Just Walt's Mental Meanderings

Walter Blevins

Walter Blevins
Vista, California, USA
August 22
I'm a 60 year old guy who lives in Vista California with my wife. I spent the 30 years before moving to Cali in Iowa, Wisconsin and North Dakota. And I have 2 grown children, a son and a daughter who live in Virginia and Iowa and a 22 year old step-daughter lives with us here in Vista. I'm a proud grandpa with 2 grandaughters living in Virginia. I like to write about a whole variety of things from my kids to cooking to politics to the car industry to my status as a "Cheap Bastid" and "Old Fart" and just random thoughts. And I really love writing about cooking really good, homecooked comfort food cheap. That's why they call me the Cheap Bastid. By the way--all the stuff I write is my stuff and you can't use it without my official OkeyDokey

MAY 1, 2012 2:47PM

Cheap Bastid Makes Zucchini Boats

Rate: 18 Flag

Have you ever made that motorboat sound with you lips—either pretending to be a motorboat or tickling the tummy of a toddler?  Well, that’s not the kind of boats Cheap Bastid is referring to here.  I’m taking about zucchini boats.

zucchini bathtub boat--Tauman Family Blog Thanks to the Tauman Family Blog for this photo.

We’ve been trying to get more vegetables in our diet.  (Yeah I know that sounds boring to almost everybody but a vegetarian).  The reasons are twofold—it’s healthier and it’s cheaper.  And, of course, Cheap Bastid always likes cheaper.

I stumbled across a recipe and picture recently on Pinterest (yeah, I “pin) for Zucchini Boats and was intrigued.  So last night I decided to fix them after making sure that I had zucchini and grape or cherry tomatoes on hand.

These are really simple to make and can be a great vegetable “side” dish, cut into quarters for finger food at a party or buffet or can even be a main dish for a vegetarian meal. 

zucchini boats done1

Last night’s effort was my first attempt and the pictures might not be “foo-foo foodie” beautiful and the presentation will improve the next time I make these.  But, here’s my take on the recipe:

Cheap Bastid's Zucchini Boats

• 2 zucchinis
• 20 grape tomatoes
• Mozzarella cheese
• Crumbled Feta cheese
• 1/3 cup Bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
• Salt and pepper
• Olive or canola oil

Get out a small baking sheet, bowl, cutting board, chef’s knife and spoon.
Preheat the oven to 375
Cut the end off the zucchini and cut each zucchini in half lengthwise.

 scooping zucchini

Using the spoon, scrape out the flesh in the middle making a “trough” in each about ½-3/4 inch deep.
If you want, sprinkle a bit of “Italian Seasoning” or dried herbs into the crumbs.
Cut the mozzarella in cubes about ½ inch square (or you can shred it)
If the zucchinis are a bit wobbly, cut a skosh off the bottom so that they are flat.
Place the cut zucchini on the baking sheet. 
Drizzle a bit of oil in the trough of each and either rub in with your finger or use a basting brush.  Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper and garlic powder on it.

zucchini ready for oven

Put 4 or 5 half tomatoes in the trough of each zucchini with spaces between.
Sprinkle about half a tablespoon to a tablespoon of the crumbs over each zucchini (this will provide a bit of crunch).
Put the baking sheet in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and reset the oven to broil.  Add the mozzarella—put a cube between each tomato half and at the ends.  Sprinkle crumbled feta the length of the zucchini. 

zucchini in oven
Pop back in the oven for about 3 minutes—keep an eye on it, you want to melt the cheese and just get it browning a little bit.
Remove from oven, let it cool for a couple of minutes and serve as a side on the plate.  Or cut into quarters and arrange on the plate.

These are tasty!  The grape/cherry tomatoes have a bit more acid and really add some flavor.  The zucchini will have just a bit of “tooth” left in it.  The mozzarella is cheesy and gooey and the feta gives it a salty goodness.

zucchini boats done2

The Cheap Bastid Test:  I used about a pound of zucchini at $1 a pound.  The tomatoes were $1 a pound and I used maybe $.25 worth.  The mozzarella was $3 a pound and used about $1 worth and about $.50 worth of feta.  The crumbs—that was a half dozen crumbled saltines I crushed.  Total expenditure:  $2.75 for 4 boats—enough for 4 (we each had 1 ½ though).  That’s pretty reasonable for something so good and tasty.

That's the Cheap Bastid Way:  Eat Good. Eat Cheap. Be Grateful!

Come visit me at: http://www.cheap-bastid-cooks.com/

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Oh I love these zucchini boats. I could see a little sausage in there too but I would be happy with them just the way they are. Thank you!!!
zanelle--thanks. and you're right. you can put some sausage in there (buy bigger zucchinis!) and turn it into a whole meal. We've already talked about doing that because it really sounds tasty.
Great minds think alike, Walter. I have this same recipe which is on my to-do list for "summer recipes" when people are swimming in zucchini. I'd love one right this minute, please.
Gary--it's tasty! and like my comment to Zanelle, you could add a bit of ground sausage and turn it into a meal.
They look pretty good to me, my friend!


~takes one out on the lake~ It sank!! :( ~:D
Tink--thanks. I imagine that these would be pretty good with some crunch Meow Mix on top too!
Damn, that looks good Walter and I'm not even a veggie guy.
David--I never used to be but it seems as though I've been craving more vegetables (and unfortunately for my waist, my craving for meat has not gone down--guess I'll just have to "suffer"). I can't wait for sweet corn season!
zucchini is bland and not one of my faves, but i'm pretty sure i'd eat a few of these vehicles for roasted tomatoes and gooey cheese. nice one, walt.
femmeforte--that's why you use the tart tomatoes, seasoning and the salty feta cheese. the sum of the whole is greater than the parts. And I agree, you have to do something to zucchini to impart taste! When I use it on pizza, I make sure I'm also using marinated artichokes for the same reason--flavor.
Walter, it's so endearing that you "pin"!

Love the recipe! Savas Bey always has a big crop of zucchini in the summer, I'll pass recipe along.
vcorso--well, of course I pin! It's another way to promote my foodblog. And thanks for commenting. Zuccini is some good stuff!
I want to make both versions (the bathtub boat and the cheesy tomato boat). Zucchini gets little attention around here because we didn't grow up eating it -- we're a yellow squash region -- so I've always been intrigued by zucchini recipes. I need to branch out...
Bellwether--you can pretty much do the same thing with yellow summer squash. Thanks for the comment.
I LOVE zucchinis and have tried a similar recipe before(yes, try the sausage!!)
John--thanks. I've done the sausage stuffing thing with eggplant and will have to do it with the zucchini too.
They look delicious and I will try them. Thanks for sharing.
Sheila--my pleasure and thanks for commenting. Let me know what you think when you make them and eat them.
I don't eat cheese, but I bet I could think of a few other ways to do these. I ate a smoked salmon eggs Benedict yesterday - wonder how that would work with zucchini boats instead of toasted muffins. Or I could go back to my Scottish roots and put haggis in there. Mmmmm.
Those look so delicious! I wonder if I have zucchini in my fridge.
GeeBee--there are all kinds of ways to eat these! Just get creative.

Miguela--Hope you do! You'll like 'em.
Do love the zuchs... personally I'd be loading in some sauteed sausage as well... maybe ground lamb... mmmm, ground lamb.
jmac--I agree. Mrs. CB and I were talking a little while ago and decided that next time we'll do some just like this and some with seasoned meat too. It'll be the whole meal.
Meow Mix goes with everything!!


(And a little salmon is pretty awesome too!! ~nodding~ :D)
Brilliant way to get rid of the excess zucchini that always appear every summer. Usually when it's zucchini giving-away-time, people without gardens cringe when they see us coming with bags bulging with - ta da - tomatoes and zucchini. Those boats look delicious. At first I thought you had slices of pepperoni in them, but then it occurred to me that that might be even tastier.
I love zucchini boats, too! Thanks for the entertaining photos and recipe!!
Deborah--thanks. I was going to apologize for the photos because I didn't take enough of the process of making these and I didn't get one of the boats when they were plated. By then we were too interested in eating them--I served them on the side of pan-fried breaded boneless loin chops. It was a great combination.
Artfully presented and -I'm sure - delicious!
Very nice! Zucchini season will be upon us soon enough, so I am going to keep this for future reference.
Dang it, now I have to go buy zucchini seeds. These look great, Walter.