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Food Friday Recipe : Black Bean and Quinoa-Stuffed Zucchini

Black Bean and Quinoa-Stuffed Zucchini
Ben Fink

Tune in to Food Friday this week, when CIA nutrition instructor, registered dietician and chef Jennifer Stack will join us in the studio to talk about veggies and staying healthy on a vegetarian diet!

Here is one of Jennifer's recipes, from her book The Diabetes-Friendly Kitchen.

Black Bean and Quinoa-Stuffed Zucchini

Quinoa makes a great base for stuffing vegetables; try using it with peppers, onions, or mushrooms. It's rich in protein and fiber, which means it digests more slowly, makes you feel full longer, and causes a more gradual rise in blood glucose levels. 


4 large zucchinis, halved lengthwise

5 teaspoons olive oil

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ diced small onion

¼ diced celery

½ jalapeño, seeded and minced

½ cup quinoa

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

1 cup vegetable broth

1 cup cooked black beans

¾ cup grated Cheddar

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped marjoram

2 teaspoons chopped oregano


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Use a spoon to scoop about three-quarters of  the flesh from the zucchini, reserving the flesh for another use such as making vegetable broth. 

3. Transfer the zucchini to a baking sheet. Brush the zucchini with 4 teaspoons of olive oil and season with ½ teaspoon of the salt and the pepper.

4. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil in medium sauce pan. Sweat the onion, celery, and jalapeño until soft. Add the quinoa, cumin, coriander, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Toast briefly but do not allow the mixture to burn. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is soft and the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

5. Combine the cooked quinoa, beans, cheese, cilantro, marjoram and oregano.

6. Spoon the mixture into the hollowed cavity of the zucchini, pressing to make sure it stays in place.

7. Bake until the zucchini is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. 

Excerpted from The Diabetes-Friendly Kitchen, by Jennifer Stack, MS, RD, CDE ©2012 by The Culinary Institute of America 

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