Meat, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups

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Ingredients:

2 large zucchini or yellow squash, total weight 1 1/2 lbs

olive oil spray

1/2 cup finely chopped leeks

1 green pepper, finely chopped

2 t finely minced fresh garlic

1 ¼ lb. ground beef (10% fat or less)

13 oz. ground turkey (10% fat or less)

1 tsp. spike seasoning (optional)

2 c no sugar added tomato-basil pasta sauce such as rao’s marinara

2 cups low-fat mozzarella

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Chop leeks and green pepper. Cook leeks and pepper in olive oiled sprayed nonstick pan, until just starting to soften. Add minced garlic and saute about 1 min. more, being careful not to brown the garlic. Remove the leeks, pepper, and garlic mixture to a bowl. Crumble in the ground beef & ground turkey, season with Spike seasoning, and cook over medium heat until the meat is well browned. Tilt pan to see if there is any extra fat, (remove fat) then stir cooked vegetables and garlic back into the meat. Add sauce and simmer until the mixture has thickened and liquid has cooked off, about 10 min.

2. While meat cools, cut zucchini into 2 inch thick slices, discarding ends. Use a sharp spoon or melon baller to hollow out a cup in each zucchini slice, leaving just over 1/4 inch of zucchini flesh. Be careful not to get too close to the skin or the cups will leak liquid when they cook.

3. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray and stand up zucchini cups, open end up. Stir 1 1/2 cups grated cheese into the cooled meat mixture , then spoon the meat-cheese mixture into zucchini cups, pressing down with the spoon and mounding it up a little over the top of the zucchini.

4. Bake zucchini cups for 20 min., then remove from oven and use remaining cheese to top each one with a generous pinch of cheese. Put back in oven and bake 10-15 minutes more, until zucchini is slightly soft when pierced with a fork and cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Bon Appetit!

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