Spicy Quinoa Zucchini Boats

Adapted via Annie’s Eats
Serves: 4

♦ 2 zucchini, about 12 inches in length
♦ olive oil
♦ 1 cup black lentils
♦ 1 cup quinoa
♦ 1 medium onion, minced
♦ 4 cloves garlic, minced
♦ 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
♦ 1 (14-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
♦ 2 chipotles chiles in adobo sauce
♦ 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
♦ 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
♦ 2 tsp smoked paprika
♦ salt and pepper, to taste

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out insides, leaving a shell about ¼-inch thick. Reserve about half of the insides for adding to the filling. In a saucepan add the lentils and about 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low, and simmer the lentils for 15 minutes (being sure not to overcook) – drain the lentils and set them aside.

Meanwhile stir together quinoa and water – bring to a boil, and cover with a tight fitting lid. Turn the heat down to simmer, and allow to cook for 15 minutes. Remove quinoa from heat and allow to sit five minutes with the lid on; fluff gently with a fork and set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add reserved zucchini insides and garlic to the skillet, and sauté another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, black beans, chipotle chiles, oregano, salt and pepper. Fill the tomato sauce can with water, and pour into the mixture – allow to cook for about 10 minutes. Stir in the quinoa, and cook until heated through (another minute or two); remove form heat and allow to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Fill the zucchini shells with the mixture. Fill a glass baking dish with ¼-inch of water, and arrange the filled zucchini shells in the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the zucchini from the pan and serve immediately.

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