Stuffed zucchini for dinner

There is nothing better than home cooking.

I never thought I’d prefer it to eating out, but I really do.

The kids are also quite fond of eating at home, and maybe it’s because the flavors are so fresh that you feel satisfied.

When we go out to eat, it seems like we are full and bloated, but not satisfied. The salt makes us thirsty all day, and if there is dessert, talk about a sugar coma!

It’s definitely fun to do, don’t get me wrong. But I guess we have been doing a little too much of it lately. When I get really busy with work, I end up ordering out a few nights a week and always ended up feeling guilty about it.

The thing is, cooking something at home can be prepared even faster than placing an order and waiting for it to arrive.

But, when you’re exhausted, the excuses to be lazy are endless.

In any case enough about that. You probably want to know what these stuffed zucchini’s are all about?

My grandmother, may she rest in peace, taught this to me before I was married. And while I learned the basic Lebanese style to making this stuff. I prefer to add my own twist. Over the years I’ve tasted a variety of ways that people make this. Some will pour a tomato sauce on top and cook them in it (very tasty) and then there is this style where you cook it in water that is heavy on the lemon juice.

First you have to hollow out the zucchini, and we have a special tool we picked up from a Middle Eastern grocery in town.

We take the inside of the zucchini and put it off to the side, because we’ll cook it with the leftover stuffing that we usually end up with when we’re done.

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The stuffing is basically 1/2 – 1 cup of rice with 1 pound of ground beef. Put as much rice as you like, I prefer less because it expands and can break through the zucchini if you’re not careful. I cut up tomatoes, onion, and add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and fresh mint (you can also add cinnamon).  Mix it all together by hand, and then stuff the zucchini with it.

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My husband brought home this meat to put on the bottom of of he pot. You can also use thin slabs of steak, or potatoes or a combination.

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We browned the meat first and then put it in the bottom of pot (yes those spices flew all over the stove top).

Then we put some potatoes and sliced tomatoes, followed by the now stuffed zucchini.

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I squeezed a ton of lemons and limes, and made about 2 cups of juice with it. I added some water slowly and salt until I felt it was salty/sour enough. Of course I forgot to take a picture of this step.

Pour the lemon/salt liquid  into the pot until it just covers the tops of the zucchini. Put a plate firmly on top to hold them down so they don’t float up and then put the lid on.

Cook it on medium low for at least 2 hours. The longer you do it, the more tender everything is.

Take any extra stuffing you have and take the innards of the Zucchini and place it in a pan on medium heat. You can add more spices if you’d like. It cooks pretty quickly.

And that’s it…

I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for dinner again tonight!

What’s your favorite way to eat zuccini?

Bonus Tip: in arabic we call this dish koosa mahshi 

koosa” = zucchini and “mahshi” = stuffed.