooking instructions on the package the rice came in.

To my wonderful internet friends, I wish you a beautiful weekend.  Here is a nice quote and photo I saw from Rumi the other day:

“Lovely days don’t come to you, you should walk to them”.

 

Zucchini Stuffed with Wild Rice- serves 1

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil/veg oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (depending on how dill-y you like things)
  • 1/3-cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 lemon (optional)

1. Soak rice 10 minutes in water. Rinse, then cover with enough water to reach the first crease of your finger when touching top of the rice.
2. Add a pinch of salt and the tablespoon olive oil to pot. Bring to boil, cover, and simmer until done, about 35-40 minutes.
3. Preheat broiler. Meanwhile, cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out flesh and seeds to create a stuffable base and save flesh and seeds. Brush zucchini halves all over with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini halves and cook until lightly browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
5. Roughly chop zucchini flesh, and add to rice mixture along with fresh dill and half of grated cheddar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stuff both zucchini halves with rice mixture, and top with remaining grated cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately with lemon juice, if desired.

Winter Wild Rice with Cranberries, Pecans, and Sweet Potatoes

Sometimes the weekends are crazy.

They can be crazy fun with your friends, nuts because of the holidays, or intense because it’s New York and I think this city is a madhouse.  My weekend was crazy for all of the above reasons, but also because of how much meat I ended up eating.  I don’t know if you ever feel that way, but  sometimes weekends become unavoidably protein-packed.

Don’t get me wrong, I had an awesome Sunday: 1pm dim sum feast with my friend Joanna at Jing Fong (if you live in New York, please try this amazing, inexpensive restaurant – the food is unreal and the decor will undoubtedly entertain you), followed by a nice little Sunday chicken roast while watching Anne Hathaway’s One Day (so girly, I know, but so necessary).  Add to that mix a great steak from Saturday night, and I’m officially meated out.  So now it’s Monday, and I want healthy, and I want vegetarian.

I love this rice dish because it’s the perfect type of meal to make in 2 or more portions.  Make it for dinner one night, and save the rest for lunch the next day, or for dinner another night later in the week.  My favorite wild rice brand is Lundberg, which costs about $2.99 for a 1-pound bag.

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