Vegan Italian Zucchini Boats + Homemade Pizza Sauce

It has been way too long since I’ve shared a recipe with you! When I came home in August to visit my family and take a break from being out in the middle of nowhere, I finally had the chance to create a recipe. I really missed my kitchen, I will never take it for granted again! Oh kitchen, how I love you.

Anyways back to these delicious zucchini boats. I’ve seen these over the inter webs before along with every other stuffed vegetable. You have stuffed peppers, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, avocado, pumpkin and more. I wanted to make something at home that was a single serving and froze well so I could take it up here and just pop it into the oven when I was hungry. These zucchini boats are low carb, gluten free and vegan while still being high in fiber and protein thanks to the chickpeas. You don’t have to add the pizza sauce (it was randomly in my fridge so I decided to add it in) to the filling but trust me you will want to because it took these boats from great to these-are-so-delicious-I-want-to-eat-it-straight-from-the-pan. I refrained on the last part :).

Vegan Italian Zucchini Boats

2 zucchini, halved lengthwise
2 minced garlic cloves
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
Half of a yellow pepper diced (that’s all I had, but can easily use a full pepper)
½ cup pizza sauce (recipe below)
1 cup drained and rinsed chickpeas
Homemade Pizza Sauce
Adapted from Real House Moms

2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic minced
2 cans tomato paste (6 oz. each)
1 can of water (can of tomato paste)
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (to make vegan omit cheese or substitute a vegan alternative)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tsp fennel seed

Directions – Pizza Sauce: Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the garlic in the oil until it becomes fragrant. Add in the 2 cans of tomato paste, 1 can of water (may need more, judge by thickness), parmesan cheese, basil, oregano, salt, sugar, black pepper, bay leaf and fennel seed. Give it a big stir and lit it simmer on low for 30-60 minutes. When it is done remove the bay leaf and let cool if not using right away. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Directions – Zucchini Boats: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Start by washing your zucchini and cut lengthwise so you have 4 zucchini halves. Take a spoon and hollow out each half, being careful not to go through the zucchini. Put the scooped insides into a bowl. Cut up your pepper into bite sized pieces, at this point you also want to chop the zucchini insides and add it to the pepper. In a skillet pour your desired oil, and add the 2 minced garlic cloves and sauté until it becomes fragrant. To the skillet add the pepper/zucchini mixture, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes. Cook until the peppers are soft. Add your chickpeas and pizza sauce and cook until the sauce and chickpeas become warm. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the zucchini halves on the sheet. Evenly distribute the mixture into each zucchini boat. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the zucchini is soft and insides are hot. Serve and enjoy!
 If you wanted to make these not vegan you could easily sub the chickpeas for ground turkey, chicken or beef. Personally I think beef would be great because beef is great with all Italian food. And what would kick these up another notch is adding some shredded cheese on top :). I did add some cheddar to mine the other day and it was heavenly. Although I think mozzarella would be even better.
These also freeze well. When the boats have cooled, wrap each one indivdually in tin foil and place in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat it, bake in the oven from frozen at 400 F until hot. I don’t reccomend letting it thaw out as it became mushy, much easier to do it from frozen. Enjoy!

Sunday Set Up #19

10 points for me for putting this Sunday Set Up on a Sunday! I watched the third Harry Potter movie last night and am all 5 points for this, and 10 points for that. I forgot how much I love the Harry Potter movies. They’re probably one of my favorite movie series to watch and never get sick of. I’ve read all the books expect the last one, I’ve been on the same page for like 7 years. Same with the Twilight and Hunger Games series. I always start the last book but never finish it. Now that I’ve seen how Twilight and Harry Potter ends I don’t know if I’ll read the last book. I probably will just to finish it but I really want to finish the last Hunger Games book. The movie comes out on November 21st and I want to finish the book before I see the movie. I’m going to give myself a deadline of November 20th, you need to hold me to it!

Fitness
  • Stretch lower body everyday (Even though this is such a simple task, I always forget!)
  • Create a fitness plan (What to do on what day)
  • Go for a run

 Food

  • Continue to eat 2 servings of vegetables at lunch and dinner
  • Create a meal plan for the next 2 weeks

Sleep

  • Continue getting to bed early

You

  • Treat myself to a expensive food purchase (You know the foods that you really want to try but don’t because they’re a ridiculous price? Well I’m going to indulge my wallet and my mouth)

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Friday Faves: Pumpkin Edition

Wow, me blogging during the week? That’s a rarity these days. But you can thank the stomach bug that has me down for the day. I’ve been sitting here in my bed looking up recipes and watching netflix, all day. I am so not a sedentary person and I am going crazy not being able to be active. The thought of a walk just makes my stomach turn, plus the mosquitoes have come out of hiding and I’m back to my daily bites. I did go a while without getting one and now I’ve gotten 10 in the past 2 days. No bueno.

So what does one do when they’re not feeling well? Look up every pumpkin recipe imaginable that’s what. And I cannot wait until I visit home next weekend and make all the things pumpkin. I’m talking a waffle pumpkin french toast recipe (say what?!), pumpkin bars, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes. You name it and it will be pumpkinfied. Surely I’m not going to be able to make all those things, but I assure you waffle pumpkin french toast is happening. It is so happening and I cannot wait.

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But here are some of the pumpkin recipes I found that I think you might enjoy too! Even if it is only the 5th of September, September is pretty much the gateway to fall so go ahead and bake your pumpkin hearts out!

Happy baking!

Sunday Set Up #18

Long time no post! Sorry for being MIA, it’s been a busy week. I went home for the first time since being up here on Saturday and wanted to spend as much time with my family as I could. So I put this weeks Sunday Set Up aside for this week. It was a really good few days at home, but now it’s back to that work life. I definitely take advantage of having a dishwasher, a big bed and a mom that cooks for me. All three of those things I do not have up here and didn’t know how much I truly missed them until I got back! Even though I do love to cook myself, it was nice not having to do it and relaxing during dinner prep :).

By the way, where has summer gone?! I feel like summer has just started when in reality we’re only a couple weeks away from autumn. I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty excited. Like really excited. Autumn is definitely my favourite season. I love the crisp cool air, halloween, warm drinks, the leaves changing colors, being able to wear a sweater without dying and the most important PUMPKIN! I am definitely on the pumpkin everything train. Pumpkin pancakes, waffles, muffins, bread, cookies, candles etc… I love love love pumpkin. But have yet to try the pumpkin spice lattee from Starbucks (probably the only person on the planet who hasn’t tried it). Honestly I’ve never ordered it because it’s full of sugar, unhealthy fat and unnecessary calories. But you know what? I really want to try it and I love pumpkin and I’m going to let myself indulge in this very rare treat. I am not going to hold myself back any longer, bring it on pumpkin spice lattee! I’m ready for you.

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Okay back to the title of this post, Sunday Set Up! 
Fitness
  • Stretch lower body everyday 
  • Workout 4x this week (heart pumping, sweat dripping workouts!)
  • Go for a run

 Food

  • Continue to eat 2 servings of vegetables at lunch and dinner
  • Meal prep for lunch 

Sleep

  • Continue getting to bed early

You

  • Treat myself to lunch or dinner out
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