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January 22, 2016

Meatball Marinara Zucchini Boats

Zucchini boats topped with a quick and simple marinara made from fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and Personal Trainer Food MeatballsZucchini Boats. What are they? How are they? When are they? I’ve been without any carbs or refined sugars in my system for about 12 days now. Being a huge bread fan I’ve had to get a little creative to get my fix, and I’ve found another great way to add a twist to my dinners with zucchini! Why have a meatball marinara sandwich, when I can have a meatball marinara zucchini boats?!

Zucchini boats topped with a quick and simple marinara made from fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and Personal Trainer Food Meatballs

If you’ve been following my weightloss journey on Snapchat, you’ll know that I’m into my 3rd week on the Personal Trainer Food RECON program, and going strong! They tell you not to way yourself, but I had to check in halfway through, and i’ve lost about 12 pounds, and I hardly feel like I’m on a diet, with the exception of not being able to have any alcohol, starches or sugars. Probably 3 of my favorite things, but look at this zucchini boat, you’ll forgot that you’re even restricted from eating certain foods!

So to make this recipe really top notch, the marinara is made with fresh roma tomatoes from scratch! Sounds a little intimidating, but I made it as easy as it can get and it takes no more than 25 minutes to cook, and if you’re also on the Personal Trainer Food RECON program like me, you’ll have plenty extra to add on other foods. Make a chicken parm, or zucchini-noodle (I’m not using the word “zoodle” on my blog. Crap. I just used the word “zoodle” on my blog..) spaghetti with meatballs

Zucchini boats topped with a quick and simple marinara made from fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and Personal Trainer Food Meatballs

I don’t know about you, but I’m not the biggest fan of zucchini, It’s normally mushy and flavorless every-time I eat it. 2 o my least favorite qualities in a vegetable. I went into this recipe thinking “Ok, I’ll just tough it out, because it’s healthy”, but I found that I loved it! The trick? I slightly under-cooked them so that they still had a bite to them, making the texture really amazing and  delicious, topped with the Personal Trainer Food Meatballs (which makes this meal that much easier), marinara, and mozzarella cheese? It’s the bee’s knees..

???? Yes. I said the bee’s knees. ????

Zucchini boats topped with a quick and simple marinara made from fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and Personal Trainer Food Meatballs

So now that I’ve been enlightened by the world of zucchini boats, I don’t know if I’m going back. it’s definitely something I’ll be making more of in the future, becuase you can really fill these things with anything, especially leftovers making a potentially (depending on what you top them with) healthy and quick meal!

Zucchini boats topped with a quick and simple marinara made from fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and Personal Trainer Food Meatballs

Prep Tip

Make Ahead

If you have time to on the weekend definitely make the marinara sauce a head of time if you’re looking to have something quick to make on the weekday. The marinara takes about 25-30 minutes to simmer down, with preparing the zucchini boats and cooking about an additional 15 minutes. So with marinara prepped you can be in zucchini boat heaven in less than 20 minutes on a weeknight!

Don’t Peel The Tomatoes

A lot of fresh marinara sauce recipes call for peeling the skin off the tomatoes. I say NO TIME! leave the peels on the tomatoes, and at the end blend the marinara, you wont even know they’re in there. Plus, you get a lot more nutrients by leaving the skin in the marinara, so time saved and better for you. Win, Win!

Thanks again to Personal Trainer Food for supplying the meatballs for this recipe!

Enough Talk. More Rock

On To The Recipe

Meatball Marinara Zucchini Boat

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Zucchini boats

  • 2 packs Personal Trainer Food Meatballs thawed. (any frozen meatball will work too, obvi)
  • 6 oz mozzarella cheese
  • 2 whole zucchinis
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Fresh Marinara

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 6 whole roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper chopped
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped

Instructions

  • Chop your onions and bell pepper, mince garlic, and place in a sauce pan on medium heat with oilive oil. shredd about 1/4 cup of a carrot into the pan and let it sweat down for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Cut your roma tomatoes in half and place in the pan; Let it cook for about 2 minutes.
  • At this point they should be soft enough that you can break them down a little with a spatula, let this simmer on medium low heat for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the sauce is simmering, preheat your oven to 400F. Cut your zucchini in half long-ways, and scoop the center out with a spoon. season with salt and pepper and place on a cookie sheet.
  • When the sauce is done simmering, add in some fresh chopped basil; stir and turn the heat off.
  • Pour the marinara into a blender/food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds. It'll look a little orange, because of the carrots, so don't worry. Taste it it's going to be amazing!
  • Prepare the zucchini boats. Cut the meatballs in half and place about 4 halves in each boat. Top with marinara and cheese and place in the over for about 10-12 minutes. Cook longer if you prefer your zucchini softer.
  • Top with a little more basil, bust out the fork and knives and enjoy!
Derek Campanile
Derek Campanile
I'm an IT professional by day. Home cook for the family by night. Follow my blog for easy to make recipes, how-to's and ideas to gather the family at the dinner table!