about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats.

Today was one of those days where I felt like I was winging it all day long!  I found out when I was leaving work Friday that I would be making a staff lunch today.  With such short notice I had NO plan, and no chance to prep anything or get any vegetables harvested.  So when I walked in the door this morning, I knew I needed to get started right away.

I called up to the red shed to find out what I could get quickly and easily.  The answer – tomatoes, potatoes, and zucchini.  From there, I took a peek in the pantry and started chopping.  I washed a big pile of red, blue, and fingerling potatoes…

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And chopped up a big handful of fresh rosemary picked out of the kitchen garden. 

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I made a vinaigrette of grapeseed oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and rosemary…

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And then dumped it onto the big bowl of sliced potatoes.

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Stirred to combine and coat each precious potato…

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And then poured out onto a sheet pan.  I started these off at 400 and let them roast for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 or so.  Once they were browned and fairly soft, I backed the heat down on the oven to 200, and left them in there for an additional hour (because I was serving them at a specific lunch time). 

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Starting them high and then backing the heat down low resulted in absolutely delicious potato pillows.

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The farm boys gobbled up every last one!

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For a main course at the lunch, I decided I was going to make zucchini boats – something I had never actually done before.  I knew it would be a little bit tricky since I had three varying sizes of zucchini, but I decided to just go with it. 

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First step was to cut the ends off each zucchini and slice them all vertically into two halves.

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Papa, mama, and baby bear.

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Then I took a spoon and scraped out the fleshy stuff inside each half.  If I had been at home I would have used a melon-baller or my serrated grapefruit spoon, but this regular spoon was fine too – just took a little more arm muscle!

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I made a big pile of all the scooped out zucchini flesh…

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And then drizzled the inside of each half with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. 

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Time for the filling!  I started by chopping up one small white onion and half of a huge red onion.

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Threw them in a sauté pan with olive oil to soften and start to brown.

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With the onions softened, I chopped up the zucchini guts and threw them in to the pan to cook too. 

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Meanwhile, I also cooked up some quinoa in my nifty rice cooker.  Because our farm lunches are vegetarian, I always try to incorporate some sort of veggie protein.  Quinoa is such a quick and easy way to do this!  If you don’t have one of these, you can very easily make quinoa on the stove top in 20-25 minutes.  Just use a 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups liquid ratio, and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed. 

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Once the quinoa was cooked and fluffed, I added it to the pan with the onions and guts, and then sprinkled it with a little cumin and lemon juice.  Once it was seasoned to taste with salt and pepper, I tossed in a handful of shaved parmesan for a final flavor boost.

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Spooned the mixture evenly into my zucchini boats…

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And then gave a final topping of a little extra cheese for melting. 

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Into a 400 degree oven, covered with foil for 30 minutes, and then uncovered for an additional ten.  Final product – gooey and browned zucchini goodness!

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Since I was cooking for a large group and wanted to make sure I had enough servings, I cut the halves into equally sized pieces, and stacked them together in a serving dish.

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These were a HUGE hit!  The farm staff seriously freaked out.  They declared it the best lunch ever – hurrah!

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The parmesan cheese was a great addition, and by taking the foil off for the last ten minutes, there was just enough crispiness and browning. 

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Mmmmmmmmm.

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Oh yes – and one more thing!  I also made a summer tomato salad…

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Tomatoes, peaches, red apples, and basil – all chopped up and tossed in a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

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Perfect sweet ending to a delicious meal. 

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What started with no plan ended up being a delicious lunch, and one of the staff favorites!  Just goes to show that you shouldn’t be scared to try something new.  If the zucchini boats were a disaster, my back up plan was going to be to chop it all up and sauté it until soft, but I didn’t end up needing a plan B.  And now not only did I serve a well received lunch, I taught myself how to make stuffed zucchini – a win win!  :) 

This week kicks off the next round of summer travels and craziness, starting with Friday’s trip to DC to find a place to live!  After that I’ll be heading down to the ATL for a wild bachelorette weekend, and the following weekend I’m up in Chicago for the Healthy Living Summit.
  (Who else is going?!)  Should be a fun and busy few weeks!

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73 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Jessie (Bites and Pieces)     at 12:10 am

Wow, there is so much yumminess in this post I don’t know where to start! Those zucchini boats look awesome, but that tomato salad has my name all over it. So perfect for summer!

I’m going to HLS and I cannot wait. :)

[Reply]

Lisa (bakebikeblog)     at 12:18 am

oh my – what a great lunch you served! I love the idea of cooking the quinoa in a rice cooker too!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I cook EVERYTHING in my rice cooker!

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Dorry     at 12:21 am

This is incredible Emily! I’m totally impressed with your cooking ability and last minute creativity today. Your salad combo was perfect.

I’ll be at HLS and can’t wait to meet you!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Thanks Dorry! Eeek just a few weeks – so fun :)

[Reply]

Sarah Soon-To-Be (Once Upon a Lime)     at 12:42 am

I’m a new reader – I normally am not into “food blogs” but love the balance you have here! While the dishes are WAY out of my culinary range, they gave me inspiration for simpler versions that I might be able to pull off. After reading your Running page I knew I’d found a winner here :) Loved the part about Flying Pig 6 days before your wedding – I’m hoping to race shortly before our nuptials next July… stress release, it is for sure!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Thanks Sarah – glad you found the blog! And I promise you these dishes are NOT out of your culinary range – they are sooo simple. I could barely boil water a few years ago! :) Running that marathon was one of the best experiences of my life – I would do it again in a heartbeat! :)

[Reply]

Jessica     at 12:47 am

I’m freaking out right now! All of that looks so good. I’m especially pumped about the zucchini boats, definitely trying those for my vegetarian sis. Thanks!

[Reply]

Jackie (Peaces of Earth)     at 3:22 am

I want to cook lunch for farm boys. Jealous! But seriously I can just come over for lunch and that would be fine, too. These all look SO delicious, fresh and amazing.

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Haha the farm boys are all very nice. They do NOT want to eat healthy vegetarian food every week, but they gobble it up anyways and tell me it’s good. :)

[Reply]

Becky     at 6:58 am

I just want to gobble up everything in this meal! I have some leftover brown rice and big ol’ zucchini in the fridge. I think I may try my hand at stuffing zucchini. That salad looks delicious. Too often, I forget about delicious blends of fruits in summer salad and stick to traditional greens and veggies. Yum!

[Reply]

Ashley Solomon @ Nourishing the Soul     at 7:20 am

I’m curious about the Healthy Living Summit. What is it?

Also, do you have any recommendations for a rice cooker (brand, specifications, etc.)?

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Hi Ashley! The summit is a blog conference coming up in a few weeks in Chicago:

http://healthylivingsummit.com/

I believe this year’s is sold out, but there might still be a few tickets floating around for people who’ve had to cancel at the last minute. And I’m sure they will do it again next year!

As far as the rice cooker goes, mine is a Zojirushi. I used to talk about it more many months ago, but I’m now realizing that with lots of new readers, it’s probably time for me to do a rice cooker-specific post. Coming up next week! :)

[Reply]

Alice     at 7:36 am

Wow these look amazing!!!
I love the sweet sound of that salad! I will need to remember it for Summer! :-)
Hope to give the zucchini boats a go later this week! YUM!!!

[Reply]

Lindsay @ Summit Sandwiches     at 7:39 am

Those zucchini boats look fantastic! Such a good idea….I can’t wait to try a version of my own. :)

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Ann @ Appalachian Appetites     at 7:39 am

You did that with such calmness and pizazz! I’m really impressed. They are really lucky to have you this summer :) Look forward to reading about this week’s adventures!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Aww thank you! Hopefully today’s experiment turned out just as good. Crossing fingers – it’s in the oven!

[Reply]

Chelsey     at 7:41 am

Oh my goodness – we must have been on the same wavelength yesterday because I made quinoa stuffed tomatoes!!! They were absolutely delicious – and yours look nothing less of that as well.

You’re going to love Chicago if you’ve never been. I’m not going to Healthy Living Summit (decided to too late) but I do live about 20 minutes outside of the city. I’m thinking about coming for the fun run if it’s still going on?

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Yum, now I want to stuff tomatoes. We have tomatoes out the wazoo here at the farm.

[Reply]

rachael     at 8:19 am

I love purple potatoes and your look amazing! Just looking at them makes me hungry even though I just ate breakfast.

[Reply]

Lindsay @ The Ketchup Diaries     at 8:19 am

Scout’s honor, I was thinking yesterday about how I’d like to make zucchini boats soon!! I’m also going to HLS :smile:

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Haha well you should – they were delicious! Excited to meet you in a few weeks. :)

[Reply]

Lauren     at 8:36 am

Hi Emily – just started reading your blog (after seeing it numerous times on KERF) and I am really enjoying it so far! That lunch looks delicious. Also looking forward to following you as you move to DC… I lived there for 3 years and loved it!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Hi Lauren – welcome! I’m also looking forward to the DC move – crossing my fingers to find our next home this weekend.

[Reply]

Annie@stronhealthyfit     at 8:40 am

Pretty impressive for a last-minute meal! Those zucchini boats look awesome- way easier than I would have thought! I love quinoa.

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

It was much easier than I thought too – really nothing to it! I love quinoa too. It makes me happy.

[Reply]

Daniel     at 9:03 am

Very nice spread of food for a lunch! Such variety and intelligent use of fresh produce! I wish I were there to try some of your amazing cooking ;)

[Reply]

Ginna     at 9:03 am

Yum! I just bought some quinoa and can’t wait to try it. Do you cook it on normal setting in your zoji?

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Quick cooking! :)

[Reply]

Elizabeth     at 9:36 am

Morning Emily!

I’m definitely replicating this meal since we got the right stuff from our farm share this week. Yum! :)

Can you guesstimate the proportions of the ingredients for the potato vinaigrette? I’m sure you just winged it – but unfortunately my culinary abilities aren’t quite there yet. ;)

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Potato vinaigrette was probably 1 cup chopped rosemary, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup grapeseed oil, and then salt and pepper to taste – but I was also roasting a LOT of potatoes. Enough for 12 people! So you might want to scale the amounts back for your needs.

[Reply]

Liz     at 9:48 am

1 – zucchini boats look amazing! I’m definitely going to try that recipe.
2 – I’m going to hls, can’t wait!
3 – if you need any tips on places to live, restaurants, etc in DC, let me know.

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Love that you are “Liz Runs DC” – sounds perfect! :) We will have to run together when I get there for good! Excited to meet you at the summit.

[Reply]

Laura     at 9:53 am

Can’t wait to try the zucchini boats this week- they look so good!

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stacey     at 9:58 am

I am going to the HLS. I am both excited and super nervous because I do not know anyone. But, I am sure that the weekend will be tons of fun!

The zucchini boats look so good. I hope that I get some zucchini in my CSA box tomorrow so that I can make them!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Yay – I can’t wait to meet you! Don’t worry, I don’t know anyone either, and am also very nervous. We can be nervous in the corner together. :)

[Reply]

Katie @ Healthy Heddleston     at 10:00 am

I love reading your staff lunch creations! They are so inspiring and a great use of fresh in season vegetables! I’ve seen zucchini boats before and I love what you did with yours.. that might have to be on the menu this weekend!

[Reply]

Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen)     at 10:20 am

I made another one of my baked quinoa veggie bowls last night! It was so good! Your boats look delicious. How could they not love it. Sounds like you have a busy couple of weeks coming up. Good luck with the house hunting! Atlanta is my neck of the woods. Beware…it is freakin’ hot!

[Reply]

Therese     at 10:27 am

I’m on such a zucchini kick and you didn’t even know it! Can’t wait to try this! BTW, I tried your mushroom and mashed potato dish and LOVED it! So did the boyfriend!

[Reply]

Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life)     at 10:29 am

I think I will refer to all my potatoes as potato pillows from now on… what a fun word :)

Hope today is better than yesterday was for you! :)

I can’t wait to see where y’all go in the ATL! I love my old stompin’ grounds…

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Today is MUCH better – thank you! :)

[Reply]

Janine     at 11:33 am

I’ve been wondering how to use the oh-so-many zucchini that have grown in my garden. I just happened to check your blog this AM while eating my lunch and was SO excited to see your post! I’ll have to try the zucchini boats. I especially love that you used quinoa, a grain I’m always trying to use more. I’d also like to hear your recs on a rice cooker. I’ve been looking for one, but don’t know which is best.

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Maybe it is time for me to do a rice cooker post. Mine is the Zojirushi, but I can do a post next week when I’m back from DC showing you a few different versions and all the great uses!

[Reply]

Robyn     at 11:38 am

I’m amazed at how you just whipped this all up. I make zucchini a lot but have never heard of doing this, and I love the idea. I might just have to try it. And those purple potatoes are gorgeous!

[Reply]

Jenna     at 12:37 pm

Hi Emily,

I started reading your blog about a month ago, and I just love it! These zucchini boats look incredible — I’ll have to try them.

When are you adding an “about me” section? I am excited to learn more about you!

Jenna

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Hi Jenna! Welcome to the blog – glad you found it! The “About Me” is staring at me from my to-do list. I just need to get my pictures scanned in to make it complete. Perhaps this was the kick in the arse that I needed. :) I’ll try to get it up next week!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog     at 12:58 pm

I’ve never used vegan parmesan, but I assume it would be fine. Does it brown and melt the same way the real stuff does? Peaches + tomatoes = heaven.

[Reply]

Amber K     at 1:41 pm

Fun recipe!

[Reply]

Julie     at 1:57 pm

Emily-
I have made similar zucchini boats, minus the quinoa, which I am now going to try and add to mine. In my recipe, it calls for a bit of fresh thyme which really made the flavor great- you should try it sometime since you have access to so many fresh herbs! Tomato salad is also going on my grocery list this week- thanks!
:)

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Yum that sounds good!

[Reply]

Catherine     at 2:26 pm

Those zucchini boats look delicious! We tried to make some stuffed zucchini about a week ago, but were missing the sautéed veggies to mix with the grain. I’ll have to try that next time :)

[Reply]

anne     at 4:45 pm

Yes, please do a rice cooker-specific post sometime soon!!

[Reply]

Ana     at 5:22 pm

Awesome meal Emily! I love the zucchini boats idea and the tomatoes and peach salsa, I will be making those for sure!! yum!!
Ana

[Reply]

Melissa @ HerGreenLife     at 5:44 pm

It’s hard to go wrong with fresh-from-the-farm ingredients! I wouldn’t have thought to combine tomatoes with apples and peaches — intriguing. We have a bunch of yellow squash in the fridge, so maybe I’ll try stuffing those.

[Reply]

Kaitlin With Honey     at 6:08 pm

These look insanely good. I cannot wait to make them! I am fearful of red onions and will have to substitute, but I have a feeling I will come up with something perfectly suitable!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I was fearful of them too – they are SO MUCH BETTER cooked than raw. I don’t even like to touch them raw because the smell is so strong!

[Reply]

Meagan     at 6:22 pm

Delicious! Everyone’s been doing these zucchini things lately. It looks to die for!

[Reply]

Crystal     at 6:23 pm

Hi there. I have only recently read your blog a couple times and as a veg. I am always looking for good recipes! I am just curious, do you seek out vegetarian parm (as in no animal rennet) and if so where? Or, are you personally ok with eating rennet?

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I am not totally vegan, in fact I still eat a good amount of cheese. It’s the one dairy item I just haven’t quite kicked yet.

[Reply]

Crystal Reply:

A lot of cheese is vegetarian, however many hard Italian cheeses are made with animal rennet (an enzyme from the stomach lining from a calf, which is killed for the enzyme). Many vegetarians seek out vegetarian cheese (not vegan) and Whole Foods labels which cheeses of their 365 brand are not made with animal rennet. I guess it depends on your definition but something to be aware of, animals are killed to make certain cheese.

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Ahh okay yes, I see your point. Everything bought here on the farm is from specialty stores like WF or Earth Fare, so I assume it’s vegetarian. The label is already thrown away :( Thanks for your info!

[Reply]

Niki F     at 6:54 pm

Yum! Totally planning to make the zucchini boats. Right up my alley.

And any instructions on cooking the quinoa in the rice cooker? Such a great idea!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

You can do quinoa in the rice cooker just like any grain – 1 to 2 dry to liquid ratio, and I usually do quinoa on the quick cooking setting. Open the lid at the end and let it sit a few minutes before you fluff.

[Reply]

Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef     at 7:07 pm

those look so wonderful! my husband (who is a big meat eater) might even be up for trying them. thanks :)

[Reply]

A Classic Equation | Beck On The Run     at 4:05 pm

[...] and time to make a yummy lunch – a fun Emily creation!  I had all the makings for her lovely Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats, so that’s what I [...]

LC @ Let Them Eat Lentils     at 8:31 pm

Hey Emily, just found this new blog and it looks like the author and her husband attended the dinner you put together at the farm! (the first one with the raw, vegan chef). Funny when blog worlds collide.

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/06/24/day-28-birthday-celebration-and-impromptu-breakfast/

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Yes, totally! She actually emailed me last week. Small world for sure. :)

[Reply]

Lynna     at 1:09 am

All of the farm lunches you make look absolutely delicious and so creative. Thank you for sharing them with all of us! I’m definitely going to have to try my hand at a few sometime soon.

[Reply]

Bloggers Copying Bloggers « Kaitlin With Honey     at 4:27 pm

[...] last night was a happy disaster. I had planned on making zucchini boats inspired by Emily at The Front Burner (and still will, someday), but I got home and realized that [...]

Twisted Caprese « Her Green Life     at 10:06 am

[...] to our Caprese salad last week, I reacted with a bit of skepticism.  However, having recently read Emily’s post on combining tomatoes and peaches, I was willing to give it a [...]

I’ve got my groove back, and it feels GOOD! | Reshape Your Life     at 1:24 pm

[...] be Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats, a recipe I got from Emily at Daily Garnish that you can find here.  I didn’t quite cook the quinoa long enough and the zucchini I had were really small, but [...]

Cathy     at 8:45 pm

This quinoa zucchini boat recipe is amazing! I made it for dinner twice in the last two weeks. And of course it made leftovers, so we had it for more than two meals. The second time I added minced garlic with the onions. Thanks again for a great recipe!

[Reply]

It's Zucchini Season - Cook It Up! | She Sugar     at 9:13 am

[...] Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats from Daily Garnish [...]

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