Sunday I was planning on making stuffed zucchini. In the past when I've made it I just mix the raw meat with all the ingredients and stuff the zucchini or pepper, cover with sauce and bake. BUT..I wasn't going to have time on Sunday to bake it after church. We just had too much going on and it would take too long. (Side note: We actually ended up going to some friends house for lunch and football, but we ate this later). I browsed the internet and found this solution.
In one recipe, it called for browning the meat ahead of time! Now there's a novel idea. That would save me tons of cooking time later, and I had the extra time before church. So you're getting double whammy'd today. A recipe and a tip. When you're in a rush for cooking time, just do the pre-cooking ahead to heat up later. Yes, I know, this is a no-brainer, but I really had never thought of this in regards to stuffed peppers, or zucchini, because that's just not how I'd ever done it.
Cook brown or white rice ahead of time and set aside. Make enough to put in the meat mixture and enough to serve on the side.
First I cut two zucchini lengthwise and laid them flesh side down in boiling water for about 5-10 minutes (until slightly tender)
Remove from the pan and let cool. While that's cooling, in the same pan, saute chopped onion and garlic (I used 2 garlic cloves and a little less than 1/4 c. onion) in a little olive oil. Add 1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey and cook till browned. Add about 1/4 c. of chopped red pepper. Cook till tender. Add in black pepper, garlic powder, italian seasonings to taste. I probably used between 1/8-1/4 tsp. of these. Add cooked rice. However much you want. I probably used 1/2 c. Then add one slightly beaten egg to the mixture.
When zuchinni has cooled enough scoop out the center. You can save some and add it to the meat mixture, but I stayed away from that since my youngest doesn't like zucchini.
In a baking dish pour 1 can of tomatoe sauce that has been slightly seasoning with pepper, and garlic powder, and parsley
Stuff zucchini "boats with meat mixture and place in pan. I had extra meat so I just put it alongside the zucchini in the pan.
Top with one more can of tomato sauce (season the same as the other can). Cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. It took slightly longer for mine because I put it in the refrigerator and didn't cook it till later. This was so good. The whole family ate it up.
I think I may do this all the time with my stuffed zucchini and peppers. Especially if I remember and think to brown my ground meat ahead of time. Talk about a time saver.