Saturday, August 9, 2008

Italian Stuffed Summer Vegetables

I added browned ground beef to the stuffing in order to make this a complete meal.

1 large red bell pepper, halved lengthwise
2 large yellow squash, halved lengthwise (about 1 pound)
1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise (about 1/2 pound)
Cooking spray
3 ounces Italian bread
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped peeled plum tomato
1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375°.

Discard seeds and membranes from bell pepper. Carefully scoop out squash and zucchini pulp, leaving shells intact. Finely chop pulp; set aside. Place bell pepper halves, squash shells, and zucchini shells, cut sides up, in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Coat shells with cooking spray.

Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until crumbs measure 1 1/2 cups. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chopped pulp and garlic; cook 4 minutes or until moisture evaporates, stirring frequently. Add tomato; cook 2 minutes or until tomato begins to soften, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in the breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup cheese, parsley, black pepper, and salt. Divide mixture evenly among prepared bell pepper halves, squash shells, and zucchini shells; sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup cheese. Cover pan with foil, and bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until shells are tender.

Preheat broiler.Remove foil; broil 4 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.

--Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

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