At my first job back in Tulsa, I started an employee garden behind the clinic. In the Oklahoma heat, keeping anything alive in July and August was a full-time job. Needless to say, the task was large and the number of people willing to help when the heat was at its hottest were few. I ended up watering every day on my lunch break which went from 30 minutes to…as long as it took to revive the plants.
When a committee was formed at my new job to create a community/employee garden, I was happy to voice my experience from Tulsa – both the good and the bad.
The response was underwhelming this year, but we are surging forward with about 20 planters. Some of the physicians are planting boxes and I am planting one. The Wellness Center at the hospital is planting several. It should be a manageable size this year. Contracts were signed stating that the planter box owners would take full responsibility for caring for their box and if the box were to be neglected over x number of days, the hospital reserved the right to take it over.
The one other “rule” is that 20% of the yield will go to patients, available in produce boxes in the provider offices. One small step to creating opportunity for increased fruit and vegetable consumption among patients.
I thought long and hard about what I should plant in my planter. One thought a friend had was to plant a “pizza box” – herbs and tomatoes. I feared there wouldn’t be enough room and I’m currently growing tomatoes indoors in my Aero Garden. So, I nixed that idea.
I wanted something low-maintenance and with high yield, so I chose zucchini. I find zucchini to be one of the most versatile vegetables and come mid-summer they are quick-growing, hearty, and very tolerant of weather extremes. If the plant is deprived of water, it quickly recovers after a good watering.
When my zucchini is bountiful in the warm summer months, these Crab-Stuffed Zucchini Boats WILL be remade. They were phenomenal.
4 zucchini, ends trimmed and halved length-wise
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
8 oz lump crab meat
1 tsp smoked paprika
black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup light olive oil mayonnaise
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (1 oz) part-skim mozzarella, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Scoop out the soft, seedy flesh of the halved zucchini leaving about 1/2-inch thick skins; place on a baking sheet.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat; stir onion and bell pepper and cook until the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes). Gently stir in the crab, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Stir in paprika and pepper.
Place the crab mixture into a mixing bowl, and stir in the panko, mayonnaise, and cheeses. Spoon the filling into the prepared zucchini boats.
Bake in preheated oven until zucchini softens and the filling is hot, about 20-25 minutes.
Yield: 4 servings (2 boats each)
Nutrition Information (per serving): 220 calories; 10.0 g. fat; 79 mg. cholesterol; 541 mg. sodium; 17.2 g. carbohydrate; 2.8 g. fiber; 18.8 g. protein; 4.8 g. sugar
Result: LOVED these. As soon as Gina posted them, I knew I had to make them. I’m surprised how fat the crab meat stretched, honestly. These were satisfying, quick to make, filling, and reheated beautifully. A perfect light meal for warmer months, especially when zucchini season is in full swing!
Weekly Menu: May 26th – May 30th
- Sunday: TBD
- Monday: Cajun-Style Blackened Halibut with grilled asparagus
- Tuesday: Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches with salad
- Wednesday: Ratatouille over whole wheat pasta
- Thursday: cookbook recipe
I decided not to work tomorrow 😉 Cookbooking instead!