Stuffed vegetables are popular because they pack essential nutrients into one enticing package, with bell peppers being the most commonly used base ingredient. However, using bell peppers all the time can become mundane, which is why it’s important to mix things up every now and then to keep discovering new flavors.
This Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Zucchini Boat recipe which was submitted by Craig Clarke of Rule.Me, uses zucchini as the base vegetable. This results in a crunchy texture that manages to hold all the ingredients together, and is a great counterpart to the melted cheese.
Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Zucchini Boats
Cook time: 20 minutes Total time: 35 minutes
- 3 ounces of organic cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons of organic sour cream
- 1 stalk of green onion
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cut the zucchinis in half, lengthwise.
- Using a spoon, scoop out most of the zucchinis until you’re left with shells that are about 1/2 to 1 centimeter thick.
- Pour 1 tablespoon of melted butter into each zucchini boat, season with salt and pepper, and place them in the oven for about 20 minutes.
- While the zucchinis are cooking, shred your chicken and use 6 ounces only, leaving the rest for other recipes. Cut up the broccoli florets into small pieces and combine both with the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper.
- Once the zucchinis are done, take them out and add your chicken and broccoli filling.
- Sprinkle cheddar cheese and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is melting and browning.
- Garnish with chopped green onion and enjoy with more sour cream or mayo!
Zucchini Is a Healthy Hull for the ‘Boat’
Zucchini serves as the “boat” for this recipe. It’s a great foundation ingredient because it retains its crunchiness and shape, even after baking. It makes the dish easier to eat, too. Furthermore, zucchini is a healthy vegetable on its own right because of the following nutrients:
Fiber should be an integral component of your daily diet, because it can help maintain proper digestive health. One of its main benefits is the reduced risk of constipation by pulling water into your stools, allowing them to move faster through your intestines. It can also help prevent excess weight gain, because your stomach feels full longer.1
Zucchini contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important in maintaining eye health, as they may reduce your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. In addition, these antioxidants may help eliminate free radicals throughout your body, as well as protect your blood vessels against atherosclerosis.2
Potassium is an important mineral that plays a vital role in cardiovascular health because of its vasodilating properties. This means that potassium can help your blood vessels relax to allow blood to flow more freely. As a result, it may reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke and hypertension.3
• B Vitamins
Zucchini possesses a variety of B vitamins, namely folate, B1, B2 and B3. These nutrients are crucial for energy production by helping your body properly metabolize protein, fats and carbohydrates. They’re also important for helping maintain proper nervous, brain and cardiovascular function.4
When Eating Chicken, Always Purchase Organic and Free-Range
Chicken is one of the most popular meats consumed around the world. From soups to sandwiches, chicken can be used in just about any meal you can think of.
According to research, chicken can play an important role in your diet, particularly in meeting your daily requirements for protein, the building block for your muscles. Aside from this, chicken meat is rich in vitamin D, which can help optimize calcium absorption and bone strength.
When purchasing chicken, always choose cuts that are both organic and free-range. Chickens raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are typically injected with large amounts of antibiotics. Over time, this causes the bacteria in the poultry to develop resistance to the drugs, creating a haven for foodborne illnesses.
Free-range, on the other hand, refers to a farming method that allows chickens to roam freely throughout the land to forage for their own food. This results in healthier chickens and eggs because they don’t eat manufactured feeds.
Add Broccoli to Your Foods to Increase the Nutritional Profile
Rounding out the core ingredients of this recipe is broccoli, a cruciferous vegetable that can be considered a superfood because it may help reduce your risk of diseases such as osteoarthritis,5 high blood pressure,6 kidney disease7 and diabetes.8
Broccoli may even lower your risk of cancer, according to a study published in PLoS One. Researchers suggest that sulforaphane, a compound unique to cruciferous greens, turns on genes that can help prevent the development of cancer while turning off the ones responsible for spreading.9
About the Blog
Ruled.Me was created by Craig Clarke, a blogger who originally struggled with weight problems. The website not only focuses on the ketogenic diet as a way to lose weight, but as a lifestyle that can improve your quality of life. It contains dieting tips, strength and endurance exercises and various recipes for people who are struggling with their weight and nutritional deficiencies.
Sources and References