Monday, 26 September 2011

Stuffed Courgettes GF SCD

Courgettes or zucchini? What do you call this rather nutritious vegetable? I looked up some facts about courgettes and this is what I found:

  • Low in calories, courgettes provide only 17 calories per 100 g.
  • They contain no saturated fats or cholesterol and the peel is good source of dietary fiber.
  • They are a reasonable source of folates which are important in cell division and DNA synthesis.
  • They are a very good source of potassium, an important intra-cellular electrolyte. Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte; helps reduce blood pressure and heart rates by countering effects of sodium.
  • They are rich in vitamin A.
  • The golden skin variety are rich in flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds help scavenge harmful oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) from the body that play a role in ageing and various disease process.
  • They are a good source of anti-oxidant vitamin-C as well as the B-complex group of vitamins like thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and minerals like iron, manganese, phosphorus, zinc and potassium.

That's the serious stuff! On a lighter note:

  • Courgette is the French word for zucchini.
  • Courgettes were first taken to the USA by Italians in the 1920s.
  • A courgette has more potassium than a banana.
  • The word zucchini comes from ‘zucca’ the Italian word for squash.
  • In September 2010, a woman from the US state of Montana fought off a 200lb (91kg) black bear with a courgette from her garden

My favourite way of eating courgettes is to slice and deep fry them in olive oil! My second favourite way is to stuff them with even more vegetables!

Stuffed Courgettes GF SCD
3 large courgettes
3 medium carrots - 150g
1 medium leek (optional) 
1 medium to large onion
2 tsps dried oregano
1 quantity Baked Beans 
20g grated cheddar cheese (or vegan option)
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and black pepper

Set the oven to 190°C. Slice the courgettes in half lengthways.

Scoop out the middle and put to one side. Brush the courgettes all over, inside and out, with some extra virgin olive oil.

 and place in an oven proof dish.

Cook in the oven for 30 to 50 minutes or more depending on the size of the courgette until the shells are cooked and the flesh is soft. Meanwhile prepare the stuffing. Pour about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into a deep frying pan or wok. Finely slice the leek and onions and add to the pan.

Cook gently for 10 minutes or until soft. Grate the carrot and add to the pan with the dried oregano. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Shake some paprika over the vegetables then continue to cook gently for a further 20 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

Meanwhile make the baked beans (click on the link). You can leave out the onion if you wish. I sometimes use left-over baked beans from the fridge.

 Add to the pan when the vegetables are soft and stir well.

Boil away the excess liquid in the pan, stirring constantly. Take spoonfuls of the mixture and stuff the cooked courgette shells.

Sprinkle with the grated cheddar cheese.

Bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Place some foil over the top if the cheese starts to get too brown. Make sure the shells are cooked before taking out of the oven.