• Zucchini cannelloni

    Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

    This is a gluten-free version of cannelloni stuffed with mozzarella cheese and baked in a rich sauce of vegetables, olives and tomatoes. Hollowed out zucchini is used in place of cannelloni pasta. If you have garden-fresh zucchini use it; it is way better than store bought.

    To make this dish gluten-free and vegan, fill zucchini with tomato mixture but do not add the cheese. Easy peasey (but not cheesy!) Many thanks to Debra for turning me on to this recipe*.

    5 medium zucchinis (tops and bottoms cut off)
    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
    1 medium red onion (diced)
    2 medium bell peppers (diced)
    4 large cloves garlic (minced)
    3 tablespoons capers (drained)
    ¾ cup pitted Kalamata olives (sliced in half lengthwise)
    1  14-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes (do not drain)
    pinch of sugar
    ½ cup fresh basil leaves (chopped)
    Salt and pepper to taste
    8 ounces fresh mozzarella

    Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

    Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

    Cut each zucchini in half (crosswise) and use a sharp slim knife (or similar implement) to hollow out the inside of each tube, leaving a little bit of the flesh intact. Place the zucchini and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large baggie and shake to evenly coat zucchini. Pour zucchini into a baking dish and pre-bake for 20 minutes.

    While the zucchini bakes, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add the capers, olives, tomatoes, sugar and basil. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside

    Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

    Remove the zucchini from the oven. Mash the cheese with a fork and stuff the zucchini. Return zucchini to baking dish and pour sauce over the top. Return to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and zucchini is tender when pierced with a fork. Serve with extra sauce on the side.

    Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

    *adapted from the original recipe at OneGreenPlanet.org

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