Quinoa surprises are a way for me to use vegetables, definitely my favourite ingredients! For each season, we have a great variety of them, allowing us to indulge in their preparation. Yet, sometimes there is a lack of ideas for preparing something tasty in front of which the kids do not turn up their noses.
Round courgettes are loved by young and old alike because they are perfect for filling with anything we like, so mine is just one of hundreds of possible filling solutions.
The version prepared with quinoa, one of Latin America’s super foods (see its history) also popular in our country due to its high protein, Omega 6 and Omega 3 content, makes the recipe a perfect one-course meal for both lunch and dinner. Personally, I prepared the recipe in a vegan version, i.e. without adding melted cheese, and offered it for dinner to my hungry family members, and Gaia’s blood sugar behaved very well throughout the night, which made us enjoy the dish even more.
carbohydrates 6.2g per 100g
- 4 large round courgettes (total weight when emptied 1kg)
- 300g tomato sauce
- 120g celery
- 90g carrots
- 80g quinoa (cooked in 240g water)
- 70g shallot
- 1 clove garlic
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- cheese cubes melting (optional)
- Put quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer, rinse it thoroughly, then pour it in a small pan with three times its own weight of water. Slightly salt the water, put everything on the heat and cook the quinoa for about 15 minutes with the lid on until it has completely absorbed the water. Remove from the heat and let it cool down.
- Take the round courgettes, cut off the top part so that the courgettes are divided into 2 parts: a small one at the top and the large part underneath from which you will remove the pulp (you can use this to make vegetable soups). Sprinkle the inside of the courgettes with salt, place them with their tops on the side on a baking tray covered with baking paper and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 15 minutes. Once taken out of the oven, remove the water that will have formed inside the courgettes, then set them aside while you prepare the filling.
- Slice the shallot, put it in a pan with a little extra virgin olive oil together with the garlic clove, then add the tomato sauce and cook for 10 minutes.
- Put a little oil in a non-stick frying pan and sauté the diced celery and carrot; season with salt and pepper. Now season the quinoa with the tomato sauce and sautéed vegetables; season with salt, pepper and chilli.
- Fill the courgettes with the quinoa, pressing it lightly into them. If you like, you can put a few cubes of cheese melting on top of the quinoa before covering each courgette with its own cap (personally, I did not add anything because I did not want to add cheese to this meal), then bake in a hot oven at 200°C for about ten minutes or for 5 minutes under the grill.
- Serve the courgettes hot with a drizzle of olive oil.
Version with gluten of Quinoa surprises
The recipe contains only naturally gluten-free ingredients, so no adaptation is necessary for its version with gluten.