Review: Lebanese Beef Zucchini Boats

I spent more time than I’d like to admit browsing recipes online. Between what pops up on my Facebook feed, research for something I want, and interactions with other food bloggers, the list starts to get quite extensive. Even though I I often find recipes to try, I find myself going back to the standards in my own Recipe Collection.

Not too long ago though, I started making sure I added new recipes I wanted to try. I made myself a rule: I add at least two recipes a week, and put them on the plan right away. Some of them I put on the plan for weeks out, and some in a matter of days. Not only does this keep me trying new things, but, it makes planning that much easier, as I don’t have to decide on a meal to make.

That’s how I came across these Lebanese Zucchini Boats from Physical Kitchness. Chrissa developed this recipe to use and highlight tahini, or ground sesame seeds. I’ve been a fan of this Middle Eastern delight for a long time, and was excited for the excuse to purchase it. Ready to give ground beef another go (I’m not a huge fan), and more excited by the promises Chrissa made in her description, I rushed home to empty out some zucchini and give this one a go.Lebanese Zucchini Boats

And boy did it delight! The tahini really smoothed out the texture of the ground beef, and added an extra flavor that’s got me going back for more. Though she says the nuts and mint on top are optional, I wouldn’t skip them. The almonds bring a beautiful crunch and the mint freshens and brightens the whole dish. This really is a synergistic dish with every component working to support the others.

The actual zucchini boats are trickier than they look. Starting with larger zucchinis, especially ones that are fatter. This will let you get a deeper dish and stuff them a bit better. You could also use an acorn squash to keep it in the same family and seasonal, and easier to stuff with all of the beefy goodness. Since the beef is fully cooked when it comes time to stuffing the boats, there’s no need to worry about the dish being undercooked – the final step is really just to bring everything together and hot.

Have you found a recipe or an ingredient lately you’re excited to try?

Meal Plan Monday 11.09.15

meal plan monday 110915It’s not yet midnight here in Portland, Oregon, which means it’s still #MealPlanMonday. This week, as we do most weeks, we’re focusing on turning dinners into leftovers and getting the most bang for our buck. Since breakfast, lunch, and snacks are all recurring items or staples (eggs, oatmeal, leftovers, etc), I didn’t add anything to the plan specific for them. So, here’s our week of dinner:

We’ll hold Saturday in reserve and see just how those leftovers have fared before putting anything specific on our meal plan. Since we usually go shopping on Saturday, we plan that meal on Saturday.

*Side note: if you follow us on Facebook, you’ll see that we ended up having the Carrot Soup on Monday instead of on Sunday. We ended up having pancakes for dinner on Sunday, and pushed the rest of the meal plan back a day. Sometimes life happens. I’ve already gone through and updated our plan for the week by pushing everything back, but, I did this after I had taken screenshots of our plan to share.

Do you plan your meals as much as we do? Are you still using pen and paper?