I love the combination of spices that goes into sausage. The fennel, sage, red pepper flake, and all the rest, just speak to me. I used to make my own seitan sausage, but our house is mostly gluten free now. Thus, the “sausage” in this recipe is tempeh-based. I love to top these with some Daiya mozzarella and broil them for two or three minutes after they are done baking. The ooey, gooey slightly browned cheese on top is the perfect finish. Alas, I didn’t have any Daiya the day of this recipe documentation, so we went without. They were still (all eight of them!) gleefully gobbled up that day.

flaxeggIn this recipe I use a flax “egg” to bind the ingredients. If you haven’t used a flax egg, they are awesome and super easy to make. Simply combine hot water and ground flax seed at about a 2:1 ratio (water: flax) and let sit for a few minutes until it thickens and is the consistency of a beaten egg. You can see in the photo it sticks to the spoon, that’s what you’re going for!

Finally, before we get onto the recipe, a word about hollowing out zucchini. The zucchinis I used here were “young” (meaning small). I used four (to make eight boats), but if you are using larger zucchini the stuffing here will probably fill two large squashes (four boats). In any matter, when you slice these lengthwise, find a spoon that is smaller than the width of the squashes (roughly) and then insert the spoon at the bottom (wider) part of the zucchini and just rock the spoon back and forth all the way up the length of the squash. I find this is the easiest way to get out most of the flesh and also keeps you from hacking into the skin of the squash, which you want to stay intact!

zucchini_boats

sausage stuffed zucchini
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 T your favorite cooking oil (divided)
  • 4 small (or 2 large) zucchini squash, cut lengthwise and hollowed out (flesh reserved)
  • 1 cup (1/2 medium) sweet onion, diced
  • 4 ounces of tempeh, browned and crumbled
  • 2 T soy sauce or tamari
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • 2 T ground flax seed
  • 4 T hot water (to blend with flax seed)
  • 2 slices stale bread (can certainly be GF, the bread I use is Rudi’s)
Spice blend
  • ¼ t sea salt
  • ½ t crushed fennel seed
  • ½ t rubbed sage
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • ½ t onion powder
  • 1 t parsley
  • ¼ t red pepper flake or cayenne pepper
  • black pepper to taste (I did about five grinds of my mill)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly oil a glass casserole that can accommodate all of your zucchini boats in a single layer.
  2. In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pan/pot, brown the diced onion in 1-2 t of oil for about 10 minutes.
  3. While the onion is cooking, slice and hollow out your zucchini, dicing up the reserved flesh.
  4. Lightly rub all of the zucchini boats with a little oil and lightly sprinkle salt and pepper inside of each boat, then set them aside.
  5. Crumble 4 oz cooked tempeh into the pan with the onion and add diced zucchini flesh and spice blend, sautee for 10 minutes or until zucchini is soft.
  6. Add the soy sauce and wine to the pan, simmer until the liquid has all been absorbed (about 5 minutes).
  7. Make your flax egg by mixing hot water and ground flax seed and letting thicken for two or three minutes.
  8. Toast the slices of bread and crumble them up with your hands into a large bowl.
  9. Empty the mixture from the pan into the large bowl and add the flax egg.
  10. Combine everything thoroughly with your hands or a wooden spoon.
  11. Fill the zucchini boats with mixture from the bowl, packing in tightly with your hands as you go.
  12. Put in the casserole in a single layer and bake for 20-30 minutes, uncovered, until zucchini is fork tender.
  13. Top with vegan mozzarella and broil for two or three minutes, if desired.
Notes
We ate this with balsamic roasted beets and lemon quinoa (mixed with the beet greens). It was a really flavorful, healthy meal!

zucchini_plated